Ex parte VOLLENWEIDER - Page 9

               Appeal No. 1998-2179                                                                          Page 9                 
               Application No. 08/433,231                                                                                           

               construing means-plus-function language in a claim, we must look to the appellant's                                  
               specification and interpret that language in light of the corresponding structure, material or acts                  
               described therein, and equivalents thereof, to the extent that the specification provides such                       
               disclosure.  See In re Donaldson Co., 16 F.3d 1189, 1193, 29 USPQ2d 1845, 1848 (Fed. Cir.                            
               1994).  Looking to the appellant's specification (page 7), we are informed that the first                            
               conveying means for feeding the blanks 5 individually one after the other to the intermediate                        
               store 18-21 are conveying belts 14-17.  Therefore, the language of claim 12 must be read to                          
               cover a conveying belt or its equivalent.  As the first conveyor of Newsome comprises                                
               conveyor belts B1, B2, B3 for feeding the printed signatures to the vertical queue stack 16 and                      
               as the Newsome conveyor belts B1, B2, B3, like the conveyor belts 14-17 disclosed in                                 
               appellant's specification, convey the articles placed thereon in a formation dictated by the                         
               deposition of such articles on the belts, we are satisfied that the first conveyor of Newsome                        
               meets the "first conveying means" limitation of claim 12.                                                            
                       For the foregoing reasons, we shall sustain the examiner's rejection of independent                          
               claim 12 and claims 19 and 20 which stand or fall therewith (see brief, page 4).                                     
                       We shall also sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 13 as being unpatentable over                        
               Newsome in view of Reist and Schall.  Claim 13 depends from claim 12 and adds the further                            
               limitation that the first and second conveying means are oriented so as to be "substantially                         
               perpendicular" to each other.  We agree with the examiner's position that merely to dispose the                      

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