After appealing the case to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Forge IP has issued U.S. Patent No. 10,976,231, directed to the detection and monitoring of contaminants in hydraulic and lubricating fluids.
Entitled “Hydraulic and Lubricating Fluid Contamination Sensor System,” the invention of the ‘231 patent addresses the need to accurately test the fluids used in different types of hydraulic control systems, machines, and motors, which typically degrade the fluids and thereby cause inefficiencies and system failures. The invention addresses this need with a monitoring system that employs a variable speed pump that supplies the fluid to a contamination monitor in conjunction with a controller that controls the pump so as to keep the flow rate at a target level. By keeping the flow rate at a constant value, or within a specified range, the accuracy of the system is improved.
The Examiner originally rejected the claims, alleging that they were obvious over various prior art references. After an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Board issued a decision reversing the rejections, and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office subsequently issued the ‘231 patent.