Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 111)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 3, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 5,675,103:  Non-lethal tetanizing weapon.

JW Note:  Set phase pistols to stun.

Definition : Tetanize = To affect with tetanic convulsions; produce or induce tetanus (a state of continuous muscular contraction, especially when induced artificially by rapidly repeated stimuli).

   

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for applying a tetanizing electrical current to muscular tissue of a distant human target which comprises:
          means for generating a high-voltage pulsed electrical current modulated to closely replicate physiological neuroelectric impulses which control human striated, skeletal muscle tissue;
means for ionizing at least one channel of ambient air between said means for generating and the target; and
          means for inducing said tetanizing electrical current within said ionized channel wherein said means for generating and said means for ionizing have rated output powers capable of inducing a flow of pulsed electrical current through said tissue, said current being adjusted to cause tetanization of said tissue.

2. The apparatus claimed in claim 1, wherein said means for generating comprise:
a high-voltage pulse-creating electronic circuit;
said means for ionizing comprise means for emitting a first beam of ultraviolet radiation; and
means of applying said high-voltage pulsed electrical current to said ionized channel.

3. The apparatus claimed in claim 2, wherein said means for applying comprises an electrically conductive mirror placed in the path of said ionized channel, said mirror being connected to a first output terminal of said high-voltage pulse-creating electronic circuit.

4. The apparatus claimed in claim 2, wherein said means for applying comprise a plate of electrically conductive, transparent material placed in the path of said beam, said plate being connected to a first output terminal of said high-voltage pulse-creating electronic circuit.

5. The apparatus claimed in claim 2 wherein said beam has a wavelength of 193 nanometers.

6. The apparatus claimed in claim 2 wherein said means for ionizing comprises a laser operated in a pulsed mode.

7. The apparatus claimed in claim 6 which further comprises means for synchronizing said high-voltage pulsed electrical current with said beam of ultraviolet radiation.

8. The apparatus claimed in claim 6 which further comprises means for emitting a second beam of ultraviolet radiation impinging upon said target at a location distant from an impingement point of said first beam and a means for connecting a second output terminal of opposite polarity to said first terminal of said high-voltage pulse-creating electronic circuit to said second beam of ultraviolet radiation.

9. The apparatus claimed in claim 7 which further comprises means for limiting said current to a non-lethal level selected to sustain muscular tetanization in a target subject.

10. The apparatus of claim 8 which further comprises means for limiting said current to a non-lethal level selected to sustain muscular tetanization in a target subject.

11. A method for temporarily immobilizing a human subject which comprises:
stimulating striated, skeletal muscle tissue by the application to part of the subject’s body of a series of electrical current impulses, the frequency of said impulses being selected to cause a sustained muscular contraction, wherein said application includes the steps of sequentially;
repetitively ionizing at least one channel of ambient air between a source of high-voltage pulses and said part of the subject’s body by emitting a beam of ultraviolet radiation of sufficient energy to cause multi-photon ionization, said beam impinging upon both said source and said part of the subject’s body; and
discharging said source though said channel.

12. The method claimed in claim 11 wherein, said step of emitting a beam comprises using an ultraviolet source having an energy level sufficient to cause multi-photon ionization through said channel.

13. The method claimed in claim 11, wherein the frequency of said high-voltage impulses is selected between 5 and 2500 hertz.

14. The method claimed in claim 11, wherein the step of emitting a beam comprises using an ultraviolet source having a wavelength of approximately 193 nanometers.

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