This class provides for electrophotographically reproducingan original (e.g., document) by the action of light directly fromthe original to a photoconductive member whose electrical conductivity,electrical charge, magnetic condition, or electrical emissivityof a photoconductive medium is selectively altered by the actionof light to produce an electrostatic latent image which persistsafter imaging based upon differences in such electrical property.The latent image is made visible by development; and the developedimage may be made permanent by transfer and fixing, or fixing. Thisclass provides for the subcombinations directed to charging, developing,transferring, fixing, cleaning, or sheet feeding for an electrophotographicapparatus whether or not the imaging light is directly from theoriginal. This class also provides for methods and means for perfectingthe apparatus provided above (e.g., control of electrophotographicprocess, diagnostics, operator interface, etc.).
(1)Note. The apparatus herein classified generally involvesthe application of a uniform electrostatic charge to a photoresponsive mediumcomprising a conductive support coated with a photoconductive insulator. Latentelectrostatic images are formed by exposure of an original directlyonto the photoresponsive medium through an optical lens system.The charge applied to the light sensitive medium is selectivelydischarged by exposure and remains only on selected portions ofthe photoresponsive medium (i.e., those areas which correspond tothe original image). The photoresponsive medium is moved to a developingstation where toner is applied to the charged areas of the photoresponsivemedium forming a visible image thereupon. The photoresponsive mediumis then moved to a transfer station where the toned image is transferred toa copy substrate (e.g., a piece of paper). The toned substrate isthen fed to a fixing station where the toner is permanently affixedto the paper, usually by heat or pressure. The photoresponsive mediumis then moved to a cleaning station where untransferred toner andany leftover electrical charge are removed so another copy cyclecan begin.
(2)Note. The use of the limitation "directly" aboveexcludes image formation systems in which an image of an originalis detected and converted to electrical signals which are subsequentlyutilized to generate further illumination signals to optically forman image of the original on the medium. This excluded subject mattermay be found, for example, in Class 347, subclasses 112+, andin Class 358, subclasses 400-304 and more specifically 401. However,the nominal recitation of a light image to an electrical signalor an equivalent statement would not serve to exclude subject matterfrom Class 399. Also, Electrophotography has no modification ofconverted electrical signals.OTHER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMSEach subclass definition may contain an OTHER CLASSIFICATIONSYSTEMS listing that is to be used for informational purposes only.These classification listings may change at any time after theirpublication and are therefore not guaranteed to be current. Inaddition, the classification listing does not necessarily indicatethe sole relationship between the U.S. Patent Classification Systemand foreign classifications. Even where a single classificationis listed for a single U.S. subclass, a one-to-one correlation shouldnot be inferred. As a result, information contained therein is consideredto be only a guide to related subject matter.Types of other classification systems may include IPC6 whichindicates an International Patent Classification (sixth edition) ofthe World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), JPO/FIwhich indicates the Japanese Patent Office and its File Index (FIis a subdivision of the IPC with related subject matter) classifications,or the European Patent Classification (EPC) which indicates theEuropean Patent Office"s classification and also furthersubdivides the IPC into related subject matter.