112 F.2d 335 (7th Cir. 1940), 7103, Automatic Devices Corp. v. Sinko Tool & Mfg. Co.

Docket Nº:7103, 7104.
Citation:112 F.2d 335, 45 U.S.P.Q. 394
Case Date:April 27, 1940
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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112 F.2d 335 (7th Cir. 1940)

45 U.S.P.Q. 394



SINKO TOOL & MFG. CO. (two cases).

Nos. 7103, 7104.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

April 27, 1940

Rehearing Denied June 18, 1940.

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Drury W. Cooper and Thomas J. Byrne, both of New York City, and Henry M. Huxley, of Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Russell Wiles, Bernard A. Schroeder, George A. Chritton, and Chritton, Wiles, Davies, Hirschl & Dawson, all of Chicago, Ill., for defendant-appellant.

Before EVANS, SPARKS, and MAJOR, Circuit Judges.

SPARKS, Circuit Judge.

The original complaint charged defendant with infringement of United States Patent to Mead, No. 1,736,544, issued November 19, 1929, on an application filed August 24, 1927. Subsequently, by supplemental complaint, plaintiff charged defendant with infringement of United States Patents to Johnson, No. 2,129,374, and to Cohen, No. 2,140,311, both of which were issued after the filing of the original complaint, on applications filed before that time on the respective dates of August 17, 1934, and July 23, 1932. Plaintiff does not manufacture or sell cigar lighters. It is in form a patent holding company for Casco Products Corporation, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, which has an irrevocable, royalty-free license and pays plaintiff's expenses. The defenses were invalidity and non-infringement.

The District Court found that claims 2, 3 and 11 of the Mead patent were valid and infringed, and that all of the claims in issue of the other two patents were invalid for lack of invention. The defendant, in cause No. 7103, appeals from the ruling on the Mead patent; and the plaintiff, in cause No. 7104, appeals from the ruling on the Johnson and Cohen patents. The cases were consolidated in this court for argument.

The Mead patent relates to cigar lighters, or devices of a similar nature, wherein a member is arranged to be electrically heated to incandescense to be to be used for lighting cigars and the like. Its object is to produce a simple device which is more efficient and cheaper than those theretofore used.

It comprises a base unit and a plug removably mounted in it. The plug carries a resistance coil that may be heated to incandescence to serve as a lighting medium. The base has a socket for receiving the plug, both movable on the base between a position where the coil is energized and a position where the coil is de-energized. Normally the socket and plug are held in position where no current will flow through the heating coil. When the coil is to be heated, the plug and socket are moved to the energizing position, where they are held locked until the heating coil has reached the desired temperature. A thermostatic element, responsive to the temperature

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condition of the heating coil, releases the engagement of the socket and plug in locked position, whereupon they return to the original position so that the plug may be removed for use in lighting.

Illustrative of the disclosure is a lighter of the type suitable for use on dashboards for automobiles. It comprises a metallic supporting plate, which carries a base assembly of the lighter, comprising a fiber or other insulating plate adapted to be secured to the supporting plate.

Mounted on the socket carrier is a socket in the form of a cup-shaped metallic cylinder, having a closed bottom with a central opening through which it is rotatably secured above the carrier by means of a pivot screw. One side of the socket cylinder has a perforation and the opposite side has a slot. The bottom of the socket has also a circular slot into which an upstanding lug of the socket carrier projects to limit the rotary movement of the socket around the pivot screw. A spiral biasing spring, having its inner end anchored in the head of the screw, and its outer end secured to the wall of the socket, tends to hold the socket in one end position as determined by the upstanding lug acting as a stop, this position corresponding to the off position of the lighter. The lower part of the socket surrounding the spiral biasing spring is somewhat bulged in order to accommodate the spring.

The upstanding bracket of the socket carrier was insulatingly mounted thereon a latch and release element, comprising a catch spring, having a folded end portion adapted to act as a catch when held in a bent-away position by means of a thermostatic element, such as a bimetallic strip. The catch spring and the bimetallic strip of the spring are suitably mounted on a supporting plate which is insulatingly secured to the bracket.

The several parts are readily assembled into a complete unit by screwing the latch unit to the upright part of the socket carrier, placing the pivot screw in the base opening of the socket, screwing it over the socket carrier on the fiber plate, and placing the spiral spring within the lower bulged portion of the socket. The base has two supply connections, or conductors, leading from a source of electric energy to a terminal extension of the socket carrier, and to the latch plate, respectively.

Within the socket there is removably mounted a plug unit completely assembled. It comprises a knob of insulating material, having a molded-in central square brass pin, provided with a longitudinal tapped perforation. On this knob is mounted a cylindrical metallic shell which is open at one end and closed at the other, having at the closed end a square hole fitting over the square pin of the knob. On one side of the side wall of this shell there is a perforation corresponding to the perforation in the socket, and on the opposite side of the shell there is an embossed protuberance adapted to fit into the slot of the socket and engage it, so that upon turning the shell by the knob, the socket will be rotated on the pivot screw.

Within the brass shell there is mounted a core which fits the shell and has a longitudinal perforation, the lower portion of which fits over the square end of the knob pin. Extending transversely through the core, at right angles to the longitudinal perforation, is a second perforation in which is mounted a latch pin, one end of which is rounded for smooth engagement with the spring latch. Fitting into the open end of the shell, in front of the core, is a heating unit comprising a flat cup-shaped metallic container, having mounted therein an insulated spirally-wound heating coil, the outer end of which is connected to the walls of the cup, and the inner end of which is secured to a central screw. The coil and the screw are insulated from the cup by means of mica washers so that, by establishing circuit connections to the walls of the cup and to the screw, current may be sent through the coil. The coil with the screw is inserted through the perforation in the bottom of the cup and held in place with the mica washers by a nut.

The heating unit screw is arranged to be threaded into a tapped perforation in the latch pin. To assemble the plug the core is inserted in the brass shell and the two are secured over the square pin in the knob by a screw. The latch pin is inserted through the perforation of the shell into the perforation of the core, and the heating unit screw is screwed in place, thereby locking the latch pin in its position. Thus the latch pin will act as a terminal connection to the inner end of the heating coil while the shell will act as a terminal connection to the outer end of the coil. The

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walls of the cup of the heating unit are preferably tapered so as to wedge tightly on the inside of the shell when screwed down.

When the plug is inserted in the socket, the pin and the embossed protuberance slide into the slots of the socket, the protuberance serving to drive and rotate the socket when the knob is turned. The width of the slot of the shell is such that the latch pin makes no contacting connection with the socket walls.

Thus, with the plug inserted in the socket the rounded terminal end of the latch pin will project freely in space and no current will be passing through the heating coil.

Thus, with the plug inserted in the socket the rounded terminal end of the latch pin will project freely in space and no current will be passing through the heating coil.

In order to operate the lighter, the plug is turned to the on position. This brings the projecting end of the latch pin into engagement with the detent of the catch spring which is held pressed outwardly by the thermostatic element which is in the form of a bimetallic strip. The socket with the plug is held in this position by the detent against the tension of the spiral biasing spring, and in this position a circuit is established from the supply wire through the socket carrier terminal, socket, shell, heating cup, through the heating coil to the screw, thence through the spring and bimetallic strip to the other supply wire. The thermostatic element is so arranged as to hold the latch pin in engagement with the pin until the coil is heated to incandescence. As the heating coil warms and becomes incandescent, the simultaneously heated bimetallic strip becomes deflected so that the end acting upon the detent turns inwardly towards the supporting plate thereby releasing the latch pin, thus causing the biasing spring to throw the socket with the plug to the off position, and the plug is ready for removal for lighting purposes.

Claims 2, 3 and 11 were the only ones relied upon. 1

The accused device consists of a plug and socket member. The plug telescopes straight into the socket in any angular position, that is to say, there are no pin and slots to be aligned between the plug and socket. Two electrical terminals are provided about the socket, so that whenever the cordless plug member is in the socket two electrical contacts on the plug are in electrical engagement therewith.

The plug member has a metal body equipped on its inner end with a cup...

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