Patent and Invention Help Forum

use of same item numbers for symmetrical but otherwise identical features

Hi,
I am working on a utility patent for a rather complex item.  It has a lot of features which are identical on opposite ends, except they are mirror images.  They are functionally indistinguishable, and I would like to indicate them by the same reference numbers.  Is this permissible?  It would result in a much more concise and readable description.

Another question which is related:

I have a part which is made as an assembly of other parts.
I refer to the part as for example side body 340

In several embodiments side body 340 comprises a wooden panel 450 and other related parts.

In each of these embodiments, wooden panel 450 is of a different construction.  For example, in the first embodiment wooden panel 450 comprises a single piece of wood, for example a piece of plywood. In the second embodiment wooden panel 450 comprises a plurality of members having tongue and groove joints, etc.
Is it permissible to identify the side body as item 340 in all of the embodiments as it is the same item in a certain sense, and to refer to the different wooden panels as item 450 because they are identically wooden panels, or does everything need a separate designation?

It appears to me clearest and easiest to understand if the side panel is always 340, and the wooden panel is always 450, but I fear I will need to have separate designators, which will make both the drawings and description much more dense.

Please advise!

Brad

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Re: use of same item numbers for symmetrical but otherwise identical features
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2022, 10:05:56 AM »
If the pieces are the same I would leave the numbering the same, even if they appear in more than once spot.  Ideally you have a way to identify them and their location such a "a first panel 450 is located on a top side XXX of the body YYY".

Here XXX and YYY should be labeled in your figures.

We have also sometimes used the suffix A and B such as panel 350A and panel 350B.
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Re: use of same item numbers for symmetrical but otherwise identical features
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2022, 10:12:18 PM »
If the pieces are the same I would leave the numbering the same, even if they appear in more than once spot.
...

OK, thanks.  But in this case, the items are mirror images, like a left hand and a right hand.

I think I will have to give them unique identifiers.

Brad

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Yes or label them 350A and 350B and note in the spec. where they are located. 
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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.

 

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