Ex parte GAGNE et al. - Page 7




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

          minutiae, or not based on minutiae.  Therefore, any prior art               
          fingerprint identifier that is at least partially based on                  
          minutiae fails to meet the claimed invention.  Turning to                   
          Sparrow, we find that every aspect of Sparrow's invention                   
          revolves around irregularities or minutiae.  Even the ridge                 
          count referred to by the examiner is based on minutiae as it                
          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."  Therefore, Sparrow                  
          clearly cannot anticipate the claimed invention.                            
          Consequently, we must reverse the rejection of claims 28                    
          through 30, 33 through 36, 70, 72 through 74, 78 through 80,                
          83, 84, 88 through 90, 92, 117, 141 through 146, 148 through                
          150, and 157 under 35 U.S.C.  102.                                         
               As to the obviousness rejection of claims 75, 91, 118,                 
          and 147 over Sparrow, the examiner has failed to suggest any                
          line of reasoning for eliminating the reliance on minutiae in               
          forming a numerical identifier for a fingerprint.  Therefore,               
          the examiner has failed to set forth a prima facie case of                  
          obviousness.  Further, we find no motivation in the art of                  
          record for modifying Sparrow as indicated.  Consequently, we                

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