Ex parte GROSSI et al. - Page 5




                 Appeal No. 1997-1992                                                                                     Page 5                        
                 Application No. 08/115,388                                                                                                             

                 Watanabe, Japan Pat. Disclosure Bulletin 49-124001 , Nov. 27,                             2                                            
                 1974.                                                                                                                                  
                 Otsuki et al. (Otsuki), Canadian Pat. No. 975708,  Oct. 07,                                                                            
                 1975                                                                                                                                   
                          Claims 10 and 15-20 stand rejected under 35 U.S.C.  103                                                                      
                 as being unpatentable over the combined teachings of Otsuki,                                                                           
                 Watanabe, and Tung.                                                                                                                    
                                                                     OPINION                                                                            
                          We have carefully considered all of the arguments                                                                             
                 advanced by appellants and the examiner and agree with                                                                                 
                 appellants that the aforementioned rejection is not well                                                                               
                 founded.  Accordingly, we reverse the stated rejection.                                                                                
                          At the outset, we note that the examiner has the initial                                                                      
                 burden of presenting a prima facie case of obviousness based                                                                           
                 on the disclosure of the applied prior art.  See In re                                                                                 
                 Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443, 1445, 24 USPQ2d 1443, 1444 (Fed. Cir.                                                                          
                 1992).                                                                                                                                 
                          The claimed distillation method requires the presence of                                                                      
                 a polymerization inhibitor composition that includes, as one                                                                           


                          2All subsequent references in this opinion to Watanabe are                                                                    
                 a reference to the English language translation of the                                                                                 
                 Japanese Disclosure Bulletin of record.                                                                                                







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