Ex Parte He et al - Page 11

                Appeal 2007-1394                                                                             
                Application 10/301,464                                                                       
                      It follows that we shall affirm the Examiner’s obviousness rejection of                
                claims 5-8 and 15-19 on this record,                                                         
                      Concerning the Examiner’s second stated obviousness rejection of                       
                dependent claims 9-14 and 20-25, the Examiner additional cites Nulman as                     
                evidence being relied upon.  Dependent claims 9-14 further limit                             
                independent claim 5 and dependent claims 20-25 further limit independent                     
                claim 25 with regard to the cross-sectional shape of the edge contact ring.                  
                Various shapes, such as a half oval shape, a “D” shape, a square shape, a                    
                rectangular shape, a half circle shape or a trapezoid shape - which the                      
                contact ring cross-section is recited as being shaped like - are recited in these            
                      The Examiner has taken the position that it would have been an                         
                obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention to                  
                select the shape of the edge contact ring material cross-section as a matter of              
                design choice and/or as evidenced by Nulman’s disclosure of differing                        
                shapes for a wafer clamp, including oval, square and round (Answer 7 and                     
                10; Nulman, col. 4, ll. 26-32).  Appellants argue that the shapes disclosed for              
                a wafer clamping ring in Nulman are not for a clamping ring cross-section                    
                but an outer shape/outline of the surface of the clamp.  We agree with                       
                Appellants that Nulman appears to be directed to the shape of a distinctly                   
                different device and type than that called for in the so rejected dependent                  
                claims.  However, we nonetheless agree with the Examiner’s obviousness                       
                determination.  This is, in part, because we are satisfied that the various                  
                cross-section shapes that these rejected claims require for the cross-section                
                of the edge ring are considered to be matters within the level of skill of an                
                ordinarily skilled artisan in forming an edge ring of material between a                     


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