Ex parte KOMATSU - Page 2




                 Appeal No. 1997-4033                                                                                                                   
                 Application No. 08/589,584                                                                                                             


                 claims, under 35 U.S.C.  103.   We reverse and enter a new2                                                                                
                 ground of rejection under 35 U.S.C.  112.                                                                                             
                 The invention                                                                                                                          
                          The invention is an improved Mach-Zehnder optical                                                                             
                 modulator, which is depicted in appellant's Figure 1.  A                                                                               
                 single input is branched by a Y-shaped branching structure in                                                                          
                 the first passive region 121, whereafter the light is conveyed                                                                         
                 along two parallel straight phase modulator sections in the                                                                            
                 active region 122, which sections are rejoined by a second Y-                                                                          
                 shaped branching structure in the second passive region 123                                                                            
                 (Brief at 2).  Application of a driving voltage to one or both                                                                         
                 electrodes 110a and 110b overlying the parallel modulator                                                                              
                 sections in the active region allows controlled variation of                                                                           
                 the refractive index of the waveguide material (id.).  The                                                                             
                 Brief further explains (at 2):                                                                                                         
                                   The present invention seeks to achieve the                                                                           
                          conflicting objects of minimizing the driving voltage                                                                         
                          which must be applied to the electrodes in the active                                                                         
                          region, while also minimizing light propagation loss from                                                                     
                          the wave-guide (see, for example, page 6, lines 10-15 [of                                                                     
                          the specification]).  That is, the necessary driving                                                                          

                          2The new ground of rejection of claims 22-26 under                                                                            
                 35 U.S.C.  112 entered in the Answer (paper No. 23) was                                                                               
                 withdrawn in paper No. 25, mailed August 20, 1997.                                                                                     
                                                                           2                                                                            





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