Ex parte SEKIGUCHI - Page 5

            Appeal No. 95-4788                                                                                                     
            Application 07/996,393                                                                                                 

                    sweep and transfer functions of a solid state imaging device so that more control could be                     
                    exercised over minimizing the thermal noise generated by these pulses.                                         
            The examiner further states (Examiner's Answer, page 6):                                                               
                    Howard et al. do not specify that the larger voltage be used when the refresh operation is                     
                    performed.  However, it is well known in the art that, using an appropriate polarity, the                      
                    larger the voltage applied to an electrode in a CCD, the greater the amount of charge that                     
                    can be transferred by the device.  Also, the amount of residual charge which needs to be                       
                    swept out is smaller than the amount of charge comprising the signal.  Thus, it would have                     
                    been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made to use                     
                    the larger of the two voltages of Howard et al. to clock the transfer of signal charges and                    
                    the smaller voltage to sweep out the residual charges.                                                         

                    We reverse.                                                                                                    
                    "It is well established that before a conclusion of obviousness may be made based on a                         
            combination of references, there must have been a reason, suggestion, or motivation to lead an                         
            inventor to combine those references."  Pro-Mold and Tool Co. v. Great Lakes Plastics Inc.,                            
            75 F.3d 1568, 1573, 37 USPQ2d 1626, 1629 (Fed. Cir. 1996).  A suggestion to combine "may                               
            come expressly from the references themselves.  It may come from knowledge of those skilled in                         
            the art that certain references, or disclosures in the references, are known to be of special interest                 
            or importance in the particular field.  It may also come from the nature of a problem to be solved,                    
            leading inventors to look to references relating to possible solutions to that problem."  Id. at 1573,                 
            37 USPQ2d at 1630 (citations omitted).                                                                                 
                    We find no motivation to modify the admitted prior art to produce the claimed invention.                       
            Neither appellant's admitted prior art nor Howard suggest using different voltage levels for                           
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