Ex parte MACLEOD et al. - Page 8




               Appeal No. 98-0816                                                                                                  
               Application 08/286,287                                                                                              

                       As argued by appellants (Brief, pages 36 to 38), the retaining rings taught by Schuh only serve             

               to pre-load the ball bearings used in the motor, and they do not serve to bias a first structure (the rotor)        

               against a second structure (the magnet) such that the second structure (the magnet) is secured against a            

               radially extending surface of the first structure (the rotor).  We agree with appellants, and we find that          

               the applied prior art fails to teach or suggest such a feature of securing a magnet by providing a bias             

               against a radially extending surface of a rotor.  We also agree with appellants that Schuh concerns                 

               retaining rings used to secure ball bearings and not a magnet.  Further, none of the prior art applied,             

               taken singly or in combination, would have suggested modifying the Hishida or Okada references to                   

               achieve the goal of providing such a feature.  Accordingly, we cannot sustain the examiner’s rejection              

               under 35 U.S.C.  103 as to claims 1 to 11, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33 and 34.                                              

                       We find that the retaining ring defined in appellants’ independent claims 1 and 26 is neither               

               taught nor suggested by the applied combination of Hishida and Schuh or Okada and Schuh.                            

               Accordingly, since the rejections of claims 1 to 11, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33 and 34 are based on the                     

               combination of either Hishida and Schuh or Okada and Schuh, we will reverse the rejections of these                 

               claims.                                                                                                             

               Rejection of Claims 12 to 17 Under 35 U.S.C.  103:                                                                 

               We turn next to the question of the obviousness of claims 12 to 17 under  103.  Independent                        

               claim 12 and its corresponding dependent claims on appeal recite the details of a spindle motor                     

               assembly wherein the assembly includes a rotor mounted on a shaft, a magnetic seal assembly for                     

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