PATENT PRACTICE I

FINAL EXAMINATION

Professor Robert Shaw

Instructions:

You have two-and -one-half (2 1/2) hours to complete this exam. Please answer in the bluebook(s) provided by the Registrar. Write an only one side of the page. Be sure your Exam Number is on each bluebook you turn in. You may bring no materials into the exam room with you except a dictionary, if needed Please draft at least six (6) claim based on the disclosure below. Consider patent 3814423 of Shockley et al. to be the prior art.
 

Fig. I is a plan view of a racket embodying the present invention concepts and having a primary frame and a secondary frame;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the secondary frame only;

Fig. 3 is a section view taken upon the line 3-3 in Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, and shows an arrangement whereby the secondary frame is resiliently secured within the primary frame;

Fig. 4 is a plan view of a racket, like the racket of Fig. 1, to show a way to remove the secondary frame from the racket; and

Fig. 5 is an enlarged view taken upon the line 5-5 in ng. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows.
 

The present invention relates the tennis racket and the like. The invention is multifaceted but commonalty is maintained throughout in all aspects thereof including use of two frames, a primary frame 1A and a secondary or inner frame 2. The primary frame 1A is attached to a handle 3 and has an oval-shaped interior opening 4. Later reference is made to an oval-shaped interior window 5 of the secondary. frame 2. The numeral 101 designates a racket of the present invention; see also the label 101A in Fig. 4 to designate a modification.

A tennis racket, as is well known, applies a maximum impact force to a ball when the ball strikes at or near the center of the frames 1A and 2; the area near the he center is known as the sweet spot. Any off-center impact gives the player an
unsatisfactory feeling and the ball rebound drops off radially from the center potion on. Large-sized frames increase the area of the sweet spot, but they have disadvantages. It is an object of the present invention to provide a tennis racket of conventional size in cross-dimensions but with a much larger sweet spot than the conventional racket. The interior opening 4 and the interior window 5 occupy to a large extent the same space, except that the opening 4 is slightly larger in cross-dimensions than the window 5.

The secondary frame 2, as shown in Fig. 2, is typically a thin metal rim having a plurality of holes 6 or other means to secure a plurality of strings 7 in tension (about 59 pounds to 80 pounds, usually), the strings 7 being disposed within the window 5 and defining - string surface in the windows. As is well known typically, the strings 7 are strung through the holes 6 in the secondary frame 2 to provide the sting surface in the form of a woven pattern (Fig. 1). In order that the strings 7 not be frayed, there is provided in and around each, hole, as shown in Pig. 5, a thin layer of Teflon or other material 8 which removes sharp edges and reduces friction in the hole area. The rim that forms the secondary frame 2 is planar and is disposed parallel to the string surface.

The racket herein disclosed, as indicated, provides in a conventionally sized racket an enlarged region having a high coefficient of restitution. Indeed, tests have shown that the racket of the present invention though of normal crossdimensions provides such high coefficient of restitution over an area of the string surface that is usually found only in rackets with oversized string surfaces. Furthermore, the present racket reduces the unsatisfactory feeling to a player, occasioned by off-center impact with a ball. Also, any such off-center impact is less likely to result in an undesired return trajectory. The metal rackets discussed above are formed by extrusion methods or drawing methods, the racket primary frame 1A and the racket handle 3 being formed as a single piece and the inner channel to receive the secondary frame being formed as an inner recess of the primary frame. These are tubular, thin-wall structures.

The primary frame 1A in Fig. 3 is formed of the members 9A and 9B that are secured together in a unitary structure by a cross-member 10. The members 9A and 9B am tubular with essentially circular cross-dimensions and may be made-of extruded or drawn metal (e.g., aluminum, steel, or titanium). The secondary frame 2 is received within an internal channel 11A and is secured there between resilent members 12A1 and 12A2 which may be bonded within the channel 12A1 and may also be bonded to the secondary frame 2. Such bonding may be effected by applying beat to the resilient members 12A1 and 12A2 (which may be made of an elastomer material) or by applying an adhesive thereto. Also, the resilient members 12A1 and 12A2 exert a slight compressive force upon the rim 2 sandwiched therebetween. The channel 11A is a cavity that is open toward the interior of the frame 1A to receive the resilient members 12A1 and 12A2 and the secondary frame 2. The channel 11A extends the whole circumferential length of the primary frame 1A including a channeled throat piece 14. The resilient members 12A1 and 12A2 extend the length of the internal channel 11A and the frame 2 is received in the &lot between the facing members 12A1 and 12A2 Hence the thin secondary frame 2 is resiliently secured throughout its periphery to the primary frame I through the COMWWsed members 12A1 and Wit The members 12A1 and 12A2 cm be pneumatic tubes formed of an elastomer, for example.

The resilient members 12A1 and 12A2 serve to couple the thin secondary frame 2 securely within I the interior opening 4 of the primary frame, to maintain plana stability of the secondary frame and to transmit orthogonally directed forces upon the string surface of the primary frame, but not the principle tension forces of the strings The tension forces are taken primarily by the secondary frame 2 Furthermore, the resilient coupling between the primary frame and the secondary frame, thereby provided serves to enlarge the sweet spot of the racket, the members 12A1 and 12A2 acting a yieldable elements with a restoring force that acts, when the members are distored upon impact between the ball and the string surface, to restore the string surface to it normal position. In effect, the resilient couplers 12A1 and 12A2 give the same physics properties, such as effective stiffness and energy storage capacity, as those provided b string surface of an over-size racket. Some of the impact forces also act to distort the thin planar rim 2 which serves to mitigate the effect of impact; this distortion, is Lurn, transmits forces to the resilient couplers 12A1 and 12A2 and the couplers 12A1 an 12A2 restore the rim 2 to its original state, once the impact is removed.

The racket shown at 101A in Fig. 4 includes a primary frame 1E and secondary frame 2. It is shown mostly to disclose one way by which the secondary fram 2 is installed within the primary frame 1E. To do this, the primary frame 1E is opened by removing a hand grip 13 and screws 15A and - 15B to permit Afie two members 3A and 3A2 3A2 *)%at constitute a handle 3A to spread apart, as shown dotted; at this juncture the throat piece 14 can be removed and, then, the secondary frame 2. Once an old secondary frame 2 is removed, say, and a new frame 2 installed, the handle 3A i brought to the solid position of Fig. 4 and the screws 15A and 15B are replaced. Two appropriately positioned cavities inside the hand grip 13 maintain the two members SA, and 3A2 of the handle SA in fixed relationship to one another.
 

The thin planar rim that constitutes the secondary frame 2, as above noted resists inwardly directed forces occasioned by tension of the strings. But the which typically has a thickness dimension a of about 0.009" and a width dimension of about
OAW and is made of aluminum or ium or steel or titanium, for example, is no stable except as to radially inwardly directed foram; hem, it does not transmit to any large extent bending movements about an axis in the plane of the rim 2; that is, such movements are localized Planar stability of the secondary frame 2 is maintained in the racket 701 by the primary frame 1A in the embodiment of Fig. 8, for example, Wang stability of the rim 2 is maintained by the combination of the, primary frame IA and the rubber members 12A1 and 12A2 which serve, as we% to local; the bending movements. To maintain such Wang stability at times that the secondary frame 2 is not installed within a primary frame, there is provided a bracket (not shown) to maintain planar stability of the thin frame 2.

The label 20 in Fig. 3 represents hole formed to remove weight from the racket. The various interacting elements in the disclosed embodiments reduce torque on the racket hand of a player. Me thin plans rim 2 is rigid with respect to inwardly directed (i.e., radially inward) in the plane of the rim 2. The secondary frame (or rim 2) is coupled to the primary frame 1A in such a way as to maintain plane stability of the secondary frame 2 and to transmit orthogonally directed forces upon the string surface to the primary frame 1A, but not the tension forces of the strings 7. The tension forces are primarily taken by the secondary frame 2. The secondary frame (or rim 2 is thin enough to localize forces orthogonal to the plane of the rim 2, the thickness of the thin planar rim 2 being much less than the width dimension thereof (Fig. 5). The elastomer means (i.e., resilient couplers 12A1 and 12A2) comprises two facing elastomer members that fit along the length of the internal channel with a slot therebetween to receive the peripheral edge of the planar rim 2 to secure the rim 2 elastomerically to the primary frame. This can be a single elastomer coupler combining 12A1 and 12A2 which are lossy rubber-like members.

A. Give a brief explanation of the applicable law involved in a rejection directed to an applicant by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) under the following:

1. 35 USC 102
2. 35 USC 103
3. 35 USC 112. (first paragraph)
4. 35 USC 112 (second paragraph)

B. The PTO has required restrictions in an application, noting that claims 1-3, 5 and 7 define an invention that is patentably distinct from the invention defined b) claim 4, 6 and 9-11. How might the applicant respond to such a requirement?