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Title:
System for mounting a device on a pole
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The specification and drawing figures describe and show a mounting apparatus. The mounting apparatus includes a sleeve. The sleeve is formed with a plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots. The sleeve is removably engageable with one end of a pole on which it is desired to mount one or more devices. Connectors are included that fit adjustably and removably into the plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots. In addition, at least one bar is included. Each bar is formed with a plurality of apertures. The apertures permit variably positioning the bar on the connectors. A cap also is provided. The cap is connected to one end of the sleeve and engageable with one end of the pole. The mounting apparatus includes a variety of ways to secure the mounting apparatus to a pole. This abstract is provided to comply with rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure, but this abstract is not to be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of any claim.


Inventors:
Liebendorfer, John E. (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Schuit, Nathan J. (Edgewood, NM, US)
Application Number:
10/899951
Publication Date:
12/30/2004
Filing Date:
07/26/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/18; E04H14/00; F24J2/52; H01L31/042; H01L31/048; H01L; (IPC1-7): E04D13/18; E04H14/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ray, Esq. Regan R. (P.O. Box 1442, Corrales, NM, 87048, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A mounting apparatus, comprising: a sleeve formed with a plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots, wherein the sleeve is rotatably and removably engageable with one end of a pole; one or more self-locking connectors movably insertable in the plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots; and at least one bar formed with an aperture for variably positioning the at least one bar on the one or more connectors.

2. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 1, further comprising a cap connectable to one the sleeve and engageable with the end of the pole.

3. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 2, wherein the sleeve is formed from at least two interlockable channels.

4. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 3, wherein the at least two interlockable channels are substantially identical.

5. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein the at least two interlockable channels are formed with an edge having a longitudinal duct.

6. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 5, wherein the at least two interlockable channels are formed with a beaded edge slidably engageable with the longitudinal duct.

7. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 6, wherein the cross-sectional configuration of the sleeve is selected from the group of cross-sectional configurations consisting of circles, semi-circles, squares, triangles, oblongs, hexagons, and heptagons, among other configurations.

8. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 7, wherein the one or more connectors is selected from the group of connectors consisting of bolts having heads and a threaded end for engagement of a nut, washers formed with holes, rivets, screws, among other connectors.

9. A mounting apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising means for securing the apparatus on the pole.

10. A system for mounting a device on a pole, comprising: a sleeve removably engageable with the exposed end of a pole, wherein the sleeve further comprises a monolithically attached bracket; a slot formed adjacent to one border of the bracket; one or more bores formed adjacent the opposing border of the bracket; and a bar repositionably connectable to the slot and to the one or more bores.

11. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, further comprising a cap formed for contact with the exposed end of the pole.

12. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, wherein the sleeve, the bracket, and the bar are formed of one or more materials.

13. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 12, wherein the one or more materials are selected from the group of materials consisting of aluminum, steel, resin, plastic, and metal.

14. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, further comprising a self-locking connector connectable to the slot and to the bar.

15. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, further comprising means for variably positioning the bar on the bracket.

16. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, further comprising means for attaching the device to the bar.

17. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, wherein the device is one or more solar panels.

18. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, wherein the device is one or more positionable transmitters.

19. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, wherein the device is one or more positionable receivers.

20. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 19, wherein the one or more positionable receivers is a satellite dish.

21. A system for mounting a device on a pole as recited in claim 10, further comprising means for securing the apparatus on the pole.

22. A method for variably positioning a device on a pole, comprising: selecting a material for forming a sleeve; shaping the material to form a sleeve with at least one slot; configuring the sleeve to be removably engageable with the pole; inserting one or more connectors in the slot; shaping the material into at least one bar; forming one or more apertures in the at least one bar for mountable engagement on the one or more connectors; and including a cap connectable to one end of the sleeve.

23. A method for variably positioning a device on a pole as recited in claim 22, wherein the sleeve shaping step includes the substeps of: forming at least two interlockable substantially identical channels; shaping each of the two interlockable substantially identical channels to provide an edge having a longitudinal duct; and shaping each of the two interlockable substantially identical channels to provide another edge having a beaded edge slidably insertable into the longitudinal duct.

24. A method for variably positioning a device on a pole as recited in claim 22, wherein the one or more connectors inserting step includes the substep of inserting one or more bolts having heads and a threaded end for engagement of a nut and a washer.

25. A method for variably positioning a device on a pole as recited in claim 22, further comprising the substep of providing means for securing the sleeve on the pole.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part from co-pending nonprovisional U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/783,808 filed Feb. 21, 2004, the specification of which is incorporated by reference into this document.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

[0002] The apparatus and method disclosed in this document pertain generally to mounting apparatus. More particularly, the new and useful systems disclosed and claimed in this document pertain to an apparatus for variably positioning one or more devices on a pole. The mounting apparatus is particularly, but not exclusively, useful for variably positioning a solar panel on a pole.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Devices such as solar panels, transmitters, receivers, telescopes, radar units, satellite dishes, and a host of other devices present unique problems associated with mounting such devices on a pole. When mounted on one end of a vertical pole, the apparatus must be capable of resisting wind, rain, significant variations in ambient temperatures, and a host of other challenges presented by the elements. Limitations among mounting apparatus currently available for installing devices on one end of a pole include complexity of design and installation. Current limitations also include non-standard dimensions of hardware used to assemble and secure devices on mounting brackets attached to poles. In addition, there exists an evident inability to integrate the cap of the system claimed in this document with the top of a pole. Current apparatus also fail to allow installation of a device in a 360-degree radius or orientation around a longitudinal axis through the center of a pole on which the device or devices are mounted, and allow no adjustment of the position of a device on or along an axis or plane transverse to the longitudinal axis through a pole, i.e., in directions “up” or “down” from a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of the pole. Exemplary solutions for mounting solar panels on surfaces and objects are shown in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/910,655, filed Jul. 20, 2001, and in U.S. Continuation-in-Part patent application Ser. No. 10/116,384, filed Apr. 4, 2002, and in Continuation-in-Part patent application Ser. No. 10/783,808, filed Feb. 21, 2004, naming as the sole inventor one of the inventors named in this document, the specifications of which are incorporated into this document by reference. However, a need exists in the industry for a new, useful and improved mounting apparatus directed to the challenging problems of mounting a device on an exposed end of a pole.

SUMMARY

[0004] In one embodiment of the mounting apparatus disclosed and claimed in this document, a sleeve is provided. The sleeve may be monolithically formed and shaped, or may be assembled from interlockable channels. The sleeve may be formed with one or more slots. The sleeve is removably engageable with one end of a pole on which it is desired to mount one or more devices (“exposed end” of a pole). The ends of a pole are identified in this document as the exposed end, which is the end on which a device is to be mounted, and the “installed end,” the end that generally is secured to the ground or to a structure to hold the pole in position. Connectors are included that adapt both adjustably and removably to the slots. In addition, at least one bar is included. The bar is formed with a plurality of apertures strategically located to permit variably positioning the bar on the connectors and, accordingly, in relationship to the pole. The bar is formed with at least one aperture. A cap also is provided. The cap is connected to one end of the sleeve. At least one side of the cap is engageable with the exposed end of the pole. The mounting apparatus includes a variety of ways to secure the mounting apparatus to a pole.

[0005] As indicated, in one embodiment the sleeve of the mounting apparatus is formed from at least two interlockable channels that are substantially identical in shape, configuration, and dimensions. As used in this document, the term “interlockable channels” means that the two substantially identical channels include structural elements permitting a combination of any two channels to be assembled into a sleeve. In one non-exclusive embodiment, each channel includes opposing edges. One edge is formed as a duct, and the opposing edge is beaded to slide and mesh into a duct to form a sleeve. Because the channels are substantially identical in shape, configuration, and dimensions, a first channel may be inverted in orientation in relation to a second channel, and the two channels interlocked by sliding the opposing beaded edges into the opposing ducts.

[0006] In yet another embodiment, a system for mounting a variety of devices on the exposed end of a pole includes a sleeve that also is removably engageable with the exposed end of a pole. The sleeve includes a bracket. The bracket is monolithically formed in the sleeve. Either a slot or a plurality of slots is formed adjacent to one border of the bracket. One or more bores is formed adjacent the opposing border of the bracket. In another embodiment, a groove may be scored or formed on a surface of the sleeve or bracket for locating one or more points at which to form the bores. A bar is provided that may be connected to the bracket is a variety of positions. A cap may be attached to one end of the sleeve.

[0007] In operation of any embodiment, any of a variety of devices may be attached to the system, including but not limited to a solar panel, a transmitter, a receiver, and a satellite dish, among others.

[0008] It will become apparent to one skilled in the art that the claimed subject matter as a whole, including the structure of the apparatus, and the cooperation of the elements of the apparatus, combine to result in a number of unexpected advantages and utilities. The structure and co-operation of structure of the mounting apparatus will become apparent to those skilled in the art when read in conjunction with the following description, drawing figures, and appended claims. The foregoing has outlined broadly the more important features of the invention to better understand the detailed description that follows, and to better understand the contributions to the art. The mounting apparatus is not limited in application to the details of construction, and to the arrangements of the components, provided in the following description or drawing figures, but is capable of other embodiments, and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. The phraseology and terminology employed in this disclosure are for purpose of description, and therefore should not be regarded as limiting. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, the conception on which this disclosure is based readily may be used as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems. The claims, therefore, include equivalent constructions. Further, the abstract associated with this disclosure is intended neither to define the mounting apparatus, which is measured by the claims, nor intended to limit the scope of the claims. The novel features of the mounting apparatus are best understood from the accompanying drawing, considered in connection with the accompanying description of the drawing, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0009] FIG. 1A of the drawing is a perspective view of one embodiment of the mounting apparatus in an operable environment, with multiple slots;

[0010] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A with the addition of a cap;

[0011] FIG. 1C is a top view of the interlocking channels of one embodiment;

[0012] FIG. 2A is perspective view of another embodiment of the mounting apparatus with multiple brackets;

[0013] FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2A with the addition of a cap;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing positioning of at least one arm;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment having a single bracket shown in FIG. 1A with the addition of a cap;

[0016] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A with two slots;

[0017] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the system on which a satellite dish is attached;

[0018] FIG. 7A is a perspective view of the system rigged for mounting a solar panel; and

[0019] FIG. 7B is a perspective view of an array of solar panels to be mounted on the apparatus and pole.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] As shown in FIGS. 1-7, a mounting apparatus 10 is provided that, in its broadest context, includes a sleeve 12. To the extent that subscripts to numerical designations in this document are followed by the lower case letter “n,” as in “a-n,” the letter “n” is intended to express a large number of possible repetitions of the element designated by that numerical reference and subscripts. Thus, sleeve 12 is formed with at least one slot 14a-n. Sleeve 12 also is formed to be mountable on a pole 16 by being slidably and removably engageable with one end 18 of pole 16. One or more connectors 20 are included. Each connector 20a-n fits into slot 14a-n. In addition, at least one bar 22 is included. Bar 22 is formed with at least one aperture 24. In one embodiment, a plurality of apertures 24a-n are provided; in another embodiment, a plurality of circular apertures 24a-c are provided; in another embodiment, a central aperture 24a and two opposing elongated apertures 24b,c on either side of circular central aperture 24a is provided; in another embodiment, an elongated aperture 24 is provided. All embodiments of aperture 24 allow a user to position bar 22 on connectors 20a-n in a 360-degree direction around the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16, and to position a device 26 on one or more bars 22a-n in a variety of positions on a plane transverse to the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16. A cap 28 also is provided. In addition, the combination of the use of a central connector 20 in aperture 24 ensures that during installation, removal, and realignment of bar 22, bar 22 does not become disengaged from pole 16 while other adjustments to the system are undertaken. Cap 28 is connectable to proximal end 30 of sleeve 12 in a variety of ways such as welding. Also, mounting apparatus 10 also includes means 32 for securing mounting apparatus 12 to pole 16.

[0021] Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1A-1B, sleeve 12 includes a plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots 14a-n. Plurality of spaced-apart substantially parallel slots 14a-n may be monolithically formed in sleeve 12. As shown perhaps best by cross-reference between FIGS. 1A and 5, sleeve 12 may include a single shoulder 34a having opposing space-apart substantially parallel slots 14a-b as shown in FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 1A, a plurality of shoulders 34b,c having spaced-apart substantially parallel slots 14a-d, also may be provided. Slots 14a-n are shaped and dimensioned to hold connectors 20a-n. More specifically, one embodiment of connectors 20a-n, as perhaps best shown in FIG. 1A, include heads, threaded ends, nuts, and washers that are more particularly described below. Slots 14a-n and the heads of connectors 20a-n are self-locking. The term “self-locking” as used in this document means that a person installing a device 26 on exposed end 18 of pole 16 may tighten or loosen nuts installed on the protruding end of threaded ends of connectors 20a-n using a single wrench applied to the nuts. Slots 14a-n act as a restraining wrench on the head of the connector. As shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 1A and 5, shoulders 34a,b are formed monolithically in exterior surface 36 of sleeve 12. As also shown in FIG. 1B, a cap 28 is included.

[0022] In addition, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1A-1B and 5, one or more teeth 38a,b and one or more elbows 40a,b is formed monolithically in shoulders 34a-c. The leading surfaces 42a-c of one or more teeth 38 and elbows 40 combine to extend substantially equidistant from cavities 44, and assist in securing mounting apparatus 10 to outer surface 46 of pole 16.

[0023] As also shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 1A and 5, interior surface 48 of sleeve 12 is shaped and configured to be removably engageable with outer surface 46 a pole 16. As shown, outer surface 46 of pole 16 and interior surface 48 of sleeve 12 are substantially cylindrical. However, as a person skilled in the art will recognize, the cross-sectional configuration of sleeve 12 and pole 16 may be circular, semi-circular, square, triangles, oblong, or any of a variety of shapes and configurations. The cross-sectional configurations of sleeve 12 and pole 16 are not limitations on mounting apparatus 10.

[0024] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 5, one or more connectors 20a-n fit into and may be removed from slots 14a-n. As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, one or more connectors 20a-n may be selected from a wide array and group of connectors. As shown, one or more connectors 20a-n are bolts 50a-n having heads 52a-n engageable with slots 14a-n, and a threaded end 54a-n for engagement of a nut 56a-n and washers 58a-n. One or more connectors 20a-n also may include rivets and screws, among other connectors.

[0025] As also shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 1A and 1C, sleeve 12 may be formed from at least two interlockable channels 60a,b. Interlockable channels 60a,b are substantially identical in shape, configuration, and dimensions. Interlockable channels 60a,b include edges 62a,b. Edges 62a,b are formed with a longitudinal duct 64a,b. Interlockable channels 60a,b also include edges 62c,d. Edges 62c,d are formed with a beaded edge 66a,b slidably engageable with longitudinal duct 64a,b. The design and manufacturing of two interlockable channels 60a,b, as shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 1A and 1C, contributes to interlockable channels 60a,b being assembled into sleeve 12. Because interlockable channels 60a,b are substantially identical in shape, configuration, and dimensions, interlockable channel 60a, for example, may be inverted in orientation in relation to interlockable channel 60b, and the two channels may interlocked by sliding opposing beaded edges 66a,b into opposing longitudinal ducts 64a,b.

[0026] As shown in FIGS. 3, 6, 7A-7B, mounting apparatus 10 also includes at least one bar 22. At least one bar 22 is, as perhaps best shown by cross-reference to FIG. 3, may be formed either with one or more elongated apertures 24, or with a plurality of variously shaped and configured apertures 24a-n. Apertures 24a-n allow bar 22 to be positioned in a variety of angles and orientations on pole 16. As shown in FIG. 3, by selective placement of one or more connectors 20a-c in slots 14a-c at different relative locations with respect to each other. The differing relative positioning of bar 22 on one or more connectors 20a-c, and the securing of bar 22 on one or more connectors 20a-c with nuts 56a-c and washers 58a-c, contributes to orienting bar 22 relative to pole 16 in a wide arc of possible positions in relation to a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16. A non-exclusive range of orientation angles in the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16 is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 3, and is represented by Angle A.

[0027] In the embodiment shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 2A-2B and 4, mounting apparatus 10 is a system 10′ for mounting a device 26 on exposed end 18 of pole 16. As shown, system 10′ includes a sleeve 12′ removably engageable with exposed end 18 of pole 16. Sleeve 12′ includes a bracket 68. Bracket 68 is monolithically formed in sleeve 12′. In one embodiment of bracket 68, a slot 14e is formed adjacent to one opposing border 70a of bracket 68. In addition, one or more bores 72a-n are formed adjacent the other opposing border 70b of bracket 68. The shape and dimension of bores 72a-n, regardless of the embodiment, is not material to mounting apparatus 10. Bores 72a-n may be, for example, circular, or may be square to accommodate a carriage bolt. A bar 22, as shown in FIG. 3, is repositionably connectable to bracket 68. As also shown, a cap 28′ is attached to rim 74 of sleeve 12. Cap 28′ is positionable against exposed end 18 of pole 16. As also shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B and 4, a groove 76 may be scored or formed on exterior surface 36′ of bracket 68. Groove 76 is substantially parallel to the at least one slot 14e and adjacent one end 70a of monolithically formed bracket 68, as perhaps best shown in FIG. 2A. Groove 76 is useful in identifying a point or points for forming bores 72a-n in bracket 68, through which one or more connectors 20a-n may be inserted for holding and positioning bar 22 as best shown in FIG. 3.

[0028] System 10′ also includes means 78 (not shown) for variably positioning bar 22 on bracket 68, and means 78 include as non-exclusive components connectors 20a-n. As shown by cross-reference between FIGS. 1, 6, and 7A-7B, means 78 for variably positioning bar 22 on bracket 68 includes at least one or more connectors 20a-n that may be bolts having heads 50a-n engageable with slots 14a-n, and a threaded end 54a-n for engagement of a nut 56a-n and washers 58a-n. One or more connectors 20a-n also may include rivets and screws, among other connectors. Likewise, system 10′ includes means 80 for attaching device 26 to bar 22, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. Means 80 for attaching device 26 to bar 22 also includes at least one or more connectors 20a-n that may be bolts having heads 50a-n engageable with slots 14a-n, and a threaded end 54a-n for engagement of a nut 56a-n and washers 58a-n. One or more connectors 20a-n also may include rivets and screws, among other connectors. Means 80, as perhaps best shown in FIG. 7A, also may include U-bolts connecting on or more extensions 82a-n to arms 22a,b. As shown in FIG. 6, mounting apparatus 10 is useful in mounting a device 26 on pole 16. As shown, device 26 is a satellite dish 82. As shown in FIG. 7, device 26 may be a solar panel array 84. As a person skilled in the art will appreciate, device 26 may also be any of a number of positionable transmitters and positionable receivers. As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, means 32 for securing mounting apparatus 10 to pole 16 are provided. As shown, means 32 for securing mounting apparatus 10 to pole 16 include at least one or more locking screws 82 but as will be evident to one skilled in the art, means 32 may be any of a variety of components for securing mounting apparatus 10 to pole 16.

[0029] As also will be evident to one skilled in the art, sleeve 12, bracket 68, and bar 22 may be made from a wide variety of materials including at least aluminum, steel, other metals, resins, and plastics, among other materials.

[0030] As shown in FIGS. 1-7, all embodiments of mounting apparatus 10 are mountable on pole 16. As used in this document, the term pole 10 refers in general to a long usually cylindrical object, such as a shaft, pillar, stanchion, rod, tube, post, mast, or similar anchor support or body used for mounting a device 26 on exposed end 18 of such a pole 16, including solar panels 86, satellite dishes 88, and a host of other devices such as transmitters and receivers. As a person skilled in the art will recognize, however, pole 16 may not be cylindrical, and the shape of neither sleeve 12 of mounting apparatus 10, nor of pole 16, is a limitation of mounting apparatus 10.

[0031] In operation of any embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-7, the structural components of mounting apparatus 10, co-operating in combination, allow installation of a device 26 on pole 16 in any sector of 360-degree radius or orientation around the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16 on which device 26 is mounted, as shown in FIGS. 3, 6, and 7A-7B. In addition, the structural components of mounting apparatus 10, co-operating in combination, allow installation of a device 26 on pole 16 in a significant array of positions in an arc identified by the forward end 90 or trailing end 92 of bar 22, allowing adjustment of the position of device 26 along the axis transverse to the longitudinal axis through a pole, or, in other words, in directions of the bar 22 “up” or “down” from a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of the pole 16, as shown best in FIG. 3.

[0032] For example, sleeve 12 is rotatably positonable on end 18 of pole 16. Sleeve 12 is therefore positionable in any sector of 360-degree radius or orientation around the longitudinal axis through the center of pole 16 on which device 26 is mounted. Cap 28 abuts rim 74 of sleeve 12, thus helping to hold sleeve 12 in a first position. To achieve positioning of device 26 “up” or “down” from a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of the pole 16, one or more slots 14a-n are provided either in a shoulder 34a-n or bracket 68a-n. Slots 14a-n allow positioning connectors 20a-n anywhere within slots 14a-n. In different embodiments, bores 72a-n are provided instead of slots 14a-n, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. Connectors 20a-n are removably insertable in bores 72a-n. Using groove 76 as a drilling guide, bores 72a-n may be located anywhere along groove 76, which also helps provide a significant arc through which bar 22 may be mounted on connectors 20a-n for orienting bar 22, and therefore device 26, in the desired plane and angle in relation to pole 16. Through the combined use of means 78 for attaching device 26 to bar 22, and means 82 for securing mounting apparatus 10 to pole 16, the varying orientations of device 26 are achieved.

[0033] The mounting apparatus 10 shown in drawing FIGS. 1 through 7 includes more than one embodiment that are not exclusive, but merely illustrative of the disclosed but non-exclusive embodiments. In addition, claim elements and steps in this document have been numbered solely as an aid in readability and understanding. The numbering is not intended to, and should not be considered as intending to, indicate the ordering of elements and steps in the claims. Means-plus-function clauses in the claims are intended to cover the structures described as performing the recited function that include not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures. Thus, although a nail and screw may not be structural equivalents, in the environment of the subject matter of this document a nail and a screw may be equivalent structures.