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Author Topic: Is a locked door incapable of movement?  (Read 865 times)

dab2d

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Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« on: 01-11-17 at 02:42 pm »

So I have a question. Sorry if the analogy is not perfect.

If your claim is basically a door that has been sealed shut and "the door is incapable of movement relative to the door frame" and the prior art shows a locked door that is incapable of movement when locked. Does that meet the limitation? Even when locked, the door is still "capable" of movement right?

Using the Ex logic, isn't a shut door incapable of movement until the knob is turned? Isn't a door without a knob incapable of movement until someone actually performs an action to it.

Even if you had to perform 5 different actions to open the door it is still capable of movement right?   

The entire purpose of a door is to open, while the claimed invention seals it permanently.

Open to suggestions. 
« Last Edit: 01-11-17 at 02:48 pm by dab2d »
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Tobmapsatonmi

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #1 on: 01-11-17 at 02:56 pm »

Hmmm... seems to me that there is a fair argument that your claim language reads on the prior art "locked door" because, so long as it is what it is (a locked door) it is indeed incapable of movement.  Once you posit the door has been unlocked, it could be argued to be capable of movement (subject to our discussion about knob-turning below).  But once unlocked, it is no longer a locked door, which is the thing being cited against you.

Do you have anything in your spec to help further clarify your claimed sealed door, e.g. anything indicating permanence or going to the non-reversible nature of its condition?

As for your descent into variations, I guess I could agree that the shut door (having a knob and latch) is incapable of movement at least until the knob is turned (i.e., someone pushing on it gets no movement until satisfying the latch withdrawal). 

But I don't agree that a door absent that latch (what I assume you mean by door w/o knob) is incapable of movement.  A mere push on it is all it takes, and this is what the person skilled in walking through doors understands to be the normal way a non-motorized door is provided of movement.
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dab2d

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #2 on: 01-11-17 at 03:03 pm »

Quote
But I don't agree that a door absent that latch (what I assume you mean by door w/o knob) is incapable of movement.  A mere push on it is all it takes, and this is what the person skilled in walking through doors understands to be the normal way a non-motorized door is provided of movement.

I guess what I don't get is that what is the difference between a push vs a turn of a knob and a push (or moving a bolt, turning a knob, and a push).


Does the mere presence of a required action to achieve movement make it incapable of movement
« Last Edit: 01-11-17 at 03:06 pm by dab2d »
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fewyearsin

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #3 on: 01-11-17 at 03:11 pm »

So I have a question. Sorry if the analogy is not perfect.

If your claim is basically a door that has been sealed shut and "the door is incapable of movement relative to the door frame" and the prior art shows a locked door that is incapable of movement when locked. Does that meet the limitation? Even when locked, the door is still "capable" of movement right?

Using the Ex logic, isn't a shut door incapable of movement until the knob is turned? Isn't a door without a knob incapable of movement until someone actually performs an action to it.

Even if you had to perform 5 different actions to open the door it is still capable of movement right?   

The entire purpose of a door is to open, while the claimed invention seals it permanently.

Open to suggestions.

What is "permanently" sealed?  I'm assuming you could unseal the door somehow, like with a torch or sledgehammer.  And isn't any inanimate object, like a door, "incapable of movement"?  It needs to be acted on by some force.

Try to see this from the examiner's perspective.  YOU know what YOU mean, but how are the words you use capable of interpretation?

Also, if you want to say "permanently" sealed, I'd guess you will have some 112 description issues.  Have you really described a "permanently" sealed, as in, forever and ever unsealable, door?

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dab2d

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #4 on: 01-11-17 at 03:20 pm »

Quote
Try to see this from the examiner's perspective.  YOU know what YOU mean, but how are the words you use capable of interpretation?

That is exactly why I am here. I know that you can walk yourself into a forest without bouncing things off of others.

So the claim is basically stating:  door with a lock, and when the sealing element (cannot be equated to a lock) is in place "the door is incapable of movement relative to the door frame"
 
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smgsmc

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #5 on: 01-14-17 at 09:13 am »

(a) When an apparatus is capable of performing a function, it doesn’t necessarily mean (and typically doesn't mean) that the apparatus autonomously performs the function [unless you define it to be such], it typically means that the apparatus is capable of performing the function in response to the action of an agent.  The agent can be a user (typically a person, but could be an animal such as a dog), but doesn’t have to be.

(b) Consider a container with a removable lid.  The container doesn’t autonomously remove its own lid; a person can remove the lid.  Similarly, consider a chair with a foldable back and foldable legs.  The chair doesn’t autonomously fold its back and legs; a person can fold the back and legs.

(c) Now consider your instance of a door.  First assume a door mounted to a frame with simple hinges.   The door is capable of movement when sufficient torque is applied to it.  The sufficient torque could be applied intentionally by a person or an animal; or, it could be applied unintentionally by a gust of wind or or unintentionally by a runaway shopping cart or unintentionally by shock and vibration from passing traffic (especially if the hinges are not spring loaded).

The next step is to add a latch operated by a door knob.  The door is capable of movement if the door knob is intentionally turned and sufficient torque is applied to the door.  This prevents the door from being opened by most animals and unintentional agents.

The next step is to add a lock.  The door is capable of movement if the door is unlocked by a user with a key.  This prevents the door from being opened by unauthorized users.

The next step is to seal the door permanently.  For example, if we have a wooden door and a wooden frame, we can epoxy the door to the frame.  If we have a steel door and a steel frame, we can weld the door shut.  The door now cannot be opened without some destructive action:  kick the door down, bash the door open, cut the door open, blow it up ....

(d) So the spec needs to spell out what enables the function to be performed.  I don’t remember the cite, but there is case law that states that the function must be able to be performed without destroying the apparatus [unless that is the design intent].  I believe the claim under consideration was directed to an apparatus with detachable components.  The Examiner cited prior art with fixed components, but stated that the components could be detached with a saw.  The Examiner was wisely overturned. 

(e) But the limits of “detachable” need to be clear.  Consider two components nailed together.  Are they detachable because you can remove the nails?  Is that a destructive act?  How does that differ from two components screwed together, if I remove the screws?  What if the claim specifies that the components are detachable without tools?  Well, what if the prior art discloses two components screwed together, and thumbscrews (which do not require tools) are well known?

(f) So, back to your hypo.  You do need to distinguish your sealing element from the prior-art lock and clarify what you mean by “the door is incapable of movement relative to the door frame”.  It is reasonable to say that the lock does render the door incapable of movement relative to the door frame when the door is in the locked state, if you exclude destructive actions such as bashing the door down.  Does your sealing element permit only a single state [sealed only], as opposed to two states [locked, unlocked]?  How does your sealing element differ from nailing, screwing, bolting, gluing, or welding the door shut?

« Last Edit: 01-14-17 at 01:23 pm by smgsmc »
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mybrainisfull

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #6 on: 01-14-17 at 07:03 pm »

A door by definition is inherently movable. If you call it a door, but then say it is incapable of its inherent function (of being a door) without further qualification, you are making a contradictory statement. In other words, if there is no circumstance when it could be a door, it's not proper to call it a door. It's actually a barrier of some sort.

If you want to maintain the inherent characteristics of the door in your claim, I think you would have to find some joining language that reconciles the above contradiction I posited.

Example:

A door comprising a heat reactive seal around its periphery that renders the door permanently incapable of movement when exposed to heat. (this would be distinguishable from prior art that comprises a lock that renders the door incapable of movement when engaged)

Argue that the thing that makes your door incapable of movement is patently distinguishable from the thing that makes the prior art door incapable of movement.

Just my 2c. I'm not an attorney, but I do use doors on a daily basis.
« Last Edit: 01-16-17 at 05:33 am by mybrainisfull »
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inventorchick2

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Re: Is a locked door incapable of movement?
« Reply #7 on: 01-19-17 at 05:41 pm »

Even when locked, the door is still "capable" of movement right?

No.  What you wrote sounds crazy.  I won't continue reading past that sentence.  When locked, by definition, a door is not capable of movement, aside from something that breaks the lock, like a bomb or whatever is outside the scope IMO of BRI.  The operative word is when.  A door with a lock may or may not be capable of movement depending on the state of the lock. 

However, OP previously wrote,

"If your claim is basically a door that has been sealed shut and "the door is incapable of movement relative to the door frame" and the prior art shows a locked door that is incapable of movement when locked. Does that meet the limitation?"

Yes.

"Using the Ex logic, isn't a shut door incapable of movement until the knob is turned? Isn't a door without a knob incapable of movement until someone actually performs an action to it."

Here you perhaps make the error in logic that you equate the door latch, knob, etc., to a lock, but the lock has a specific implied logic associated with it in that it is generally much more difficult to change the open-by-mere-pushing state.  More specifically, odds are under ~10/10E9 that a random person has the needed key.  That probability factor is implied in our language, as is the implied assertion that most people, ~90% by contrast, about 1E9 higher, are capable of turning a door handle if they want to open a door.  In English, for purposes of brevity, we don't normally speak of the most obvious things, such as this fact that locks are especially harder by a factor of ~1E9 to move from on/off as compared to a kitchen door held in place by a spring.  This is why probabilities must be taken into account when reading anything, and why the word "reasonable" is in BRI.

I hope this helps.  My apologies for not reading anything past the offending sentence.
« Last Edit: 01-19-17 at 05:54 pm by inventorchick2 »
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