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Patent highlights

12 Aug 2003

The pick of this week’s patent applications including a lens implant that reduces the risk of secondary cataracts.

•  Title: Intra-ocular lens provided with adhesive on its external border
Applicant: Technomed Gesellschaft für Med.und Med. Techn.Systems, Germany
International application number: WO 03/063737
A German company is trying to patent an intra-ocular lens implant that it says reduces the risk of secondary cataracts. The lens has a layer of adhesive around the outside edge of both convex surfaces which is activated by ultraviolet light. The company says the circumference of the lens is produced as an edge, allowing the implant to be fixed in the eye’s capsular sac.

•  Title: Automobile infrared-night viewing device
Applicant: Daimler-Chrysler, Germany
International application number: WO 03/064213
If you are stuck in the dark with no headlights, then the invention outlined in patent application WO 03/064213 is one you’ll be pleased is fitted to your car. The application describes a night-viewing system that comprises an infrared camera, an image processor and a display. The processor is said to select the data to appear on the display depending on the speed of the vehicle and the surroundings of the vehicle or the driver.

•  Title: Method and apparatus for detecting a terrain-masked helicopter
Applicant: Honeywell International Inc, US
International application number: WO 03/065067
US company Honeywell is trying to patent a robot sentry that can detect camouflaged helicopters. The system scans a laser across the sky and searches for the characteristic vertical airflow pattern of the helicopter’s rotor. “The presence of this vertical airflow pattern indicates the probable presence of a reconnaissance helicopter that is using terrain masking,” say the patent’s authors.

•  Title: Spray can targeting and positioning system
Applicant: Laser Touch and Technologies, US
International application number: WO 03/064969
A US company is trying to patent a spray canister targeting system to take the guesswork out of where the canister’s contents will end up on a surface. The system directs a laser towards the surface to provide a visual indication of where the nozzle of the canister is pointing relative to the surface. The authors say the system can either be connected to the canister’s trigger mechanism or mounted to the side of the canister.

•  Title: An apparatus and method for the measurement of water depth using a controlled receiver
Applicant: Tenix Lads Corporation Pty, Ltd, Australia
International application number: WO 03/065069
Patent application WO 03/065069 describes a laser airborne depth sounder (LADS) system that measures water depth. The system fires at least two laser wavelengths at the water and a receiver detects reflections from the water’s surface and the seabed. The patent says the receiver is fitted with an optical shutter, in the form of an LCD matrix of a mechanical blocking element, that is adapted to let the seabed reflection through.

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

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