Ex parte KORIYAMA et al. - Page 5

              Appeal No. 1998-0453                                                                                        
              Application No. 08/381,306                                                                                  

              spacer.  (See brief at page 5.)  Appellants argue that the claimed annular groove in the                    
              outer circumference defines that the groove is formed in the entire outer circumference of                  
              the spacer.  (See brief at page 6.)  We agree with appellants. The examiner relies upon                     
              the teaching of Brue with respect to element 32A shown in Fig. 4. (See answer at page 5.)                   
              We disagree with the examiner.  The cross section of Figure 2 is shown in Figure 4 and                      
              the specification of Brue, at column 3, describes element 32A as one of three pads.                         
              Appellants argue that the small “L” shaped surface of Brue is not a groove in the                           
              circumference as claimed.  (See brief at page 7.)  We agree with appellants.  In our view of                
              Brue, if there are three distinct pads then the groove that the examiner relies upon would                  
              not traverse the circumference of the spacer.  If there is not a pad at a location, then there              
              cannot be a groove formed thereby.  At most Brue teaches plural slots around the                            
              circumference formed by the pads being recessed from the edge of the spacer.  In our                        
              view, using the examiner’s definition for annular as “forming or shaped like a ring,” it is                 
              clear that the distinct indentations or recesses at the pads cannot form a ring which would                 
              connote a continuous circular groove present between the distinct pads of Brue.  Since                      
              Brue does not disclose the use of an annular groove, we cannot sustain the rejection of                     
              claim 13 and its dependent claim 16.                                                                        


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