Ex parte RING - Page 4




                Appeal No. 96-3968                                                                                                            
                Application No. 08/117,669                                                                                                    


                                                                 OPINION                                                                      
                         In reaching our decision in this appeal, we have given                                                               
                careful consideration to the appellant's specification and                                                                    
                claims, to the applied prior art references, to the October 4,                                                                
                1994 declaration of Robert S. Ring and to the respective                                                                      
                positions articulated by the appellant and the examiner.  As a                                                                
                consequence of our review, we make the determinations which                                                                   
                follow.                                                                                                                       


                         We will not sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 1                                                              
                under 35 U.S.C.  102(b) as being anticipated by Nakamura.  We                                                                
                agree with the appellant's argument (brief, p. 6) that the gap                                                                
                between Nakamura's feed-in rollers 26a and 26b does not satisfy                                                               
                the "fixed gap" limitation of claim 1.  We disagree with the                                                                  
                examiner's determination (answer, p. 4) that Nakamura discloses a                                                             
                fixed gap between Nakamura's feed-in rollers 26a and 26b.                                                                     
                Nakamura specifically teaches that the gap between the feed-in                                                                
                rollers 26a and 26b is adjusted by a gap adjusting means.   As                                 3                              
                discussed in column 10, line 3, to column 11, line 20 and as                                                                  
                shown in Figures 8 and 9 of Nakamura, the gap between the feed-in                                                             
                rollers 26a and 26b changes as each continuous paper sheet is                                                                 

                         3See column 7, line 30, to column 8, line 2, of Nakamura.                                                            
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