US20090044795A1 - Grate apparatus and method of cleaning - Google Patents

Grate apparatus and method of cleaning Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090044795A1
US20090044795A1 US11/840,447 US84044707A US2009044795A1 US 20090044795 A1 US20090044795 A1 US 20090044795A1 US 84044707 A US84044707 A US 84044707A US 2009044795 A1 US2009044795 A1 US 2009044795A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
grate
cook top
insert
portion
inserts
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/840,447
Inventor
Timothy Scott Shaffer
James W. Allen
Daniel J. Trice
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
General Electric Co
Original Assignee
General Electric Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by General Electric Co filed Critical General Electric Co
Priority to US11/840,447 priority Critical patent/US20090044795A1/en
Assigned to GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY reassignment GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ALLEN, JAMES W., SHAFFER, TIMOTHY SCOTT, TRICE, DANIEL J.
Publication of US20090044795A1 publication Critical patent/US20090044795A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24COTHER DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES; DETAILS OF DOMESTIC STOVES OR RANGES, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F24C15/00Details
    • F24C15/10Tops, e.g. hot plate; Rings
    • F24C15/107Pan supports or grates therefor

Abstract

A grate assembly includes a cook top defining a support surface, and a grate that includes a projection extending from a peripheral portion. The projection is configured to support a cooking vessel on the grate. The peripheral portion is configured to support the grate on the support surface. A hole is formed in one of the peripheral portion of the grate or the support surface of the cook top. An insert is disposed within the hole and between the support surface of the cook top and the peripheral portion of the grate.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to an appliance, and more particularly, to a grate apparatus and method such as for a cook top stove.
  • A cooking appliance includes gas and/or electric heating elements for heating and cooking food. The cook top may be made out of ceramic or metal. Often the metal cook top is coated with enamel for added durability. Either a natural gas or propane gas cooking unit is generally used.
  • In a first type, a gas burner is provided which is arranged under a cook top surface that is typically a closed glass-ceramic panel. In this type, the gas burner heats the ceramic cook top that in turn heats a cooking vessel. A second type of gas cooking unit utilizes a conventional atmospheric gas burner, i.e. that with an open flame, which is inserted through an opening in the cook top.
  • A grate is utilized to provide separation between the cooking vessel and the burner. The grate is often made of metal or other hard material. The grate must have a surface for resting a cooking vessel, and feet for raising the grate above the cook top. The cooking grate must be arranged so that it is directly above the gas burner and relatively fixed in position, so that the energy transfer from the burner to the cooking vessel is optimized. The grate prevents damage to the burner and maintains an optimal cook distance between the cook top and the cooking vessel and therefore must be sturdy and withstand the high temperatures associated with its location.
  • The hard material or metal of the grate can scratch or mar the enamel coating or glass-ceramic cook top. Particularly where the grate can move in relation to the cook top. These scratches not only reduce the visual aesthetics of the cook top, but in the case of a glass-ceramic cook top, weaken the structural integrity of the cook top increasing the possibility of breaking. It has therefore been a concern to reduce or eliminate the marring and scratching of the cook top.
  • One practice has been to glue inserts made of silicone or another soft material onto the bottom or feet of the grate so as to cushion the interface between the grate and the cooking area. The feet are regions of the bottom of the grate which are formed to be lower than the rest of the periphery to allow point contact with the cook top. This creates a more stable interface and prevents rocking of the grate on the cook top.
  • Another arrangement has a foot holding device for maintaining the grate in position on the cook top. The foot holding device includes a plurality of foot holders for mating with the feet of the cooking grate. Forming depressed regions in the surface of the cook top forms the foot holders. The depressed regions are formed to fit the shape of the respective feet of the grate and the foot ends are inserted into the depressions for retention. This limits removal and can be difficult to clean the cook top as grease and other debris may settle into the depressed regions.
  • Grates have traditionally been hard to clean due to the intense heat associated with their use and the resulting effect it has on food and grease spills. The food and grease often becomes cooked onto the surface and becomes difficult to remove. Generally, harsh chemicals or mechanical methods had been employed with generally poor results in cleaning the grates.
  • Self-clean ovens have become very common. Further, with the temperature, cycle time and material improvements self-clean ovens are very effective at removing debris from the interior surfaces of the oven.
  • Placing the grates from a gas cook top into the oven during a self-clean cycle is very effective in cleaning the grates. However, the temperature in the self-clean cycle often degrades the interface between the cook top and the grate. During the high temperatures of the self-clean cycle the soft material often oxidizes or sublimes into carbon ash, or the bonding agent between the soft material and the grate fails.
  • Thus, there exists a need in the art for a grate assembly that provides a sturdy support for cooking vessels and includes an interface that will not mar or scratch a cook top employing the gas burners and can be easily cleaned in the self-clean cycle of a self-clean oven.
  • There also exists a need in the art for a method of cleaning a grate for supporting cooking vessels by placing the grate in a self-clean oven during a self-clean cycle. Further, the interface for preventing marring or scratching of the cook top by the grate should be able to maintain pliability during the cleaning method.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • As described herein, each of the embodiments of the invention overcomes one or more of the above or other disadvantages in the art.
  • In an embodiment, a grate assembly includes a cook top defining a support surface, and a grate that includes a projection extending from a peripheral portion. The projection is configured to support a cooking vessel on the grate. The peripheral portion is configured to support the grate on the support surface. A hole is formed in one of the peripheral portion of the grate or the support surface of the cook top. An insert is disposed within the hole and between the support surface of the cook top and the peripheral portion of the grate.
  • In an embodiment, the invention provides a method of cleaning a grate for a burner assembly of a cook top, the burner assembly including a gas burner and a grate for supporting a cooking vessel. The method includes placing the grate into a self-clean oven for at least one cycle of a self-clean feature of the oven, and removing the grate from the self-clean oven. The method further includes supporting the grate on an interface between the cook top and the grate. The interface includes a plurality of pliable inserts in holes, each insert including a shank portion and a head portion. The head portion has a cross section greater than the shank portion, and the shank portion is positioned within a respective one of the holes.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The following figures illustrate examples of embodiments of the invention. The figures are described in detail below.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cooking appliance incorporating a grate assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a detail exploded view of the grate assembly of the cooking appliance of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of an insert of the grate assembly of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is a detail, partial cross sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a detail view of another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a bottom view of another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 is a detail, partial cross sectional view of the grate assembly of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 is a detail, partial cross sectional view of another embodiment of the grate assembly of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 9 is a front view of an alternate embodiment of an insert of the grate assembly of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Embodiments of the invention are described below, with reference to the figures. Throughout the figures, like reference numbers indicate the same or similar components. References to preferred embodiments are for illustration and understanding, and should not be taken as limiting.
  • With initial reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present invention is incorporated in a cooking appliance 100, which is shown as a domestic range. It is to be understood that the present invention could also be used in connection with an island-type or other countertop mounted cook top. In any event, for exemplary purposes, cooking appliance 100 is shown to include a cabinet 104 within which is formed an interior oven cavity. The oven cavity may be capable of performing a self-clean cycle, as is known in the art. Cooking appliance 100 further includes a cook top 102 that is formed from metal or a glass/ceramic-based material. An upper portion of a front panel 112 defines an upper front face 114 that includes a plurality of controls. Arranged below upper front face 114 is an oven door 108 having a handle 110. In a manner known in the art, door 108 can be pivoted to access the interior oven cavity of cooking appliance 100. Also, as shown, cooking appliance 100 includes a lower drawer 106 for use in storing pans and the like.
  • In the figures, upper front face 114 is provided with a plurality of element control knobs 130, 132, 134 and 136. Element control knobs 130, 132, 134 and 136 are used to control the operation of gas burner heating elements 140, 142, 144 and 146 respectively. Heating elements 140 and 142 are fitted with grates 141 and 143 respectively. Similarly, heating elements 144 and 146 are fitted with grates 145 and 147. In general, the construction and operation of cooking appliance 100, as described until this point, is known in the art. Further, the form, number and location of each of the elements described may change based on preference and use. To this end, additional details of this construction or operation will not be provided here.
  • Traditionally, cleaning the grates 141, 143, 145 and 147 is labor intensive and often requires caustic chemicals and harsh abrasives to remove the food and grease cooked onto the grate due to the high operational temperatures involved. By placing the grate into an oven during the self-clean cycle it was found that the grates would become very clean and not lose any luster as harsh chemicals and abrasives were not employed. According to one aspect of the present invention, the grate is cleaned by removing the grate from the cook top surface and removing the bumpers or feet from the grate prior to placing in an oven for the duration of a self-clean cycle.
  • Reference will now be made to one of the element assemblies, which include grate 141, and heating element 140 but is representative of the each of the element assemblies including grates 141, 143, 145 and 147 and heating elements 140, 142, 144 and 146. Referring to FIG. 2, grate 141 includes a peripheral edge 148 and a plurality of projections 118 extending from edge 148 toward a center portion 120 of the respective grate 141. Projections 118 form surfaces for resting a cooking vessel (not shown) above gas heating element 140. As shown, each grate interfaces with cook top 102 at 150.
  • In an embodiment of the invention interface 150 is a plurality of inserts 162 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Insert 162 is matingly inserted in a hole 168 in the cook top 102. Holes 168 are located to correspond to the peripheral edge 148 of grate 141 when grate 141 is resting on the cook top 102 during normal operation as shown in FIG. 1. The insert 162 has a head portion 164 and a shank portion 166. Head portion 164 is substantially larger in cross-section than shank portion 166. Shank 166 is inserted into hole 168. Preferably shank 166 has a bulge 170 or area larger than hole 168 to prevent easy removal of insert 162 from cook top 102. Bulge 170 should be located a distance 163 from head portion 164 which is less than or equal to the thickness of cook top 102. Thus the retention force of bulge 170 on the underside of cook top 102 creates a sealing force between head portion 164 and the upper side of cook top 102. This seal prevents food and other debris from becoming lodged between insert 162 and cook top 102, and facilitates cleaning the cook top surface. FIG. 9 shows an alternate embodiment of insert 162 where shank 166 is considerably longer then bulge 170 and like numbers indicate similar features.
  • Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4 the shank portion 166 of insert 162 and hole 168 of cook top 102 may be correspondingly threaded such that when insert 162 is fully threaded in hole 168 a seal is created between head portion 164 and the cook top surface.
  • In another alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 5, an insert 182 includes a head portion 184 and is located on cook top 102 to correspond to the peripheral edge 148 of grate 141 when resting on the cook top 102 during normal operation as shown in FIG. 1. Insert 182 is adhered or otherwise secured to cook top 102 at interface 186.
  • In other embodiments of the invention, interface 150 is a plurality of inserts 152, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. In these aspects of the invention insert 152 is matingly inserted in a hole 158 on the bottom of peripheral edge 148 of grate 141. Insert 152 has a head portion 154 and a shank portion 156. Head portion 154 is substantially larger in cross-section than shank portion 156. Shank 156 is removably inserted into hole 158. In an embodiment shank 156 and hole 158 are correspondingly threaded, but any means for removable retention of insert 152 is acceptable. Insert 152 is made of a material that will not mar or scratch the cook top, such as silicone. In this embodiment, insert 152 is removed from grate 141 before grate 141 is placed in an oven cavity for cleaning during the self-clean cycle.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, insert 152 is matingly inserted in hole 158 on the bottom of peripheral edge 148 of grate 141. Shank 156 is inserted into hole 158. Shank 156 contains a bulge 157 a distance from head 154 less than or equal to the thickness of wall 159 of peripheral edge 148. Further, bulge 157 is greater in diameter than hole 158. Thus, bulge 157 creates a retaining force for insert 152. However, any means for retention of insert 152 may be used. Insert 152 is made of any material that will not mar or scratch the cook top and can withstand temperatures in the 800-900 degree Fahrenheit (425-480 degree Celsius) range, such as graphite foil, or flexible graphite also known as GRAFOIL™. In this embodiment, the insert 152 remains with the grate 141 when placed in an oven for cleaning during the self-clean cycle. Other suitable materials for the insert 152 include ceramic wool, silica gel, and/or another pliable structure, including a structure formed of an inorganic material or compound.
  • This written description uses examples to disclose embodiments of the invention, including the best mode, and to enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use embodiments of the invention. It is understood that the patentable scope of embodiments of the invention is defined by the claims, and can include additional components occurring to those skilled in the art. Such other components and examples are understood to be within the scope of the claims.

Claims (20)

1. A grate assembly comprising;
a cook top defining a support surface;
a grate comprising a projection extending from a peripheral portion, the projection configured to support a cooking vessel on the grate, and the peripheral portion configured to support the grate on the support surface;
a hole formed in one of the peripheral portion of the grate or the support surface of the cook top; and
an insert disposed within the hole and between the support surface of the cook top and the peripheral portion of the grate.
2. The grate assembly of claim 1, wherein the insert comprises a shaft portion and a head portion, the shaft portion disposed in the hole and having a first diameter, and the head portion disposed between the cook top and the peripheral portion of the grate and having a second diameter greater than the first diameter.
3. The grate assembly of claim 2, wherein the shaft of the insert further comprises a bulge at an end opposite the head portion, the bulge having a third diameter greater than the first diameter and smaller than the second diameter.
4. The grate assembly of claim 1, wherein the insert is made of pliable material.
5. The grate assembly of claim 1, wherein the insert and the hole comprise corresponding threads.
6. The grate assembly of claim 1, wherein the insert is retained in the cook top surface with a retention force.
7. The grate assembly of claim 1, wherein the insert is retained in the peripheral portion of the grate with a retention force.
8. The grate assembly of claim 7, wherein the insert is made of heat resistant material.
9. The grate assembly of claim 8, wherein the heat resistant material is graphite foil.
10. A cooking appliance comprising;
a cook top;
a plurality of gas burners;
a grate comprising a surface portion for supporting a cooking vessel and a peripheral portion for resting on the cook top;
a hole formed in one of the peripheral portion or the cook top; and
an interface between the cook top and peripheral portion, wherein the interface permits cleaning the grate in a self-clean oven and comprises a plurality of pliable inserts in the holes, each of the inserts comprises a shank portion and a head portion, the head portion having a cross section greater than the shank portion, the shank portion positioned within a respective one of the holes.
11. The cooking appliance according to claim 10, wherein the inserts are retained in the cook top with a retention force.
12. The cooking appliance according to claim 10, wherein the inserts are retained in the peripheral portion with a retention force.
13. The cooking appliance according to claim 12, wherein the inserts are made of heat resistant material.
14. The cooking appliance according to claim 13, wherein the heat resistant material is graphite foil.
15. A method of cleaning a grate for a burner assembly of a cook top, the burner assembly comprising a gas burner and a grate for supporting a cooking vessel, the method comprising:
placing the grate into a self-clean oven for at least one cycle of a self-clean feature of the oven;
removing the grate from the self-clean oven; and
supporting the grate on an interface between the cook top and the grate, the interface comprising a plurality of pliable inserts in holes, each insert comprising a shank portion and a head portion, the head portion having a cross section greater than the shank portion, and the shank portion positioned within a respective one of the holes.
16. The method according to claim 15, further comprising:
removing the inserts from the holes, which are in the grate, prior to placing the grate into the self-clean oven; and
placing the inserts in the holes after removing the grate from the self-clean cycle.
17. The method according to claim 15, wherein the inserts are made of a heat resistant material.
18. The method according to claim 17, wherein the heat resistant material is graphite foil.
19. The method according to claim 17, wherein the shank portion of each insert comprises a thicker cross-section and a necked down cross-section, where the necked down cross-section is adjacent the head portion.
20. The cooking appliance according to claim 19, wherein the inserts are retained in the cook top with a retention force.
US11/840,447 2007-08-17 2007-08-17 Grate apparatus and method of cleaning Abandoned US20090044795A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
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US11/840,447 US20090044795A1 (en) 2007-08-17 2007-08-17 Grate apparatus and method of cleaning
CA 2622654 CA2622654A1 (en) 2007-08-17 2008-02-22 Grate apparatus and method of cleaning

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090196970A1 (en) * 2008-01-22 2009-08-06 Brad Barrett System and Device for Grilling Foods
US20110315835A1 (en) * 2010-06-24 2011-12-29 Bsh Home Appliances Corporation Compressive stabilizing grate foot
US20120048258A1 (en) * 2010-08-31 2012-03-01 Bsh Home Appliances Corporation Adjustable grate foot for home appliance
EP3062025A1 (en) * 2015-02-25 2016-08-31 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Rubber foot for heatable metal device
US20170059178A1 (en) * 2014-05-07 2017-03-02 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Pot support with elastic foot and method for fixing elastic foot to a pot support
USD836373S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-12-25 Whirlpool Corporation Cooktop grate
US10612788B2 (en) 2016-12-15 2020-04-07 Whirlpool Corporation Gas cooktop and grate for the gas cooktop

Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1480585A (en) * 1922-12-09 1924-01-15 James G Wilkie Attachment for gas stoves
US1772883A (en) * 1924-09-24 1930-08-12 Hammer Bray Company Cover and grate combination for stove-lid openings
US2526687A (en) * 1945-09-14 1950-10-24 Clinton A Reams Cast iron melting vessel with graphite plugs therein
US2678643A (en) * 1948-11-10 1954-05-18 Chambers Corp Top burner grate
US3263676A (en) * 1964-07-31 1966-08-02 Magic Chef Inc Range grate clip
US3369537A (en) * 1966-07-18 1968-02-20 Ira Bruce Young Jr. Burner grate for gas ranges
US4089321A (en) * 1976-02-06 1978-05-16 Ondrasik Ii Vladimir J Constraining grate
US4140040A (en) * 1977-06-30 1979-02-20 Modrey Henry J Fastening device for locking an insert in a hole of a support member
US4934333A (en) * 1989-05-02 1990-06-19 The Ducane Company, Inc. Safety apparatus for stove-top burners
US5628302A (en) * 1995-06-21 1997-05-13 Maytag Corporation Burner assembly and pan seal
US5871199A (en) * 1993-03-17 1999-02-16 Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Vibration insulating pad
US6787701B2 (en) * 2000-10-06 2004-09-07 Tyco Electronics, Amp, K.K. Waterproof grommet
US6978778B2 (en) * 2002-12-20 2005-12-27 Maytag Corporation Gas grate locating assembly for a ceramic-based cooktop

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1480585A (en) * 1922-12-09 1924-01-15 James G Wilkie Attachment for gas stoves
US1772883A (en) * 1924-09-24 1930-08-12 Hammer Bray Company Cover and grate combination for stove-lid openings
US2526687A (en) * 1945-09-14 1950-10-24 Clinton A Reams Cast iron melting vessel with graphite plugs therein
US2678643A (en) * 1948-11-10 1954-05-18 Chambers Corp Top burner grate
US3263676A (en) * 1964-07-31 1966-08-02 Magic Chef Inc Range grate clip
US3369537A (en) * 1966-07-18 1968-02-20 Ira Bruce Young Jr. Burner grate for gas ranges
US4089321A (en) * 1976-02-06 1978-05-16 Ondrasik Ii Vladimir J Constraining grate
US4140040A (en) * 1977-06-30 1979-02-20 Modrey Henry J Fastening device for locking an insert in a hole of a support member
US4934333A (en) * 1989-05-02 1990-06-19 The Ducane Company, Inc. Safety apparatus for stove-top burners
US5871199A (en) * 1993-03-17 1999-02-16 Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Vibration insulating pad
US5628302A (en) * 1995-06-21 1997-05-13 Maytag Corporation Burner assembly and pan seal
US6787701B2 (en) * 2000-10-06 2004-09-07 Tyco Electronics, Amp, K.K. Waterproof grommet
US6978778B2 (en) * 2002-12-20 2005-12-27 Maytag Corporation Gas grate locating assembly for a ceramic-based cooktop

Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8584580B2 (en) * 2008-01-22 2013-11-19 Brad Barrett System and device for grilling foods
US20090196970A1 (en) * 2008-01-22 2009-08-06 Brad Barrett System and Device for Grilling Foods
US20110315835A1 (en) * 2010-06-24 2011-12-29 Bsh Home Appliances Corporation Compressive stabilizing grate foot
US9612021B2 (en) * 2010-06-24 2017-04-04 Bsh Home Appliances Corporation Compressive stabilizing grate foot for home appliance
US20120048258A1 (en) * 2010-08-31 2012-03-01 Bsh Home Appliances Corporation Adjustable grate foot for home appliance
AU2015257964B2 (en) * 2014-05-07 2019-10-03 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Pot support with elastic foot and method for fixing elastic foot to a pot support
US10533753B2 (en) * 2014-05-07 2020-01-14 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Pot support with elastic foot and method for fixing elastic foot to a pot support
US20170059178A1 (en) * 2014-05-07 2017-03-02 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Pot support with elastic foot and method for fixing elastic foot to a pot support
CN107404998A (en) * 2015-02-25 2017-11-28 伊莱克斯家用电器股份公司 For the rubber mat of metal device can be heated
EP3062025A1 (en) * 2015-02-25 2016-08-31 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Rubber foot for heatable metal device
WO2016134939A1 (en) * 2015-02-25 2016-09-01 Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolag Rubber foot for a heatable metal device
USD836373S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-12-25 Whirlpool Corporation Cooktop grate
USD880216S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2020-04-07 Whirlpool Corporation Cooktop grate
US10612788B2 (en) 2016-12-15 2020-04-07 Whirlpool Corporation Gas cooktop and grate for the gas cooktop

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Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, NEW YORK

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SHAFFER, TIMOTHY SCOTT;ALLEN, JAMES W.;TRICE, DANIEL J.;REEL/FRAME:019711/0045;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070803 TO 20070815

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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