Title:
SHOWER RECEPTORS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shower receptor includes a generally planar base surface, a deck surface, and a threshold surface. The generally planar base surface includes a drain opening. The deck surface extends upward from the generally planar base surface and along an outer side periphery thereof. The threshold surface extends upward from the generally planar base surface and along a front periphery of the base surface. The deck surface is spaced apart from the threshold surface to define a gap. The deck surface is substantially coplanar with the threshold surface.



Inventors:
Zimbric, Luke B. (Sheboygan Falls, WI, US)
O'brien, Sarah K. (Sheboygan, WI, US)
Szemetylo, Stephanie (Sheboygan, WI, US)
Gudimani, Gurusiddeshwar (Sheboygan, WI, US)
Application Number:
14/969433
Publication Date:
06/16/2016
Filing Date:
12/15/2015
Assignee:
Kohler Co. (Kohler, WI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A shower receptor comprising: a generally planar base surface including a drain opening; a deck surface extending upward from the generally planar base surface and along an outer side periphery thereof; and a threshold surface extending upward from the generally planar base surface and along a front periphery of the base surface; wherein the deck surface is spaced apart from the threshold surface to define a gap; and wherein the deck surface is substantially coplanar with the threshold surface.

2. The shower receptor of claim 1, further comprising a flange extending outwardly away from an outer periphery of the deck surface and surrounding at least a portion of the generally planar deck surface.

3. The shower receptor of claim 1, wherein the drain opening is at least partially defined by a first flange recessed below the deck surface and extending radially inward toward a center of the drain opening.

4. The shower receptor of claim 3, wherein the drain opening is at least partially defined by a second flange recessed below the first flange and extending radially inward toward the center of the drain opening further than the first flange, and wherein the second flange is configured to receive a drain.

5. The shower receptor of claim 4, further comprising a drain cover removably coupled to the first flange, wherein the drain cover is at least partially disposed below the deck surface.

6. The shower receptor of claim 5, further comprising a protrusion extending upward along a front peripheral edge of the threshold surface.

7. The shower receptor of claim 6, wherein the protrusion extends a distance of about 0.3125 inches above the threshold surface.

8. The shower receptor of claim 6, wherein a vertical distance between an upper portion of the protrusion and a surface of the first flange is about two inches.

9. The shower receptor of claim 1, wherein the deck surface and the threshold surface are each generally flat.

10. The shower receptor of claim 1, wherein the gap is about one inch wide by about 0.375 inches deep.

11. A shower receptor comprising: a base surface including a drain opening; a first perimeter surface disposed above the base surface and extending along an outer periphery thereof; a second perimeter surface disposed above the base surface and extending along a front portion of the receptor; a protrusion extending upward from the second perimeter surface along a front edge thereof; wherein the first perimeter surface is spaced apart from the second perimeter surface to define a gap; and wherein the first perimeter surface is substantially coplanar with the second perimeter surface.

12. The shower receptor of claim 11, further comprising a flange extending outwardly from an outer periphery of the second perimeter surface and surrounding at least a portion of the base surface.

13. The shower receptor of claim 11, wherein the drain opening is at least partially defined by a first flange recessed below the base surface and extending radially inward toward a center of the drain opening.

14. The shower receptor of claim 13, wherein the drain opening is at least partially defined by a second flange recessed below the first flange and extending radially inward toward the center of the drain opening further than the first flange, and wherein the second flange is configured to receive a drain.

15. The shower receptor of claim 14, further comprising a drain cover removably coupled to the first flange, wherein the drain cover is at least partially disposed below the base surface.

16. The shower receptor of claim 11, wherein the protrusion extends a distance of about 0.3125 inches above the second perimeter surface.

17. The shower receptor of claim 16, wherein a vertical distance between an upper portion of the protrusion and a surface of the first flange is about two inches.

18. The shower receptor of claim 1, wherein the gap is about one inch wide by about 0.375 inches deep.

19. A shower receptor comprising: a base surface including a drain opening; a first perimeter surface disposed above the base surface and extending along an outer periphery thereof, wherein the first perimeter surface is generally flat; a second perimeter surface disposed above the base surface and extending along a front portion of the receptor, wherein the second perimeter surface is generally flat; a protrusion extending upward from the second perimeter surface along a front edge thereof; wherein the first perimeter surface is spaced apart from the second perimeter surface to define a gap; and wherein the first perimeter surface is substantially coplanar with the second perimeter surface.

20. The shower receptor of claim 19, wherein the drain opening is defined by: a first flange disposed below the base surface and extending radially inward toward a center of the drain opening, and a second flange disposed below the first flange and extending radially inward toward the center of the drain opening further than the first flange.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/092,393, filed Dec. 16, 2014, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

The present application relates generally to showers, and in particular, to receptors for use in shower or bathing areas.

Generally speaking, a shower or bathing area can include a receptor for directing water within the area toward a drain pipe or sewer system. The receptor can include a drain opening and a drain cover. The receptor can also include surface features that help to contain water within the receptor. For example, the receptor can include one or more raised surfaces or features located at or near an entry way of the shower (e.g., a threshold surface, etc.) that can act to prevent water from leaking outside of the receptor. The distance between the top of the drain on the receptor and the top of a threshold or entry way surface must be at least two inches to comply with most building code requirements. Thus, most receptors include a threshold or entry way surface that is offset from a surrounding deck surface to meet the two inch height requirement.

However, the offset distance between the deck surface and the threshold or entry way surface can create an unsightly gap sometimes referred to as a “weep hole” or “mouse hole” between the receptor and an adjacent wall of the bathing area, because the adjacent wall typically extends to the deck surface extending along a perimeter of the receptor. The large weep hole can also result in the accumulation of dirt and bacteria over time. Typically, an installer conceals the large weep hole by modifying the adjacent wall, such as by extending the tile or wall surface down to meet the offset threshold surface. This can result in substantial modifications and effort to conceal the weep hole and to improve the aesthetics of the shower area.

Thus, there is a need for an improved receptor having features that address one or more of the above-identified deficiencies associated with conventional receptors. These and other advantageous features will become apparent to those reviewing the present disclosure.

SUMMARY

One embodiment relates to a shower receptor including a generally planar base surface, a deck surface, and a threshold surface. The generally planar base surface includes a drain opening. The deck surface extends upward from the generally planar base surface and along an outer side periphery thereof. The threshold surface extends upward from the generally planar base surface and along a front periphery of the base surface. The deck surface is spaced apart from the threshold surface to define a gap. The deck surface is substantially coplanar with the threshold surface.

Another embodiment relates to a shower receptor including a base surface, a first perimeter surface, a second perimeter surface, and a protrusion. The base surface includes a drain opening. The first perimeter surface is disposed above the base surface and extends along an outer periphery thereof. The second perimeter surface is disposed above the base surface and extends along a front portion of the receptor. The protrusion extends upward from the second perimeter surface along a front edge thereof. The first perimeter surface is spaced apart from the second perimeter surface to define a gap. The first perimeter surface is substantially coplanar with the second perimeter surface.

Yet another embodiment relates to a shower receptor including a base surface, a first perimeter surface, a second perimeter surface, and a protrusion. The base surface includes a drain opening. The first perimeter surface is disposed above the base surface and extends along an outer periphery thereof. The first perimeter surface is generally flat. The second perimeter surface is disposed above the base surface and extends along a front portion of the receptor. The second perimeter surface is generally flat. The protrusion extends upward from the second perimeter surface along a front edge thereof. The first perimeter surface is spaced apart from the second perimeter surface to define a gap. The first perimeter surface is substantially coplanar with the second perimeter surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shower receptor installed in a shower enclosure according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of a conventional shower receptor installed in a shower area according to the prior art.

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the shower receptor of FIG. 1 installed in a shower area according to another exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the shower receptor of FIG. 1 with a drain cover installed therein, according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the receptor of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a shower receptor without a drain cover installed therein, according to another exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the shower receptor of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9 in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 are perspective views of various shower receptors including different drain configurations according to various exemplary embodiments.

FIG. 11 are top views of various shower receptors having different sizes and including different drain sizes, according to various exemplary embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring generally to the FIGURES, disclosed herein are shower receptors that provide for improved water containment, improved aesthetics, and improved entryways within a shower or bathing area. According to an exemplary embodiment, the shower receptor has a coplanar deck surface and threshold surface that minimizes the weep hole size in, for example, a shower enclosure installation. According to another exemplary embodiment, the shower receptor has a threshold protrusion (e.g., a threshold bead, etc.) that provides for improved water containment within a shower area. According to other exemplary embodiments, the shower receptor includes a drain cover that allows for a reduced threshold height (i.e., step-over height) to allow a user to easily enter into and exit the shower area, while still meeting various building code requirements and providing for effective water containment.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a shower receptor 110 is shown installed in a shower enclosure 100 according to an exemplary embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, the shower enclosure 100 includes a receptor 110, a right end wall panel 120, a left end wall panel 140, and a back wall panel 130. Each of the wall panels 120, 130, and 140 are coupled to the receptor 110 to form the enclosure 100. According to other exemplary embodiments, the shower receptor 110 can be installed in a bathroom or shower area adjacent a fixed wall member, such as a tiled wall or the like (see, for example, FIG. 3).

Referring to FIG. 2, a shower receptor 210 is shown coupled adjacent a tiled wall member 300 according to the prior art. As shown, the shower receptor 210 includes a threshold surface 211 (e.g., a first surface, etc.) and a deck surface 212 (e.g., a perimeter surface, a peripheral surface, a second surface, etc.). The threshold surface 211 is offset (i.e., recessed) a distance “H” from the deck surface 212, such that the threshold hold surface 211 is located a sufficient distance above the drain of the receptor to comply with building code requirements (i.e., the two inch height requirement of the threshold surface relative to the drain). As a result, there is a large gap or “weep hole” between the tiled wall 300 and the threshold surface 211, which is both unsightly and can collect dirt over time. Typically, most installers hide or conceal the weep hole by extending the tile or wall surface down to the lower threshold surface 211. However, this requires significant modifications to the tile surface (e.g., notching, cutting, etc.), which is a complicated process that is undesirable to perform.

Referring to FIG. 3, a shower receptor 110 is shown installed adjacent the tiled wall 300 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present application. As shown, the shower receptor 110 includes a threshold surface 111 and a deck surface 112. The threshold surface 111 is substantially coplanar with the deck surface 112, so as to minimize the weep hole between a bottom edge of the tiled wall 300 and the threshold surface 111. According to an exemplary embodiment, the gap or weep hole is minimized to a size of about 1″ (inch) wide by about 0.375″ (inches) deep. The threshold surface 111 can provide effective water containment within the receptor 110, despite the lowered threshold surface height. In this way, the shower receptor 110 provides for improved aesthetics while still maintaining effective water management and minimizing the potential for trapped dirt or contaminants (e.g., mold, etc.) between the receptor 110 and the tiled wall 300.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-9, a shower receptor 110/510 is shown with a drain cover (FIG. 4) and without a drain cover (FIG. 7) according to two exemplary embodiments. The shower receptor 110/510 has a generally rectangular shape and can be installed in a variety of different shower and bathing environments, such as within a shower enclosure, a tile down wall installation, or other shower or bathing environments. As shown in FIGS. 4-9, each of the shower receptors 110/510 includes a base surface 115/515 (e.g., a support surface, a generally planar surface, etc.), a deck surface 112/512 (e.g., a first perimeter surface, etc.), a flange 114/514 (e.g., a channel, etc.), and a threshold surface 111/511 (e.g., a second perimeter surface, etc.).

According to the exemplary embodiment shown, the base surface 115/515 is generally planar and tapers inwardly toward a drain opening 118/518 (see FIGS. 6 and 9). The drain opening 118/518 is generally disposed at a middle portion of the base surface 115/515, although the drain opening may be located along a different portion of the base surface 115/515 according to other exemplary embodiments. According to an exemplary embodiment, the base surface 115/515 tapers radially inward at an angle of about 1.5 degrees relative to horizontal. In this way, water that is present within the receptor 110/510 can be directed toward the drain opening 118/518, respectively. The base surface 115/515 can act as a support surface by supporting the weight of one or more users of the shower area.

Still referring to FIGS. 4-9, the shower receptor 110/510 includes a deck surface 112/512 that extends upwardly or above the base surface 115/515 along an outer periphery of the base surface. According to an exemplary embodiment, the deck surface 112/512 extends continuously along a left side periphery, a rear side periphery, and a right side periphery of the base surface 115/515. As shown, the deck surface 112/512 is generally planar (e.g., flat) and defines a partial rectangular shape. The deck surface 112/512 extends outwardly away from the base surface 115/515. According to an exemplary embodiment, there is a contoured surface transition (e.g., curved, arcuate, etc.) between the base surface 115/515 and the deck surface 112/512 to prevent sharp corners or edges where a user might stand.

As shown in FIGS. 4-9, the receptor 110/510 further includes a flange 114/514 extending continuously along an outer side periphery of the deck surface 112/512. The flange 114/514 extends outwardly away from the deck surface 112/512 to define an outermost side periphery of the receptor 110/510. According to the exemplary embodiment shown, the flange 114/514 extends along a left side periphery, a rear side periphery, and a right side periphery of the receptor 110/510. According to an exemplary embodiment, the flange 114/514 defines a channel that can act as water containment measure by receiving at least a portion of the water that may overflow from the base surface 115/515 in the receptor 110/510. In addition, the flange 114/514 can couple the receptor 110/510 to a fixed structure, such as the wall of a building or to one or more shower enclosure walls (see, for example, FIG. 1).

According to the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 4-9, the shower receptor 110/510 further includes a threshold surface 111/511 extending upwardly or above the base surface 115/515. As shown, there is a contoured surface transition (e.g., curved, arcuate, etc.) between the base surface 115/515 and the threshold surface 111/511 to prevent sharp corners or edges where a user might stand or enter/exit the shower area. According to an exemplary embodiment, the threshold surface 111/511 is substantially coplanar with the deck surface 112/512. This configuration, advantageously, allows for a reduced weep hole size between the deck surface 112/512 and the threshold surface 111/511, and allows for minimal modifications to an adjacent wall member of the shower or bathing area to conceal the weep hole. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 7, the threshold surface 111/511 extends continuously along a front periphery of the base surface 115/515. The threshold surface 111/511 extends in a horizontal direction to define a generally planar surface (e.g., flat surface). The threshold surface 111/511 is spaced apart from an end of the deck surface 112/512 to define a gap therebetween, located near a front portion of the receptor 110/510. According to an exemplary embodiment, the gap (e.g., weep hole, etc.) defined between the threshold surface 111/511 and the deck surface 112/512 is about 1″ (inch) wide by about 0.375″ (inches) deep.

According to an exemplary embodiment, the threshold surface 111/511 is spaced apart from the deck surface 112/512 at each side or end of the receptor 110/510 to define two separate gaps or spaces. These gaps are sometimes referred to as weep holes or mouse holes that can help direct water that may overflow from the base surface 115/515 toward the flange 114/514. For example, water that may overflow from the base surface 115/515 can flow toward a side periphery of the receptor 110/510. The water will be directed to the weep holes defined between the deck surface 112/512 and the threshold surface 111/511, because these are the lowest areas or portions on the receptor besides the drain openings. Thus, water that may overflow within the receptor will flow through the weep holes to an interior (e.g., channel, etc.) of the flange 114/514 to thereby prevent water from flowing outside of the receptor 110/510.

Still referring to FIGS. 4-9, the threshold surface 111/511 includes a protrusion 116/516 (e.g., bead, raised portion, etc.) extending upward from or above the threshold surface 111/511. The protrusion 116/516 extends continuously along a front peripheral edge of the receptor 110/510. According to an exemplary embodiment, the protrusion 116/516 extends horizontally along a front peripheral edge of the receptor 110/510 a distance that is substantially equal to the entire width of the receptor 110/510. According to other exemplary embodiments, the protrusion 116/516 extends a horizontal distance equal to the width of the entry way to the shower enclosure 100. The protrusion 116/516 can, advantageously, help to contain water within the receptor 110/510. According to an exemplary embodiment, the protrusion 116/516 extends above the threshold surface a distance of about 0.3125″ (inches). This distance, advantageously, provides for improved water containment while reducing the likelihood that a user might trip over the threshold area due to a large protrusion extending a significant distance above the threshold surface 111/511.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 9, cross-sectional views of the shower receptor 110/510 are shown according to two exemplary embodiments. As shown, the protrusion 116/516 extends upward from or above the threshold surface 111/511. According to an exemplary embodiment, the protrusion 116/516 extends a vertical distance of about 0.3125″ (inches) above the threshold surface 111/511. According to other exemplary embodiments, the protrusion 116/516 extends a different vertical distance suitable to contain water present in the shower receptor 110/510.

As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 6, the height of the threshold surface 111 including the protrusion 116 can be minimized to a height of about 2.75″ (inches) from the bottom of the receptor 110, according to an exemplary embodiment. This height, advantageously, allows a user to easily enter the shower enclosure without having to step-over a high threshold entryway. However, according to current building code requirements, the vertical distance between the top of the drain and the outermost top of the receptor at the entryway must be two inches or less. Thus, to achieve effective water management (i.e., sufficient draining and containment) and to minimize the threshold height of the receptor 110, the drain is recessed within the receptor 110.

For example, as shown in FIG. 6, the receptor 110 includes a first flange 113 disposed below the base surface 115 and extending radially inward toward a center of the drain opening 118. The first flange 113 is configured to receive and support a drain cover 400 thereon. The recessed first flange 113 can, advantageously, reduce the height of the threshold surface 111 and the protrusion 116, while still meeting the two inch building code requirement. As shown in FIG. 6, the drain cover 400 is shown engaged with the first flange 113 and is disposed at least partially or entirely below the base surface 115. According to an exemplary embodiment, the drain cover 400 is substantially coplanar with the base surface 115. The drain cover 400 can, advantageously, provide effective draining of water from the receptor 110 to the drain opening 118.

Still referring to FIG. 6, the receptor 110 further includes a second flange 117 disposed below the first flange 113 and extending radially inward toward the center of the drain opening 118 further than the first flange 113. The second flange 117 can receive and support a drain 600 thereon. According to an exemplary embodiment, the drain 600 is a conventional shower drain that is removably coupled within the drain opening 118 at the second flange 117 (e.g., threadably coupled, press-fit, etc.). As shown, there is a clearance or gap between the drain cover 400 and the drain 600 to allow for coupling of the two components within the receptor 110.

Referring now to FIG. 9, a shower receptor 510 is shown without a drain cover 400 according to another exemplary embodiment. In this embodiment, the height of the threshold (i.e., the height from the bottom edge of the receptor to the top of the protrusion 516) is minimized to about 3.1025″ (inches). As shown, the height difference between the top of the threshold (i.e., the protrusion 516) and the drain of the receptor 510 meets the two inch building code requirement. For example, as shown in FIG. 9, the receptor 510 includes a first flange 513 disposed below the base surface 515 and extending radially inward toward a center of the drain opening 518. The first flange 513 is configured to receive and support a drain 600 thereon. The recessed first flange 513 can, advantageously, reduce the height of the threshold surface 511 and the protrusion 516, while still meeting the two inch building code requirement. As shown in FIG. 9, the drain 600 is shown engaged with the first flange 513 and is disposed at least partially or entirely below the base surface 515. According to an exemplary embodiment, the top of the drain 600 is substantially coplanar with the base surface 515. The drain 600 can, advantageously, provide effective draining of water from the receptor 510 to the drain opening 518.

According to various exemplary embodiments, the shower receptors 110/510 can be made (e.g., formed, molded, etc.) from a rigid or a semi-rigid material suitable for use in showers and baths, such as a sheet molded compounded (SMC) commercially available under the trade name Vikrell. The receptors disclosed herein can include a variety of different surface textures (e.g., knurls, grooves, undulations, etc.) or surface treatments (e.g., anti-slip coatings, etc.) to provide comfort and/or anti-slip protection for a user. According to an exemplary embodiment, the various receptors can have a material thickness of about 0.165″ (inches). According to other exemplary embodiments, the material thickness may be larger or smaller depending on the particular application in the shower enclosure. According to other exemplary embodiments, the shower receptors disclosed herein can be made from another rigid or semi-rigid material or combinations of materials suitable for use in shower and bathing environments.

Referring now to FIGS. 20-21, various configurations for the shower receptors 110/510 are shown according to various exemplary embodiments. As shown in FIG. 20, the shower receptors can include a drain cover 900a-900h each having various shapes and sizes, according to various exemplary embodiments. Similarly, as shown in FIG. 21, the shower receptors can have a variety of different sizes and can include a drain having various sizes (e.g., diameters) to allow for different shower receptor configurations. For example, the shower receptors 110/510 can have a width of either 36″ (inches) (110a), 48″ (inches) (110b), or 60″ (inches) (110c) and can include a drain having a diameter of either 5.5″ (inches) (113a), 6.25″ (inches) (113b), or 7″ (inches) (113c), according to various exemplary embodiments.

Additional details including different drain covers for use in the various shower receptor embodiments disclosed herein are available in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/613,272 (now granted U.S. Pat. No. 7,739,757) filed on Dec. 20, 2006 and entitled “SHOWER BASE WITH FLOW ENHANCING COVERED DRAIN,” the complete subject matter of which is incorporated by reference herein.

As utilized herein, the terms “approximately,” “about,” “substantially”, and similar terms are intended to have a broad meaning in harmony with the common and accepted usage by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter of this disclosure pertains. It should be understood by those of skill in the art who review this disclosure that these terms are intended to allow a description of certain features described and claimed without restricting the scope of these features to the precise numerical ranges provided. Accordingly, these terms should be interpreted as indicating that insubstantial or inconsequential modifications or alterations of the subject matter described and claimed are considered to be within the scope of the application as recited in the appended claims.

It should be noted that the term “exemplary” as used herein to describe various embodiments is intended to indicate that such embodiments are possible examples, representations, and/or illustrations of possible embodiments (and such term is not intended to connote that such embodiments are necessarily extraordinary or superlative examples).

The terms “coupled,” “connected,” and the like as used herein mean the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary (e.g., permanent) or moveable (e.g., removable or releasable). Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another.

References herein to the positions of elements (e.g., “top,” “bottom,” “above,” “below,” etc.) are merely used to describe the orientation of various elements in the FIGURES. It should be noted that the orientation of various elements may differ according to other exemplary embodiments, and that such variations are intended to be encompassed by the present disclosure.

It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the various exemplary embodiments are illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter described herein. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements, the position of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied, and the nature or number of discrete elements or positions may be altered or varied. The order or sequence of any process or method steps may be varied or re-sequenced according to alternative embodiments. Other substitutions, modifications, changes and omissions may also be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the various exemplary embodiments without departing from the scope of the present application.





 
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