Ex parte KOURTAKIS et al. - Page 6

                Appeal No. 1996-3674                                                                                                      
                Application No. 08/451,826                                                                                                

                teaches that the amount of binder ... can also be varied,” it “would have been obvious to one of                          

                ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made to select the portion of the prior art’s range               

                which is within the range of applicant’s claims” (answer, paragraph                                                       

                bridging pages 3-4).  According to the examiner, since “spray drying catalyst particles of zeolite and                    

                matrix material is a technique well known in the art that is used to dry and form zeolite catalyst                        

                particles,” its use in the process of Bergna would have been obvious (answer, page 4, first full                          

                paragraph).  The examiner further concluded that it would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in                   

                the art to use the specifically claimed binders with the catalysts of Bergna “because of the art                          

                recognized functional equivalency of the components taught by Bergna et al. and Beck et al. (i.e. a                       

                matrix material for use with a zeolite catalyst in order to improve heat resistance to the catalyst)”                     

                (answer, paragraph bridging pages 4-5).  Moreover, “the art recognized functional equivalence of the                      

                matrices taught by Bergna et al. and Abrams et al. would provide motivation to one of ordinary skill in                   

                the art to have used the alumina [matrix material] in the process of Bergna et al. as claimed” (answer,                   

                page 5, first paragraph).  Finally, given that THE CONDENSED CHEMICAL DICTIONARY                                          

                teaches that smaller particle sizes result in greater reaction efficiency, it would have been both within                 

                routine skill and obvious to the skilled artisan “to determine and create the optimum or workable                         

                particle sizes” (answer, page 6, second paragraph).                                                                       

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