|Publication number||USRE37071 E1|
|Application number||US 09/495,503|
|Publication date||27 Feb 2001|
|Filing date||31 Jan 2000|
|Priority date||22 Dec 1997|
|Also published as||US5936704|
|Publication number||09495503, 495503, US RE37071 E1, US RE37071E1, US-E1-RE37071, USRE37071 E1, USRE37071E1|
|Inventors||Grant Gabrielian, Robert Marie|
|Original Assignee||Canadian Contact Lens Laboratories Ltd., Segment Technologies Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (69), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (31), Classifications (12), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a marked lens, and more particularly to a marked contact lens and a method of making same.
During the past 10 to 15 years, contact lenses have tended to replace glasses for correcting vision problems. These days, an entire industry exists for contact lens manufacturing and retailing.
One of the problems associated with contact lenses is marking the lens in order to allow the users to wear them properly, in the right position. Some lenses have to be worn in an “upright” orientation while soft lenses must be worn without inverting them, i.e. wearing them inside-out. Generally, identification and orientation marks applies to all kinds of contact lenses.
Various methods of contact lens identification are known in the prior art. One method is printing a visible mark on the periphery of the lens. However, this method is not suited for wet molded soft lenses since the printing must be performed on a dry surface and the lenses are never in a dry state. Furthermore, the dark mark printed on lenses may be too visible, so observers may even see the mark when the lens is worn by a person.
Another method is to engrave or impart a mark on a lens producing an opaque surface. However, this surface is necessarily rough and may be felt by the wearer, thus producing discomfort. The engraved mark may also attract and retain proteinaceous and other types of deposits creating propitious conditions for an infection.
Another method of marking contact lenses is to mark them using a laser. However, this method cannot be employed for wet molded soft contact lenses. It is also time-consuming and expensive.
It is therefore a broad object of the present invention to provide a method of marking transparent and semi-transparent thin surfaces by providing optical means by way of varying the form of such surfaces on small areas.
It is a more specific object of the present invention to provide a method of marking contact lenses using a number of optical elements.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a marked contact lens with markings appearing to be bright or dark (depending on the focal length of the optical element and the distance at which the lens is held by the viewer) when viewing a light source through the lens.
According to the invention, it is an object of the present invention to provide an identification, orientation or inversion marking method for contact lenses using at least one optical element.
In a broad aspect of the present invention, the identification method using optical elements is not restricted to lenses. Even if the invention is applicable to all kinds of lenses, including dry or wet lenses as well as soft or rigid lenses, the present method may also be used for marking any other kind of transparent or semi-transparent material that needs to be marked.
For clarity, this text uses the term “surface orientation” to designate the orientation of a lens with its concave surface toward the wearer's eye, as it should be worn. The main object of the present invention is to provide an easy information to the lens user concerning the right surface orientation of the lens, before the lens is applied on the eye's surface.
Inversion identification is applicable to soft lenses, where the concave side is frequently inverted outwardly into a convex shape in which state the lens is not suitable to be worn. However, such a state of the lens is not clearly visible to the observer and oftentimes people may incorrectly wear their lenses.
According to the invention, instead of marking contact lenses as in the prior art by adding a color on them such as by printing or engraving a mark on them, the present invention uses microstructure surface variations, such as dot or cylindrical microlenses, having the form of concave or convex semi-spheres or semi-cylinders (the cross-section may also be elliptical or aspheric), which are applied on the surface of the contact lens in order to provide identification and orientation marks for allowing the user to wear the lenses in the adequate position. The surface variations are small and their surface is smooth and highly polished therefore these microlenses do not attract and do not retain proteinaceous and other deposits. Furthermore, these microlenses are not felt by the wearer's eyelid. The dimensions of the microlenses are chosen so as to avoid any irritation when worn by the user. However, when removed and held up toward a light source, they permit to the user to clearly see them, thus providing information on the right position they have to be worn in.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, such optical elements are used to form letters or other distinctive signs at specific locations on the contact lens surface and these letters or signs provide position information to the user.
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the optical elements may be located on a single side of the lenses or on both sides of the lenses. In the latter case, the optical elements may be even smaller in depth or height if they are applied in conjunction to one another, one on each face of the lens, thus superposing the optical effect seen by the human eye when looking to the lens toward a light source.
According to the invention, there is provided a marked contact lens comprising at least one microlens optical marking element integrally formed on a surface of the contact lens in a peripheral area thereof.
The invention also provides a method of manufacturing a marked contact lens comprising the steps of: forming at least one microformation in a contact lens manufacturing mold for integrally forming a microlens optical marking element; and molding a lens in the mold to obtain the marked contact lens.
The invention further provides a marked lens comprising at least one microlens optical marking element integrally formed on a surface of the lens in a non-image forming area thereof.
The invention will be better understood by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGS. 1a to 1f illustrate prior art techniques of marking contact lenses, specifically, FIG. 1a is a front view of a sphero-cylindrical contact lens having orientation marks indicating the prism ballast on the lens for holding the lens in a particular position; FIG. 1b is a front view of a contact lens having printed or engraved marks; FIGS. 1c, 1d, 1e and 1f are a plan and a side view of a non-inverted and an inverted contact lens respectively having AL/JA inversion marks;
FIG. 2 respectively illustrates the prior art principal of a semi-cylindrical lens which forms a straight line image when a person looks through it at a light source;
FIGS. 3a and 3b illustrate microlens optical elements which are used in the preferred embodiment to mark the contact lens, specifically, FIG. 3a shows a number of semi-spherical optical elements used for creating the two letters AL on the lens surface, while FIG. 3b shows semi-cylindrical elements used to form the same two letters on the lens surface; and
FIG. 4 is a FIGS. 4a and 4b are partial sectional view views of the contact lens according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention wherein dual optical elements are used to create an optical mark on both lens surfaces. surfaces, specifically, FIG. 4a shows a concave depression, while FIG. 4b shows a convex protrusion.
In the preferred embodiment, optical elements are used to mark lenses. These marks are used to provide lens position information to the lens user, so lenses may be worn in the right position. FIG. 1 shows printed and engraved marks used in the prior art in order to provide position information to the lens wearer.
According to the present invention, semi-spherical or semi-cylindrical optical elements are provided on the surface of the contact lens for providing lens position information to the lens user. An important characteristic of such marks is that they are not felt or seen by the wearer while the lenses are worn. They are, however, clearly visible when the lens is examined visually, especially when held toward a light source. As an example, a semi-cylindrical optical element 20 is shown in FIG. 2; the cylindrical element 20 is seen as a straight line 22 when a user 24 looks through it at a light source 26.
The optical marks on the contact lenses are composed by a plurality of microlens optical elements which are imparted on the surface of the contact lens. Each of these optical elements 20 acts as either a spherical lens 21 or a cylindrical lens 20 (or a combination of them) applied on the contact lens 10.
FIG. 3 illustrates some optical marks 28 having the form of two letters AL and which are composed of spherical elements 21 (FIG. 3a) and cylindrical elements 20′ (FIG. 3b). In the case of a spherical element 21, the mark would appear to the viewer as a bright or dark point (depending on the focal length of the optical element and the distance at which the lens is held by the viewer) on the contact lens when the lens is held in front of a light source. In the case of a cylindrical element, the mark appears as a bright or dark line, as shown in FIG. 2.
In the preferred embodiment, the mark “AL” composed of cylindrical elements is provided on a contact lens. When a user examines such a contact lens 10, as the one shown in FIG. 4, in the right way, i.e. the concave surface 30 of the lens toward the eye, the user sees the letters “AL” and he knows this is the right orientation the lens is supposed to have. If the lens has its inside part 30 facing outwardly (i.e. it is inverted and its outer surface 32 is now toward the eye) then the user sees the letters “JA”, as better shown in FIGS. 1d and 1f, and knows that this is the wrong orientation of the lens, so he may invert it before applying it onto the eye.
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the size of the optical marks are of the order of 2 mm in length and are located at the periphery of the contact lens. Other sizes of marks as well as other locations may be suitable as well, as long as they do not interfere with the wearer's vision and are not visible to others when worn by the wearer. The saggittal depth or the height of the optical elements 20 and 21 is preferably not more than 1.5 microns so the lens wearer cannot feel them. The following table shows approximate dimensions of the optical elements in the preferred embodiments. These dimensions are provided as an example only and are not limited to the values provided.
Saggital Height/Depth of Sphero-Cylindrical Elements
Width of Sphero-Cylindrical Elements
er of Element
W = 0.20 mm
W = 0.30 mm
W = 0.40 mm
+/− 5.00 D
H/D = 0.00061
H/D = 0.00138
H/D = 0.00245
+/− 10.00 D
H/D = 0.00067
H/D = 0.00151
H/D = 0.00268
+/− 15.00 D
H/D = 0.00073
H/D = 0.00164
H/D = 0.00292
In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the depth or height of optical elements 20 and 21 are substantially reduced even further if the elements are applied in conjunction with one another, one on each side of the contact lens, as shown in FIG. 4. Concave or convex elements of smaller depth or height may be used for generating an optical mark having the same visibility as a mark of greater height or depth applied on a single side of a lens.
All optical elements disclosed in the present application have a smooth surface and have no abrupt sides so the surface transition from the optical element to the contact lens is smooth and does not comprise any edges irritating to the user's eyelid. This feature is an improvement over the prior art because it does not retain impurities, it is not felt by the wearer, and it is not visible for an observer when worn on the eye, while remaining clearly visible when removed and examined visually by the user.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the method of imparting the optical elements 20 and 21 onto the contact lens 10 for creating optical marks 28 is to incorporate the mark 28 into the optical molds used to mold the contact lenses so that no other step is added to the lens manufacturing process. The molds may be micro-machined or precision etched to achieve the precise desired shape of the microlens optical marking elements.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2034308||25 May 1933||17 Mar 1936||Sylvania Ind Corp||Marked material|
|US2354772||2 Sep 1941||1 Aug 1944||Horace L Prange||Lens|
|US2803884||31 Jan 1955||27 Aug 1957||American Optical Corp||Lens marking devices|
|US3971910||16 Jan 1975||27 Jul 1976||Marschalko Cornell S||Apparatus for perforating contact lenses|
|US4039827||26 Aug 1976||2 Aug 1977||American Optical Corporation||Method for marking intraocular lenses|
|US4193671||20 Nov 1978||18 Mar 1980||Precision Cosmet Corp.||Identifying means for polymeric contact lenses|
|US4194814 *||10 Nov 1977||25 Mar 1980||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Transparent opthalmic lens having engraved surface indicia|
|US4219721||23 Aug 1978||26 Aug 1980||Revlon, Inc.||Marking of lenses|
|US4238524||6 Mar 1978||9 Dec 1980||American Optical Corporation||Process for identification marking clear plastic articles|
|US4268133||11 Oct 1979||19 May 1981||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Preferential orientation of contact lenses|
|US4303701||31 Dec 1979||1 Dec 1981||Buckbee-Mears Company||Method of marking plastic lenses|
|US4406189||11 May 1981||27 Sep 1983||Neefe Charles W||Method of making lenses with a lenticular cut|
|US4441795||24 Mar 1980||10 Apr 1984||Camelot Industries Corporation||Molded multifocal lens and mold assembly|
|US4447474||30 Aug 1982||8 May 1984||Neefe Charles W||Method of selectively tinting soft contact lenses|
|US4457761||16 Feb 1983||3 Jul 1984||Precision Cosmet Co., Inc.||Method and apparatus for marking contact lenses|
|US4525044 *||5 May 1983||25 Jun 1985||Bauman Robert C||Soft contact lens with surface identification and method of using same|
|US4543882||16 Jul 1984||1 Oct 1985||Ryder Francis E||Contact lens marking fixture|
|US4563565||2 Mar 1983||7 Jan 1986||Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company||Method for forming a peripheral edge on contact lenses|
|US4616910||24 Feb 1984||14 Oct 1986||Klein Robert E||Visual indicator on soft contact lenses|
|US4619504||2 Sep 1983||28 Oct 1986||Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung||Ophthalmic lens with a marking and method of producing the marking|
|US4642439||3 Jan 1985||10 Feb 1987||Dow Corning Corporation||Method and apparatus for edge contouring lenses|
|US4652721||25 Jul 1986||24 Mar 1987||Dow Corning Corporation||Method and apparatus for edge contouring lenses|
|US4744647||4 Dec 1984||17 May 1988||Lens Plus Co.||Semi-opaque corneal contact lens or intraoccular lens and method of formation|
|US4889421||30 Sep 1988||26 Dec 1989||Cohen Allen L||Contact lens with cosmetic pattern|
|US4892595||30 Apr 1986||9 Jan 1990||Holmes Orie E||Method of forming high quality mold pin insert|
|US4912298||16 Sep 1988||27 Mar 1990||Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung||Method for producing a marking on a spectacle lens|
|US4921205||17 May 1988||1 May 1990||Sola Usa, Inc.||Lens mold assembly|
|US4976533||7 Jun 1988||11 Dec 1990||Schering Corporation||Method for measuring the rotation of an assymetric contact lens and lenses for practicing the method|
|US5062701 *||16 Nov 1990||5 Nov 1991||Wesley-Jessen Corporation||Asymmetric contact lens|
|US5068514||23 Oct 1989||26 Nov 1991||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Laser polishing of lens surface|
|US5147585||6 Aug 1991||15 Sep 1992||Blum Ronald D||Method for forming plastic optical quality spectacle lenses|
|US5170192||29 Nov 1990||8 Dec 1992||Pilkington Visioncare, Inc.||Oxygen permeable bifocal contact lenses and their manufacture|
|US5219497||18 Oct 1991||15 Jun 1993||Innotech, Inc.||Method for manufacturing lenses using thin coatings|
|US5244470||28 Jan 1992||14 Sep 1993||Menicon Co., Ltd.||Method for marking a water-absorptive contact lens: dyeing dry lens with a mark using reduced vat dye and then making the dye insoluble|
|US5256853||31 Jul 1991||26 Oct 1993||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Method for shaping contact lens surfaces|
|US5294379||18 Sep 1992||15 Mar 1994||Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.||Laser assisted demolding of ophthalmic lenses|
|US5307740||7 May 1993||3 May 1994||Menicon Co., Ltd.||Marking apparatus for contact lens|
|US5326956||28 Jul 1992||5 Jul 1994||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Laser profiling of lens edge|
|US5378412||2 Dec 1992||3 Jan 1995||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Method of edging a contact lens or lens blank|
|US5417557||7 Mar 1994||23 May 1995||Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.||Laser assisted demolding of ophthalmic lenses|
|US5467149 *||1 Jun 1994||14 Nov 1995||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Highly visible markings for contact lenses|
|US5494474||21 Oct 1993||27 Feb 1996||D.A.C., Inc.||Lens blocking and constant center thickness system|
|US5521352||23 Sep 1993||28 May 1996||Laser Machining, Inc.||Laser cutting apparatus|
|US5580498||28 Sep 1994||3 Dec 1996||Menicon Co., Ltd.||Method of producing contact lens with identifying mark permeating into lens|
|US5598233||18 Aug 1994||28 Jan 1997||Harold A. Gell||Soft contact lens with contamination indicator|
|US5641437 *||29 Sep 1995||24 Jun 1997||Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.||Marking of mold inserts to produce marked contact lenses|
|DE2542714A1||25 Sep 1975||7 Apr 1977||Agfa Gevaert Ag||Marking silicone rubber contact lenses - by etching or engraving the mould used and so embossing the lenses during their mfr.|
|DE3316730A1||7 May 1983||8 Nov 1984||Bruno Koller||Special numbering on hydrosoft or soft contact lenses|
|DE3542726A1||3 Dec 1985||5 Jun 1986||Lens Plus Co||Halbopake kornea-kontaktlinse oder intraokulare linse sowie deren herstellungsverfahren|
|EP0030577B1||14 Dec 1979||21 Mar 1984||Kabushiki Kaisha Hoya Lens||Method for marking an optical element|
|EP0031633B1||25 Apr 1980||25 Jan 1984||Kabushiki Kaisha Hoya Lens||Method of marking a lens of plastics material|
|EP0307874A2||14 Sep 1988||22 Mar 1989||Firma Carl Zeiss||Method for producing a mark on a spectacle lens|
|EP0384632B1||14 Feb 1990||27 Jul 1994||Pilkington Barnes Hind, Inc.||Colored contact lenses and method of making same|
|EP0601857A1||9 Dec 1993||15 Jun 1994||Menicon Co., Ltd.||Method of marking an ophthalmic lens|
|EP0765732A2||27 Sep 1996||2 Apr 1997||JOHNSON & JOHNSON VISION PRODUCTS, INC.||Marking of mold inserts to produce marked contact lenses|
|GB1367846A||Title not available|
|GB1547525A||Title not available|
|GB1568160A||Title not available|
|GB1583492A||Title not available|
|GB2006114A||Title not available|
|GB2026715A||Title not available|
|GB2055694A||Title not available|
|JPH075512A||Title not available|
|JPH07186290A||Title not available|
|JPS6413520A||Title not available|
|WO1984003569A1||29 Feb 1984||13 Sep 1984||Robert E Klein||A visual indicator on soft contact lenses|
|WO1989007281A1||1 Feb 1989||10 Aug 1989||Steve Newman||Pattern contact lens|
|WO1994012909A1||23 Nov 1993||9 Jun 1994||Innotech, Inc.||A method of manufacturing toric single vision, spherical or aspheric bifocal, multifocal or progressive contact lenses|
|WO1994029071A1||7 Jun 1994||22 Dec 1994||Bausch & Lomb Incorporated||Method of minimizing diffraction groove formation on laser etched surfaces|
|1||Robert B. Mandell, "Contact Lens Practice", 1988, pp. 669-671 and pp. 677-678, 4th Ed., Charles C Thomas Publisher, Limited, USA.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6893461 *||17 Jun 2003||17 May 2005||Anamed, Inc.||System for packaging and handling an implant and method of use|
|US7776086||30 Apr 2004||17 Aug 2010||Revision Optics, Inc.||Aspherical corneal implant|
|US8057541||30 Oct 2006||15 Nov 2011||Revision Optics, Inc.||Method of using small diameter intracorneal inlays to treat visual impairment|
|US8113654||8 Jan 2010||14 Feb 2012||Benjamin David Enerson||Contact lens with visual indicator|
|US8162953||28 Mar 2007||24 Apr 2012||Revision Optics, Inc.||Insertion system for corneal implants|
|US8357196||18 Nov 2009||22 Jan 2013||Abbott Medical Optics Inc.||Mark for intraocular lenses|
|US8469948||23 Aug 2010||25 Jun 2013||Revision Optics, Inc.||Methods and devices for forming corneal channels|
|US8540727||2 Mar 2012||24 Sep 2013||Revision Optics, Inc.||Insertion system for corneal implants|
|US8636357||31 Jul 2009||28 Jan 2014||Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.||Custom contact lenses with fiducial markings|
|US8668735||22 Oct 2012||11 Mar 2014||Revision Optics, Inc.||Corneal implant storage and delivery devices|
|US8900296||3 Apr 2009||2 Dec 2014||Revision Optics, Inc.||Corneal inlay design and methods of correcting vision|
|US9005280||10 Apr 2012||14 Apr 2015||Revision Optics, Inc.||System for packaging and handling an implant and method of use|
|US9140907||15 Feb 2013||22 Sep 2015||Vision Discoveries, Llc||Contact lens|
|US9224057 *||28 Oct 2013||29 Dec 2015||Oberthur Technologies||Biometric identification|
|US9271828||13 Jul 2012||1 Mar 2016||Revision Optics, Inc.||Corneal implant retaining devices and methods of use|
|US9345569||22 Oct 2012||24 May 2016||Revision Optics, Inc.||Corneal implant storage and delivery devices|
|US9539143||12 Mar 2015||10 Jan 2017||Revision Optics, Inc.||Methods of correcting vision|
|US20030214139 *||17 Jun 2003||20 Nov 2003||Alok Nigam||System for packaging and handling an implant and method of use|
|US20050113844 *||29 Nov 2004||26 May 2005||Alok Nigam||System for packaging and handling an implant and method of use|
|US20050246015 *||30 Apr 2004||3 Nov 2005||Troy Miller||Aspherical corneal implant|
|US20070255401 *||1 May 2006||1 Nov 2007||Revision Optics, Inc.||Design of Inlays With Intrinsic Diopter Power|
|US20080243138 *||28 Mar 2007||2 Oct 2008||Jon Dishler||Insertion system for corneal implants|
|US20080262610 *||20 Apr 2007||23 Oct 2008||Alan Lang||Biomechanical design of intracorneal inlays|
|US20090059166 *||27 Aug 2008||5 Mar 2009||Menicon Co., Ltd.||Contact lens and method of manufacturing the same|
|US20090198325 *||3 Apr 2009||6 Aug 2009||Keith Holliday||Corneal Inlay Design and Methods of Correcting Vision|
|US20110025979 *||31 Jul 2009||3 Feb 2011||Khaled Chehab||Custom contact lenses with fiducial markings|
|US20110118836 *||18 Nov 2009||19 May 2011||Abbott Medical Optics Inc.||Mark for intraocular lenses|
|US20110170055 *||8 Jan 2010||14 Jul 2011||Benjamin David Enerson||Contact lens with visual indicator|
|US20110218623 *||8 Sep 2010||8 Sep 2011||Jon Dishler||Small Diameter Inlays|
|US20140119617 *||28 Oct 2013||1 May 2014||Oberthur Technologies||Biometric identification|
|WO2011014510A1 *||27 Jul 2010||3 Feb 2011||Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.||Custom contact lenses with fiducial markings|
|International Classification||G02C7/04, G02C7/02|
|Cooperative Classification||G02C2202/16, G02C7/04, G02C7/021, G02C7/048, G02C7/049|
|European Classification||G02C7/04H, G02C7/04M, G02C7/02B, G02C7/04|
|22 Jul 2002||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JOHNSON & JOHNOSON VISION CARE, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CANADIAN CONTACT LENS LABORATORIES LTD.;SEGMENT TECHNOLOGIES INC.;REEL/FRAME:012906/0313
Effective date: 20020306
|10 Feb 2003||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|28 Feb 2007||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|27 Mar 2007||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 7
|27 Mar 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|14 Mar 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|8 Aug 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|8 Aug 2011||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 11