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Patent highlights

14 Jul 2003

The pick of this week’s patent applications including methods for making ceramic optics and deodorizing bed linen.

•  Title: Method for producing ceramic optical parts
Applicant: Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd, Japan
International application number: WO 03/055826
Patent application WO 03/055826 describes a method for making ceramic infrared and ultraviolet optics. The authors say that the main component of the raw powder used to make infrared optics should be ZnS, ZnSe or Ge, while for ultraviolet it should be CaF2, MgF2 or a similar compound. The raw powder is then pressed into a “formed product” and sintered. Applying heat and pressure to the sintered product bakes it into its final form. The authors say this technique could reduce production costs as minimal finishing is required.

•  Title: Health bedding
Applicant: Ibeks Technologies Co, Ltd, Korea
International application number: WO 03/055361
A Korean company is trying to patent bed linen that it says produces beneficial effects within the sleeper’s body. The bedding contains layers of various materials that are said to emit anions and far infrared light. The authors say this gives the bedding antibacterial and deodorizing properties, which promotes the body’s metabolism.

•  Title: Systems, compositions and methods for full color laser engraving of ID documents
Applicant: Digimarc ID Systems, LLC, US
International application number: WO 03/056507
Lasers could be used to engrave full-color images on ID cards, say the authors of patent WO 03/056507. The process involves firing near infrared (NIR) lasers onto a special coating on the card. The coating contains particles that turn a specific color (e.g. cyan, magenta or yellow) when they absorb a specific NIR wavelength, essentially creating a laser-engraved pixel.

•  Title: Method for the separation of optical fibers by means of CO2 laser radiation
Applicant: Jenoptik Automatisierungstechnik GmbH, Germany
International application number: WO 03/056372
Jenoptik of Germany is trying to patent a method to separate optical fibers using a pulsed CO2 laser. The company says its approach suits various types of fiber including those with or without cladding as well as fiber bunches and fiber components. “Minuscle volumes of material are removed along a line in a sawing-like process until complete separation has been achieved,” say the inventors.

Author
Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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