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Bloch v. F. C. Kuhnle Co.

June 16, 1930


Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois.

Author: Sparks

Before ALSCHULER, EVANS, and SPARKS, Circuit Judges.

SPARKS, Circuit Judge.

This suit charges infringement of patent No. 1,332,793, granted to Leon Bloch March 2, 1920, for a combined waste and overflow. Appellant the Republic Brass Company is exclusive licensee under the above patent. The answers set up noninvention and noninfringement. Upon trial the District Court entered a decree, without written opinion, dismissing the bill for want of equity. The errors relied on arise from the failure of the trial court to find the claims in suit valid and infringed.

The device of the patent, while described in the specification as applicable to tubs or basins, has found its chief utility in connection with what are known to the trade as "built in" bathtubs, wherein the pipes for supplying water to the tubs and the waste and overflow connections are located below a flange on the top of the tub and between the wall of the room and the wall of the tub below the flange. The exposed side and end or ends of these tubs are each provided with an ornamental apron extending to the floor, this apron being missing from the wall or walls which fit against one or more walls of the room, the tub resting directly on the floor and not being supported by legs.

Appellants' device is shown below. Fig. 1 is a vertical section through the combined waste and overflow showing the valve open; Fig. 2 is a horizontal section through the valve. Fig. 3 is a front view of the locking lever.[]

In the embodiment of the invention a T-shaped valve chamber 10 is provided, the branch 11 of which communicates with the ordinary waste pipe leading from the bottom of the tub, the valve chamber being provided with a tapered seat 12 immediately below connection 11 and with a waste outlet through and below such seat. Connected with the upper portion of the T is an overflow pipe 13, to the upper end of which is secured an elbow 14. A flange at the horizontal end of the elbow bears against the wall of the bathtub, surrounding the opening 15 therein; and bearing against the opposite face of the bathtub wall is an escutcheon 16 having discharge opening 17 therein, the escutcheon and elbow being secured together by means of a rod 18 having one end threaded into a boss 19 in the elbow, the escutcheon being threaded onto said rod, which projects beyond the escutcheon.

A cylindrical valve 21 is mounted so as to slide vertically within the lower end of the tube 13, the lower end of the valve being beveled as shown at 22, to co-operate with the valve seat 12 and close the waste from the tub, when the valve is lowered. In order to facilitate the lowering movement of the valve, it is provided with an internal weight 23 which is similar in shape to the external portion of the valve, and the entire valve may be supported above its seat by a bail 25 which is pivotally connected to a flexible wire 26, the upper end of which is pivotally connected at 27 to the outer end of a rocking lever 28, which is pivoted to ears 29 carried by the escutcheon. The inner end of the short arm 30 of this lever is provided with an operating member comprising a central hub which is mounted on such end and with a handle portion 32 extending downwardly from the central hub and a cam portion or head 33 which extends upwardly from the hub and which has a central recess 35 adapted to engage the inner end of the rod 18.

By disengaging the head 33 from the rod 20, the valve 21 may be lowered so as to close the waste connection 11 and prevent the outflow of water from the bottom of the tub. On the other hand, by depressing the inner arm 30 of the lever, the valve may be raised to the position shown in Fig. 1 of the drawing, and may be retained in such position by swinging the head 34 beneath the inner end 20 of the rod 18.

The valve 21 is relatively short in length and is proportioned with such regard to the elbow connection 14 that when the escutcheon 16 is detached and the rod 18 disconnected from the elbow, the entire valve and its lifting mechanism can be entirely withdrawn. It prevents the necessity of having to dismantle the hidden elements of the fixture, while greatly facilitating the operation of repairing and cleaning the valve.

The claims relied upon are Nos. 1, 2, and 4.

Claim No. 1 is:

"1. A combined waste and overflow comprising a valve chamber having means for connection with a waste opening, a pipe leading from said chamber, an overflow connection operatively associated with said pipe, an elbow attached to the pipe, a valve movable in said chamber for closing the waste opening and means for ...

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