Ex parte NAKAMARU et al. - Page 6

          Appeal No. 96-0209                                                          
          Application 07/922,501                                                      

          music information reproduction means is entirely uncertain.  For            
          reasons discussed below, also, we find that elements 30-32 can              
          not be read as part of a music information reproduction means               
          within the meaning as defined in the appellants' specification.             
               Citing In re Donaldson, 16 F.3d 1189, 1192-1195, 29 USPQ2d             
          1845, 1848-1850 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (in banc), the appellants                  
          correctly assert (Br. at 18) that the examiner may not disregard            
          the structure disclosed in the specification which correspond to            
          the various claimed means-plus-function features.  Indeed, it is            
          not sufficient for the examiner to find that the recited function           
          in a means-plus-function clause is performed by some element in             
          the prior art reference.  Instead, the elements relied on by the            
          examiner to satisfy each means-plus-function feature claimed must           
          be identical to or an equivalent of the appellants' disclosed               
          structures, material or acts for performing the function.                   
               The structures disclosed in the appellants' specification              
          corresponding to the music information reproduction means, the              
          control information reproduction means, and the control means               
          recited in the claims are particularly specified on page 24 and             
          again on page 27 of the specification.  The music information               
          reproduction means is composed of the information read system               
          200, the pre-amplifier part 2, and the audio data decode circuit            


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