Ex parte ROBINSON - Page 4




              Appeal No. 1997-1670                                                                                         
              Application 08/098,942                                                                                       






                                                    BACKGROUND                                                             

                     The invention is described by applicant, at page 9 of the specification, as being                     
              directed to antisense oligonucleotides which have been constructed and are targeted to                       
              bind nucleic acid sequences encoding Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)                               
              thereby blocking production of the expression of VEGF.  VEGF is stated to play an integral                   
              role in angiogenesis associated with a variety of pathological conditions.                                   
                                                      DISCUSSION                                                           

                                          The rejection under 35 U.S.C.  103                                              
                     Claims 8-15 and 23-24 stand rejected under 35 U.S.C.  103 as obvious over the                        
              combination of Uhlmann, Peterson, Kim, Foulkes, Claffey, Tischer, and page 4 of the                          
              applicant's specification.                                                                                   
                     In rejecting claims under 35 U.S.C.  103, the examiner bears the initial burden of                   
              presenting a prima facie case of obviousness.  In re Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443, 1445, 24                        
              USPQ2d 1443, 1444 (Fed. Cir. 1992).  Only if that burden is met, does the burden  of                         
              coming forward with evidence or argument shift to the applicant.  Id.  In order to meet that                 
              burden the examiner must provide a reason, based on the prior art, or knowledge                              
              generally available in the art as to why it would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in              


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