Ex parte MUNEKI et al. - Page 4




          Appeal No. 1998-2139                                                        
          Application No. 08/572,727                                                  


          consideration to the appellants’ specification and claims, to               
          the applied prior art references, and to the respective                     
          positions articulated by the appellants and the examiner.                   


               In rejecting claims under 35 U.S.C.  103, the examiner                
          bears the initial burden of presenting a prima facie case of                
          obviousness (see In re Rijckaert, 9 F.3d 1531, 1532, 28 USPQ2d              
          1955, 1956 (Fed. Cir. 1993); In re Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443,                  
          1446, 24 USPQ2d 1443, 1445 (Fed. Cir. 1992)), which is                      
          established when the teachings of the prior art itself would                
          appear to have suggested the claimed subject matter to one of               
          ordinary skill in the art (see In re Bell, 991 F.2d 781, 783,               
          26 USPQ2d 1529, 1531 (Fed. Cir. 1993)).  The conclusion that                
          the claimed subject matter is prima facie obvious must be                   
          supported by evidence, as shown by some objective teaching in               
          the prior art or by knowledge generally available to one of                 
          ordinary skill in the art that would have led that individual               
          to combine the relevant teachings of the references to arrive               
          at the claimed invention.  See In re Fine, 837 F.2d 1071,                   
          1074, 5 USPQ2d 1596, 1598 (Fed. Cir. 1988).                                 


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