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In re Angstadt

United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

June 24, 1976, Decided.

Patent Appeal No. 75-560


 [***215]   [*499]  BALDWIN, Judge.

This appeal is from the decision of the Patent and Trademark Office Board of Appeals affirming the rejection of claims 3-5, 12-22, and 27 in application serial No. 772,421, filed October 31, 1968, for "Organometallic Complexes As Alkylaromatic Oxidation Catalysts." We reverse.

The Invention

The claimed invention involves a method of catalytically oxidizing secondary or tertiary alkylaromatic hydrocarbons to form a reaction mixture comprising the corresponding hydroperoxides. The method employs as the catalyst an organometallic complex formed between hexaalkylphosphoramides and metal salts, the complex having the formula MX(n)(HAPA)(m), wherein HAPA is a hexaalkylphosphoramide, MX is a metal salt, m is an integer of from 1 to 8, and n is an integer of from 1 to 4.  [***216]  

In summarizing their invention, appellants state in their specification:

 [*500]  It has now been found, in accordance with the present invention, that organometallic complexes formed between metal salts, preferably those derived from transition metals, (including metals of the lanthanide and actinide series), and hexaalkylphosphoramides are [**2]  effective catalysts in the oxidation of secondary and tertiary alkylaromatic hydrocarbons. Certain of these catalysts, and particularly those derived from metal salts of the lanthanide series, are especially effective in forming the hydroperoxides of the alkylaromtic [sic] hydrocarbons to the exclusion of other hydrocarbon oxidation products, thus providing the hydroperoxides in high yields at increased conversion rates.

The products produced by this process are described in appellants' specification as follows:

[The] oxidation products of the instant process are generally, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, hydroperoxides, or mixtures thereof. Of these various products, maximization of the formation of the hydroperoxides is generally preferred * * *. Accordingly, as a preferred embodiment of this invention, it has been discovered that certain of the various metals * * * are particularly effective as catalysts in the preparation of hydroperoxides from secondary and tertiary alkylaromatic compounds * * *. These metals preferentially give yields of over 90 percent hydroperoxides to the exclusion of other oxidation products at conversion rates of at least about 4 percent per hour,  [**3]  and in many cases as high as 20 to 25 percent per hour. In the case of those remaining metals which yield lesser amounts or no hydroperoxides in the final product, while applicants do not wish to be bound by any particular theory, it is believed that they too yield hydroperoxides which are then rapidly decomposed by the catalyst complex to form aldehydes, ketones and the like. [Emphasis added.]

Claims 22 and 27 are illustrative and read as follows:

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537 F.2d 498 *; 1976 CCPA LEXIS 152 **; 190 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 214 ***


Prior History:   [**1]  Serial No. 772,421.


hydroperoxides, catalysts, metal, invention, disclosure, experimentation, skilled, hydrocarbons, alkylaromatic, salt, patent, oxidation, monomers, organometallic, unpredictable, embodiment, transition, recited, corresponding, comprising, mixture, graft, hexaalkylphosphoramide, catalytic, secondary, tertiary, polyethylene

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