Ex parte FONTANA et al. - Page 5

             Appeal No. 1998-0596                                                                                  
             Application 08/259,370                                                                                

             In In re Luck, 476 F.2d 650, 653, 177 USPQ 523, 525 (CCPA 1973), the Court of Customs                 
             and Patent Appeals stated:                                                                            
                           [I]t is well established that product claims may include process                        
                           steps to wholly or partially define the claimed product.  See In                        
                           re Brown, 59 CCPA    ,  459 F.2d 531, 535, 173 USPQ 685,                                
                           688 (1972), and the cases cited therein.  To the extent these                           
                           process limitations distinguish the product over the prior art,                         
                           they must be given the same consideration as traditional                                
                           product characteristics. (Emphasis in original).                                        
                    With regard to the appellants’ claims discussed in this section, all of them require           
             (a) an integrated thin-film slider and transducer, and (b) a thin film suspension element             
             which is formed by thin film deposition.  Furthermore, with regard to the thin film                   
             suspension formed by thin film deposition, all of these claims additionally require that a            
             portion of the thin film suspension be deposited or formed on the integrated thin film slider         
             and transducer.  Read in light of the appellants’ specification, particularly page 22, lines          
             15-16, page 23, lines 1-24, and Figure 7B, the only reasonable interpretation of these                
             deposition and forming limitations provides that when forming the suspension by thin film             
             deposition, a portion of the suspension is deposited or formed on the integrated thin film            
             slider and transducer.  As defined by these claims, the suspension element on the one                 
             hand and the slider and transducer on the other hand are directly connected by bonded thin            
             film layers thereof upon formation of the suspension element, without need for post-                  
             formation gluing or soldering to connect the suspension element with the integral slider and          


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