Abnormally High Temperatures; Personal & Property Damage Patent

Dometic patent in their own words to prevent: "Personal & Property Damage; Further Operation of Fridge; Fires & Explosions."

All brown font is text quoted from Dometic patent US9228773B2.

Dometic Patent
Fig. 1 -  Dometic's Invention. There is no control of heat!

Recognition of a Known Issue

One needs to ask why would a manufacture of a product recognize a known issue like "boiler can reach abnormally high temperatures" and not do something about it?

Further Operation of Fridge?

The objective of the Dometic patent is clearly stated as "limiting the time of operation of the refrigerator" Does this sound like the Norcold recall that turns off the fridge and requires a service call?

Patent A-B-C's

To start with we will give a simplification of the patent process:

For a patent to meet legal requirements it must have two parts as follows:

  1. A specification that teaches what the patent does.
  2. A set of claims that defines the legal bounds of the patent.

The claims consists of elements, let's say elements A, B, and C.

The ARP Control patent 8,056,360 has 3 elements as follows:

  1. A controller to process data.
  2. A temperature sensor at a specific location to determine "abnormally high temperatures".
  3. Some kind of actuator, like an on/off switch, to control the heat to the boiler in order to protect the cooling unit from damage.

How does one attempt to circumvent an existing patent?

One cannot file a patent with the same amount or more elements that do the same thing. One can file a patent that has fewer elements.  When the elements have a different outcome, such as not protecting the cooling unit (C above), then this is how one files a patent that may seem similar, but is not on close examination. Here are the Dometic patent claimed elements:

  1. A controller to "compare said condition with set of condition classifications".
  2. "limiting the time of operation of the refrigerator" and "prevent further operation"

Analysis and Compare to Fridge Defend by ARP Control

What Dometic has done is approve the need for the Fridge Defend in their own words. Please note that Dometic recognizes that when there is "less refrigerant in the burner section to absorb heat", this leads to "induce stress in the boiler section" of the cooling unit. This in turn leads to "system ruptures" which in turn can result in "the risk of fire and explosion" and/or "personal and property damage".

This is exactly what the ARP Control patent teaches! That is, the ammonia in the boiler is what controls the boilers temperature. In order to control the stress in the boiler it is critical to monitor the boiler temperature, which is just what the Fridge Defend by ARP does! But, the Fridge Defend provides a critical safety feature, when the boiler overheats the ARP turns off the fridge and allows the ammonia to return to the boiler, then restarts the fridge so no damage or stress occurs. In addition, the end user is able to continue using their fridge as normal.

All the Dometic patent does is record the stress each time you drive up a hill or park off-level, then when the "stress parameters programmed into the controller" are meet, the fridge becomes useless due to "prevent further operation" and necessitating a visit to "an authorized service technician".

Problem Awareness & A Positive Note

We have used Dometic products for 59 years! Dometic and Norcold both make a fine product regarding the refrigeration system. But, as a user of the product we solved a problem, patented the solution, now manufacture and market the Fridge Defend by ARP. Rather than acknowledging the solution the manufactures' have both decided to apply the Not Invented Here principle.

The Fridge Defend by ARP is Proactive

We at ARP are committed to the safety and longevity of your refrigerator. Our control is proactive, constantly monitoring your refrigerator's operation to prevent the conditions that lead to damage and failure. The above Dometic patent merely monitors and records repeated instances of the "angle of inclination of the refrigerator", then prevents further operation of your refrigerator once their programmed parameters are met, limiting the useful life of your refrigerator and necessitating a service charge by a Dometic "authorized service technician".

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