Ex parte PAUL A. HUMMEL - Page 6

          Appeal No. 96-2653                                                          
          Application No. 08/395,681                                                  

          of the cylindrical portion of the elastomeric element so as to be           
          engageable with the supporting structure to limit compression of            
          the flange of the elastomeric element.                                      

               We view the claims on appeal as precisely defining a grommet           
          of interrelated parts (i.e., metal sleeve 12 and elastomeric                
          element 14).  From the language of claim 1 highlighted above, it            
          is our opinion that these interrelated parts are recited in their           
          disassembled condition to be later assembled to form an installed           
          grommet.  Thus, we view the claims on appeal, as reciting a                 
          grommet "kit" (as shown if Figure 1), not an assembled grommet              
          (as shown in Figures 2-4).  See In re Venezia, 530 F.2d 956, 958-           
          59, 189 USPQ 149, 151-52 (CCPA 1976).  As with the kit in the               
          Venezia case, each part of the grommet herein is interrelated               
          with the other.                                                             

               With regard to the 35 U.S.C.  103 rejection of claims 1 and           
          2 as being unpatentable over Schmitt in view of Stewart (answer,            
          p. 4), the examiner found that                                              
               Schmitt discloses a grommet comprising a sleeve 12 and an              
               elastomeric element 9 having an inwardly extending flange 11           
               which moves outwardly as the sleeve is moved relative to the           
               flange.  The outer diameter of the cylindrical portion 10 of           
               the elastomeric body 9 of Schmitt must be less than the                


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