Ex parte LEITCH et al. - Page 6

              Appeal No. 96-0937                                                                                         
              Application 08/203,723                                                                                     

              relied upon by the examiner, they are disclosed in the “surfactant” section of the                         
              specification of Bolich N646 at column 9, lines 1-44.  Appellants then went on to argue                    
              why that disclosure did not negatively affect the patentability of the claims on appeal.                   
                     The examiner filed a Supplemental Examiner’s Answer on August 21, 1995.                             
              However, that paper did not clarify how either of the Bolich patents describes a                           
              composition according to the claimed invention including the required nonvolatile                          
              plasticizer.  A second Reply Brief was filed (Paper No. 20, September 25, 1995) which                      
              reiterated appellant’s position which was only noted by the examiner and not                               
              responded to in substance.  See Paper No. 21, mailed October 24, 1995.                                     
                     As the record now stands, we have no idea what specific compound or                                 
              compounds disclosed in either Bolich N646 or Bolich N658 the examiner considers to be                      
              the nonvolatile plasticizer required by the claims on appeal.  Nor do we have a clear                      
              indication on what basis the examiner believes that either Bolich reference describes a                    
              composition having the four components required by the claims on appeal.  As seen                          
              from the above analysis, the examiner’s position has continually shifted with each                         
              response by appellants until the second Reply Brief was filed by appellants on                             
              September 25, 1995.  That Reply Brief was met, in substance, by silence from the                           
              examiner.  Under these circumstances, we do not find that the examiner’s initial burden                    


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