Application of Winslow

Citation365 F.2d 1017
PartiesApplication of Fred P. WINSLOW. Patent Appeal No. 7527.
Decision Date10 November 1966
CourtUnited States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

Charles E. Brown, Washington, D. C. (Vincent L. Ramik, Washington, D. C., of counsel), for appellant.

Clarence W. Moore, Washington, D. C. (Jere W. Sears, Washington, D. C., of counsel), for Commissioner of Patents.

Before WORLEY, Chief Judge, and RICH, MARTIN, SMITH and ALMOND, Judges.

RICH, Judge.

This appeal is from the unanimous decision of the Patent Office Board of Appeals,1 adhered to upon reconsideration, affirming the examiner's rejection of apparatus claims 1, 3, and 11-18 and article claim 9, all remaining claims in application serial No. 48,668, filed August 10, 1960, for "Apparatus for and Method of Opening, Filling and Closing Thermoplastic Bags." The appeal has been withdrawn as to claim 9.

The invention is an apparatus for packaging articles within flexible plastic bags by supplying a jet of air to the uppermost bag of a stack of bags to open it to permit the insertion of the article. The bags are generally rectangular and have an opening at one end. One of the walls is provided with an extension, or flap, which projects beyond the mouth and which contains a plurality of transversely aligned holes. Perforations extending from each hole to the edge of the flap weaken it so it can be torn from retaining pins. The bags are stacked, with their flap sides down, and placed on a horizontal support state supported at one end on a spring-biased hinge. The plate is depressed when loaded with bags, pivoting on its hinge. Upon release, the spring urges the support upwardly toward an upper plate member having pins depending therefrom which pass through the holes in the bag flaps and into openings provided in the lower support plate. Only the flap of each bag underlies the upper plate member, which functions as a stop against unlimited upward movement of the stack of bags and which, in conjunction with the lower support, acts to clamp or sandwich the flaps of the bags, the pins passing through the flap holes.

The uppermost bag is opened by directing an air blast across the top plate member and into the mouth thereof. An article is then inserted, either automatically or manually, through the mouth which is kept open by continuing the blast. The bag is then pulled longitudinally in a direction parallel to and away from the air blast, thereby tearing the flap along the perforated lines and removing the filled bag from the pin. The bag is then closed and heat sealed.

All the appealed claims define an apparatus for opening and filling bags, there being no provision for closing or sealing the bags once filled. Claims 1 and 3 require but one depending pin. Remaining claims 11-18 are patterned after certain claims in a patent2 to one Altman, Jr., hereafter Altman, which is not relied on by the Patent Office in support of the rejection.

Claims 1 and 16 read:

1. An apparatus for use in opening and filling bags of the type having a mouth and a flap extending beyond the mouth, said apparatus comprising an air blast source, means for directing air from said air blast source into the mouth of a bag to open the bag and hold the same open, said air directing means including a plate member adapted to overlie flaps of the bags, and a bag support extending generally in the direction of the air blast and having an end portion underlying said plate member for cooperation therewith to engage and temporarily hold flaps of the bags during the opening thereof said plate member having at least one depending pin for passage through bag flaps, and said bag support end portion having an opening to permit the passage of said pin therethrough, whereby bag flaps are simultaneously both clamped between the plate member and the bag support end portion and are firmly anchored against longitudinal movement by the pin.
16. In a bagging and filling machine wherein air is supplied to the uppermost of a pile of flexible plastic bags in a package of flexible plastic bags, each said bag comprising two contiguous walls when the bag is in folded condition, one of said walls extending beyond the other to form a lip, said lip having a pair of spaced openings therethrough, said bags being positioned with said openings in alignment, pin means extending through said openings and slidable relative thereto, said pin means having upper and lower ends, means yieldingly urging said package of bags upwardly, the improvement comprising stops means mounted on said machine against which the package of bags is urged upwardly, said stop means having portions thereof engaging and locating the upper ends of said pin means.

The examiner rejected the claims remaining on appeal as unpatentable over:

                  Gerbe            2,673,016     March 23, 1954
                  Hellman          1,794,517     March  3, 1931
                  Rhoades            991,245     May    2, 1911

Gerbe discloses a bagging and filling machine employing a stack of bags, an enclosure for the stack, a bag support and plate member, and an air blast source. The stack is positioned and aligned by the enclosure around the three closed sides of the bags, and the support and plate member cooperate to clamp the bags at the open end. If the bags have no flaps extending from the bottom surface of each bag, the operator may free the top surface manually or this may be done automatically by a cam arrangement and a cooperating extending metal tab or finger. In either case the bottom surface is clamped fast. Alternatively, the top surface of the bags may be cut away slightly in the form of a curve generally conforming to the top plate, or tongue, in order "to free it," or at least sufficiently so that the plate and support clamp only a minimal portion of the top surface and all of the bottom surface of the bag at its open edge.

Hellman discloses an apparatus for filling envelopes or bags with piston rings after first opening them by means of an air blast. (The numbers here referred to appear in the board's opinion as quoted infra.) The bags are held vertically on a rod 16, slightly inclined from the horizontal, which passes through a hole in each flap and which terminates in a recessed portion of an opposing plate member 5. A follower plate 20 slides by gravity down the inclined rod, urging the bags toward the opposing plate 5, thereby producing a clamping action. The bag nearest the opposing plate 5 is opened by an air jet after which a piston ring drops from above, tearing the bag free from the support rod by ripping the flap, causing the bag to fall into a hopper. The bag is then sealed.

Rhoades discloses an apparatus for suspending a stack of paper bags in a vertical position, employing a piercing point which pierces the open end portions of some of the bags as they approach the position from which they are removed. A springloaded member urges the bags against the piercing point and back stop. The bags are constructed with a curved front edge surface so that the piercing point pierces only one side of the bag at the open end.

The board said:

The patent to Gerbe discloses a bagging and filling machine of the same general character as that disclosed by appellant. The essential issue with respect to patentability resides in a consideration of the difference in the means employed to hold a stack of bags. Appellant employs a plurality of pins which pass through openings in the stack of bags. Such pins are not disclosed in Gerbe. Gerbe relies on the clamping action and a stop member for holding the bags in position. The Examiner held that in view of Hellman and Rhoades it would not be

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43 cases
  • Kimberly-Clark Corp. v. Johnson & Johnson, KIMBERLY-CLARK
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 9 d2 Outubro d2 1984 working in his shop with the prior art references which he is presumed to know --hanging on the walls around him. In re Winslow, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020, 151 USPQ 48, 51 (CCPA 1966). [Our The court later found it necessary to qualify that overly picturesque statement, which has met with unfo......
  • Leach v. Rockwood & Company, 3416-Civil.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Western District of Wisconsin
    • 29 d4 Junho d4 1967
    ...369 F.2d 230 (7th Cir. 1966); Michigan Magnetics, Inc. v. Nortronics Co., 245 F.Supp. 401, 403 (D.Minn.1965); Application of Winslow, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020 (C.C.P.A. I think the proper way to deal with the prior art under section 103 in this case is set forth in Application of Winslow. "We th......
  • Duplan Corp. v. Deering Milliken, Inc., Civ. A. No. 71-306.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 29 d5 Julho d5 1977
    ...the prior art references — which he is presumed to know — hanging on the walls around him . . ..' Application of Winslow, 53 CCPA 1574, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020 (1966)." Id. at p. And by the same token in a case such as this where old elements have been combined to produce an improved result, ca......
  • B & J MFG. CO. v. Hennessy Industries, Inc., 73 C 2174.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • 19 d3 Dezembro d3 1979 his shop with the prior art references — which he is presumed to know — hanging on the walls around him". Application of Winslow, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020, 53 CCPA 1574 It is the court's conclusion that Hennessy has failed to prove that the '469 patent is invalid for obviousness. It introduce......
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4 books & journal articles
  • Evolutionary Tales: Times of the Best and Worst
    • United States
    • ABA General Library Landslide No. 10-1, September 2017
    • 1 d5 Setembro d5 2017
    ...Frickey, Statutory Interpretation as Practical Reasoning , 42 Stan. L. Rev. 321, 340 (1990). 23. See 35 U.S.C. § 103. 24. In re Winslow, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020 (C.C.P.A. 1966). 25. See Nonobviousness—The Ultimate Condition of Patentability (John Witherspoon ed., 1980). 26. See, e.g. , Michael ......
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    • Missouri Law Review Vol. 75 No. 1, December - December 2010
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    ...will work or is practical has shown something new. He has shown that an apparent 'lion in the path' is merely a paper tiger." Id. (103.) 365 F.2d 1017, 1017 (C.C.P.A. (104.) Id. (105.) Id. at 1017-18. (106.) Id. (107.) Id. at 1018-19. (108.) Id. (109.) Id. at 1020. (110.) Id. (111.) See als......
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    • ABA General Library Landslide No. 10-1, September 2017
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    ...Frickey, Statutory Interpretation as Practical Reasoning , 42 Stan. L. Rev. 321, 340 (1990). 23. See 35 U.S.C. § 103. 24. In re Winslow, 365 F.2d 1017, 1020 (C.C.P.A. 1966). 25. See Nonobviousness—The Ultimate Condition of Patentability (John Witherspoon ed., 1980). 26. See, e.g. , Michael ......

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