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June 19, 1943


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ABRUZZO

ABRUZZO, District Judge.

The plaintiff, Wolf Brothers, is the owner of patent No. 1,649,760, dated November 15, 1927, issued to Matthew Vierengel, for an envelope machine. The plaintiff claims the defendant infringed specifically claims 33, 37, 39 and 40 of this patent.

The plaintiff asserts that the Vierengel patent discloses a combination of devices for performing various operations upon a traveling web of paper for the formation of a so-called carry or handle bar or envelope, as exemplified by the bag or envelope, plaintiff's exhibit No. 7.

 The machine of the patent (Plaintiff's Exhibits Nos. 4-7) discloses a pair of feed rollers (44, 45) to which is led a web (35), from a roll of paper (34), and to which are periodically led strips of reinforcing material (154) cut from a web (69) led from a roll of reinforcing material.

 At a certain point, areas of paste are applied to the traveling paper web at intervals and the re-inforcing strips are applied to the web in these areas and combined with the web by the feed rolls (44, 45).

 The reinforced web then may be printed by passing through printing cylinders (79, 80) and then is operated on by so-called side cutters, comprising slitting rollers (86, 87) and cutting discs (100, 101). This operation provided the web with side seam flaps (109). At this point, the web appears as shown in Figure 18 of the patent (see, also, Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 4).

 The traveling web then passes through a folding device (113) by which the seam flaps are folded over so that the web appears as in Figure 19 of the patent. The web then passes between rollers (115, 116), the roller 115 being provided with cutting and creasing devices (119, 120 and 121) which serve to crease the web for folding (120), and at the base of the closure flap (121), and to cut off blanks or bag lengths (156) from the web.

 The rollers 115 and 116 operate to drive the web, which is retained on the roller (116) by the engagement of gripper fingers (131), at the leading edge (136) of the folded over seam flap, so that when it is severed to form the blank or bag length, the latter will be folded by the falling of the rear portion (158) of the blank upon the forward portion (156), which in the rotation of rollers (115, 116) before the web is cut is projected to and lies on table (160). For the folding operation the rear portion of the blank is freed from the web and from roller (116) by the movement of the levers (148).

 The gripper fingers (131, Figure 10) extend from slide members (130) to overhang the edge of roller (116). The slide members of the grippers are mounted in yokes (132) carried by the roller (116). The slide members carry cam rollers (133) cooperating with fixed cams (134) by which, against the action of springs (135), the gripper is operated to open to receive, and to close, to clamp the web between the fingers (131) and the surface of the roller (116).

 On completion of the folding of the blank, the gripper finger opens to release the folded blank to delivery roller (161), brippers (163) operate to engage the folded edge of the blank and carry it between roller (161) and cooperating roller (162).

 It is claimed that fingers (131) for engagement with the web, as roller (116) carries them up to the web, move upwardly, under the influence of cams (134), from beneath the web above it, flexing the edge of web as it passes from below to above it, and then moves downwardly under the influence of spring (135), upon the web to clamp the edge of the web to the surface of roller (116). The fingers (131), when folded blank is to be released to delivery rollers (161), are raised by the cams (134), the grippers (163) engage the folded leading edge of the blank, taking the blank in charge and causing it to flex free from the fingers (131).

 So far as the patent specifically describes it, the fingers (131) are reciprocated, i.e., move radially of the axis of the roller (116). How far they extend over the edge of the web when they clamp the web to roller (116) is not stated by the patent. However, they act merely as clamps to hold the web to roller (116). The web is driven by the rollers (115, 116) and the fingers need only extend a slight distance over the web to hold it to the roller. The fingers (131) are slotted for adjustment, as shown in Figure 12, and adjusting screws are shown in Figure 11.

 The disclosure of the Vierengel patent, with respect to gripper fingers (131), is addressed to those skilled in the particular art and contemplates intelligent adjustment of the machine for its efficient operation (Record, p. 78).

 The folded blank is, by grippers (163), carried between the delivery rollers (161, 162), the grippers (163) release and the delivery rolls pass the folded blank to auxiliary feed rollers (174, 175), which in turn pass it on to feed rollers (177, 178).

 The feed rollers (177) are mounted on a movable frame (180) adapted to be lifted to life the rollers (177) out of action and permit the envelope to stop when the blank has reached a position to be operated on by cutter (193) to form the handle opening (197, Figure 15) in the body of the blank, and by cutter (194) to form the locking tongue (201, Figure 15) in the flap. Both cutters are carried by a single head (190) adapted to be reciprocated.

 To facilitate accurate positioning of the envelope beneath the cutters (193, 194), it being obvious that the blank on lifting of the feed rollers (177) would have some momentum, the frame (180) carriers a pivoted stop (191) in the way of the folded edge of the blank. An arm (182), carried on a suitably driven rocker arm and adapted to act against the flap end of the folded blank, coacts with stop (181) to bring the envelope up to stop (181) if it does not reach that stop when the feed rollers (177) are lifted.

 When the punching operation is completed the rollers (177) are lowered and the completed envelope is moved on to the final delivery rollers (207). The stop (181), being pivoted, lifts and the advancing envelope passes beneath it, the stop then swinging back to normal position to position the following envelope for punching.

 The claims numbered 33, 37, 39 and 40 of patent No. 1,649,760 (Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 1) read as follows:

 "(33) In a machine for making envelopes and the like from a traveling web of material, devices for feeding the material, devices for forming an open edge envelope having a closure flap extending therefrom, and means for simultaneously forming a handle opening in the envelope and a device in the ...

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