Cooperative Patent Classification


CPC Definition - Subclass G10K

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Last Updated Version: 2018.05
SOUND-PRODUCING DEVICES (sound-producing toys A63H 5/00); METHODS OR DEVICES FOR PROTECTING AGAINST, OR FOR DAMPING, NOISE OR OTHER ACOUSTIC WAVES IN GENERAL; ACOUSTICS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices that produce a sound by striking a resonating body, such as bells, chimes, gong.

Whistles, siren devices that produce a sound driven by rotating member, motor, or fluids, e.g., compressed gas.

Devices that produce a sound by vibrating a diaphragm or analogous element, such as foghorns, vehicle hooter, buzzer.

Methods or devices that transmit, conduct, or direct a sound wave.

Methods or devices for protection against, or damping of, acoustic waves.

Cones, diaphragms, or the like, for emitting or receiving sound.

Acoustics not otherwise provided for.

Arrangements for generating mechanical vibrations in fluids.

The production of sounds which may not be audible to human beings but which are audible to animals.

Relationships with other classification places

When classifying in subgroups G10K 9/122-G10K 9/22, the subgroups do not cover the construction of, or circuits for, broadband-transducers, such as loudspeakers or microphones, which are covered by subclass H04R.

When classifying in subgroups G10K 11/162-G10K 11/168, the subgroups do not cover protecting against, or damping of, acoustic waves adapted for particular applications, which are covered by the subclasses for these applications, provided that there is a specific provision for this aspect.

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Sound producing toys

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Scaring devices, e.g. bird-scaring devices

Hunting appliances

Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves

Vibration massage

Devices for producing sleep by acoustical means

Employing sonic or ultrasonic vibrations in chemical or physical processes

Disintegrating devices using ultrasonic waves

Spraying or atomising liquids using ultrasonic waves

Acoustic devices used in vehicle signaling

Acoustic signal devices used on bicycles

Fluid oscillators or pulse generators for fluid pressure systems

Systems using the reflection or reradiation of acoustic waves

Signaling or calling arrangements, alarm arrangements

Percussive musical instruments

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Medical stethoscopes

Generation or transmission of mechanical waves, in general

Apparatus specifically adapted for transmitting mechanical vibrations of infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic frequency

Gas-flow silencers or exhaust apparatus for machines or engines, in general, for internal combustion engines

Intake silencers for internal-combustion engines

Suppression of undesired vibrations

Means or arrangements for avoiding or reducing out-of-balance forces due to motion

Preventing noise in valves

Noise absorbers in pipes

Arrangements for suppressing noise in direct-contact trickle coolers

Silencers for weapons

Investigating materials by the use of ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves

Generating seismic energy

Non-electronic musical instruments

Details of electrophonic musical instruments

Synthesis of speech

Information storage based on relative movement between record carrier and transducer

Piezo-electric, electrostrictive, or magnetostrictive elements, in general

Generation of oscillations, directly or by frequency-changing, by circuits employing active elements which operate in a non-switching manner; generation of noise by such circuits

Electro-acoustic amplifiers

Impedance networks comprising electro-acoustic elements

Transmission systems using infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic waves

Loudspeakers, microphones, gramophone pick-ups, or the like, acoustic electromechanical transducers

Diaphragms for electromechanical transducers

Special rules of classification

When classifying in subgroups G10K 11/16-G10K 11/172, classification is also made in subclass B32B, in so far as any layered product is concerned.

For details which are not covered by specific subgroups of G10K, the Indexing Codes G10K 2200/00 and G10K 2200/00 should be applied.

Glossary of terms

In this place, the following terms or expressions are used with the meaning indicated:

Acoustics; Sound

The terms acoustics and sound cover the technical fields dealing with mechanical vibrations at all infrasonic, sonic, and ultrasonic frequencies. However, generation or transmission of mechanical waves, in general, is covered by subclass B06B, subject to the exception specified in special rules of classification within this subclass mentioned above.

Musical instrument

Musical instrument can include a device that emits a single sound signal or, in other words, does not exclude a device that emits a single sound signal.

Devices in which sound is produced by striking a resonating body, e.g. bells, chimes, gong (combinations with clocks or watches G04B, G04C; carillons G10F 1/10; {for percussion instruments G10D 13/00})
References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Percussive musical instruments

Carillons

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Sound devices, e.g., bells, chimes, gong combined with clocks or watches

Rattles or like noise-producing devices {, e.g. door-knockers}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Door-knockers

Whistles
Definition statement

This place covers:

Infrasonic, sonic, and ultrasonic whistles

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Whistling kettles

Sirens
Definition statement

This place covers:

Sirens where the sound is created by chopping a flow of air

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Sirens in which the sound is created by a vibrating membrane

Devices in which sound is produced by vibrating a diaphragm or analogous element, e.g. fog horns, vehicle hooter, buzzer (loudspeakers or like acoustic electromechanical transducers H04R {; arrangement or adaptation for ships B63B 45/08; mechanically driven vibrators B06B 1/10})
References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Mechanically driven vibrators

Arrangement or adaptation for ships

The construction of, or circuits for, broadband-transducers, such as loudspeakers, microphones or like acoustic electromechanical transducers

Methods or devices for transmitting, conducting or directing sound in general; Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general
Definition statement

This place covers:

Methods or devices that transmit, conduct, or direct a sound wave.

Methods or devices for protection against, or damping of, acoustic waves.

Methods or devices for damping acoustic waves by electroacoustically regenerating the original acoustic waves in antiphase, and superimposing the two acoustic waves

Diffusers (G10K 11/20)

Damping or steering of surface acoustic waves

Relationships with other classification places

The subgroups G10K 11/162-G10K 11/168 cover the selection of materials for the devices for protecting against, or damping of, acoustic waves. Subject-matter, which normally would be covered by these groups, which is adapted for particular applications, which are covered by the classes for these applications, is to be classified with those applications provided that there is a specific provision for the aspect of protecting against, or damping of, acoustic waves.

References
Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Protective devices for the ears

Sound insulation for vehicles

Sound insulation for aircraft

Reduction of noise on the permanent way

Absorption of air-transmitted noise from road or railway traffic

Noise insulation, absorption or reflection in buildings

Sound insulation in floors

Intake silencers for internal-combustion engines

Preventing noise in valves

Noise absorbers in pipes

Arrangements for suppressing noise in direct-contact trickle coolers

Silencers for weapons

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Using a coupling medium when making a diagnosis using infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic waves

Providing a coupling medium when performing lithotripsy

Sound insulating materials

Room acoustics

Gas-flow silencers or exhaust apparatus for machines or engines in general, for internal-combustion engines

Suppression of undesired vibrations

Using an acoustic coupling when investigating materials

Constructional features of sonar devices

Special rules of classification

When classifying in subgroups G10K 11/16-G10K 11/172, classification is also to be made in subclass B32B, in so far as any layered product is concerned.

{Devices for damping, suppressing, obstructing or conducting sound in acoustic devices (G10K 1/06 - G10K 1/10 take precedence; for electro-mechanical transducers for communication H04R 3/002)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Devices for damping, suppressing, obstructing or conducting sound in acoustic devices, e.g. for preventing cavitation in acoustic devices

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Resonating devices having the shape of a bell, plate, rod, or tube

Electro-mechanical transducers for communication

Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general (G10K 11/36 takes precedence)
References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Devices for manipulating acoustic surface waves

Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Sound insulation for vehicles

Sound insulation in boats or ships

Sound insulation in aircraft

Silencing jet engines

Acoustic insulation for internal combustion engines

Air-intakes for gas-turbine or jet-propulsion plants having provision for noise suppression

Sound absorbing structures for jet-propulsion plants

Intake silencers for internal-combustion engines

Sound attenuation for pumps

Means or arrangements for avoiding or reducing out-of-balance forces due to motion

Suppressing noise in air-conditioning systems

Arrangements for suppressing noise in direct-contact trickle coolers

Silencers for weapons

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Sound insulation materials (see relevant places)

Reduction of noise in permanent way

Absorption of air-transmitted noise from road or railway traffic

Noise insulation, absorption, or reflection in buildings

Room acoustics

Sound insulation in floors

Gas-flow silencers or exhaust apparatus for machines or engines, in general, for internal combustion engines

Suppression of undesired vibrations

Preventing noise in valves

Noise absorbers in pipes

Surface acoustic wave resonators

Particles in a matrix
Definition statement

This place covers:

Sound absorbers where the matrix is a gas and where the particles are in a fixed position

by electro-acoustically regenerating the original acoustic waves in anti-phase
Definition statement

This place covers:

Acoustic active noise cancellation [ANC], i.e. issuing an acoustic wave field that destructively interferes with a pre-existing acoustic wave field, for the purposes of reducing or damping the pre-existing acoustic wave field.

The scheme has 4 main branches:

The analysis of input signals, output signals, or relationships between them, which are used by the invention in a special way to achieve its goal is classified in G10K 11/1781. For instance, if an application analyses a musical signal and turns off ANC if the music is very loud, G10K 11/17827 should be assigned.

The handling of specific non-standard conditions, e.g. detection of instabilities or other malfunctions in the device, or detection of specific signals that must not be cancelled, e.g. speech, sirens or warnings, is classified in G10K 11/1783.

Inventions about specific details, e.g. specific details of the adaptive filter, hardware or software implementations for lowering power requirements or improving speed, geometric placement of loudspeakers and microphones or combinations with other acoustic elements, are classified in G10K 11/1785.

The overall ANC circuit structure is classified in G10K 11/1787, with the idea of having similar circuits together in one group. For instance, ANC in cars often involves a synthesizer using a reference signal based on engine parameters; as another example, systems in which music is to be played together with the ANC signal mostly have sub circuits that estimate and subtract the music signal from the error signal before the error signal is used to adapt the ANC signal.

Relationships with other classification places

This group is a "function-oriented place" for acoustic active noise cancellation and covers active cancellation of acoustic noise by physical mixing of the pre-existing acoustic noise wave field with the generated acoustic wave field.

Noise cancellation in electronic or electroacoustic signals by mixing, processing or otherwise altering the signal inside the circuitry is classified elsewhere, even though the methods used might often be similar. For example, a phone cancelling or reducing noise that is part of a signal coming from a telephone network, e.g. line noise or echo noise, by filtering this signal, is not seen as acoustic noise cancellation within the scope of G10K 11/178, but falls within the scope of H04M.

However, the mere application of ANC in telephones, e.g. a phone reducing or cancelling ambient noise around the user, by mixing an acoustic anti-noise signal into the signal coming from the network, to destructively interfere with the ambient acoustic noise, is seen as applying acoustic noise cancellation within the scope of G10K 11/178.

References
Application-oriented references

Examples of places where the subject matter of this place is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Electric external protective devices for the ears for active noise reduction

Vibration damping devices for rotor craft

Aircraft with means for silencing of exhaust or propulsion jets

Exhaust gas silencers for internal combustion engines characterised by using active interference effect

Air intakes for gas-turbine plants having provisions for noise suppression

Intake silencers for internal combustion engines

Sound attenuation for non-positive displacement pumps

Suppression of mechanical vibrations

Noise absorbers in pipes

Air-conditioners with means for suppressing noise

Means for active and/or passive vibration damping or acoustical noise suppression in gradient magnet coil systems

Substation equipment with measures to prevent eavesdropping

Earpieces with reduction of ambient noise

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Passive noise cancellation

Protective devices for the ears

Noise filtering for speech processing

Signal processing for reducing noise in signals on information storages

Adaptive networks and filters in general

Echo cancellers in two-way loudspeaking telephone systems

Circuits for combining the signals of two or more microphones

Circuits for transducers, loudspeakers or microphones for preventing acoustic reaction

Deaf-aid sets with arrangements for obtaining a desired directivity characteristic

Deaf-aid sets with prevention of acoustic reaction

Hearing devices using active noise cancelation

Special rules of classification

Classification in several subgroups is specifically encouraged in this scheme, especially in the general system configurations subgroup. For instance, a phone general device with active acoustic noise cancellation comprising a diagnostics function, and using a reference microphone, an error microphone and a desired music signal is classified under G10K 11/17833, G10K 11/17879 and G10K 11/17885.

When classifying in G10K 11/178, classifying additional information in the subgroups of G10K 2210/00 is mandatory.

Glossary of terms

In this place, the following terms or expressions are used with the meaning indicated:

plant

is interchangeably used to refer to both the primary path and the secondary path

primary path

is used to indicate the acoustic path from the noise source (rather than from the reference input) to the error microphone

feedforward

is used to indicate hybrid feedforward + feedback systems

Background

In acoustic anti-noise systems, an acoustic transducer (e.g. loudspeaker) generates an acoustic signal to compensate for an existing ambient noise signal, such that the total acoustic signal at a specific point or area (the so called "quiet zone") is minimized, by generating the noise signal in anti-phase.

To achieve this goal, a number of different input signals can be used:

  • a reference signal (or "feedforward signal"), for detecting or predicting the noise to be canceled; this could be a microphone for recording the noise acoustically, or any other type of (non-acoustic) input that can be used to predict the noise;
  • an error signal (or "feedback signal"), placed inside or close to the quiet zone, to continuously adapt the ANC output such that the quiet zone is truly quiet; and optionally,
  • a desired external signal (e.g. "pass-through audio", music or speech), to be output by the acoustic transducer without being canceled by the ANC system.

In essence, the basic ANC system of Figure 1 predicts the noise in front of the loudspeaker from signal x(n), by taking into account a time delay and acoustic distortions, and outputs it in anti-phase through the loudspeaker. Ideally, this completely cancels the noise. The input e(n) is used to fine-tune the system, by adapting the ANC filtering such that e(n) is minimized.

media0.png

Figure 1. Combined feedforward and feedback ANC in a duct.

It is possible to do ANC with only a reference signal, only an error signal or with both reference and error signals. The desired external signal is an optional extension of the ANC system. ANC with only a reference signal (i.e. without an error signal) is called pure feedforward ANC.

The acoustic path from the reference microphone to the error microphone is referred to here as the primary path, often denoted by P(z). Feedforward (and hybrid) ANC systems usually model this path to predict the noise at the error microphone from the detected reference signal.

The electro-acoustic path through the loudspeaker to the error microphone is referred to here as the secondary path, often denoted by S(z). Feedback (and hybrid) ANC systems model this path to compensate for non-linear effects of the loudspeaker and error microphone and the specific acoustic environment between the two. Also, this path is modeled to be able to remove the desired external signal from the measured error signal.

The electro-acoustic path through the loudspeaker to the reference microphone is sometimes referred to as the leakage path. This path is modeled to be able to remove the anti-noise signal itself from the measured reference signal, e.g. to prevent howling. Also, this path can be modeled to compensate for non-linear effects of the loudspeaker and reference microphone and the specific acoustic environment between the two.

Basic adaptive control is often performed using a combined model W(z) = -P(z) / S(z), which is multiplied by the secondary path, S(z), to arrive at a signal approximating the true P(z). See Figure 2.

media1.png

Figure 2. Adaptive feedforward ANC.

Often, the secondary path is also adaptively modeled to adapt to changes in the acoustic environment, such as movement of a telephone or head-phone with respect to the user's head.

The coupling through acoustic paths from the loudspeaker to the reference microphone is normally be kept as low as possible, so as to prevent howling (i.e. the ANC system detecting its own output as noise and worsening it). Confusingly, the word "feedback" is sometimes used for this coupling, in reference to the effect in musical performances.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents, the following abbreviations are often used:

ANC

Active Noise Control

ANE

Active Noise Equalization

LMS

Least Mean Squares

Reflecting arrangements (G10K 11/28 takes precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Diffusers

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Sound focusing or directing using reflection

for conducting sound through solid bodies, e.g. wires
References
Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Apparatus specially adapted for transmitting mechanical vibrations of infrasonic, sonic, or ultrasonic frequency

Sound-focusing or directing, e.g. scanning {(horns for impedance matching G10K 11/02; megaphones G10K 11/08)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Diffraction

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Horns for impedance matching

Megaphones

Devices for manipulating acoustic surface waves (electro-acoustic amplifiers H03F 13/00; networks comprising electro-acoustic elements H03H 9/00)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Damping, steering of Surface Acoustic Waves

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Electro-acoustic amplifiers

Networks comprising electro-acoustic elements

Cones, diaphragms, or the like, for emitting or receiving sound in general (for electromechanical transducers H04R 7/00)
References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Diaphragms for loudspeakers

Acoustics not otherwise provided for
Definition statement

This place covers:

Synthesis of acoustic waves

Sound-producing devices not otherwise provided for

Arrangements for producing a reverberation sound

Acoustic levitation

Matter transportation using acoustic waves

Synthesis of acoustic waves (synthesis of speech G10L)
Definition statement

This place covers:

Modulation, parametric techniques

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Generation of tones in electrophonic musical instruments

Synthesis of speech

Sound-producing devices (G10K 15/02 takes precedence)
Definition statement

This place covers:

SASERS

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Synthesis of acoustic waves

{producing shock waves (G10K 15/046, G10K 15/06 take precedence; generating seismic energy G01V 1/02)}
Definition statement

This place covers:

Unipolar generators

References
Limiting references

This place does not cover:

Sound producing devices

Sound producing devices using electric discharge

Calculus smashing apparatus

Application of shock-waves for chemical reactions

Shaping using shock waves

Informative references

Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Generating seismic energy