What Medical Industry Inventors can Learn from New Apple Patent

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Inventors in the medical device field may want to pay attention to a new patent awarded to Apple.

Titled "Nitriding Stainless Steel for Consumer Electronic Products", it describes a cost-effective system that would place a layer of nitride atop a stainless steel exterior. This would add a durable scratch and impact resistant surface to stainless steel.apple patent

There are other coatings that add these benefits to stainless steel, but they also usually mask the natural surface color and texture of stainless steel. For example, titanium nitride coating is a metallic gold color.

Why this is Important for Inventors in the Medical Field

Because stainless steel is used everywhere in the medical industry, including…

  • Scalpels
  • Clamps
  • Scissors
  • Screws
  • Replaceable joints
  • Trays

And any other number of medical devices. Do you think any of these products could benefit from a more durable scratch and impact resistant surface?

 

Questions To Help You Come Up With The Next New Medical Device Patent

Obviously you can’t claim a patent for adding nitride to stainless steel operating equipment (Apple now owns the rights to this application), but there are a few lessons you can learn from them.  As a medical device patent attorney focusing on medical patents and dental patents, I’ve come up with a couple questions you might want to ask yourself…

Medical Device Question #1: How could I improve an existing product?

Apple didn’t invent anything brand new here. They just found new process that makes stainless steel more durable…which makes their products better. For a new inventor, this is one of the easiest ways to come up with new inventions.

Medical Device Question #2: What are the users used to?

Does your application or invention change the way the product looks so much that it won’t be used? I highly doubt patients care if the knives cutting them open are silver or gold, but the doctors who use them have a built in way of identifying their tools.

If they are used to using silver tools, and your coating makes them pink…will they still use them? Even if they are better?

Asking yourself these two questions will ensure your invention qualifies for a patent…AND…that you have a marketable product to sell.

Full story here – New Apple Patent

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