clutch, the coil-spring of which, when in operative relation, contracts against the outside of the drum. The drive-shaft is connected to one end of the spring through a support-flange. It is connected to the first spring through the support-flange by a bolt which is free to slide into a hole in the support-flange. This bolt permits the free-wheeling spring to slide independently of the by-pass spring when the latter is held in inoperative position during free-wheeling operation; when not so held, it is operated by the same mechanism that operates the free-wheeling coil-spring. This by-pass clutch is intended to be under the control of the driver, so that he can either free-wheel, or directly connect the drive-shaft and the driven shaft, as he chooses.A lever is provided by which the by-pass clutch can be made operative or inoperative.
The synchronizer is a device by which Mottlau provides to hold the by-pass clutch in released position, despite the setting by the control-rod to engaged position until the drive-shaft is brought to the speed of the driven shaft.
In the defendants' accused structure (exemplified by defendants' Exhibit 6, and by drawings, defendants' Exhibit 11), we have what is known in the automobile art as an overdrive mechanism, which is designed for the purpose of driving the driven shaft of an automobile at a speed which is greater in revolutions per minute than the speed of the drive shaft. This overdrive is secured by planetary gearing, which consists of three elements -- a sun-gear, a ring-gear, and the planetary gear. These are shown on defendants' model, Exhibit 5, the sun-gear being painted blue, the ring-gear, green, and the planetary gear, orange. In operation, the sun-gear is stationary and tied up with the enginedrive shaft, and the planetary pinions rotate about the sun-gear, and at the same time rotate on their own axis, with the result that the planet pinion, at its outer dimension, rotates faster than it does where it engages the sun-gear. The defendants' overdrive unit is a combination of this planetary-gear set, with a pair of radially slidable overdrive dog clutches, a shiftable sleeve, and a roller or one-way clutch.To operate the overdrive mechanism, a shiftable clutch under control of the driver by a lever in the driver's compartment is shifted to its forward or left-hand position. This permits the engagement of the overdrive dogs, which are responsive to centrifugal force at a predetermined carspeed of about thirty-five miles per hour. The driver then releases the gas-throttle to allow the engine to reduce its speed, and the driven shaft to increase its speed with relation to the drive-shaft, thus permitting the overdrive dogs to enter the clutch jaws and being about the overdrive. The defendants' structure has no synchronizer or detecting means such as shown in plaintiff's device to bring about the entry of the overdrive dogs into the clutch-jaws.
Defendants also have free-wheeling devices (shown in Plate 7, Defts' Exhibit No. 11 at "O" and "E") with their by-pass or cut-out for directly connecting the drive-shaft and the driven shaft. Such structures are old in the art. Keller patent No. 1,969,561 is a fair example. Plaintiff's free-wheeling device is a different structure with its use of the coil-spring, the coil-clutch, its by-pass connection and synchronizer. It has no overdrive mechanism. Its structure cannot be used to drive the driven shaft of the automobile faster than the engine-shaft. In the patented structure, the by-pass would not be necessary at all, if you were going forward, because the free-wheeling clutch connection would always be operative in forward movement. The by-pass is only necessary in plaintiff's structure to permit the automobile to drive backward and to permit the engine to act as a brake when going down hill. We do not consider the overdrive clutch-dogs to be a by-pass, because the only thing they do is to have the drive-shaft drive the driven shaft forwardly. When the engine is to be used as a brake, the automobile does not travel at such a speed as will permit the overdrive clutches to operate; when in reverse the engine is running very rapidly; but the drive-shaft is running comparatively slowly, and you do not have such a condition where the clutch-dogs will operate.
However, it is in this overdrive mechanism of defendants' structure that the plaintiff finds infringement of his combination, in that the defendants have adopted the synchronizer of plaintiff's patent in the operation of overdrive mechanism. In this contention we cannot agree, for we find no element in defendants' structure which corresponds with the synchronism detector of the claims of the plaintiff's patent in suit; i.e., the ball 25 and the two races, 23 and 24, shown in Figures 8, 9, and 10 of the patent in suit. The synchronizer of plaintiff's patent is needed in the spiral spring, free-wheeling arrangement disclosed in the patent, but is not needed in the overdrive mechanism of defendants' structure, in which the overdrive elements themselves engage when the automobile is being driven at a speed of approximately thirty-five miles per hour.
We therefore conclude that there has been no infringement by defendants of the claims of the patent in suit. In view of this conclusion, it is not necessary to pass on any of the other defenses presented by defendants; and we make no ruling in reference thereto.
Findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with this opinion are filed herewith. A decree may be presented for dismissal of plaintiff's complaint.
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