Unicharm has filed a patent for an animal litter box design. The litter box includes a liquid passage portion with small openings for urine to pass through, and an absorbent-body placement portion to absorb the urine. The openings have a maximum width of 2.5 mm in a direction perpendicular to their length. GlobalData’s report on Unicharm gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Unicharm, Incontinence monitoring sensors was a key innovation area identified from patents. Unicharm's grant share as of September 2023 was 53%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Animal litter box with narrow urine passage openings
A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230255175A1) describes an animal litter box with specific features to improve urine absorption and prevent granule spillage. The litter box includes a liquid passage portion with openings for urine to pass through and granules to be placed on top. The openings have a maximum width of 2.5 mm or smaller, ensuring that the granules remain in place and do not fall through.
Claim 3 of the patent states that the liquid passage portion should have a liquid permeability of 90% or greater, allowing urine to flow through easily. This feature ensures efficient absorption and prevents pooling of urine in the litter box.
The patent also describes the use of first ribs in the liquid passage portion, which are aligned side-by-side in the width direction. The openings between the ribs allow urine to pass through while preventing granules from falling through. The maximum width of these openings is larger than the maximum dimension of the first ribs in the width direction.
Additionally, the patent mentions the use of second ribs that extend in the width direction and are arranged side-by-side in the longitudinal direction. These second ribs, along with the first ribs, surround each opening, providing further support to prevent granule spillage. The lower ends of the first and second ribs may have curved portions that curve upward, enhancing the containment of granules.
Overall, this patent describes an animal litter box with specific design features to improve urine absorption and prevent granule spillage. The use of narrow openings, high liquid permeability, and the arrangement of ribs contribute to the effectiveness of the litter box in maintaining cleanliness and preventing mess.