Patent and Legal Case Support
KBE+ engineers are skilled in reviewing patent disclosures to ensure that all technology listed in the art:
- Is it relevant to the invention
- Adequately protects the intellectual property being disclosed
- Considers whether the potential or applicable claims have been examined and are based on the patentable technology
A Patent Support Success Story
KBE+ was engaged by Eaton Controls to investigate all patented transmission control and shift strategy implementation available world-wide. Because this is a confidential project, many of the details can not be disclosed. This project required solid interaction between the Eaton Controls engineers and KBE+ team as they developed new shift strategies that enhanced the effectiveness of their proprietary design. The Eaton-defined objective was to have this idea integrated into current designs to reduce shift response time, shift energy requirements and improve overall drive-train efficiency.
Another Patent Support Success Story
KBE+ was contacted by a Tier 1 supplier to a major automotive OEM and was asked to develop a new and unique mechanical passive traction aiding differential. They also wanted us to develop a novel solution to the zero torque problem. For those not familiar with mechanical passive traction aiding differential technology, when there is no (or near zero) torque on the drive axle, the torque bias is infinite. The problem with this of course is that as soon as torque is applied (whether from the driveline or as the driveline transits from drive to coast or vise-versa) all the energy goes to the one drive tire with the infinite torque bias. When that happens, that tire is over-powered and spins, which unsettles the vehicle only momentarily until the differential reacts but enough to cause the vehicle to twitch at the exact instant the driver doesn’t want it to. The common solution is to use a pre-load bias on one of the drive axles and thereby offset the phenomenon for the zero torque point. Unfortunately, this creates a torque bias offset throughout the entire driveline power band, which causes the vehicle to respond differently in right-hand corners versus left-hand corners, etc.
Our solution was to incorporate progressive feedback from a cam-driven symmetric response side-gear loading system. This feature became the basis for many of the claims in the final patent, along with the ability to modify the cam geometry to tailor differential response as a function of the required vehicle dynamics. After the base design concept and several variation of prototypes were completed, KBE+ engineers supported our client’s patent writing and legal defense as the concept went through the patent application and award process. We have also supported our client as we have collaboratively extended the design applicability and feature / functions.