Patent and Invention Help Forum

Claim ideas needed...

Claim ideas needed...
« on: February 08, 2017, 01:15:43 AM »
Hi, Just found your site and could use some claim help.
 
Looking for ways to claim an apparatus that secures tennis balls (hypo) from moving around in a container. Must handle two scenarios: 1) fill the container with tennis balls such that when the container is closed, little or no head space remains. 2) partially fill the container with tennis balls and a securing cover is placed inside the container over the top layer of the tennis balls.

Examiner says amount does not limit the container, which makes sense.

How about:

An apparatus comprising:

a sealable container, a securing means to prevent multiple tennis balls from moving inside said container, comprising a source of tennis balls that fills said container 100%, a lid to seal said container.

a sealable container, a securing means to prevent multiple tennis balls from moving inside said container, comprising a source of tennis balls that fills said container less than 100% and a securing cover placed inside said container on the top layer of said tennis balls.

Specification does not call out "securing means", but says the tennis balls are secured from moving inside said container and the cover is used to secure the tennis balls and reduce the overall amount of tennis balls in the container.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Brad

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Re: Claim ideas needed...
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 06:30:42 AM »
Its very hard to answer that because your claim amendments will have to use the same terms/language which is shown in your spec. and figures.   

In general I am not a big fan of using "means".  If your invention is a cover than just call it a cover in your claims. 

Normally I would ask people what is the most important thing about your invention?  If its the cover and how its shaped or how it works than that should be the focus of the claims.  Example:

1.  A ball securing apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
  -a container having a base and sidewalls, the container configured to hold a plurality of balls; and
  -a cover configured to removably secure the plurality of balls within the container, the cover comprising  XYZ.

XYZ would then be the unique or interesting part of your cover.


DISCLAIMER - I have not see your invention so I have no idea what is new or patentable about it so the example claim above may not be best for you.


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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Re: Claim ideas needed...
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 01:09:26 PM »
Thanks Brad for spending the time on your thoughtful reply. If you might indulge me a little bit more time would be appreciated.
 
The invention is about coating the tennis balls. If a ruby (let say known to expand when heated like a balloon) is placed in the container and surrounded by the balls and the balls are not covered/secured, when the container is heated the ruby expands and pushes out the balls.

If however the balls are secured/covered from moving before heating the container then something unexpected happens. As the ruby attempts to expand by pushing against the secured balls, the expanding ruby breaks apart and the now expanding ruby pieces travel up the through the gaps in between the secured balls substantially coating the balls with expanded ruby material.

The prior art teaches about stabilizing a heated ruby. It has a base with a friction fit cover, the cover includes an arm that rests on top a sandwich using a ruby as the filler. The arm is designed and called out to help minimize the expansion of the ruby or the sandwich will fall apart (not wanted) as the ruby expands. A short heating time is used to further minimize ruby expansion. The prior art is not about coating and teaches ruby expansion is bad and must be restrained. The fiction fit is also not strong enough to hold the base and cover together if serious ruby expansion happens. It is also not known that ruby when heated and restrained can break apart and be used as a coating material.
 
Possible claim ?
1. A ball coating apparatus, the apparatus comprising:   
-a container having a base and sidewalls, the container configured to hold a plurality of balls;
- a ruby placed within the container and surrounded by the plurality of balls;
-a cover configured to removably secure the plurality of balls within the container such that the plurality of balls remain substantially in place when exposed to expanded ruby material, the cover comprising  XYZ; and
- wherein container is heated until the ruby substantially coats the plurality of balls.

Thanks again for the help.

Brad

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Re: Claim ideas needed...
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 01:38:47 PM »
That could work.    Also, if this is truly a new way of doing something.  You may want to add some method claims:

1. A method of coating balls, the method comprising the steps of:
-placing balls in a container;
-placing ruby in container with balls;
-placing restrictive cover onto balls to prevent balls from escaping;
-heating ruby to _____ degrees;
-allowing ruby to break apart with container to create ruby pieces; and
-allowing ruby pieces to coat balls while not escaping container.

My free patent template: http://patentfile.org/free-provisional-patent-template/

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is not legal advice and is not a substitute for an attorney or a law firm.  You should seek legal counsel for legal questions.

Re: Claim ideas needed...
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 02:04:51 PM »
Thanks Brad. Knew the securing of the balls was important, but was struggling how to claim it given the examiner's comment. The process of just writing up the information for your site and your initial feedback really helped me focus on the invention. Thanks again and thanks for hosting your website.