Class Notes

Current as of: June, 1999
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Classification: 305/

This class relates to apparatus intended to be substituted for the wheel or runner of a land vehicle. The apparatus of this class bears the same general relationship to a land vehicle as a wheel or runner and serves generally the same function but is so contructed that it can be called neither a wheel nor a runner. The apparatus of the class, however, may include wheels or runners as subcombination portions thereof.

Apparatus of the class is characterized by the provision of means which facilitate the movement of the vehicle over rough terrain or increases the traction of the vehicle with respect to the ground. Devices characteristic of the class are usually known as "Steppers" or "Endless Track Apparatus".

(1) Note. The scope of this class is limited to wheel substitutes, per se, and subcombination portions thereof and does not include the combination of land vehicles with wheel substitutes, except where the claimed combination includes only a nominal recitation of the land vehicle. For land vehicles provided with wheel substitutes see the appropriate vehicle classes as indicated in the Search Notes below.

Wherever a drawing is associated with a definition, it is merely used to illustrate the basic concept encompassed by the definition of that subclass and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the subject matter covered by that subclass.



59, Chain, Staple, and Horseshoe Making,

78+, for chains of general utility.

152, Resilient Tires and Wheels, 1+, for spring wheels, subclasses 213+ for anti-skid devices for resilient tire. Class 305 takes patents where the sole specific disclosure or a claim is to an anti-skid device which is adapted to be trained about a pair of longitudinally

spaced resilient tires and intended to operate as an endless track apparatus.

180, Motor Vehicles,

6.7, for an endless track vehicle which is steered by driving, subclasses 7.1+ for a motor vehicle driven in some other way than by the mere rotation of road wheels as traction wheels, subclasses 116+ for surface effect vehicles, subclass 164 for a motor vehicle provided with powered means for creating a fluid force to attract the vehicle to a surface of travel (neither subclasses 116+ nor 164 requiring the claiming of a propulsion means or specific vehicle structure), and subclasses 182+ for a motor vehicle which includes one or more ski-like or runner members. Class 180 (noting the specified exceptions) takes patents relating to a vehicle, disclosed as a motor vehicle where some vehicle structure or a special relationship between the vehicle frame and the wheel substitute is set forth in the claims, irrespective or whether or not any driving means is claimed. However such expressions as a "vehicle frame", "an axle", "a pivotal connection between the vehicle frame and wheel substitute carrying frame" in claims which are otherwise directed to specific wheel substitute structure are considered mere nominal recitations of vehicle structure and are not excluded from Class 305. Also Class 180 takes patents claiming some element of the driving means of a wheel substitute except that the mere broad recitation of a drive means, drive axle or drive sprocket for a wheel substitute is not sufficient to exclude the patent from Class 305, if the vehicle is otherwise only nominally recited in the claims.

188, Brakes, for brakes, per se. Class 305 takes the combination of a wheel substitute and brake therefor if some wheel substitute structure is claimed. The mere nominal recitation of a wheel substitute in the claims is not sufficient wheel substitute structure to be classified in Class 305.

198, Conveyors: Power-Driven, appropriate subclasses for endless belt conveyors.

244, Aeronautics,

100+, for an aircraft landing gear in the form of a wheel substitute. Class 305 takes wheel substitute landing gears for aircraft where no aircraft structure is claimed or where only a nominal relationship between the aircraft and landing gear is claimed.

280, Land Vehicles,

5.22, for land vehicles provided with endless tracks especially adapted for ascending steps, subclasses 12.11 and 12.12 for land vehicles provided with a stepper running gear and subclass 28.5 for land vehicles provided with wheel substitute ground engaging support means. To be placed in

Class 280 a patent must claim some vehicle structure or more than a mere nominal relationship between the vehicle frame and the wheel substitute apparatus. For example the broad recitation of a vehicle frame, an axle, or a pivotal connection between the vehicle frame and the wheel substitute apparatus are considered mere nominal vehicle structure and a claim with these limitations would be classified in Class 305, if the claim is otherwise directed to the wheel substitute apparatus.

301, Land Vehicles: Wheels and Axles, 41.1+, and especially subclasses 45+ for traction increasing devices for wheels. Class 305 takes traction increasing devices in the form of plates pivotally secured to the rim of a wheel and adapted to extend in a plane parallel to the ground when in contact therewith to simulate the action of feet even though the plates are provided with ground penetrating cleats. These devices distinguish from the subject matter in Class 301, subclasses 45+ in that the traction increasing devices therein are limited to ground penetrating cleats which are movably mounted on the rim of a wheel but are not mounted on plates which are adapted to simulate the action of feet when in contact with the ground.

384, Bearings, appropriate subclasses for a bearings for a rotary element and particularly

417, for a bearing support for an idler pulley.

474, Endless Belt Power Transmission Systems or Components, appropriate subclasses for power transmission belts or chains of general utility either alone or in combination with a driving sprocket, and for guides or tensioners for such belts or chains. Class 305 takes a patent for a flexible track and wheel combination or a flexible track or element thereof, per se, wherein the sole disclosure or a claim is to a flexible track apparatus for a land vehicle. Class 474, takes a pulley, sprocket, or guide roll, per se, even though the pulley, sprocket, or guide roll is solely disclosed for use in connection with an endless track for a land wheel.



An annular band made either of a single piece of flexible material or of a plurality of individual treads or sections movably connected together.


A unitary ground engaging block or plate made of flexible or rigid material or a combination of both and provided with securing means for connection to similar devices to form a flexible track.


The term "wheel" as used in connection with this class includes resilient tires, sprocket gears, rollers or any other annular members rotatable about an axis and adapted to propel a flexible track or support a portion thereof.