Japan Tobacco has been granted a patent for an inhalation component generation device. The device includes a load that vaporizes or atomizes an inhalation component source using electric power from a power supply. The device also has a control unit that can estimate or detect degradation or failure of the power supply based on the operation amount of the load and the voltage value of the power supply. The control unit operates within a predetermined voltage range, excluding a plateau range where the change in voltage value is smaller. GlobalData’s report on Japan Tobacco gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Japan Tobacco, behavioral biometrics was a key innovation area identified from patents. Japan Tobacco's grant share as of September 2023 was 37%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for detecting power supply degradation or failure

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

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771140B2) describes an inhalation component generation device that includes a load and circuitry. The load is responsible for vaporizing or atomizing an inhalation component source using electric power from a power supply. The circuitry is designed to acquire a value related to the operation amount of the load and the voltage value of the power supply.

The device is capable of estimating or detecting degradation or failure of the power supply based on the acquired values. This determination is made during a period in which the acquired voltage value of the power supply falls within a predetermined voltage range. Notably, the predetermined voltage range excludes a plateau range, which is characterized by a smaller change in voltage value with respect to a change in the charged amount of the power supply compared to other voltage ranges.

The patent also mentions the inclusion of a sensor that outputs a signal requesting the operation of the load. The circuitry derives the value related to the operation amount of the load based on the sensor's output. Additionally, the device features an inhalation port for user inhalation. The sensor is capable of detecting inhalation based on the signal from the inhalation port, and the circuitry derives the value related to the operation amount of the load based on the detected inhalation period or amount.

The circuitry is designed to perform comparisons in multiple predetermined voltage ranges. If the value related to the operation amount of the load is equal to or less than a predetermined threshold in at least one of these voltage ranges, the device determines that the power supply has degraded or failed. The patent also describes various configurations and adjustments to the predetermined threshold and voltage ranges based on factors such as the contribution of the voltage range to vaporization or atomization of the inhalation component source.

In summary, the granted patent outlines an inhalation component generation device that can estimate or detect degradation or failure of the power supply based on the operation amount of the load and the voltage value of the power supply. The device incorporates a sensor for detecting user inhalation and includes circuitry for performing comparisons in multiple voltage ranges to determine power supply degradation or failure.

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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.