Acer has been granted a patent for a pick-and-place mechanism for a stylus in a portable electronic device. The mechanism includes a moving member, latch assembly, and switch element. The stylus can be inserted into the housing and locked with the moving member, which is controlled by the latch assembly. The switch element drives the latch assembly to switch between a lock state and an unlock state. In the unlock state, the latch assembly moves part of the stylus out of the housing. The latch assembly includes a magnetic conductive member, magnetic member, and electromagnet module to generate magnetic attraction and repulsion for locking and unlocking the stylus. GlobalData’s report on Acer gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Acer, Device power optimization was a key innovation area identified from patents. Acer's grant share as of September 2023 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a pick-and-place mechanism for a stylus

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Acer Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11775007B2) describes a pick-and-place mechanism for a stylus in a portable electronic device. The mechanism includes a moving member that is housed within the device and can be locked with the stylus to move together. A latch assembly is also included, which can switch between a lock state and an unlock state. In the lock state, the latch assembly secures the stylus within the device, while in the unlock state, it partially extends the stylus out of the housing.

The latch assembly consists of a magnetic conductive member and a magnetic member. When the magnetic member moves close to the magnetic conductive member, they generate a magnetic attraction that locks the stylus in place. An electromagnet module is connected to a switch element, which can activate the electromagnet module to generate a magnetic repulsion on the magnetic member. This repulsion is stronger than the attraction, causing the moving member and the stylus to move away from the magnetic conductive member and enter the unlock state. In the unlock state, the electromagnet module magnetically attracts the magnetic conductive member and repels the magnetic member.

The patent also describes additional features of the pick-and-place mechanism. For example, the moving member has a hook that locks the stylus when it reaches the bottom of the housing. The switch element is located on the moving path of the moving member, and the moving member abuts against it when the stylus and the moving member reach the bottom. The housing also includes a pushing inclined surface that interferes with the hook in the unlock state, causing the hook to release the stylus.

The latch assembly further includes an engaging member, a power supply element, and a memory alloy wire. The engaging member is movably disposed in the housing and can be locked with the moving member. The memory alloy wire, when energized by the power supply element, changes length and either locks the engaging member with the moving member or moves it away to reach the unlock state. The engaging member consists of an elastic arm and a driving unit, and the memory alloy wire drives the driving unit to rotate, moving the end hook of the elastic arm into or out of a lock hole of the moving member.

Overall, this patent presents a detailed and innovative pick-and-place mechanism for a stylus in a portable electronic device. The mechanism allows for secure storage of the stylus within the device while also providing easy access when needed.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.