Ex parte MAZE et al. - Page 2

          Appeal No. 96-0984                                                          
          Application 08/132,529                                                      

               The appellant’s invention pertains to a disposable bed pan             
          having a seat and a texture formed on that portion of the seat              
          which comes into contact with the skin of a user.  Independent              
          claim 1 is further illustrative of the appealed subject matter              
          and reads as follows:                                                       
               1.  A disposable molded all plastic sanitary bed pan                   
          comprising a bowl having a seat at an upper edge of said bowl,              
          and a texture formed on a surface of that portion of said seat              
          which comes into contact with the skin of a patient, said texture           
          having interconnected depressions forming communication passage-            
          ways for allowing an escape of air through said interconnected              
          depressions at an interface between patient and seat, whereby               
          said bed pan is much less likely to cling and stick to said                 
               The references relied on by the examiner are:                          
          Bridger                       3,740,096      June 19, 1973                  
          Glass                         4,368,548      Jan. 18, 1983                  
               Claims 1-10, 12, 14 and 15 stand rejected under 35 U.S.C.              
           103 as being unpatentable over Glass in view of Bridger.  It is           
          the examiner’s position that:                                               
                    Glass teaches a molded plastic bedpan including a                 
               “bowl” 14, a “flange” 24 which forms a “seat,” and                     
               “strengthening vertical wall member” 26.  The “bowl” 14                
               is sloped from front to back as claimed and the                        
               “flange” 24 changes pitch as claimed.  Although Glass                  
               lacks a “texture” comprising “interconnected                           
               depressions” on the “seat,” attention is directed to                   
               Bridger who teaches another device on which a person                   
               may sit, i.e., a chair, the “seat” of which has a                      
               “texture” which may be “roughened to prevent sliding                   
               forward of a person seated thereon” (col. 3, lines 22-                 
               24).  It would have been obvious to one of ordinary                    


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