Do you know someone who doesn’t like to brush their teeth? Like a young child or so? For younger children, it may be a pain, a hassle, or a chore to brush their teeth. Is there any way to make brushing teeth less of a pain for kids? Some inventors may have found an answer to that question. These inventors have found a way to make brushing teeth like a game, like in the literal sense of being a video game.
A patent was recently filed for a system using toothbrushes and mobile phones together to make brushing teeth fun for kids.
What’s the patent?
The patent granted for this invention is U.S. patent no. 10,172,443 (‘443 patent) and titled “oral care tools and systems.” This patent specifically mentions using software applications that “visualizes brushing and transforms brushing into a fun game.”
The ‘443 patent in a little more detail
So why was the invention made in the first place? The background of the invention for the ‘433 patent specifically states that there is a “current need for oral care tools and related systems that can provide a real time image of the brushing result to the user and provide fun for the users when they are brushing.” The invention itself is comprised of many things, such a cleaning module (which may include parts of a tooth brush), sensing modules, software apps and various other components. These components help address and solve the problem mentioned above.
Click here to read the entire patent.
The ‘443 patent would most likely be a utility patent. Utility patents give the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing into the U.S. devices or other things covered by the patent. Thus, patents are a very strong form of intellectual property protection. However, obtaining a patent is not always the easiest thing to do. An invention has to meet several statutory requirements before it can be patent eligible.
What are the requirements?
To be eligible for utility patent protection, the invention must be novel, nonobvious, have utility, and be considered patentable subject matter. Figuring out whether the invention is novel or non-obvious isn’t always a straight forward matter. Generally, you would need to conduct a prior art search to determine what patents, patent applications, or inventions are currently out there. Prior art searches can be very complex at times.
Utility patents are usually for inventions with some sort of use or function. Design patents on the other hand are meant to protect the appearances or ornamental aspects of something. Protecting the appearances of something can be considered extremely useful in some circumstances. For example, think about iPhones and how they look. It’s important to protect the iPhones appearances to ensure that competitors do not appropriate Apple’s design for the iPhones.
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Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. It is only for educational or entertainment purposes only. Please do not use the article or contents of the article without permission. For legal advice and questions, please contact registered Patent Attorney Vincent LoTempio.