Ex parte CHEN et al. - Page 13

          Appeal No. 1997-2898                                                        
          Application 08/368,239                                                      

          determining a distance between planes is by calculating a                   
          distance between planes.  Other ways of determining a distance              
          include retrieving a distance value from memory, which is what              
          is taught in Himelstein.  We find that retrieving a stored                  
          depth value meets the claimed limitation of "determination                  
          means for determining a distance" and thereby reads on                      
          Appellants' limitations in claim 17.                                        
               Appellants argue on page 11 of the brief that Fuller does              
          not disclose selecting planes on the three-dimensional objects              
          and changing the distance between such planes.  Specifically,               
          Appellants argue that neither Himelstein nor Fuller teaches                 
          the claimed limitation of selecting a parent plane from a                   
          first object, a variable plane from a second object, and                    
          changing the distance between the planes, modifying the                     
          display to reflect the changed distance.  Appellants further                
          argue that neither Himelstein nor Fuller provides any motive                
          for modifying Himelstein to arrive at the claimed invention of              
          joining two three-dimensional objects by selecting planes on                
          the objects and modifying the distance between the selected                 


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