Ex parte MELKUS et al. - Page 4

          Appeal No. 96-1343                                                          
          Application 07/993,225                                                      

          producing action to a user, and (c) providing to said user a                
          selection of whether said message should be provided to said user           
          upon future occurrences of said detected message producing                  
          action.  Independent claim 9 contains similar limitations in                
          means plus function format.                                                 
               In rejecting the appealed claims as being anticipated by               
          Obata, the examiner has taken the position that Obata meets step            
          (c) because                                                                 
               Obata teaches awaiting a “choice selection” in which a                 
               message is displayed and the skill level is decreased                  
               if the user does not input a valid selection within a                  
               predetermined time interval.                                           
                    Thus, Obata does teach providing to a user a                      
               “selection of whether a message should be provided upon                
               future occurrences of an action that produces the                      
               message” because based upon the user’s “choice                         
               selection”, the skill level of the user is determined.                 
               The skill level in turn determines whether the message                 
               should be displayed on future occurrences because as                   
               the user’s skill level increases, the time interval                    
               increases, such that messages take longer to be                        
               displayed.  Hence, the user is offered discretion over                 
               displaying messages in the future by the speed in which                
               he/she makes a selection.  In other words, the user                    
               makes a selection of sooner versus later for displaying                
               future messages by the quickness of his/her response.                  
               [answer, page 5; emphasis added]                                       
               We appreciate the point the examiner is making, namely, that           
          Obata’s delaying of the display of the message, coupled with the            
          user’s control over the length of the delay by inputting a valid            


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