2/4/2011: Arguing for Obviousness and Nonobviousness - Stulc

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Graham Patent 2,493,811 makes claims to a mechanism that allows a plow to yield when it encounters a hard spot in the ground. It accomplishes this task by using a U-shaped bracket that connects the frame, a shaft, a fulcrum, and the blade. The blade is able to rotate relative to the frame about the fulcrum when it encounters hard material allowing the plow to be more robust than previous plows.

Graham Patent 2,627,798 makes a claim to a plow mechanism that is able to rock relatively to the frame when the plow is in operation. It deals principally with the attachment mechanism for attaching the blade of the plow to the frame and still allowing the blade to yield to hard object.

Pfeifer 2,014,451 makes a claim to a bracket fastening device that is specifically aimed at anchoring or securing corrugated or other metal sheeting to elements of a supporting frame. It utilizes a U-shaped sheet to wrap around a corner of the sheet metal and secure the sheet to the frame.

The Graham Patent '811 was under scrutiny for being an obvious invention due to the prior state of the art. With these two "prior art" patents in mind, here are arguments for obviousness and nonobviousness of the invention in '811.

Arguments for Obviousness:

-The general parts are essentially the same and each part serves the same purpose (spring, bracket, nut, bolt, frame, etc). Therefore the part is an obvious utilization of old technology (specifically from the '798).

-It is reasonable to believe that an educated person with ordinary skill in mechanical engineering could develop this configuration of parts based on the prior patents.

-The method for attaching the blade to the frame is essentially a new application for the fastening device presented in Pfeifer's 451.

Arguments for Nonobviousness:

-The new mechanism adapts the '451 technology to serve a new market in the plow industry. It is commercially lucrative and has not yet been accomplished, making a case for it being a nonobvious solution.

-The stirrup and the bolt connection constitute enough of an innovation to justify the patent. They add