July 4, 2016

Plausibility vs. Enablement

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal

U.S. Patent No. 8,330,305 covers protecting devices from impact damage.  The patent claims detecting that the portable device will impact a surface, and, if the risk of damage to the portable device from the impact exceeds a damage threshold; altering the orientation of the portable device so that the air bag will impact the surface first, and deploying the airbag before the device impacts the surface.

8330305

The embodiment shown appears to be a cell phone, and it is hard to imagine that a reasonably sized cell phone could contain both an airbag and a system that could reorient the cell phone in a ~42 inch drop from the hands of a user.  In 7,200 words and a dozen figures, the disclosure seems to barely meet the plausibility threshold, let alone enablement required under 35 USC 112(a).