Ex parte VAN ENGELSHOVEN et al. - Page 10

          Appeal No. 1998-0335                                                        
          Application 08/518,061                                                      

          restrictions on the number of such plates.  Matsuda indicates               
          that the number of plates can be changed [translation, pages                
          3-4].  The artisan would not interpret this teaching of                     
          Matsuda as limiting the number of plates to even numbers only               
          or to odd numbers only.  The artisan would have appreciated                 
          that the number of plates could be adjusted as desired.                     
          Therefore, the broad recitation of an odd number of plates                  
          does not patentably distinguish over the teachings of the                   
          applied prior art.                                                          
          The recitation of first and second plates being                             
          substantially identical in claim 8 does not require that the                
          prior art teach or suggest the reversibility of plates to                   
          compensate for assembly imperfections.  The artisan would have              
          expected the plurality of plates making up the modified                     
          intermediate electrode of Shimoma to be substantially                       
          identical.   Therefore, we also sustain the examiner’s                      
          rejection of claim 8.                                                       
          Dependent claims 9-11 all include the feature that                          
          “the thickness of the at least one intermediate electrode is                
          between 30% and 40% of said predetermined [aperture]                        
          diameter.”  The examiner’s position is that the claimed                     

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