Homework 1/28 (John Gallagher)

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  • The patent I choose, number 4304169, was for a method of noise reduction in a Maypole type braiding machine, the invention of Francis S. Cimprich et al. This improvement of the braiding machine was found to be worthy of a patent in 1981 when the patent was granted, but it may not have been at various other points in U.S. history, due to the changing standards for patentability. We will consider here whether this invention would be considered patentable under the different standards in the cases Hotchkiss v. Greenwood, A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Corp., and Lyon v. Bausch & Lomb.
  • Certainly the idea of this type of braiding machine was not new at the time of Cimprich's patent. The machine employs spools of wires or fibers which are wrapped around a thin core in order to produce rope, candle wicks, or in this case, hose. The spools move in a circle around the hose, wrapping the wires or fibers in criss-crossed pattern. This criss-cross is achieved by weaving the spools in and out from each other as they move around the hose. This motion is guided by two interwoven sinusoidal paths cut in the supporting rings. The spools move along these paths and the fibers are interwoven, much in the same way ribbons are wrapped around a Maypole. This idea had existed at least since 1934, since it was patented in patent number [1].