Ex parte MAZE et al. - Page 3

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

               skill in the art to provide a “texture,” as suggested                  
               by Bridger, on the “seat” surface of the Glass bedpan,                 
               in order to prevent a patient seated thereon from                      
               sliding relative to the bowl. [Final rejection, pages 4                
               and 5.]                                                                
               In support of this position the answer states that:                    
                    A roughened surface, as per the Bridger patent,                   
               has the effect of preventing sliding relative to the                   
               seat.  In also has the inherent effect of providing the                
               seat surface with air passageways comprised of criss-                  
               crossing valleys interrupted by peaks.  These features                 
               are characteristic of all roughened surfaces and such                  
               knowledge is well within the realm of ordinary skill.                  
               Therefore, by providing a roughened surface on a seat,                 
               as suggested by Bridger, one is both preventing sliding                
               relative to the seat and inherently creating criss-                    
               crossing air passageways. [Pages 5 and 6.]                             
               We will not support the examiner’s position.  Initially  we            
          note that in rejecting claims under 35 U.S.C.  103 the examiner            
          bears the initial burden of presenting a prima facie case of                
          obviousness.  In re Rijckaert, 9 F.3d 1531, 1532, 28 USPQ2d 1955,           
          1956 (Fed. Cir. 1993); In re Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443, 1445, 24               
          USPQ2d 1443, 1444 (Fed. Cir. 1992).  Only if that burden is met             
          does the burden of coming forward with evidence or argument shift           
          to the applicant.  Id.  If the examiner fails to establish a                


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