Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has filed a patent for a fluid trap designed for use in a respiratory therapy system. The trap includes a container to hold fluid, a closure that can be mounted on the container, and a valve that allows or prevents fluid flow depending on whether the closure is mounted. The trap is specifically designed for use with a breathing limb of the therapy system. GlobalData’s report on Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 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 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, wearable CPAP therapy was a key innovation area identified from patents. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's grant share as of September 2023 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Fluid trap for respiratory therapy system with removable closure and valve

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230310786A1) describes a fluid trap for a breathing limb of a respiratory therapy system. The fluid trap includes a closure with at least one inlet that connects to the breathing limb to receive fluid. A container is designed to be removeably mounted to the closure and contains the fluid received from the inlet. The fluid trap also features a resiliently deformable valve with a lower portion and a central portion. The valve is positioned between the closure and the container and has an open configuration when the closure is mounted on the container and a closed configuration when the closure is not mounted. In the open configuration, the container causes the lower portion of the valve to inwardly deflect, allowing fluid from the inlet to flow through the valve and into the container. In the closed configuration, the valve prevents fluid from flowing through.

The valve in the fluid trap may include a valve stem extending from the central portion, as well as a plurality of spokes extending radially from the valve stem and a plurality of cut-outs defined between each pair of adjacent spokes. These cut-outs enable fluid from the inlet to flow through the valve and into the container in the open configuration. The spokes also contribute to the deflection of the lower portion of the valve. The number of spokes can range from three to eight.

The closure, container, and valve are designed in a way that the container and closure cannot be mounted together unless the valve is present. This ensures proper functioning of the fluid trap. Additionally, the valve stem includes a valve seal that seals against a valve seat surrounding an aperture in the inlet when the fluid trap is assembled in the closed configuration. The valve seal is deformed to pass through the aperture during assembly.

The valve itself has a transverse cross-section with at least one lower projection that engages the container and at least one upper projection that engages the closure. Relative axial movement between the closure and container causes relative movement between the upper and lower projections, which moves the valve between the open and closed configurations. The valve has a substantially 'W' shaped transverse cross-section, with a pair of upper projections and a pair of lower projections.

Overall, this patent describes a fluid trap for a respiratory therapy system that effectively allows fluid to flow through the trap when needed and prevents fluid from flowing when not needed. The design of the valve and its components ensures proper functioning and prevents incorrect assembly of the closure and container.

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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