Ex parte KRONENTHAL et al. - Page 3

          Appeal No. 97-0774                                                          
          Application 08/121,525                                                      

          fluid in a patient’s cavity.  Claim 26, the only other                      
          independent claim on appeal, specifically recites that the sponge           
          members form a nasal pack to absorb body fluids.  Furthermore,              
          all of the appealed independent claims recite that the sponge               
          members are slidably mounted on a flexible strand means.  All of            
          the independent appealed claims additionally recite that the                
          sponge members are adapted to be moved along the flexible strand            
          means to engage adjacent sponge members.                                    
               Contrary to the examiner’s findings on page 3 of the answer,           
          Schoenholz does not disclose a surgical sponge assembly as such.            
          Instead, this reference discloses a catamenial tampon having a              
          plurality of absorbent masses 1, such as sponges, mounted on a              
          thread 2.  In contrast to appellants’ claimed invention,                    
          Schoenholz’s sponge members are attached at spaced apart                    
          intervals to thread 2 as shown in the embodiment of Figure 2 of             
          the patent drawings.                                                        
               The examiner concedes on page 3 of the answer that                     
          Schoenholz’s sponge members are fixedly attached to the thread              
          rather than being slidably mounted thereon.  He nevertheless                
          concludes as follows:                                                       
               It would have been obvious to one of ordinary                          
               skill in the art at the time the invention was made to                 
               omit the securing means on elements 1 in Figs. 2, 3 or                 
               4 to allow the sponge material to move along the thread                
               2, when the function of the attachment is not desired.                 
               The elimination of the attachments allow the device to                 
               operate in the manner of applicant’s device.  The                      

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