With respect to the second group of claims, neither the evidence given at the hearing nor the argument made thereon convinces me that the Commissioner of Patents erred in rejecting such claims. Therefore, the relief prayed for with respect to such claims will be denied.
I am, however, convinced otherwise with respect to the claims above referred to as the first group. The universal joint disclosed by such claims is a combination of elements previously known to the art, each element being similar, if not identical, to elements used in the references relied upon in the Patent Office, and set forth in the examiner's statement. These four principal elements have been described in the plaintiff's brief as follows:
"(a) A radially extending universal joint trunnion.
"(b) Cylindrical rollers around the trunnion and extending parallel to the trunnion axis.
"(c) A combined bearing cup, and thrust bearing member and lubricant housing surrounding the trunnion and rollers.
"(d) An effective grease and dirt seal at the open or inner end of the cup."
There is no novelty in these elements. Prior to the disclosure of the claims here being considered, however, there was no combination of these, four elements, and I am convinced that, until they were brought into combination, the elements could not produce the results which, in the association into which Warner brought them, they did produce. Undoubtedly there existed, until the Warner construction, a need for a universal joint which would not require the relatively frequent refilling with lubricant by the owner or operator. The fact that the universal joints employed required such relatively frequent attention caused much trouble because such attention was oftentimes not given. That the plaintiff's combination aimed at the remedy of this situation is undoubtedly true, as his construction contemplates that it will operate successfully without being lubricated every one to two thousand miles, as was then necessary in the then known universal joints, and this quality and purpose is clear from the fact that the claims illustrate and describe a universal joint having individually sealed trunnion bearings with no means whatever for supplying additional lubricant.
Now, the evidence in this case indisputably shows that the Warner construction operates successfully without requiring attention or further lubrication during a period of substantially the life of an automobile, where that term is used to indicate substantially 50,000 miles, or a period of substantially five years, at the end of which it is normally necessary to have an automobile overhauled by skilled mechanics as distinguished from the attention ordinarily given by the owner or operator of the car. It is objected that Warner did not make this claim and, therefore, cannot rely upon it as showing the novelty of his combination. As stated above, he did show that his construction would require less lubrication and attention than existing structures by not providing any means for supplying additional lubricant. If, as the facts have now developed, his improvement achieved even greater results than he claimed for it, I fail to see why he should not have the benefit of that which was inherently in the construction at the time he made his claims.
It is also insisted by the defendant that cylindrical rollers were known to the art, which undoubtedly is true. The function of cylindrical rollers, as employed by Warner, is not, however, limited to their anti-friction bearing qualities, but they perform a further function in that, in the interstices between them, there is afforded an immediate reservoir for lubricants. This, in itself, disassociated from the other elements in the combination, would not produce the new and useful result which is accomplished by the combination. So, without undertaking to discuss the structure in further detail, I am convinced that, notwithstanding the elements themselves are not novel, the combination of them is, and I do not think, considering the state of the art prior to Warner's disclosure, that such combination was obvious.
That the structure is useful is not open to question, and I therefore, consider that it involves such invention as entitles the plaintiff to the relief prayed for with respect to those claims which I have identified above as being in the so-called first group.
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