Ex parte HINTZ et al. - Page 3

                 Appeal No. 1997-0243                                                                                                                   
                 Application 08/168,976                                                                                                                 

                 Haderle et al. (Haderle)                                       4,933,848                           Jun. 12,                            
                 Crus et al. (Crus)                                    5,133,068                  Jul. 21, 1992                                         
                 Knuth, Donald E., “The Art of Computer Programming”, Addison-                                                                          
                 Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, Massachusetts, pgs. 159-                                                                           
                 173 (1973).  (Knuth)                                                                                                                   
                          Claim 1 stands rejected under 35 U.S.C.  103 over Crus                                                                       
                 and Knuth, or over Haderle  alone.             2                                                                                       
                          Reference is made to Appellants’ briefs  and the                      3                                                       
                 Examiner's answer  for their respective positions.4                                                                                                       
                          We have considered the record before us, and we will                                                                          
                 reverse the rejection of claim 1.                                                                                                      
                          In rejecting claim 1 under 35 U.S.C.  103, it is                                                                             
                 incumbent upon the Examiner to establish a factual basis to                                                                            
                 support the legal conclusion of obviousness.  See In re Fine,                                                                          

                          2A new ground of rejection, based on Haderle, was added                                                                       
                 in the Examiner’s answer.                                                                                                              
                          3A reply brief was filed as paper no. 15 and a                                                                                
                 supplemental reply brief as paper no. 17.  The Examiner                                                                                
                 presented a supplemental answer, paper no. 16, in response to                                                                          
                 the reply brief.  However, the Examiner entered the                                                                                    
                 supplemental reply brief without any further response [paper                                                                           
                 no. 18].                                                                                                                               
                          4A supplemental answer was mailed as paper no. 16.                                                                            

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