Ex parte DOWNS - Page 5

          Appeal No. 95-3273                                                          
          Application 08/136,856                                                      

          it is a film and can be built into the head liner of a helmet,              
          hat or sweat band" (Spec. at 8, lines 10-12), which suggests that           
          the substrate is flexible enough to be bent to conform to the               
          curve of a head liner, which would appear to be curved at least             
          as much as the boat hull shown in Geil's Figure 8.  Furthermore,            
          the invention is described as an improvement over prior art                 
          piezoelectric microphones which employ a piezoelectric film                 
          membrane stretched tight between two or more stretching points to           
          form a vibrating piezoelectric diaphragm (Spec. at 2, lines 7-              
          12).  More particularly, the specification explains that                    
                    [b]ecause there is no necessity of a vibrating                    
                    diaphragm with the present invention, the PVDF sandwich           
                    element is preferably firmly affixed to a firm, flat,             
                    substantially non-vibrating substrate to form a mounted           
                    PVDF sandwich element.  [Emphasis added.] [Spec. at 3,            
                    line 17.]                                                         
          Consequently, we believe the artisan would have understood the              
          term "substantially inflexible" as used in claim 1 (and claims 10           
          and 11) to mean substantially incapable of vibrating in the                 
          manner of a diaphragm.  This conclusion is also consistent with             
          appellant's description of his invention as operating in only a             
          compression mode (Brief at 3):                                              
                    Applicant has found that he can use the much smaller              
                    signal which results from mere compression of the                 
                    sandwich to produce a signal which is at least as good            
                    as and possibly better than those produced from flexing           
                    the sandwich in a diaphragm, because in the compression           


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