Ex parte BIENER - Page 2




              Appeal No. 1997-0003                                                                                     
              Application No. 08/342,614                                                                               
                     The reference relied upon by the examiner is:                                                     
                     Biener                      4,943,432                   Jul. 24, 1990                             
                     Claims 9 through 12, 16 through 21 and 23 through 40 stand rejected under                         
              35 U.S.C.  103 as being unpatentable over Biener.                                                       
                     Having carefully considered the respective positions of both the appellant and the                
              examiner, we affirm the rejection of claims 12, 16 through 21, 23 through 27, and 31                     
              through 40.  We reverse with respect to claims 9 through 11 and 28 through 30.                           
                                                     Background                                                        
                     The present invention is directed to a method of treating acne and seborrheic                     
              dermatitis using therapeutic compositions comprising various salt formulations, a                        
              therapeutic agent, and a solvent such as water.  According to the specification,                         
                     It is known that salt solutions can have manifold, mainly positive effects on the skin.           
                     Well-known is the shrinking of the skin in the ocean water when swimming for a long               
                     time, which is caused by osmotic effects.  In some cases upon frequent bathing in                 
                     sea water, a slight reduction of acne and less itching with seborrheic dermatitis                 
                     have been observed.  This therapeutic effect, however, is negligibly weak and                     
                     limited to isolated cases.                                                                        
                     The effect of Dead Sea waters on psoriasis has been therapeutically proven since                  
                     ancient times.  In connection with this treatment, spontaneous healings of acne have              
                     also been observed, but in a much too small number to justify such treatment                      
                     [specification, p. 3, paras. 1-2].                                                                

                     The examiner has premised his conclusion of obviousness on the teachings of                       
              Biener, a patent which discloses therapeutic compositions for the treatment of psoriasis                 
              and other skin diseases, such as acne.  The compositions comprise a salt mixture, a                      

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