Ex parte FONTANA et al. - Page 11

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

                      The appellants argue that claim 46 is considered to be patentable over the                             
              references for the same reasons as given in support of claims 1 and 40.  With regard to                        
              claim 40, the appellants states that it requires the bottom edges of the integrated thin film                  
              slider 72 and transducer 74 to form an air bearing surface as is shown in Figs. 5A and 7B.                     
              (Br. at 19). According to the appellants, “[t]here is no art teaching of an air bearing surface                
              composed entirely of edges of thin films” (Br. at 19).  The appellants’ argument is                            
                      Claim 46 does require the air bearing surface to be formed by the “edges” of the                       
              thin films constituting the integrated slider and transducer.  Specifically, claim 46 recites:                 
              “the air bearing surface of the integrated slider and transducer consisting of only second                     
              edge surfaces of the thin film layers of said integrated slider and transducer.”  The                          
              examiner has failed to expressly account for this specific feature of the appellants’ claims                   
              46, 47, 49 and 50.  The examiner pointed out on page 7 of the answer that Kant’s slider 32                     
              is mounted to the suspension with the top of slider 32 engaging the bottom of the                              
              suspension and the bottom of slider 32 forming an air bearing surface.  However, the                           
              examiner has acknowledged that Kant is silent as to any thin film structure of its slider.                     
              (Answer at 8).  Even if Kant’s slider has a thin film structure, the examiner has not shown                    
              any disclosure or suggestion that the air bearing surface in Kant is constituted by the                        
              collective edges of thin films as opposed to a planar surface.                                                 
                      Nonetheless, the examiner relied on a combination comprising Kant’s suspension                         


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