Apple Files Patent Relating to a Guard System for a Notebook’s Disk Drive Slot
On December 28, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application titled ‘Guard system for portable computer disk drive slot’ which was originally filed in mid 2005. Apple’s patent generally relates to portable computers, and more particularly to a guard system for the disk drive slot on Apple notebooks.
Apple states in their patent background description that “Unquestionably, portable computers are subjected to a host of insults. When not in use, for example, they may be tossed into a backpack and then roughly transported in the company of various other items and debris that may be in the backpack along with the computer. This can pose significant hazards for the portable computer, even when it is turned off and closed, because even when closed and not in use, portable computers still typically have external openings that remain exposed. These openings are provided, for example, for sound speakers, electrical plugs, communication cable ports, air vents, disk drive access, and so forth.
Unfortunately, larger openings, such as ODD opposing-brush slots, may inadvertently admit detrimental and harmful foreign objects that then damage the ODD and other internal components of the portable computer. Foreign objects of this sort that have been found in portable computers include paper clips, show tickets, business cards, toothpicks, guitar picks, chewing gum wrappers, and so forth. Such foreign objects can be a more serious problem, for example, with disk drives that have disk access openings that are more exposed to such penetration, such as open slot ODD configurations that are protected by opposing-brush slot guards.
What is needed, therefore, is an uncomplicated, economical, and effective system that will enable the advantages of such opposing-brush slot disk drives to continue to be enjoyed while eliminating the disadvantages that may occur from the use of those or other such “soft” access openings for the disk drives.
Thus, a need still remains for more effective and more economical guard systems for portable computer disk drive slots. In view of the ever increasing commercial competitive pressures, increasing consumer expectations, and diminishing opportunities for meaningful product differentiation in the marketplace, it is increasingly critical that answers be found to these problems. Moreover, the ever-increasing need to save costs, improve efficiencies, reduce machine failures, and meet such competitive pressures adds even greater urgency to the critical necessity that answers be found to these problems.
Solutions to these problems have been long sought but prior developments have not taught or suggested any solutions and, thus, solutions to these problems have long eluded those skilled in the art.”
Apple’s Disclosure of the Invention
The present invention provides a guard system for a portable computer disk drive slot. A guard is positioned substantially adjacent the computer disk drive slot for movement between an open position and a closed position. The open position is substantially adjacent and not obstructing access through, the disk drive slot. The closed position is substantially adjacent and across the disk drive slot, and obstructs access through the disk drive slot. The guard is positioned in the closed position across the disk drive slot for at least one of a configuration of the portable computer when the disk drive is not to be used, and a configuration of the portable computer when a disk has been loaded into the disk drive.
Patent Figures: FIG. 1 is a view of a portable computer with a housing base and an optical disk drive. FIG. 2 is a view, facing toward the slot shown in FIG. 1, of the optical disk drive of FIG. 1 with the guard actuated to an open position. FIG. 3 is a view, similar to FIG. 2, of the optical disk drive of FIG. 1 with the guard actuated to a closed position.
Apple lists the inventors of this patent as being John DiFonzo and Chris Ligtenberg.
NOTICE: MacNN presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or grant is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent applications and/or grants should be read in its entirety for further details.
Written and researched by Neo.