Ex parte MELKUS et al. - Page 5

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

          operation request before the message is displayed, constitutes a            
          “selection” of the type called for in step (c) of claim 1 within            
          the broad meaning of the claim terminology.  However, we do not             
          agree with this analysis for the following reasons.                         
               Here, appellants’ method and system provide to the user a              
          selection of whether the message should be provided to the user             
          upon future occurrences of the detected message producing action.           
          That is, appellants’ method and system, in and of themselves,               
          provide to the user a selection or choice of blocking the                   
          provision of the message in the future.  In contrast, Obata’s               
          method and system merely delay the provision of the message, and            
          it is only upon the circumstance of an additional action by the             
          user, i.e., inputting a correct response within a particular                
          period of time, that the message is not provided.  This                     
          difference is highlighted by the examiner’s recognition that in             
          Obata, the user’s selection is limited to a choice “of sooner               
          versus later for displaying future messages” (answer, page 5).              
          Thus, in Obata the message will always be provided unless the               
          user provides some additional input.  In our view, step (c) of              
          method claim 1 and means (c) of system claim 9 do not encompass             
          within their metes and bounds this sort of operational scheme.              


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