Ex Parte KENNEDY et al - Page 5

          Appeal No. 1997-2234                                                        
          Application 08/254,345                                                      

          in the range from about 0.860 g/cc to about 0.940 g/cc, more                
          preferably in the range of from about 0.870 g/cc to about 0.920             
          g/cc” (column 5, lines 57-61 and column 7, lines 33-37), the                
          examiner argues that Norpoth’s ethylene alpha-olefin polymers,              
          inclusive of the preferred and exemplified Dowlex 2045-03                   
          polymer, “read on” appellants’ claimed “plastomer” component.               
          Thus, an issue of concern raised by the prior art rejections is             
          whether the claimed term, “plastomer”, is effective to                      
          distinguish the appealed subject matter from the prior art.                 
               We give the language in question in appellants’ claims,                
          i.e., the term “plastomer”, its broadest reasonable                         
          interpretation consistent with appellants’ specification.  See In           
          re Zeltz, 893 F.2d 319, 321, 13 USPQ2d 1320, 1322 (Fed. Cir.                
          1989).  Appellants’ specification, however, contains an                     
          essentially inexplicable, inconsistent, nonlimiting definition              
          for the term “plastomer”.  Thus, as stated by appellants in their           
          specification beginning at page 10, line 25:                                
               As used herein, the term “plastomer” refers to any of a                
               family of thermoplastic-elastomeric, styrene/butadiene                 
               copolymers whose molecules have a radial or star                       
               structure in which several polybutadiene chains extend                 
               from a central hub, with a polystyrene block at the                    
               outward end of each segment.  Preferably, the plastomer                
               comprises homogeneous ethylene/alpha olefin copolymer;                 
               more preferably, homogeneous ethylene/alpha-olefin                     
               copolymer having a density of from about 0.86 to 0.91;                 


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