This Class Definition covers the subject matter of Class 523 and of Class 524. Class 524 is a continuation of the subject matter of Class 523. Class 523, subclass 1 serves as the parent subclass to all other Class 523 subclasses and to all Class 524 subclasses.
The terms "desired" and "intentional" have been used interchangeably throughout the schedule and definitions.
A. GENERAL SUMMARY OF SUBJECT MATTER WITHIN THIS CLASS
In order for a patent claim to be proper for this class, there must be a desire or intent to produce a composition of a solid polymer or SICP and a nonreactant material (NRM); this includes the treatment of a composition to produce a desired or intentional composition. The NRM may be added to the solid polymer, to a specified intermediate condensation product (SICP), to specified polymer-forming ingredients (SPFI), or to materials specifically denoted as forming solid polymers.
A desired composition is formed when the nonreactive material is desired to be present or operative in the ultimate system under consideration. An ingredient present only as an innocuous impurity, residue, or by-product signifies a composition but not a desired composition.
Statements that a material may be left in the polymer composition or that a material is inert or inoffensive therein are not the type of statements that qualify to bring a patent into this area. There must be a deliberate attempt to incorporate these materials in some degree.
Adding materials, all of which are to be removed in a later process, is not, per se, forming a desired or intended composition. The intended inclusion of some materials, however, would be within the purview of this class even if other materials were intermittently removed.
Patentees" statements as to functions of material (e.g., catalyst, reactant, solvent, etc.) are to be taken literally and are to be followed. An exception to this rule is in those subclasses wherein specialized rules have been enumerated.
An added material which disappears completely so that the final composition prior to use is devoid of the material or of a reaction product or residue thereof is not classified as an NRM. An example of this is the use of a blowing agent to mix a composition without foaming.
When doubt is present as to whether a claimed substance is truly a composition for this area, as opposed to being a product proper for any of Classes 525-528, such doubt is to be resolved by classifying the claims in the appropriate area(s) of Classes 525-528.
In those instances wherein a claim or claims is (are) directed to alternatively forming a composition proper for this area or forming a product proper for any of Classes 525-528, classification is then proper in this Composition area with cross-referencing into the appropriate area(s) of Classes 525-528.
Coating compositions are specially included as compositions proper for this class, although the final product after application may be no more than a solid polymer on a substrate. Coating compositions are a general exception to the type of compositions that are provided in this class, in that for the most part, the added material usually stays with the polymer and can be found with it during the use of the polymer.
B. NONREACTANT MATERIAL (NRM)
For purposes of this class, a nonreactant material (NRM) has a restricted meaning and is other than the following:
1. A solid polymer.
2. Specified intermediate condensation product (SICP).
3. Specified polymer-forming ingredients (SPFI).
4. Ethylenic reactant.
5. Material disclosed to form a solid polymer either with nonspecified polymer-forming reactants or with specified polymer-forming reactants.
6. Material disclosed as chemically reacting with a solid polymer or solid specified intermediate condensation product, so as to add atoms thereto or remove atoms therefrom.
7. Material disclosed as assisting in chemical reaction, e.g., solvents, catalysts, potentiators, etc.
8. Natural rubber or modified natural rubber.
Materials in steps 3-7 above may in certain instances be regarded as nonreactants, such as when the disclosure of the patent is of a nature as to recite at least a function for the added material besides acting as a reactant or assisting in a reaction. For instance, a disclosure noting the use of a catalyst in greater than necessary quantities so that a desired residue remains after reaction to stabilize product would be proper herein.
To be considered a nonreactant material, the added material must not react with the solid polymer, natural or modified rubber, SPFI, or solid SICP. This does not mean that the nonreactant material need be totally unreactive. For instance, it can react with itself or with another material in the composition and still be considered a nonreactive material if the final product after the reaction has occurred is desired.
For purposes of this class, the addition of a thixotropic agent to a composition is sufficient to qualify as the preparation of a desired composition.
Physical or chemical treatment of a previously formed composition without the addition of a NRM is included herein if a desired or intentional composition is thereby formed.
C. RELATIONSHIP OF THE TERMS NONREACTANT MATERIAL (NRM) AND DESIGNATED NONREACTANT MATERIAL (DNRM)
The distinction between the subclasses which recite designated nonreactant material and those that recite NRM is that:
1. Nonreactant material is when
a. a specified amount of nonreactant material is noted (e.g., 6 per cent of a filler, etc.) or
b. a relationship amount exists between the solid polymer or SICP and the NRM (e.g., two times the amount of polymer to additive, etc.) or
c. the NRM is identified in the clam by more than mere function (e.g., organic plasticizer, hydrocarbon solvent, metal filler, etc.) or
d. the NRM is identified by at least one chemical atom (e.g., sulfuric acid, water, hydrocarbon, etc.) or
e. the NRM is identified as a generic type of chemical compound (e.g., alcohol, ether, etc.)
2. Designated nonreactant material is a material wherein at least one of the chemical atoms can be deduced with certainty. Materials noted in steps 1,d and e above would be considered as DNRM"s as well as would be hydrocarbon solvent in step 1,c above. For purposes of this class, organic material although inherently reciting the presence of a carbon atom is considered to be too broad. An exemplary list of materials to be regarded as DNRM"s is as follows: metal hydrate, chalcogen, carboxylic acid, peroxy, peroxide, latex, alkali or alkaline earth metal, transition metal, halogen, proton donor, sulfide, drying oil, fat, fatty acid or ester, water, carbon black, etc. This list is by no means limited to the above noted examples.
The following list is not exhaustive and merely enumerates certain materials that will not be considered as DNRM"s (e.g, organic compound, metal containing, inorganic compound, organometallic compound, solvent, wax, magnetic, hydrophobic, hydrophillic, antiplasticizer, plasticizer, filler, preservative, antioxidant, antiozonant, stabilizer, lubricant, fibrous additive, particulate additive, liquid, solid, gas, dispersant, emulsifier, crystalline, plastic, fluorescent, phosphorescent, luminescent, deliquescent, drier, dessicant, humectant, blue color, numerically described without providing a chemical atom, Lewis acid or base, mineral, organic solvent, co-solvent, Ziegler or Natta catalysts, alfin catalyst, free radical, amphoteric, anionic, ionic, denaturant, electrostatic, dielectric, conductor, insulator, etc.).
D. RULES CONCERNING THE USE OF DNRM IN THE SCHEDULE
For purpose of this class, certain rules as to patent placement have been adopted. These rules only pertain to the subject matter under Class 523, subclass 1, and are not to be extrapolated to other areas in the 520 series or to any other class.
The rules adopted pertain to the use of the term "DNRM"; they are as follows.
In those subclasses which recite a designated nonreactant material (DNRM) in the title, the indented subclasses merely pertain to a further elaboration of the DNRM and do not relate to any other material. An example of this is subclass 159 in Class 524 which recites nitrogen and is indented under aryl group (subclass 158) which is in turn indented under sulfur bonded directly to three oxygen atoms DNRM (subclass 157). The proper meaning of subclass 159 is that a single nitrogen containing compound also containing at least one aryl group and at least one sulfur atom bonded to three oxygen atoms is utilized as a DNRM.
In those subclasses which recite "containing .......DNRM", the use of the word "containing" is consistent with the general use in other classes. An example of this is subclass 759 in class 524, which recites, "........... containing carboxylic acid or derivative DNRM", and is indented under subclass 755, ether compound DNRM. The proper meaning of subclass 759 is that a single DNRM compound may be present which has both ether and carboxylic acid or derivative groups, or that two separate DNRM"s may be present, one of which contains an ether group and the other a carboxylic acid or derivative group.
In those subclasses which recite "with", under a specified DNRM, such use is consistent with the term as used in other classes, in that, at least two separate materials must be present, one of which is the DNRM and the other the "with" material.
E. GENERAL RULES AS TO PATENT PLACEMENT
1. In those situations wherein a material reacts with another material to give an in situ product, original classification is as follows: If the materials reacted occur higher in the subclass array than the material which is the result of the reaction, then classification is proper on the basis of the original reactants. It would be desirable in either event to cross-reference the reactant or product produced.
2. A combination of treating a polymer composition containing a NRM that is prepared by an in situ preparation with another nonreactant material places the document in the area provided for an admixing a preformed solid polymer with a NRM.
3. Carbon (in any of its allotropic forms), titanium dioxide, silica, glass, sand, quartz, water, benzene, xylene, or toluene will be regarded in the absence of any disclosure to the contrary as being nonreactive with a solid polymer, SICP, or SPFI.
4. An ingredient having a defined function as a solvent, dispersing medium, or flux will be regarded in the absence of disclosure to the contrary as being nonreactant when added to a preformed solid polymer or performed SICP and as forming a desired composition therewith.
5. An ingredient having a defined function as a solvent, dispersing medium, or flux will be regarded in the absence of disclosure to the contrary as not forming a desired composition with a solid polymer when such materials are added to a SPFI system. There must be an expressed intent to incorporate these materials with the solid polymer when the polymer is subsequently formed.
6. Addition of a material during polymer formation and in which the disclosure is silent as to reaction or nonreaction (other than SPFI, catalyst, curing agent) will be regarded as a reactant.
7. Components of a solid polymer-forming system which are not, per se, the type that qualify as solid polymer-forming ingredients (SPFI) are not considered NRM"s.
8. Ingredients which are not the necessary solid polymer-forming ingredients (SPFI) but which are disclosed as reacting with specified polymer-forming ingredient system are not considered NRM"s.
9. In the absence of disclosure to the contrary, an ingredient having a defined utility as a plasticizer, filler, dye, pigment, or preservative (other than a solid polymer, SPFI, or SICP) will be regarded as being nonreactive (with the solid polymer, SPFI, or SICP).
10. In the absence of disclosure to the contrary, a peroxy compound, an ethylenic compound, or sulfur when added to a solid polymer will be regarded as reactants.
11. Reacting a material with a filler, modifier, etc., is presumed to alter the chemical nature of the filler, modifier, etc., and thereby produce a new and different chemical entity. However, surface modification when specially designated as such, or coating or impregnating a material such as a filler, is presumed as forming a composition of the filler, modifier, etc., and the coating or impregnating agent or as a composition of the substrate material and the surface modified chemical entity.
12. A coupling or bridging agent is presumed to act as a chemical reactant between the polymer and additive and, if technically viewed, no composition would result therefrom. For purposes of this class, however, the use of a coupling or bridging agent between a polymer and an additive is viewed as a surface phenomenon and therefore a composition does in fact result between (a) the polymer which is chemically linked to the coupling or bridging agent, and (b) the additive. Classification on the basis of the additive is therefore proper.
F. EXAMPLES OF PATENT PLACEMENT WITHIN THIS CLASS AND CLASS 524
1. Polyethylene admixed with 2 per cent of a stabilizer. Original classification is with the polymer in Class 524, subclass 585. This patent initially is proper for Class 524, subclass 1; however, it does not meet the limitations of Class 524, subclass 80, since 2 per cent is not sufficient to be considered DNRM.
2. Polyethylene admixed with 2 per cent of a stabilizer and a hydrocarbon solvent. Same result as in (A) above, since 2 per cent of a stabilizer is not considered sufficient to be DNRM and hydrocarbon has been specifically excluded from class 524, subclass 80.
3. Polyethylene admixed with 2 per cent carbon black and water. Same result as in (A) above; both carbon black and water have been specifically excluded as DNRM"s in class 524, subclass 80.
4. Polyethylene admixed with a halogenating agent and with a phosphorus stabilizer for the halogenated polyethylene. Since a halogenating agent cannot be considered a NRM, classification is solely on the basis of the phosphorus stabilizer.
5. Polyethylene admixed with stabilizer composition consisting of an organophosphorus additive and an organotin compound. Since both additives qualify as DNRM"s, in that, a chemical atom is known in each of the additives, original classification in the phosphorus subclass would be proper in Class 524, subclass 115 rather than in the tin subclass (subclass 178) which is lower in the schedule array.
6. Polyetheylene admixed with a stabilizer compound consisting of an organic compound and an organotin compound. Disclosure notes that an organophosphorus compound can be one of the organic compounds. Since the claim is not limited to any organic compound and an organic compound is not a DNRM under Class 524, subclass 80, original classification is proper with the organotin compound in Class 524, subclass 178. The sole criterion to be evaluated is whether the material added is a DNRM. Only those materials which are DNRM"s are to be evaluated for classification purposes.
7. Polyethylene admixed with a combination of an organophosphorus stabilizer and an organotin stabilizer. Disclosure is limited to polymerizing ethylene in the presence of the phosphorus stabilizer and after solid polymer formation, admixing the organotin stabilizer therewith. Classification is on the basis of the organotin stabilizer for the reason that admixing with a performed solid polymer or SICP is superior in the classification array to in situ polymer formation. No weight can be given for original classification purposes in class 524, subclass 1, to the fact that the organophosphorus was added during the solid polymer formation state. A cross-reference to class 524, subclass 706, may be appropriate to cover the subject matter relating to the adding of the phosphorus material.
8. Natural rubber, per se, or modifed forms thereof or mixtures of natural rubber wherein there is no polymer proper for Class 520, subclass 1, are to be found in Class 524, subclass 575.5. When, however, a final polymer is proper for Class 520, subclass 1, then a natural rubber or modified form thereof in a composition therewith is to be considered as if it were derived from a monomer containing two ethylenic groups, i.e., polyisoprene. The following are examples drawn to the patent placement of natural rubber in this class.
a. Natural rubber + glass + polybutadiene - - -> is to be found in Class 524, subclass 526. This composition is considered as a mixture of two polymers derived from ethlenic reactants only.
b. Natural rubber reacted with styrene - - -> modified natural rubber to which glass is added. This composition is to be found in Class 524, subclass 534. The reaction of natural rubber and an ethylenic reactant is considered to be a product proper for Class 520, subclass 1.
c. Natural rubber + glass is to be found in Class 524, subclass 575.5.
G. SCHEDULE OUTLINE OF CLASS 523 AND CLASS 524
The schedules (for Class 523 and Class 524) are divided into a number of parts, each of which is distinct and provides for different types of subject matter. In the class definition of this class, the SEARCH THIS CLASS, SUBCLASS notes and those SEARCH CLASS notes relating to Class 524 are a breakdown on the major areas and indicate the type of subject matter provided therein.