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General switch patents

Known switch types that are yet to be documented anywhere are indicated in bold.

Company Patent Title Filed Published Notes
Cherry Electrical Prod US 3644855 A Keyboard reed switch 1970-07-10 1972-02-22 Never observed in the wild; the external design is fairly similar to Cherry M7
Tokai Communication Ind JP S5276687 A Push button switch 1975-12-23 1977-06-28 Tokai MM9 series
Alps Electric Co., Ltd. US 4153829 A Pushbutton switch assembly 1977-02-16 1979-05-08 Never observed in the wild; the patent depicts an older design of switchplate before SKCC series, suggesting that SKCC series was introduced in 1977 or later
Fujitsu Ltd US 4803316 A Push button switch using dome spring and switch element thereof 1986-10-16 1989-02-07 Fujitsu lever action
Omron Tateisi Electronics Co. US 5015811 A Snap-action pushbutton switch with click sound 1989-06-13 1991-05-14 Inverted click leaf design for Omron B3G-S switches; never observed in the wild
Silitek Corporation US 5310973 A Structure of key switch 1991-10-08 1994-05-10 Alternative patent for Silitek (MX mount) dome with slider
Tokai Communication Ind JP H07220561 A Contactless switch 1994-02-01 1995-08-18 Optoelectronic adaptation of Tokai MM9 series, never observed in the wild; patent filed ten months before that of Tokai SPT-0101
Silitek Corporation US 6184481 B1 Key switches for computer keyboards 1994-03-30 2001-02-06 (!) Silitek (Alps mount) dome with slider
Tokai Communication Ind JP H08167361 A Semiconductor photocoupling switch 1994-12-12 1996-06-25 Tokai SPT-0101

Scissor switch patents

Just listing the priority dates for these as the new Google Patents site doesn’t want to show the other data. Note that non-crossed designs (where the two arms are not attached to each other and do not scissor) are also included, and are marked “non-cross”.

Company Patent Title Priority Notes
Brother Industries Ltd US 5463195 A Key switch 1993-01-06
Nagano Fujitsu Component Ltd US 5874696 A Key switch, keyboard and portable information processing unit with keyboard 1996-08-12 Non-cross
Fujitsu Ltd JP H11185564 A Key switch, keyboard and information processor using these 1997-12-22 Non-cross
Nagano Fujitsu Component Ltd US 6118092 A Key switch for keyboard 1998-09-22 Non-cross
Fujitsu Ltd, Nagano Fujitsu Component Ltd US 6257782 B1 Key switch with sliding mechanism and keyboard 1998-06-18 Suggested to be spring-over-membrane
SMK Corp US 6297461 B1 Key switches for computer keyboards 1999-12-17 Both leaf spring and dome actuators are implied
Fujitsu Component Ltd US 7138587 B2 Key switch, keyboard and key-switch assembling jig 2004-07-01 Non-cross
Fujitsu Component Ltd US 8624140 B2 Key switch and keyboard 2006-07-10 Non-cross