Ex Parte KENNEDY et al - Page 7




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


          inclusive of a family of styrene/butadiene copolymers and a                 
          different family of “preferably” homogeneous ethylene/alpha-                
          olefin copolymers.  Based on appellants’ nonlimiting and                    
          inherently inconsistent and confusing definition of the term                
          “plastomer”, one can only speculate as to whether or not the                
          terminology in the appealed claims referring to a “plastomer”               
          component covers prior art polymers such as Norpoth’s exemplified           
          Dowlex 2045-03 ethylene 1-octene copolymer, which is “commonly              
          referred to” as linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).  See               
          Norpoth at column 5, lines 60-61.                                           
               Under the circumstances recounted above, it is our view that           
          the claims on appeal, as well as allowable claim 31, do not                 
          define the metes and bounds of the invention with a reasonable              
          degree of precision and particularity.  Therefore, pursuant to              
          our authority under 37 CFR  1.196(b), we enter a new rejection             
          against the appealed claims as well as against claim 31 under 35            
          U.S.C.  112, second paragraph.  We procedurally reverse the                
          stated prior art rejections, because we consider the appealed               
          claims to be sufficiently indefinite that application of the                
          prior art to the claims is not possible without considerable                
          speculation and assumptions.                                                
               This decision contains a new ground of rejection pursuant to           

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