Ex parte GAGNE et al. - Page 5

          Appeal No. 1997-2708                                                        
          Application No. 08/337,204                                                  

               Appellants contend (Brief, page 10) that "the teachings                
          of the Sparrow reference solely apply to 'minutiae' coding and              
          identification of fingerprints, and thus, the claims on appeal              
          are not anticipated by ... the Sparrow reference."  We agree.               
               Sparrow states (column 1, lines 47-62) that according to               
          his invention,                                                              
               each fingerprint is scanned by a scanning system                       
               which typically includes a scanning 'line' which                       
               sweeps in a predetermined manner, such as                              
               horizontally, vertically or radially, from a                           
               prescribed origin for the scanning system utilized.                    
               When the scanning line moves over an irregularity                      
               (such as a ridge ending, bifurcation, etc.), the                       
               irregularity is recorded by the use of at least                        
               three coordinates: a type code (T) to particularly                     
               identify the irregularity, a measure (M)of the                         
               scanning line position when it hits the                                
               irregularity, and a ridge count (R) which is the                       
               number of ridges intersecting the scanning line, at                    
               that position, between the irregularity and a                          
               prescribed point on, or origin for, the scanning                       
               line.  A collection of coordinates sets (T, M, R)                      
               uniquely specifies the topology of a fingerprint or                    
               any part thereof.                                                      
          Sparrow further explains (column 2, lines 8-9) that the                     
          irregularities are also called "minutiae."  In the detailed                 
          description of the invention, Sparrow indicates that after the              
          fingerprint is scanned, a binary enhanced image of the                      
          fingerprint is supplied to a topological coordinate extractor               


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