Patents Represented by Law Firm Gifford, Krass, Groh, Sprinkle, Patmore, Anderson & Citkowski
  • Patent number: 5988861
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for testing a striking-type sports implement such as a bat is disclosed. In terms of apparatus, a system according to the invention includes a bat-swinging module, a ball-delivery module, and one or more programmed computers. The bat-swinging module includes means to grip a bat at its handle end, and an independent, computer servo-controlled motor to swing the bat. The ball-delivery module includes a ball support and a second, independent, computer servo-controlled motor to place the ball into the swing of the bat along a delivery path such that the bat is able to strike the ball and cause the ball to travel along a precise trajectory path. Various sensors are disposed to measure swing speed, "pitch" speed and exit velocity, with the computer(s) being operative to construct a database of bat performance characteristics based upon swing speed, pitch speed and exit velocity, and display selected portions of the database in accordance with a user input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Baum Research & Development Co., Inc.
    Inventor: Charles S. Baum
  • Patent number: 5982079
    Abstract: A high efficiency spark plug includes a ground electrode having formed of a wire having a circular cross section. The ground electrode has a pair of stanchions and a loop extending over the center electrode of the spark plug. The loop has a center circular portion and a pair of curved portions which form a gap between the two sides of the loop generally equal to the diameter of the wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Inventor: Wilbur R. Kibbey
  • Patent number: 5958532
    Abstract: Described herein is a method of preparing a fluoropolymer composite tube comprising the steps of forming a fluoropolymer substrate, and thereafter layering and chemically bonding the fluoropolymer with a polymer layer, preferably a thermosetting or thermoplastic elastomer. The fluoropolymer substrate can be activated by subjecting the substrate to a charged gaseous atmosphere formed by electrically ionizing a gas which contacts the substrate. Thereafter, a layer of a thermosetting or thermplastic elastomer is applied to the activated fluoropolymer substrate resulting in a stronger chemical bond. The ionizing step can be described as a mixed gas plasma discharge or an electrically formed plasma. The thermosetting elastomer can, but does not have to contain a curing agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Pilot Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward Krause, Kenneth J. Kuenzel
  • Patent number: 5942819
    Abstract: A combination motor brush support and electromagnetic suppression circuit comprises an assembly having a base which is affixable to a portion of a motor housing and which supports all components requiring precise mechanical alignment, including motor brushes, brush guides and brush springs. The base can also support the choke coils, and at least some of the capacitors of the noise suppression circuitry. The base includes a terminal support board affixed to, and projecting therefrom. The terminal support board has at least one of the capacitors of the noise suppression circuitry retained thereupon, and provides a set of motor contact terminals which are in electrical communication with the motor brushes supported on the base. The support member of the present invention functions as its own assembly tool for supporting and retaining the coils, capacitors, springs and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Alcoa Fujikura Ltd.
    Inventors: James P. Burgess, Douglas C. Stolicker, David J. Pearson, Christopher J. Volpe
  • Patent number: 5924232
    Abstract: An electronically activated safety mechanism for a firearm which introduces a simple obstruction to the firing-pin itself, thereby offering a high degree of simplicity and reliability. In a preferred embodiment, a solid cylindrical block is provided and is movable along a first axis between a first, safety position and a second, firing position through the action of a first solenoid. The firing-pin block includes a bore formed centrally therethrough which is in alignment with the firing-pin when the cylindrical block is in a second, firing position. Electronics entirely self-contained within the weapon may be used for both arming and disarming, with such capabilities taking the form of a voice-response unit, keypad with security code or other operator-specific configurations. In an alternative embodiment of this aspect of the invention, an off-weapon signaling unit is provided, for example, in the form of a watch, bracelet, or other item worn by an authorized user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Programmable Safety Systems Corporation
    Inventors: David Rhoden, Richard Sawaya
  • Patent number: 5911888
    Abstract: An electric discharge machine allows machining of a stationary workpiece by a device for moving the machining head and therefore the electrode vertically along the Z axis, a first chariot sliding along one of the X and Y axes, mounted on a cross beam resting on two shoulders laid out on both sides of the work zone, and cut out at the center to allow a shaft fixed to the device for moving the machining head to pass through. A second chariot slides along the other of the X and Y axes. The workpiece is supported by a worktable is supported by a column that is movable by a pair of fluid actuators. The fluid actuators may be powered hydraulically or pneumatically.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Charmilles Technologies S.A.
    Inventor: Roger Girardin
  • Patent number: 5898948
    Abstract: A support/sport sock for enhancing athletic performance. The sock includes a sock body of an elastomeric material which exhibits a pressure gradient against the calf of the leg which varies from a maximum proximate the foot portion of the sock to a minimum at the top end. The sock may include a padded heel portion and ball portion and an absorbent lining. A plurality of biomechanical support panels are incorporated into the sock body at locations thereon corresponding to the major muscle-tendon groups of the lower leg. These biomechanical supports serve to stabilize and support these muscle-tendon groups during athletic activity. The sock may be combined with an athletic shoe or other footwear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Graham M. Kelly
    Inventors: Graham M. Kelly, Ray Fredericksen
  • Patent number: 5899120
    Abstract: A laminated counterweight for connecting the main shaft with the crankpin of a crankshaft in which the counterweight includes a pair of end laminations which are circular in shape and have a central opening dimensioned to receive the main shaft and a crankpin opening radially spaced from the central opening and dimensioned to receive the crankpin. A plurality of central laminations is sandwiched in between the end laminations. Each central lamination, like the end laminations, includes a central opening dimensioned to receive the main shaft as well as a crankpin opening dimensioned to receive the crankpin. A pair of cutouts is provided through each central lamination and, said cutouts being disposed on opposite sides of the radius extending between the central opening and the crankpin opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Panther Machine, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald G. Leith
  • Patent number: 5898399
    Abstract: A method of performing the computer-intensive initial steps of the range migration algorithm, or RMA, produces radar imagery of higher quality than the current polar format (PF) processing approach, while operating faster and more efficiently than the standard RMA. The new method is advantageous when the synthetic aperture length required to achieve azimuth resolution is significantly larger than the azimuth extent of the processed scene. The method subdivides the signal history into a plurality of non-overlapping subapertures, adds a low bandwidth azimuth chirp across each subaperture and applies a fast Fourier transform separately to each subaperture. The results are coherently combined, after which the remaining steps of the conventional RMA may be completed with minor modifications to the subsequent two-dimensional phase compensation. The invention is applicable to spotlight, stripmap and scan-mode SAR image formation, and the separate, subaperture Fourier transformations may be performed simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: ERIM International, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter G. Carrara, Ron S. Goodman
  • Patent number: 5893510
    Abstract: A welding device is disclosed having an elongated actuator arm which is secured to a main post by a cross arm. The cross arm is both slidably and pivotally mounted to the main support post and also pivotally and slidably secured to the actuator arm by an arcuate link. An elongated linkage bar extends through the actuator arm and a welding gun is attached to one end of the linkage bar. An elongated handle is perpendicularly secured to the linkage bar at its other end adjacent the opposite end of the actuator arm so that movement of the handle simultaneously moves the welding gun. The handle, furthermore, includes a hand grip at each end and the linkage bar is secured to the handle at a position closely adjacent one of the hand grips and thus at a position between the center of the handle and one of the hand grips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Inventor: J. Peter Kiilunen
  • Patent number: 5893693
    Abstract: A metal anchor for mounting screws in thin wall boards made of plasterboard, pressed wood or similar building material includes a body (1) formed from a sheet metal plate and provided with semi circular retention ridges (2) projecting alternately to each side, which are matched in width and pitch to the thread shape of the screw (13) to be tightened such that the retention ridges (2) engage into the latter's thread grooves (19). The entire body (1) is formed of three sections, of which the first section (4), situated on the outer end, bears the retention ridges (2), the second section (5), situated in the middle, has two axially running outer bending ridges (7) and two inner bending ridges (8) which are mutually separated by slits (12) and can be bent off in opposing directions, and the third section (6), situated at the head end, is provided with semi circular guide shells (9) extending in opposed directions for inserting the screw (13.).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: A. Raymond & Cie.
    Inventors: Guy Forest, Charles Barnavol, Jean Collas, Jean-Jacques Legat
  • Patent number: 5893253
    Abstract: A floor sag eliminator that includes a floor plate assembly which is configured to be fastened to the underside of an existing floor between adjacent joists. One or more support arms are pivotally connected to the floor plate assembly at one of their ends. The other ends of the support arms are configured to engage and be retained by the side walls of floor joists. The support arms cooperate with the floor joists to provide support to the floor and to eliminate the sag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: E&E Engineering, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Lutz, III
  • Patent number: 5892434
    Abstract: A system for sensing the manner of operation of an automotive vehicle and for generating feedback signals to the vehicle operator as a function of the manner of operation includes a pressure sensor connected to the brake pedal so as to generate a multi-state output signal as a function of the instantaneous pressure applied to the brake, and a plurality of acceleration sensors supported so as to sense the rate of change of the motion about different axes. The sensor output signals are all provided to a controller which compares their outputs to values stored in a table to generate one of a stored set of output values. An audio signal generator receives the output values and generates an audio feedback signal to the vehicle operator as a function of the status of the sensors. The system may also provide a signal to the vehicle engine to prevent operation of the vehicle when excessively erratic operation is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: David M. Carlson
    Inventors: David M. Carlson, Michael G. Lalonde
  • Patent number: 5880886
    Abstract: An optical component comprises at least one substantially planar element having a plurality of elementary surfaces capable of acting to reflect by total internal reflection light incident thereon through the corresponding said element within a first range of incident angles associated with each surface, and to refract light incident thereon through the corresponding said element within a second range of incident angles associated with each surface. Refracted light at low angles of incidence passes straight through to provide a view through the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Inventor: Peter James Milner
  • Patent number: 5873595
    Abstract: A tow bar assembly adapted to extend between a towing vehicle and a towed vehicle. A frame is provided which includes a bearing element secured to the front end of the frame and a mounting element secured to the rear end of the frame. The mounting element is adapted to be selectively connected to the receiver hitch of a towing vehicle, while the bearing element extends rearward toward the towed vehicle in one embodiment. A pair of elongated, telescopic swing arms are pivotally secured to the bearing element and extend to the towed vehicle for attachment thereto. The bearing element further includes a yoke rotatable about a ball joint having at least two degrees of freedom which allows for movement of the swing arms in both vertical and horizontal planes. The swing arms further include pivot flanges that are pivotally secured to the swing arms at an end nearest the towed vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Inventor: Thomas M. Hinte
  • Patent number: 5873415
    Abstract: A dual bore completion sub-sea test tree (10) is described which has main bore (18) and an auxiliary or annulus bore (20). Two identical ball valves (22, 24) are located in series within the main bore (18) and two smaller identical ball valves (26, 28) are located in series in the annulus bore (20). The ball valves (22, 24, 26, 28) are operated by respective independent control lines acting on the operating mechanisms of the respective valves within the test tree (10) to move the valves between open and closed positions to allow or deny communication through the respective bores (18, 20). The completion sub-sea test tree (10) provides isolation of the main bore (18) and/or the annulus bore (20) when required by application of hydraulic pressure to assist closure to spring forces sufficient to cut coil tubing in the event of an emergency situation requiring rapid disconnect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Expro North Sea Limited
    Inventor: Jeffrey Charles Edwards
  • Patent number: 5873896
    Abstract: A device is disclosed for reducing the likelihood of cardiac arrhythmia or halting the arrhythmia after it begins without having to give a large shock which can be painful or may damage the heart. The device includes an elongated primary strip having a plurality of electrodes positioned at spaced intervals along its length. The strip is dimensioned so that, upon insertion into a patient, the electrodes on the strip electrically contact the heart tissue, either directly or through an intermediate high resistance conductive layer. The electrodes are then energized with an electrical energy sufficient to hyperpolarize heart tissue adjacent to each of the electrodes. Furthermore, the electrodes are spaced along the strip sufficiently close to each other so that, upon energization of the electrodes, a line of heart tissue is hyperpolarized to thereby prevent cardiac electrical conductance across that line. Optionally, secondary electrode strip(s) extend alongside, or encircle, the primary strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: UAB Research Foundation
    Inventor: Raymond E. Ideker
  • Patent number: 5871316
    Abstract: A cargo support bar for use with a truck bed or truck bed liners has a pair of spaced equipment holders. Each holder has at least two upwardly extending arms which define slots for carrying cargo and equipment. A center area is formed between the equipment holders for carrying sheet material. Straps with hooks are provided to extend over the cargo. The support bars have a plastic shell extending over a 2'.times.4' wooden core. Two or more of the bars are positioned within pockets formed in the side walls of a truck bed or a truck bed liner to extend across the width and to support cargo and equipment in a double tier arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: The Colonel's, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis Bills
  • Patent number: D405639
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Inventors: David C. Clark, Victor T. Clark, Jr.
  • Patent number: RE36758
    Abstract: A spinal facet prosthesis for a diseased or painful facet joint comprises a superior component and an inferior component. The superior component is roughly conical or pyramidal in form and is fastened to and over the distal tip of the inferior articular process of the diseased or painful facet joint. The inferior component is also roughly conical or pyramidal in form with one side elongated postero-medially and distally. The outer surface of the elongated side of the inferior component is of low friction, such as polished chromium coating or medical grade high-density polyethylene. The inferior component is fastened to and over the superior articular process of the diseased or painful facet joint. Each component is made of a biocompatible material. The inner surface of each component which is in contact with its respective articular process is coated with a porous coating to enhance the adhesion of each component to its respective articular process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Inventor: William R. Fitz