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154 Ct. Cl. Findings of Fact combination of structural elements. The wording of this patent claim is set forth below with indentations and emphasis added to facilitate identity and understanding of the structure defined and claimed thereby.
Claim 1 of '518 patent
(1) a pair of opposed end plates,
(2) each of said plates having a multitude of systematically arranged openings therein throughout a major portion of the area of said plates,
(2a) said systematic arrangement comprising a plurality of non-radial parallel lines of openings, and a second plurality of parallel lines of openings which are arranged perpendicular to said 'first-named lines of openings,
(3) a plurality of removable compartment forming devices of length substantially equal to the distance between the inner faces of said plates,
(3a) said devices having means at their ends to latch in selected of said openings in said plates, whereby a varied number of compartments of various sizes and shapes may be formed between said plates to accommodate different sizes and shapes of articles to be washed,
(36) said compartments utilizing substantially the entire volume of space between said plates. 10. Claim 2 of the '518 patent differs from claim 1 in that it specifically recites the tank, that the end plates of the drum are disposed closely adjacent to the walls of the tank, and that the latching means are operable from between the plates. This claim omits claim 1 recital (3b) that the compartments utilize the entire volume between the plates. Claim 2 reads as follows, emphasis added :
Claim % of '518 patent 2. In a washing machine, a tank, a rotatable drum in said tank comprising a pair of opposed end plates disposed closely adjacent to the walls of said tank, each of said plates have a multitude of systematically arranged openings therein throughout a major portion of the area of said plates, said systematic arrangement comprising a plurality of non-radial parallel lines of openings, and a second plurality of parallel lines of openings which are
Findings of Fact arranged perpendicular to said first-named lines of openings, a plurality of removable compartment forming devices of length substantially equal to the distance between the inner faces of said plates, latching means on the ends of said devices operable from between said plates and adapted to enter selected of said openings in said plates, whereby a varied number of compartments of various sizes and shapes may be formed between said plates, to accommodate different sizes and shapes of
articles to be washed. 11. Claim 6 of the '518 patent differs from claim 1 in that it specifically recites that one of the compartment side devices comprises a frame, a screen mounted to movement in the frame, and spring means on the frame for yieldingly urging the screen into engagement with articles in the compartment. This claim omits claim 1 recitals (2a) and (3b).
12. Claim 13 of the '518 patent reads as follows, indentations and emphasis added : In a washing machine, a rotatable drum comprising
(1) a pair of spaced discs, said discs having
(2) a multitude of systematically arranged compartment side receiving openings therein covering substantially their entire area, said openings
(2a) being arranged in four groups of parallel lines of openings.
(2b) each group extending at right angles to one of four axes a quadrant's distance apart extending from the centers of said discs,
(2c) openings in one disc being in alignment with corresponding openings in the other disc, and
(3) removable compartment forming devices adapted to bé secured between corresponding openings in said discs.
INVALIDITY OF CLAIMS 13. Defendant urged that the patent claims in suit are invalid over the disclosures of prior patents, invalid for lack of invention, invalid as defining only an aggregation of well-known washing apparatus features, and invalid as being misleading or misdescriptive in defining an apparatus alleged to be ineffective to properly wash certain types of containers.
154 Ct. Cl. Findings of Fact 14. The early patent issued to Willcox, 404,141, dated May 28, 1889, discloses a similar apparatus for washing bottles of various sizes. Referring to the Willcox patent drawings, reproduced in the appendix to these findings, the Willcox apparatus includes a tank H containing a rotary drum or “wheel” construction comprising a shaft A supporting pairs of opposed "arms” C. Trays E of wire netting held in rectangular metal frames are slidably supported at their opposite ends by members e attached to the arms C. Containers to be washed may be held against the tray E, as shown in dotted lines in fig. 3, by side F and be further retained by a gate or bar G. The bar G prevents containers from being thrown out of the compartment formed by sides E and F during washing. The side F is adjustably held by wing nuts d' on rods projecting from the side frames through aligned openings or slots d in the arms C. The Willcox patent specification states, “I have shown eight pairs of spokes C C'; but it is to be understood that I may use any desired number of pairs of spokes, * * *”.
" This Willcox patent was cited by the Patent Office Examiner in the '518 patent application file.
15. The disclosure of the early Willcox patent is clear to one having ordinary skill in the bottle-washing machine art. No extraordinary skill would be required to provide for removal of the adjustable rectangular trough sides F when replacement becomes desirable. The Willcox patent drawings are not necessarily engineering drawings made to scale, but do constitute an adequate disclosure of an operative bottle-washing apparatus.
16. The early Ratner patent 1,311,179, issued July 29, 1919, discloses a washing machine having a rotary frame supporting removable racks for dishes or containers. Each rack comprises end members 15 connected by longitudinal rods 16 to form compartments for the articles to be washed. The articles may be locked in the compartments by removable longitudinal rods 37', as illustrated in figs. 7 and 8 of the Ratner patent drawings, reproduced in the appendix to these findings.
17. The early Smith patent 1,176,866, issued March 28, 1916, discloses a dishwashing machine having a rotary
Findings of Fact
holder including end discs 12 connected by plural sets of longitudinally extending bars 14, 15, and 16. Additional bars 19 and 20 supported by a pivot bar 17 are provided to keep dishes in the open troughs or compartments. As illustrated in fig. 1 of the Smith patent drawings, reproduced in the appendix to these findings, the end members 12 are provided with series of holes 30 for adjustability. The Smith patent specification states:
A series of holes 30 is provided in each disk for each of the bars 14, 15 to permit them to be secured different distances from the outer bars and correspondingly vary the troughs, and to adapt the troughs for hollowware or dishes of different sizes or shapes. The troughs are formed in annular series and any number may be
provided according to the capacity desired. 18. Claim 1 of the '518 patent specifies that the openings in said end plates are systematically arranged in a plurality of non-radial parallel lines and in a second plurality of parallel lines perpendicular to the first lines of openings, and also adds that the compartments utilize substantially the entire volume of space between the end plates. A systematic arrangement of end plate openings is illustrated in fig. 6 of the '518 patent drawings reproduced in finding 11. Concerning the arrangement of end plate openings, the '518 patent specification states:
As best shown in Figures 4 and 6, the rotatable drum comprises a pair of rotatable plates 65 rigidly secured to the shaft 40 by means of collars 67. These plates may be of any configuration, but are preferably circular in contour as shown in Figures 3 and 6, and are of as large diameter as possible to be conveniently accommodated within the tank without engaging the top 13 when the latter is closed, or any other fittings within the tank such as the heater 35. Each of the plates 65 is provided with a systematic series of openings as shown in Figure 6 whereby a varied number of container compartments of various sizes may be selectively formed on the drum between the discs to receive the varied number and types of containers and the like to be washed as desired. These openings may be systematically arranged in various fashions to suit the type of containers which are to be washed, and the distance 154 Ct. Cl. Findings of Fact apart of these openings may be likewise varied as
desired. The '518 patent teaches the art that the end plates 65 may be of any configuration and that the openings therein may be arranged in various fashions. The '518 patent specification further states:
* * * The number of openings and their distance apart may be varied in accordance with the type of hereinafter described compartment forming equipment used, and in accordance with the type of containers which the washer is designed to cleanse. *** Certain openings of each series may be omitted if not needed.
The above described apparatus provides equipment of great flexibility which may be assembled by an attendant in a laboratory, hospital or the like, to wash any types, sizes or numbers of laboratory equipment, such as flasks, dishes and the like as herein before described. The arrangements which the machine may take, as far as the formation of compartments is
concerned, are almost innumerable. * * 19. The combination of elements recited in claim 1 of the '518 patent is disclosed in the prior Smith patent 1,176,866, issued March 28, 1916. The Smith patent dishwasher includes a rotatable drum comprising opposed end plates 12 having systematically arranged openings 30 therein, and compartment forming devices defined by rods 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20 extending between the end plates, rods 14 and 15 being engageable in various openings 30 and said openings 30 being disposed in systematically arranged lines. The volume of space between the end plates which is utilized depends on the number of compartments and the shape and size of the articles to be washed. The Smith patent drawings including Smith fig. 1 reproduced in the appendix to these findings, show six longitudinal compartments for cups and glasses. The '518 patent drawings also show six longitudinal compartments for assorted laboratory containers. In both the Smith and the '518 patent construction, the space at and immediately adjacent to the drum axis of rotation is not utilized. With respect to the specific recital of claim 1 of the '518 patent that the openings are arranged in perpen