Ex parte BRYNING et al. - Page 5




          Appeal No. 1997-2569                                                        
          Application No. 08/469,578                                                  


               (3) Claim 41 is rejected under 35 U.S.C.  103 as being                
          unpatentable over Gibbs and Lee as applied to claim 36, and                 
          further in view of Shibuya.                                                 
                                 Grouping of claims                                   
               According to appellants, "Claims 3-5, 13, 23, 32-41 and                
          44 stand or fall together as to the rejections under 35 U.S.C.              
           103" (Brief, p. 3).  Therefore, for purposes of this appeal,              
          claims 4, 5, 13, 23, 32-41 and 44 stand or fall with the                    
          patentability of claim 3.  See 37 CFR  1.192(c)(7) (1996).                 
                                     Discussion                                       
               Claim 3 is directed to a method of mixing two or more                  
          liquids comprising the steps of (1) forming a liquid droplet                
          containing the liquids on a surface which is impervious to and              
          non-reactive with the liquid droplet whereby the droplet is in              
          containerless containment on the surface and (2) applying                   
          electrostatic or acoustic energy to the droplet to mix the                  
          liquids contained therein.                                                  
          Gibbs discloses a method of mixing a liquid specimen and                    
          a liquid reagent.  Drops of these liquids are applied to a                  
          horizontal support which maintains the drops in "containerless              
          containment."  Thereafter, a jet of gaseous fluid, preferably               
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