Ex parte HASEGAWA et al. - Page 12




          Appeal No. 1997-2046                                      Page 12           
          Application No. 08/059,350                                                  


          ferromagnetic layer ...; wherein said at least one                          
          ferromagnetic layer comprises a plurality of ferromagnetic                  
          sub-layers which are stacked upon one another and form said                 
          ferromagnetic layer and have no electrically conductive                     
          material between them"; or "ferromagnetic layers each                       
          including a plurality of ferromagnetic ribbons ...."  The                   
          examiner fails to establish a prima facie case of obviousness.              
          Therefore, we reverse the rejections of claims 40-55, 63, 65-               
          75, and 77-85 under 35 U.S.C.  103.  We next address claim                 
          56.                                                                         


                                      Claim 56                                        
               Recognizing that Hasegawa, Takahashi, Yoshizawa, and                   
          Soohoo fail to have suggested two-dimensional division, the                 
          examiner concludes, "[d]ividing a device into a plurality of                
          portions ...  is obvious and a matter of design choice."                    
          (Examiner's Answer at 8.)  The appellants argue, "[t]he office              
          action has not asserted that the prior art discloses or                     
          suggest a ferromagnetic layer that is two-dimensionally                     
          divided into a plurality of portions."  (Appeal Br. at 34.)                 









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