Ex parte AKIBA et al. - Page 6

              Appeal No. 1998-2204                                                                                            
              Application No. 08/470,432                                                                                      

              "coaxial" in the context of this claim as requiring that the first and second rings lie parallel to             
              one another with their centers aligned, such that the "axes" passing through the center of each                 
              of the rings in a direction normal to the annular end faces of each of the rings coincide.                      
                      As illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 of Saita, the guide member (intermediate through                      
              member 41) extends at an angle with respect to the main rod 31 and comprises a protrusion 55                    
              extending inside the inner wall surface of the main rod.  However, the first and second ends of                 
              the intermediate through member 41 are not parallel with one another, as best seen in Figure 1.                 
              Therefore, even assuming Cranston (page 2, lines 3-38) would have suggested to a skilled                        
              artisan modification of the Saita fishing rod by providing integral low friction bushes (or rings)              
              at the ends of the intermediate through member to assist free passage of the line, such an artisan              
              would have been directed by the references to locate the first ring flush with the first end of the             
              intermediate through member and the second ring flush with the protrusion 55, thereby leaving                   
              the first ring inclined (and thus not "coaxial") with respect to the second ring.                               
                      Accordingly, we shall not sustain the examiner's rejection of independent claim 16, or                  
              of claims 18 and 27 which depend therefrom.                                                                     
                      As Viveiros provides no teaching to overcome the above-noted deficiency of the                          
              combination of Saita and Cranston, it follows that we shall also not sustain the examiner's                     
              rejection of claim 17 as being unpatentable over Saita in view of Cranston and Viveiros.                        


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