Lapas attēli

The most significant features of this embodiment are described as follows:

The centrifuge 1 is surrounded by a pressure container 5 confining an atmosphere 6 of gas under pressure, within which are situated both the interior and also the external surroundings of the centrifuge 1.

The pressure container 5, the walls of which are substantially spherical, is subdivided into four parts, namely a spherical part 7, its two spherical covers 8 and 9 and the foundation bed 4, acting as lower wall of the container 5. * *

A pipe 14 for supplying the material to be centrifuged and passing through the wall of the spherical part 7 leads into the pressure container 5, and incorporated in said pipe outside the pressure container 5 are a pump 15 and a movable pipe part 16.

Passing through the foundation plate 4 is a pipe 17 for the discharge of the centrifuged solid material * * *. A correspondingly equipped pipe 20 serves for the discharge of the centrifuged liquid. The compressed gas can be admitted to the pressure container 5 through a pipe 21, the air in the container 5 escaping through vent valves 22 or 23. Suitable openings 24 and 25 in the centrifuge housing ensure that, in addition to the surroundings of the centrifuge, its interior is also definitely filled with gas.

The rejected claim reads:

1. In combination a centrifuge comprising a housing and a rotary centrifugal drum arranged in said housing, the housing providing flow paths for the leakage of gas to and from its interior; a vapor-tight pressure container consisting of at least two parts and which is separate from and encloses the housing of the centrifuge; and means for supplying gas under pressure into said container.

Claim 1 is rejected under 35 USC 103 as unpatentable over the following United States patent:


581, 206 Apr. 20, 1897

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Hewitt discloses an apparatus intended “to thoroughly aerate * * * beer while it is in the form of a highly-attenuated film." The apparatus is described as “a centrifugal machine of peculiar construction adapted to reduce the liquid to the form of an extremely thin film, the centrifugal machine being operated in a closed vessel suitable for the required

1 Claim 1 is also rejected under 35 USC 103 as unpatentable over two other United States patents : Bird et al.

2, 312, 829 Mar. 2, 1943 Solvik

3, 013, 005 Dec. 12, 1961 In view of our disposition of the first of these rejections, we need not consider the second.

pressure.” (Emphasis ours.) The parties direct their attention to Fig. 1 of Hewitt:

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The pressure vessel 1, which surrounds the "centrifugal machine,” is provided at the bottom with a combined stuffing-box and journal-box 3 through which passes the upper end of the driving shaft 4. The centrifuge bowl 3 is carried by shaft 4. Supported by the pressure vessel 1 is a hood 11 which extends outwardly and downwardly from a point inside the rim of the centrifuge bowl. In operation, beer is supplied to the bowl 2 by pipe 10 extending through the top of the vessel. When the bowl is rotated with a sufficient velocity, the beer spreads out on the walls thereof and then apparently is discharged onto the undersurface of the hood 11.2

The examiner and the board were of the opinion that terms "centrifuge," "housing,” and “pressure container" used in claim 1 "do not significantly define over" Hewitt's bowl 2, hood 11 and pressure vessel 1, respectively. Thus, the examiner stated: *** the device of Hewitt utilizes centrifugal force and hence is deemed to be a centrifuge. The lack of separation of materials in Hewitt renders it no less a centrifuge since the use of the device is not structure. However, if materials

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? It will be observed that the source of power (not shown) for the apparatus is located outside the pressure vessel. This is also true of one embodiment shown in appellant's drawings.

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of different density are introduced into the device of Hewitt, it is obviously adapted [to) and would separate the materials in the same manner as any conventional solid-bowl centrifuge. The device of Hewitt further meets the definition of the term centrifuge * * * since it causes the liquid in bowl 2 to follow an unnatural path in opposition to the force of gravity. * * * the vessel, and the hood 11 in Hewitt are “sepa rate” and connected. The term "separate" does not prohibit connection between the parts. Further, the term "housing” does not necessarily require a closed structure. This term is readable on the open cover element 11 in Hewitt.

Appellant contends, first, that “even though Hewitt has a rotary bowl from which liquid is flung by centrifugal action, his machine is not a centrifuge within the meaning of that term as used in applicant's specification and claim.” He then cites Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary wherein "centrifuge” is defined as "a machine utilizing centrifugal force for separating substances of different densities, for removing moisture, or for simulating gravitational effects," (our emphasis) and indicates that his invention is concerned only with a machine utilizing centrifugal force for the first of these purposes. Were we to accept appellant's narrow definition of “centrifuge,” his case would be none the stronger since the rejection here is under § 103, not $ 102, and since one skilled in the art surely would not consider the teachings of Hewitt to be limited to the specific centrifugal machine with which he was concerned.

[1] Appellant also contends that Hewitt "shows no part which corresponds to the pressure container recited in applicant's claim” because removal of Hewitt's vessel 1 "eliminates lateral support for the combined bearing and stuffing box 3” and “removes support for the hood 11 * * *.” We note, however, that in the apparatus shown in appellant's Fig. 1 removal of the foundation bed 4 which in appellant's application is said to act as the "lower wall of container 5" would remove support for all the apparatus contained therein. Moreover, we agree with the examiner that appellant's term "separate" as used in the claim to define the relationship of the "container" and "housing” does not proscribe all connection between the two.

Appellant's remaining argument is that the hood 11 of Hewitt is not a "housing" because it does not provide "flow paths for the leakage of gas to and from its interior” as called for by the claim. Appellant's application makes it clear, however, that the "flow paths” in the housing need not be of any particular form so long as the gas has access to and from its interior. It being apparent that in Hewitt the gas must and does have such access through the open ends of the hood, this argument clearly is without merit.

The decision of the board is affirmed.


426 F.2d 390; 165 USPQ 714



Hindsight reconstruction of prior art in light of applicant's disclosure is to be vigorously guarded against.

United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, May 28, 1970

Appeal from Patent Office, Serial No. 334,752. [Affirmed.]

Richard G. Lione, Jack C. Berenzweig (Hume, Clement, Hume & Lee), attorneys of record, for appellant.

S. Wm. Cochran for the Commissioner of Patents, Jere W. Sears, of counsel. [Oral argument May 5, 1970 by Mr. Lione and Mr. Sears]

Before RICH, ALMOND, BALDWIN, LANE, Associate Judges, and FISHER, Judge, sitting by designation.

ALMOND, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an appeal from the decision of the Patent Office Board of Appeals affirming the rejection on prior art under 35 USC 103 of claims 18-21, all the claims remaining in appellant's application entitled "Seal." 1

The invention is readily understood by reading sole independent claim 18 in conjunction with Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings reproduced below:

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18. In a floating roof storage tank (10, Fig. 1), a resilient foamed material sealing arrangement (20) for providing light but effective sealing between the periphery of the roof [11] and the wall (15) of the tank while maintaining the resiliency of said foamed material and retarding the tendency of said foamed material to develop a compression set, comprising: a flexible toroidal envelope [23] in the space (16) between said floating roof and said wall, upper attachment means [30] extending horizontally around said envelope, lower attachment means [31] extending horizontally around said envelope, said upper and lower attachment means being annularly spaced on the vertical cross-sectional circumference of said envelope so as to define between them an innermost side [33] of said envelope which spans substantially less than 180 degrees of said cross-sectional circumference and an outermost side [32] which spans substantially in excess of 180 degrees thereof, means [50, 51] securing said upper attachment means to the periphery of the roof, means (40, 43, 45, 46] securing said lower attachment means to the periphery of the roof, a core [24] of relatively highly resilient foamed material in said envelope urging it against the periphery of the roof and the tank wall, said core having a toroidal configuration and a normal cross-sectional area approximately equal to or only slightly less than the corresponding cross-sectional area of said envelope, the normal cross-sectional diameter of said core being substantially greater than the width of said space whereby in operation said core is compressed in said envelope to a cross-sectional area less than said envelope, the relatively greater span of said outermost envelope side permitting said core of foam to roll so that its compression axis rotates through up to 90 degrees when the direction of travel of the roof changes, in upward travel of the roof said flexible foam core rolling downwardly with said envelope against said tank wall until its compression axis has rotated a maximum of 90 degrees after which further rolling is restrained by the tautness of said envelope between said tank wall and said upper connection, in downward travel of the roof said flexible foam core rolling upwardly with said envelope against said tank wall until its compression axis has rotated a maximum of 90 degrees after which further rolling is restrained by tautness of said envelope between said tank wall and said lower connection. Dependent claims 19-21 further define the core cross-sectional configuration and diameter.

The following British patents were relied upon as references: Greengate and Irwell Rubber Co., Ltd. (Greengate)--- 882, 189 Nov. 15, 1961 Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (CB&I).

884, 070 Dec. 6, 1961 CB&I discloses a gas-inflated, self-centering seal for a floating roof storage tank. In Fig. 1 of the reference, below, can be seen an inflated annular sealing tube 13 anchored to an upper portion 14 and a spaced lower portion 15 on the skirt 12 of roof 11, the outer portion of the tube bearing against the wall of tank 10. The reference states:

It is considered desirable but not absolutely essential that both upper tabs 14 and lower tabs 15 be provided, because friction of that portion of the tube in contact with the shell during periods of vertical movement of the tank roof will cause the tube to be distorted either upwardly or downwardly, and a provision of both upper and lower anchors or tabs serves to keep the tube in approximately the same position both when the roof is moving upwardly and when it is moving downwardly.

374-293-71- -30

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