Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
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Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
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U.S. Patent 7,963,284: Custom fitted mask and method of forming same
Texas Business Patent Of The Day: A Dallas man devised a way to make masks fit to an individual’s unique facial structure.
W. Keith Thornton of Dallas received U.S. Patent 7,963,284 for “Custom fitted mask and method of forming same.”
Thornton filed for the patent on August 18, 2004.
The patent assignee is AirWay Technologies LLC of Carrollton.
Many people experience breathing problems on a recurring basis, which often results in sleep disordered breathing, such as difficulty sleeping, snoring, or other more serious conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea.
As technology advances, people with such breathing problems demand increased performance and comfort.
Previous devices for improving a user's breathing have included custom fitted masks that help deliver air or another suitable gas to the user's nose at positive pressure to help force open the user's breathing passage and thus improve the user's breathing.
However, previous masks may be relatively expensive due to the expertise often required to design, manufacture, and fit the masks to each particular user. Furthermore, previous masks have often been fitted to the user's unique bone structure and facial features rather poorly, if at all.
As a result, previous masks have often failed to adequately prevent leakage from around the perimeter of the mask, have caused discomfort for users, and have been relatively ineffective in treating breathing problems such as sleep disordered breathing.
Thornton’s invention attempts to eliminate or reduce the problems and disadvantages associated with previous custom fitted masks and methods for forming them. His method includes a thin sheet of deformable material that has been formed and fitted to a portion of a face surrounding the nostrils to conform to and individual’s unique facial features.
The thin sheet includes a perimeter defining only soft cartilaginous portions of the nose and portions on either side of and below the soft cartilaginous portions. and excludes hard bony portions of the nose; and an interior within the perimeter.
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