This is a restricted class for the art of selective cutting as defined below. For placement of a patent as an original in this class, the claimed subject matter should meet the minimum requirements of the class definition, and should not extend beyond the general boundaries expressed in the Scope of the Class, and Lines with Other Classes, below, which concern mainly the combination of selective cutting with other subject matter elsewhere classified.
SCOPE OF THE CLASS
The subject matter of Class 234 relates to means for, or steps of, accomplishing the selection, or selection and actuation, of one or a group of less than the total number of cutting tool pairs from a given number of such tool pairs which are constantly available for selection and actuation. The great preponderance of patent disclosures of selective cutting or punching also include means for, or methods of, handling the work to be cut, or handling the product after cutting. Many of such patents further disclose other treatment of the work (e.g., printing, cutting to size, or punching feed holes), or nonmanufacturing operations such as computation of input data or verification of output data which is related in some degree to the selection of tools.
The sole requirement for placement of a patent in Class 234 is that the means for or method of selection of tools be included in the claimed subject matter. Patents which meet this requirement may, however, be excluded from this class because of the claimed inclusion of other subject matter for which there are existing classes. Specific cases may be decided as indicated in the following section, entitled LINES WITH OTHER CLASSES AND WITHIN THIS CLASS.
In general, a patent which is restricted to means for, or steps of, accomplishing the selection of one or more cutting tools as outlined in the class definition, will be placed in this class. Additionally claimed ancillary features such as work holding, feeding, handling (e.g., counting or sorting), detection of malfunction of machine, handling of pattern, provision of specific data input arrangements and other specific data input arrangements and other features, normally to be found in a complete machine are also accommodated in this class. Exclusion of a patent from Class 234, although cutting tool selection is claimed, is generally based upon additional recitation of (a) certain other treatment of the work, (b) certain handling or treatment of the control data or (c) other methods or devices which are elsewhere provided for.
In general, a patent will not be originally placed in Class 234, if in addition to selective cutting means, it includes a device which does not contribute to the ease or effectiveness of operation of the cutting machine, or to a general awareness (on the part of an attendant) of the conditions or the results of its operation. The only exception to this general exclusion rule is in the case of a patent to the combination of selective with nonselective cutting means, which will be placed originally in Class 234 (see "Relationship to Other Classes, Including, per se, Cutting or Other Treatment of Work--The Class of Cutting," below).
A number of terms currently used in the art have been selected for definition in the Glossary of this class, and will be identified by an asterisk (*) hereinafter.
The accompanying diagrams represent simple embodiments of the various concepts treated. The elements most commonly found in such mechanisms are uniformly designated in the diagrams as follows:
W = workpiece* (typically a sheet or web)
P = pattern* (typically a marked or perforated sheet or web)
T = active cutting tool
D = die, or cooperating tool
H = tool-actuating hammer or press ram (reciprocable)
I = interposer*
K = key (representative of a keyboard)
Other elements necessary to the disclosures are designated, where feasible, by terms commonly used in the art, and are discussed in the individual diagram notes. Where only a single tool of a selective cutting device is shown, it is to be taken as representative of a plurality of such tools, arranged in a row or as a bank (plurality of rows) in proximity to a workpiece.
The placement of a patent as an original in this class will hereinafter be referred to as "placement".
This class is restricted to:
(A) That kind of cutting device which is characterized by the inclusion of a plurality of cutting tool pairs and an actuating power train for each pair (one power train may be common to all), so that power may be delivered to any or all pairs for any cutting cycle, and wherein each tool pair assembled in the machine is constantly available to be chosen for cutting or noncutting in any desired number or combination of pairs (from one to the total number available) by:
(1) a pattern*,
(2) combinational-coding-means*, or
(3) means not a part of the tool-actuating power train and which does not partake of all the movements of either tool of the pair, which pattern or means conditions each pair so chosen as to (a) enable, or (b) prevent, a cutting operation thereby when its driving power train is actuated; and to:
(B) That type of procedure not elsewhere classified which comprises (1) the step of selecting one or more cutting tool pairs from a constantly available plurality of tool pairs, or (2) the step of utilizing a selective cutting device as defined above.
(1) Note. Placement in this class requires the claimed recital of structure or method step set forth above. (2) Note. Figures 1, 2 and 3 illustrate approximately the minimum requirements for placement in this class, in the three correspondingly numbered categories (1, 2, 3) of the class definition. Each figure indicates a plurality of independently movable tools and mechanism for effecting the actuation of some or all of the tools, in any desired number and arrangement (the number of keys, positions, tools, etc., would in actual practice be many times the limited number shown in the diagrams). Fig. 1 represents a pattern-controlled cutting device, classifiable in subclass 77 of this schedule, wherein pattern P acts similarly to a stencil, in that it blocks the effectiveness of the nonselected tools T, while other tools pass through holes in P and perforate the work W, upon downward movement of hammer or tool-head H and consequent compression of the springs. Fig. 2 represents a single form of combinational-coding, which may be termed "coded direct punching" (subclass 106). Note that an individual tool may be actuated, at different times, as a part of several distinct subgroups (e.g., to perforate distinctive code symbols) in response to the depression of different keys; this is in contrast to the individual, independent key linkages indicated in the nonselective device of Fig. 6, wherein a given tool responds only to the depression of its own associated key.
Fig. 1. SELECTIVE CUTTING, PATTERN CONTROLLED. (subclass77)
Fig. 2. SELECTIVE CUTTING, CODED DIRECT ACTUATION (subclass106)
Fig. 3. SELECTIVE CUTTING, BY INTERPOSER(subclass 112)
Fig. 3 represents mechanism of the subclass 112 type, wherein the gag or interposer* I is positioned by means (shown as a manually slidable block on the machine frame) which is not a part of the tool drive train and which does not move in unison with the selected tool. (If the interposer I of Fig. 3 were manipulable directly, as by a knob fastened to its extending rod and thus vertically reciprocable with the tool-head H, the device would fail to meet the definition of Class 234, and would instead be classifiable in Class 83, Cutting, subclass 573, as a hand-actuated means to connect or disconnect a tool and its continuously moving drive means). Fig. 4 is presented further to illustrate the line between this class and Class 83. The hand-manipulable interposer I does not meet the limitations of part (3) of the class definition, above, but it does qualify as combinational-coding-means* under part (2) of the definition, and specifically as a differential interposer (234-98). This line has been developed as a practical measure to distinguish most of the (generally) production-type cutting machines of Class 83.
Fig. 4. SELECTIVE CUTTING, BY CODED INTERPOSER. (subclass98) (see (3) Note below)
Fig. 5. NONSELECTIVE CUTTING, Class 83 type. (see (4) Notebelow)
Fig. 6. NONSELECTIVE CUTTING, Class 83 type.
From the (generally) data-handling selective cutting machines of Class 234. The availability of two or more sub-groups of tools in Fig. 4 makes the device selective under the class definition. (3) Note. Specifically excluded from this class is a patent to a cutting method or apparatus which concerns the production of distinctive cutting operations solely by varying the position, the cutting stroke, or the time of actuation of a single tool (or a group of tools driven always as a unit). Fig. 5 represents such a device having a single tool, adjustable in position on a reciprocable ram; there is no "selection" from among a number of tools, but a mere adjustment of one tool. Also excluded is a patent to apparatus having a turret of tools, wherein the positioning of one tool for a cutting operation necessitates the movement of the other tools away from their effective positions. (4) Note. Further excluded is a patent to cutting apparatus in which the distinctive cutting operations are effected by direct (manual or power) actuation of one or more independently drivable tools at the will of an operative. Fig. 6 illustrates the excluded combination of tools, each driven by an independent key linkage, which is classifiable in Class 83, subclass 633, as a reciprocable tool driven by a fixed-axis lever. Fig. 7 illustrates the excluded combination of tools which lack a common power train or individual power trains for all tools; the single driving cam, shiftable along the rod, places this combination in Class 83, subclass 549. (see (4) Note in section II)
Fig. 7. NONSELECTIVE CUTTING, Class 83 type.
Lines with other classes and within this class
A. THE CLASS OF CUTTING IMPLEMENTS, CLASS 30.
A patent to a selective cutting or punching device will not be barred from original placement in Class 234 by reason of the fact that the device is intended to be hand-held and/or hand-actuated and/or work-supported.
B. THE CLASS OF SEVERING BY TEARING OR BREAKING, CLASS 225.
A patent to the combination of selective cutting means with means to sever (the work or product) by tearing or breaking will be placed originally in Class 234. The combination of tearing or breaking means with other (i.e., nonselective) severing means is found in Class 225, subclass 7.
C. THE CLASS OF CUTTING, CLASS 83.
Class 83 is an elemental or basic class. That is, its subject matter is restricted (so far as possible) to means for, or steps of, accomplishing the following functions: cutting something (the "work"); or cutting and handling the work to be cut; or cutting and handling the product of the cutting operation. Class 234 being superior to Class 83, a patent for the combination of a cutting device or method classifiable, per se, in Class 83 and a selective cutting device or method will be placed originally in Class 234. For a complete statement of the relationship between Class 83 and Class 234, see the class definition of Class 83.
D. THE CLASS OF PRINTING, CLASS 101.
Generally speaking, the recording or alphabetic or numeric characters by cutting is proper subject matter for Class 101, Printing. More particularly, individual cases of selective cutting may be tested for aptness to Class 101 by reference to the following statements:
(1) If in addition to a selective cutting machine or process of Class 234 there is claimed a means or step peculiar to Class 101 (e.g., the application of ink to the cutting tool to additionally outline or mark an aperture made by the punch, or the printing or embossing of characters or designs by means other than the cutting tools), the patent directed to such combination will be placed in Class 101.
(2) A patent directed to the selective cutting of a letter, number or aesthetic design will be placed in Class 101, subclass 18.
(1) Note. The term "design" in this instance denotes a picture, a decorative or artistic arrangement of perforations or cut edges, or direct intelligence-bearing perforations or cuts; as distinguished from coded symbols. In case of doubt as to whether a patent discloses direct intelligence-bearing or codes symbols, placement will be in this class (234). (3) A patent directed to the selective embossing of a letter, coded symbol, character or design will be placed in Class 101, subclass 18. (Such a patent would a priori be excluded from Class 234 on the ground that it is not concerned with cutting). E. THE CLASS OF TYPEWRITING MACHINES, CLASS 400. Patents for key-operated machines for the simultaneous composition and production of printed matter generally, are placed in Class 400, Typewriting Machines. The combination of typing and selective punching will in all cases be placed in Class 400, subject to the following qualifying statements: (1) If only so much typing structure is claimed as is necessary to constitute a completely operative selective punching machine, the patent will be placed originally in Class 234 on the ground that the combination with typing is not positively claimed. (e.g., the recitation of typewriter keys, key levers, type bars, and means responsive to actuation of the type bars to select cutting tools is not considered sufficient for placement of the patent in Class 400 unless the structure claimed is sufficient to effect actual character production on the work; nor is the further recitation of escapement means and a movable paper carriage, if it appears that the carriage exerts a control on some function of the cutting mechanism, such as the feed of a card relative to the cutting tool station). (2) The nominal recitation of a typewriter in combination with specific selective punching machine is not considered sufficient for placement of a patent to the combination in Class 400. (3) A patent directed to the production of printed matter through the agency of a paper tape perforated under control of a keyboard will be placed in Class 400. F. THE CLASS OF RECORDERS, CLASS 346. A process or apparatus which would be otherwise proper for Class 346, Recorders, will not be removed from the scope of that class merely by virtue of the fact that the recording, as claimed, is accomplished by a selective cutting mechanism or method step. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER CLASSES INCLUDING, PER SE, HANDLING OR TREATMENT OF DATA A. THE CLASS OF TELEGRAPHY, CLASS 178. A process or apparatus which would be otherwise proper for Class 178, Telegraphy, will not be removed from the scope of that class merely by virtue of the fact that the recording of the transmitted message, as claimed, is accomplished by a selective cutting mechanism or method step. In general, a recording or "printing" telegraph of Class 178 is distinguished from a selective punching machine of Class 234 by comprising one or a limited number of electrical input channels through which messages, unlimited with respect to the variety or extent of information they are adapted to convey, are transmitted from a distant point, the elements of the messages being selected according to a prearranged code. The claimed inclusion of a distant transmitter, or of means to decode electrical impulses originating at a distant point and conveyed over a relatively small number of channels, exemplifies the type of subject matter which would be placed in Class 178 rather than in Class 234, even though the recording may be accomplished by selective punching mechanism. B. THE CLASS OF REGISTERS, CLASS 235. There are generally three types of disclosure which contain subject matter common to Class 235, Registers, and Class 234, as follows: (1) A patent directed to a calculating machine combined with selective mechanism for punching the data set up or the results, or both, which would be placed in Class 235. (2) A patent directed to a selective punching machine combined with a register to ascertain the number of machine operations or number of workpieces treated, which would be placed in Class 234. (3) A patent for a keyboard controlled selective punching machine combined with a register for totalizing incremental quantities (e.g., type-widths and interword-spaces) related to the key-selected data, and means to indicate the approach of the total toward a predetermined quantity (e.g., the required length of a completed line of type composed according to the key-selected data), which would be placed in Class 234, subclass 4. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER MATERIAL HANDLING CLASSES This class (234) receives original patents claiming significantly both a selective cutting or punching device and (a) means to separate or assort portions of the product resulting from the cutting operation, or (b) means to move or feed work, or (c) means to hold or move a pattern* or copy*. For the placing of patents which refer more broadly to a cutting tool or operation in combination with work or product handling, see the class definition of Class 83, Cutting.