US 9,811,172 B1
Interchangeable input mechanisms for control devices
Bradley M. Strahle, Crestline, CA (US); and Eric B. Fulghum, South Pasadena, CA (US)
Assigned to Performance Designed Products LLC, Burbank, CA (US)
Filed by Performance Designed Products LLC, Burbank, CA (US)
Filed on May 25, 2017, as Appl. No. 15/605,817.
Application 15/605,817 is a continuation of application No. 13/848,660, filed on Mar. 21, 2013, granted, now 9,710,072.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/621,907, filed on Apr. 9, 2012.
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. G06F 3/033 (2013.01)
CPC G06F 3/033 (2013.01) 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A handheld video game controller, comprising:
a cross-shaped directional pad;
a plurality of input buttons; and
a pair of thumbsticks, each of the pair of thumbsticks comprising
an interchangeable thumbstick element comprising a proximal contact surface configured to contact a user's finger and a distal socket extending from the contact surface to a distal end of the thumbstick element, the socket having at least one protrusion that extends to the distal end of the socket and protrudes inward from a wall of the socket, the socket further having a pair of tabs on a surface of the socket, and
a base component comprising a convex surface disposed at least partially below a casing of the video game controller and configured to pivot in a multi-directional manner about a center point below the housing, the base component further comprising a plug that extends outward from the convex surface to a proximal end and define a single piece with the convex surface, the base component defining a recessed circumferential wall space about the plug to define an annular channel between the plug and the circumferential wall so that a distal end of the plug is disposed below at least a portion of the convex surface, the plug having at least one recessed groove on an outer surface that receives the at least one protrusion of the socket to align the thumbstick element relative to the base component, the base component further having a pair of coupling elements that engage the pair of tabs of the socket to releasably lock the thumbstick element to the base component,
wherein the socket of the interchangeable thumbstick element is configured to releasably couple to the plug of the base component such that a distal end of the socket is positioned in the recessed annular channel and extends below at least a portion of the convex surface.