Ex parte ALMULLA - Page 5

          Appeal No. 1998-0692                                                        
          Application No. 08/693,551                                                  

          delay’ being chosen to be slightly above the propagation delay              
          of the ‘first portion’ when it receives the ‘first voltage’”                
          [sic] [answer-page 3].                                                      
               An examiner’s charge of “inherency” may be challenged by               
          an appellant and, indeed, appellant in this case has                        
          challenged the examiner to show that elements receiving a                   
          higher voltage must operate above a maximum propagation delay.              
          At pages 6-7 of the principal brief, appellant contends that                
          this is not inherent, pointing out that “alternatives do                    
          exist” since the application of a lower voltage to a device                 
          operating between 5 volts and ground does not necessarily                   
          indicate that it will have a longer propagation delay than a                
          similar device which operates between 3.4 volts and ground.                 
               We agree with appellant that there is simply no teaching               
          in Gregor that the signal paths which are operated at the                   
          higher voltage do not operate below a maximum propagation                   
          delay required to maintain the operating frequency of the                   
          component when operated at the lower voltage.  The examiner’s               
          response is to state [answer-page 4] that “all that would be                
          required is for the reference to have one scenario (i.e., one               
          arbitrary ‘maximum propagation delay’) wherein the                          


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