Ex parte IWASAWA et al. - Page 7

          Appeal No. 1997-1212                                                        
          Application 08/017,839                                                      

          user is making a decision or the machine is making a                        
          decision" (EA15).  Appellants address this argument in                      
          connection with the patentability rejection (Br10-11).  The                 
          term "via" is defined as "by means of" and indicates that                   
          part of the step of deciding must be performed by the "data                 
          processing system."  However, the step of "deciding, via the                
          data processing device, whether said program portion is                     
          parallelizable, based on assist information supplied from                   
          the user" does not exclude the user from taking some action                 
          to cause the system to perform the step, such as submitting                 
          a rewritten program and running the compiler again.  The                    
          limitation is broad, not indefinite.                                        
               Still another source of the Examiner's problems is                     
          failure to properly interpret the claim language.  Many of                  
          the claim limitations appear to be drafted in                               
          step-plus-function format under 35 U.S.C.  112, sixth                      
          paragraph, because they recite a step and function (e.g.,                   
          deciding . . . whether a portion of the source program is                   
          determinable as parallelizable) without reciting any acts in                
          support thereof.  This format requires that the limitations                 
          be "construed to cover the corresponding . . . acts                         

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