Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2186789 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2186789
(54) English Title: ERGONOMIC COMPUTER KEYBOARD (AND KEY)
(54) French Title: CLAVIER ET TOUCHES ERGONOMIQUES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • H01H 13/705 (2006.01)
  • G06F 3/023 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • MACDONALD, DAVID (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • MACDONALD, DAVID (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • MACDONALD, DAVID (Canada)
(74) Agent: NA
(45) Issued: 2006-01-31
(22) Filed Date: 1996-09-30
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 1998-03-31
Examination requested: 2003-07-18
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract




A computer keyboard having membrane switches activated by finger touch keys
supported by an upper resilient layer of the membrane circuit board. The keys
have
a rigid projection fixedly secured to the finger touch part of the key. The
key is
depressable against the resiliency of the upper layer to make circuit contact.
The
key is guided during movement and has a short travel distance as well as very
light
touch for circuit activation. The keyboard addresses the problem of keyboard
related repetitive strain injuries (RSI's) and other disabilities requiring a
"feather light
touch" in a computer keyboard.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


I claim:
1. A computer keyboard comprising:
(a) a membrane circuit board having a resilient upper switch circuit layer, a
stiff
lower switch circuit layer and an insulative layer disposed therebetween,
holes
through said insulative layer aligned with predetermined circuit paths on said
upper and lower switch circuit layers for completing predetermined circuits by
physical contact of conductive material on one of said layers with conductive
material on the other of said upper and lower layers;
(b) a push button key for each of respective ones of said holes, each said
push
button key having a downwardly extending rigid projection fixed thereto and
aligned with the hole associated therewith, each said key, in a key at rest
circuit
open position being supported by said upper resilient layer, said keys being
movable from their at rest position in a direction toward said lower layer
thereby
to cause physical contact of the conductive material on said respective upper
and
lower layers; and
(c) means, on said key board, resisting movement of said keys, from their at
rest
position, in a direction away from said upper layer.
2. A computer keyboard as defined in claim 1 including means guiding said keys
during movement of the same.
3. A computer keyboard as defined in claim 2 wherein said movement resisting
and
guide means includes a socket for each of respective ones of said keys.
4. A computer keyboard as defined in claims 1, 2 or 3 wherein each said push
button
key has a plate portion with said rigid projection extending downwardly from a
central portion of an underside portion of said plate portion, a further
projection
extending downwardly from said plate portion at a position spaced outwardly
from



said rigid projection, said further projection having an outwardly directed
hook for
engagement with an abutment means and thereby provide said means resisting
movement of said keys in a direction away said upper layer.
5. A keyboard as defined in claim 2 wherein said guide and movement resisting
means
include a socket member having an annular space surrounding a post means, a
flange projecting inwardly into said annular space, said further projection
being
located in said annular space such that the outwardly directed hook thereon is
engagable with said flange and thereby prevent the key from being dislodged
from said socket.
6. A computer keyboard comprising:
(a) a lower circuit sheet means comprising a first sheet of insulating
material with
a first electrically conductive means thereon;
(b) an upper circuit sheet means overlying said lower sheet means and
comprising a second resilient sheet of insulating material with a second
electrically conductive means on a surface thereof facing said first
electrically
conductive means;
(c) spacer means disposed between said first and second circuit sheet means;
said spacer means having a plurality of openings therein permitting physically
moving preselected portions of said second electrically conductive means into
contact with said fast electrically conductive means for selectively
completing predetermined circuits;



(d) a push button key for each of respective ones of said plurality of
openings, each
said push button key having a downwardly extending rigid projection fixed
thereto
and aligned with the opening associated therewith, each said key having the
rigid projection thereof in physical contact with said upper resilient sheet,
each
said key being supported by said resilient sheet in an at rest open circuit
position
and being movable from said rest position in a direction toward said lower
sheet
thereby to cause said physical contact of the conductive material on said
respective upper and lower sheets; and
(e) means, on said key board, resisting movement of said keys, from their at
rest
position, in a direction away from said upper sheet.
7. A computer keyboard as defined in claim 1 including a layer of compressible
elastomeric material on said upper circuit layer, said elastomeric material
having a predetermined compressibility value.
8. A computer keyboard as defined in claim 7 including a thin protective layer
disposed between said rigid downward projection on said push button key and
the elastomeric material.
9. A computer keyboard as defined in claim 8 wherein the compressibility of
said
elastomeric material is such that a force of approximately 50 grams on the
push button key is required to active a circuit.


A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
(22) Filed 1996-09-30
(41) Open to Public Inspection 1998-03-31
Examination Requested 2003-07-18
(45) Issued 2006-01-31
Lapsed 2010-09-30

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $0.00 1996-09-30
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 1998-09-30 $50.00 1998-09-24
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 1999-09-30 $50.00 1999-09-24
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2000-10-02 $50.00 2000-09-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2001-10-01 $75.00 2001-09-10
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2002-09-30 $75.00 2002-09-27
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2003-09-30 $75.00 2003-07-16
Request for Examination $200.00 2003-07-18
Reinstatement: Failure to Pay Application Maintenance Fees $200.00 2004-10-14
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2004-09-30 $100.00 2004-10-14
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2005-09-30 $100.00 2005-08-01
Final $150.00 2005-11-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2006-10-02 $125.00 2006-09-18
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2007-10-01 $125.00 2007-09-14
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2008-09-30 $125.00 2008-09-04

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Representative Drawing 1998-04-06 1 9
Abstract 1996-10-22 1 20
Description 1996-10-22 9 461
Claims 1996-10-22 3 106
Drawings 1996-10-22 4 121
Abstract 1998-08-05 1 23
Description 1998-08-05 9 449
Claims 1998-08-05 3 106
Cover Page 1999-09-30 1 40
Cover Page 1996-09-30 1 13
Description 1996-09-30 9 327
Abstract 1996-09-30 1 14
Claims 1996-09-30 3 74
Drawings 1996-09-30 4 71
Cover Page 1998-04-06 1 40
Claims 2004-10-14 3 104
Claims 2005-08-01 3 105
Representative Drawing 2005-09-14 1 18
Cover Page 2006-01-04 1 44
Fees 2001-09-10 1 22
Prosecution-Amendment 2005-02-21 3 100
Fees 1999-09-24 2 128
Fees 2000-09-26 2 136
Fees 2002-09-27 1 68
Correspondence 2002-07-03 1 64
Correspondence 2003-07-16 1 32
Fees 2003-07-16 1 50
Prosecution-Amendment 1998-08-05 17 724
Prosecution-Amendment 2003-07-18 1 31
Correspondence 1996-10-22 12 841
Correspondence 2003-09-04 1 10
Fees 1998-09-24 2 115
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-04-30 3 90
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-10-14 4 139
Fees 2004-10-14 1 26
Prosecution-Amendment 2005-08-01 8 285
Fees 2005-08-01 1 61
Correspondence 2005-11-22 1 90
Fees 2006-09-19 1 60
Fees 2007-09-14 1 60
Fees 2008-09-04 1 61