News Column

Patent Issued for Laptop Riser

June 26, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventor Knych, Bernard L. (Mount Prospect, IL), filed on March 2, 2010, was published online on June 10, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8746645 is assigned to Fellowes, Inc. (Itasca, IL).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The field of the invention is computer accessories, more particularly, laptop accessories.

"This invention relates to laptop risers, devices that allow a laptop computer to be raised above or positioned at an angle to a surface such as a desk or lap. Users of laptop and other portable electronic devices have found that it is desirable to position the device at an angle with respect to the horizontal. For instance, such angle may provide more comfort when typing on a laptop keyboard, or better viewing of a display screen on the device. In the case of a tablet computer or other touch screen device, the laptop riser can provide an improved angle for writing on the touch screen. The laptop riser of the invention may also be used as a work surface, or support for other devices and articles. For instance, the laptop riser could be used to support a book at an angle to the users lap or table top, thus placing the book at a convenient angle for reading.

"As laptop computers and other portable electronic devices have become more powerful, they tend to generate more heat. The heat generated can result in discomfort for the user if the device is resting on the users lap. Additionally, the heat is can be detrimental to the device. Hence, it is beneficial to separate the device from the users lap for benefit of the user and the device.

"To aid in dissipating the heat from the device, it is preferred that the structure elevating the laptop have vents or other structures to permit heat to flow from the laptop, particularly if the laptop has an internal fan venting to the bottom of the laptop. To improve comfort of the user, it is also preferable that the users lap is shielded from the vented heat of the laptop. In the configuration described herein, the deployable legs are positioned between the user's lap and the vents provided in the laptop supporting structure or base of the laptop riser.

"Since laptop computers are portable, it is also desirable that the laptop riser be portable and of compact size to be easily transportable. Thus, the laptop riser described herein has a first configuration to be compact for transport, and a second configuration wherein the legs, risers, or supports are deployed to allow support of the laptop computer at an angle to the users lap, or other working surface, such as a desktop."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The device described herein is a laptop riser or support, capable of supporting a laptop computer or other device, at an angle to the users lap or other work surface. The laptop riser includes deployable legs that selectively deploy from the riser. When deployed, the legs allow the laptop riser to be positioned at an angle to the users lap.

"The laptop riser is generally planar prior to deployment of the legs. The legs are formed by deforming a plastic sheeted material to form arcs. The legs or structure formed by the sheeted material is remarkably strong in the arc shape. When positioned at one end of a platform or other laptop support surface, the arcs form a light-weight wedge shaped structure to elevate a Laptop at an angle for comfortable viewing or typing. The arcs also form air channels which allow air to flow help to keep the laptop cool. The arcs deform slightly with the weight of a laptop to distribute the weight comfortably across a person's lap. The support surface can include vents to allow the laptop to dissipate heat more effectively than if there were no vents.

"In the most basic form, the laptop riser includes a surface to support the laptop, and downwardly extending legs to selectively elevate the platform at an angle. In such a configuration, the base includes an upper surface to support the laptop, and a lower surface from which the legs deploy. The legs may be formed by deforming a plastic sheet material into arc shaped legs. The plastic sheet material is slideably sandwiched between a cover plate attached to the lower surface of the base. The plastic sheet material is attached to the base so that when it is displaced toward the attachment to the base, the legs rise up and deploy. In the preferred embodiment, the plastic sheet is attached near or at the perimeter edge of the base. It is preferable that the plastic sheet be securable in position so that the legs may selectively remain deployed. As further described herein, the laptop riser may contain other features.

"In the preferred embodiment, the laptop riser includes a lid to cover the deployable legs when the legs are not deployed, such as in a storage configuration. The cover is hingedly attached to a base member that includes the deployable legs. The lid and the base member are generally coextensive. The lid and base member may latch together in the storage configuration and unlatch for deployment.

"The deployable legs are formed from a thin plastic sheet that is sandwiched between the base member, and a cover sheet. The cover sheet allows the thin plastic sheet to slide between the cover sheet and the base. The thin plastic sheet is attached to the base or the cover sheet or both, near the hinge connecting the base member and the lid.

"A flexible fabric strap, such as nylon webbing, is used to lift the arcs through a pulling process. The strap is attached to the lid, preferably at a point approximately 1 inch above the hinge and to a slot in the deforming sheeted material. The act of opening the lid and rotating it 360-degrees provides the pulling force and travel needed to pull on the plastic sheet material in the direction of its attachment to the base. The tension forces the plastic sheet to lift and 'deform' into the arc shaped legs.

"The preferred embodiment includes two deployable arc shaped legs. One skilled in the art will readily recognize that the teachings used to deploy two legs can be used to deploy a single leg, or a plurality of legs. For instance, the two arc shaped legs shown in the preferred embodiment are created by deforming a single plastic sheet. By judicious selection of the size and shape of the sheet, as well as the cover plate or other structure to retain the sheet, a single leg could be formed."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Knych, Bernard L.. Laptop Riser. U.S. Patent Number 8746645, filed March 2, 2010, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Fellowes Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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