This is the generic class of connections between two or more rigid or semirigid members at substantially a single locus when (I) the members cooperate to form a utilitarian structure or assemblage; (II) either (a) an intrinsic property of at least one of the members is utilized in effecting the connection, (b) the members are related to each other in a particular manner (e.g., angularly), (c) a portion of one member reorients relative to a portion of the other member about the connection, or (d) all other connections between such members for which no other provisions have been made; and (III) the members constitute either (a) stock elements having such general and varied utility as to be identifiable with no particular art until connected (e.g., framework members which transmit force or torque to each other), (b) components of an assemblage which have the same utility before and after connecting but which, when connected, interact with each other to accomplish a common task and no longer have any independent operation (e.g., rigid, interconnected torque or thrust transmitting rods), (c) subcomponents of an assemblage, at least one of which has utility only when interacting with the other to accomplish a specific task (e.g., windshield wiper and windshield), or (d) components having independent utility, but which, when connected, cooperate to change, enhance, expand or make interdependent their operation (e.g., articulated members).
This is also the generic class of connections between the ends of a single rigid or semirigid member at substantially a single locus when (I) the connected member forms a utilitarian structure or assemblage; (II) either (a) an intrinsic property of the member is utilized in effecting the connection, (b) the ends of the member are related to each other in a particular manner (e.g., lapped), (c) portions of the member reorient relative to each other about the connection, or (d) a tool driven, tool deformed, or destructively releasable fastening means is utilized; and (III) the member constitutes either (a) a stock element having such general utility as to be identifiable with no particular art until connected or (b) a component of a larger assemblage which component has the same utility before and after connection, but which when connected accomplishes its task in a varied manner.
This is also the generic class of connections between a flaccid member (e.g., cable) and a rigid or semirigid member at substantially a single locus when (I) the connected members form a utilitarian structure or assemblage, and (II) in effecting the connection either (a) an intrinsic property of the member is utilized or (b) a tool driven, tool deformed, or destructively releasable (i.e., the only method of releasing it is to destroy it) fastening means is utilized.
In addition, this is the generic class for connecting or fastening means, per se, when the means is (I) disclosed as used solely with a connection proper for this class and (II) limited by either its structure (e.g., an L-shaped nail plate) or configuration (e.g., multiple fasteners in a specific pattern) to a very restricted range of use (i.e., the means lacks general utility).
(1) Note. The term "member" as used in this class refers to the primary members which are connected and each may consist of one part or a plurality of parts. Many connections involve the use of a plurality of elements each of which may be connected to a member or to another element. However, unless each of the connections involved is coordinate with the others in the system, the elements are not referred to as "members" but as "components". For example, a bolt connecting two abutting members bridging the juncture of two packed members is not considered a member, but a bolt independently joined to each of two spaced members is itself a member. Likewise, a plurality of bolts joining the same two members at the same locus are not members but components. (2) Note. The expression "utilitarian structure or assemblage" denotes an entity which has a function and identity of its own apart from that of its individual members. Connections between members which, when connected, do not form a utilitarian device but which are connected merely for convenience or storage are not classified in this class (403). See Lines With Other Classes and Within This Class, below, for the appropriate classification. (3) Note. Patents issued prior to 1931 have not in all instances been classified by their claimed disclosure, so the placement of these older patents does not necessarily indicate lines of classification. (4) Note. A claim which recites only as much of the structure of a member as is necessary to effect its connection may be included within this class, and, in general, the mere naming of a member will not cause classification outside this class. However, if details of a member which go beyond those which are used in effecting the connection are included, classification will be based on the member unless specific provision is made in this class (403). In the situation of a single member with connected ends, the broad recitation of a "loop" or equivalent terminology will not cause classification outside this class, since such configuration is necessary to align the ends to effect their connection. However, a single member and means connecting its ends which allow the size of the closed member (i.e., loop) to be adjusted, are elsewhere classifiable. (5) Note. In interpreting this definition, the following examples of intrinsic properties are given: (A) a modification, (e.g., threading) of at least one portion of a member at its connection point for other than mere reception of a fastener; (B) a particular shape or cross-section of at least one portion of a member at its connection point; and (C) a physical or chemical property of a member which has an effect on the connection either before or after the connection is effected, (e.g., fusion, affinity for certain adhesives, resistance to electrolytic action, flexibility, etc). (6) Note. The expression "utilitarian structure or assemblage" denotes an entity which has a function and identity of its own apart from that of its individual elements and subcomponents of such entity. Connections between elements which, when connected, do not form a utilitarian device but which are connected merely for convenience or storage are not classified in this class (403) but will be formed in the appropriate class which provides for the particular assemblage. (7) Note. If otherwise proper for this class, a connection between two ends of a single member wherein no structure of the member which is not necessary to effect the connection will be placed in this class unless specific provision is made elsewhere. Inventions which include any structure of the member other than that necessary to effect the connection will be classified with the member or in a more general class. The broad recitation of a "loop" or equivalent terminology will not cause classification outside this class (403) since such configuration is necessary to align the ends (i.e., to effect the connection). See References to Other Classes, below.