Ex parte KEASLING et al. - Page 7

            Appeal No. 1997-2755                                                                              
            Application 08/311,426                                                                            

            initiate the oxidation and further dehalogenation of DCE by methanotrophic bacteria.              
            Therefore, Dooley-Danna also fails to describe teach the complete reductive                       
            dehalogenation of organic halides.  Rather, this reference also requires a second aerobic         
            step to bring about complete dehalogenation, similar to the method of Fathepure.                  
                   In the Examiner’s Answer (Paper No. 14, April 15, 1996), the examiner argues that          
            Fathepure teaches on page 3420, column 2, last paragraph bridging to page 3421, that              
            trace amounts of dechlorinated products are formed in the anaerobic reactor which reads           
            on the present claims.  However, the reference to Fathepure does not “read on the present         
            claims” since as mentioned above, the process disclosed by Fathepure is performed in a            
            two-stage bioreactor, not in situ.  In addition, the process taught by Fathepure fails to         
            achieve complete reductive dehalogenation.  The portion of the reference cited by the             
            examiner in the Examiner’s Answer states that PCE and CF are converted to                         
            dechlorinated products such as cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-DCE) and methylene               
            chloride in the anaerobic stage of the bioreactor.  Therefore, these organic halides still        
            contain the halide chlorine after the initial anaerobic stage.  Complete reductive                
            dehalogenation as required by the claims on appeal is not achieved in the anaerobic               
            stage of by Fathepure.                                                                            
                   For all of these reasons, we reverse the examiner’s rejection of claims 1 and              


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