Ex parte MIYAZAWA et al. - Page 11

          Appeal No. 96-1805                                                          
          Application 08/200,432                                                      

          After making this finding, the examiner goes on to state that the           
          reduction of pressure in the chamber in Hoshi thus occurs                   
          "before" the start of sticking, and meets the terms of claims 1             
          and 13.                                                                     
               We do not agree with this interpretation of Hoshi even                 
          assuming, arguendo, that suggestion exists to combine this                  
          reference with the others.  It is our finding that the contact              
          between the two wafers illustrated in Figure 3D of Hoshi                    
          constitutes the starting of the sticking of the wafers.  In                 
          support of this conclusion, we point out that the Hoshi invention           
          is directed to the type of bonding which is accomplished without            
          using any adhesive, but by mirror-grinding the surfaces and then            
          placing them together in a clean atmosphere (column 1, lines 10             
          through 15).  It therefore follows that contact between the two             
          wafers is, at the very least, the "start" of the sticking                   
          (bonding) phenomenon.  In fact, there being no further movement             
          of the                                                                      
          portions of the wafers which initially are placed into contact              
          during the rest of the bonding process, it would appear that                
          these portions do, in fact, fully bond at the moment of contact.            
          Since Hoshi clearly teaches that this occurs prior to the vacuum            
          being drawn in the chamber, the reference would not have                    


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