Ex parte ASCHENBECK et al. - Page 4

               Appeal No. 1998-0241                                                                        Page 4                 
               Application No. 08/465,373                                                                                         

                                                  The indefiniteness rejection                                                    
                      The second paragraph of 35 U.S.C.  112 requires that claims define the metes and                           
               bounds of a claimed invention with a reasonable degree of precision and particularity.  See In                     
               re Venezia, 530 F.2d 956, 958, 189 USPQ 149, 151 (CCPA 1976).                                                      
                      In rejecting claim 10 under the second paragraph of 35 U.S.C.  112, the examiner's                         
               position is that the metes and bounds of the term "irregularly shaped" are not clear.  In                          
               particular, the examiner questions whether "irregularly shaped" requires that the fiber be made                    
               of two compositions and urges that such a definition would be contrary to any ordinary and                         
               customary usage of this terminology  (answer, page 4).  The term "irregular" is generally4                                                                            

               understood to mean not conforming to established rule; not straight or even; not uniform in                        
               shape, design or proportion or uneven in occurrence or succession (Webster's New World                             
               Dictionary, Third College Edition (Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1988)).  In order to determine,                          
               within the context of the appellants' invention, what types of fibers fall within the scope of                     
               "irregularly shaped," we have reviewed the appellants' specification for guidance as to the                        
               definitions of regularly shaped and irregularly shaped.                                                            
                      The appellants' specification, on pages 12 and 13, states that the present invention is                     
               preferably practiced with long, "irregularly shaped fibers, such as the bi-component glass fibers                  

                      4We, like the examiner, observe that the phrase "irregularly shaped" would not, in accordance with the      
               ordinary and customary usage of these terms, convey or imply any limitation as to composition.                     

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