News Column

Patent Issued for Protective Structure for Covering a Connector and Electronic Device Therewith

August 20, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Chen, Dong-Ying (New Taipei, TW); Mao, Zhong-hui (New Taipei, TW), filed on November 27, 2012, was published online on August 5, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8794984 is assigned to Wistron Corporation (Hsichih, New Taipei, TW).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a protective structure and an electronic device with the protective structure, and more specifically, to a protective structure for covering a connector of an electronic device and the electronic device with the protective structure.

"A conventional electronic device, such as a notebook computer or a personal desktop computer, often has numerous connectors for connecting with various external devices, such as a mouse, an external hard drive, a display device, and so on. There are many kinds of connectors, which are well developed and widely used for the conventional electronic device, such as an USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector, a HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connector, an IEEE 1394 connector, a LAN (Local Area Network) connector and an ESATA (external SATA) connector. However, the conventional connectors are exposed on a casing of the electronic device. If the connectors are not in use for a long time, the moisture might get into the connectors, so that pins and metal pads of the connectors are oxidative and rusty. As a result, it decreases transmission efficiency and quality of the connectors, and even causes damage to the connectors. Therefore, it is an important issue to design a protective structure to prevent the connector from getting rusty and to prevent a foreign body from entering into the connector."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention is to provide a protective structure for covering a connector and an electronic device with the protective structure to solve above problems.

"In order to achieve above purposes, the protective structure includes a covering body, a protective component, a fixing component and a fasten portion. The covering body is for covering the connector. The protective component is connected to the covering body and is for plugging into the connector. The fixing component is connected to a side of the covering body and for plugging into an installation hole on a case of the electronic device, and the fixing component includes a shaft for pivoting relative to the case so as to drive the covering body to a position where the covering body does not cover the connector when the protective component does not plug into the connector. The fasten portion is installed on the fixing component and is for contacting against the installation hole after the fixing component is plugged into the installation hole, so as to prevent the fixing component from separating from the installation hole.

"According to the disclosure, the fixing component further includes a guiding portion, and a hole is formed on the guiding portion whereinto a guiding component is inserted, so as to guide the guiding portion to plug into the installation hole.

"According to the disclosure, the fastening portion is disposed between the shaft and the guiding portion.

"According to the disclosure, a maximum outer diameter of the fastening portion is greater than a diameter of the installation hole, and the fastening portion is made of resilient material.

"According to the disclosure, a slot is formed on the fastening portion for being pushed inward by the installation hole as the fastening portion is passing through the installation hole, so that the fastening portion can pass through the installation hole.

"According to the disclosure, the protective component includes an upper protective portion and a lower protective portion for clipping a tongue piece of the connector cooperatively as the protective component is plugged into the connector of the electronic device.

"According to the disclosure, a groove is formed on the upper protective portion or the lower protective portion, so as to reduce structural rigidity of the protective component.

"According to the disclosure, a step is formed between the covering body and the protective component, so as to prevent the covering body from falling into the connector.

"According to the disclosure, an inclined structure is formed on the fastening portion, so as to guide the fastening portion to move into the installation hole.

"According to the disclosure, a diameter of the installation hole is greater than an outer diameter of the shaft.

"According to the disclosure, an electronic device includes a case, a connector, and a protective structure. An installation hole is formed on the case. The connector is disposed inside the case. The protective structure includes a covering body, a protective component, a fixing component and a fasten portion. The covering body is for covering the connector. The protective component is connected to the covering body and is for plugging into the connector. The fixing component is connected to a side of the covering body and is for plugging into the installation hole on the case of the electronic device, and the fixing component includes a shaft for pivoting relative to the case so as to drive the covering body to a position where the covering body does not cover the connector when the protective component does not plug into the connector. The fasten portion is installed on the fixing component and is for contacting against the installation hole after the fixing component is plugged into the installation hole, so as to prevent the fixing component from separating from the installation hole.

"The protective structure of the present invention utilizes the protective component to plug into the connector to clip the tongue piece of the connector, so as to solve the problem that the metal pads and the pins of the tongue piece absorb the moisture in the air and become oxidative and rusty as the connector is not used for a long time. In addition, the covering body can cover the connector to isolate the environmental air and to prevent the foreign body from entering into the connector, so that the covering body can protect the connector. Moreover, the fastening portion of the protective structure is designed to prevent the fixing component from separating from the installation hole after the fixing component is plugged into the installation hole of the electronic device, so as to prevent the protective structure from loss when the protective structure is not in use. Furthermore, because the shaft is pivotally installed on the installation hole, if users desire to plug the external device into the connector, users can directly pivot the covering body relative to the case to the position where the covering body does not cover the connector without detaching the protective structure from the case, so as to prevent the protective structure from loss and to increase convenience of assembly.

"These and other objectives of the present invention will no doubt become obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment that is illustrated in the various figures and drawings."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Chen, Dong-Ying; Mao, Zhong-hui. Protective Structure for Covering a Connector and Electronic Device Therewith. U.S. Patent Number 8794984, filed November 27, 2012, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8794984.PN.&OS=PN/8794984RS=PN/8794984

Keywords for this news article include: Wistron Corporation.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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