Ex parte RASMUSSEN - Page 4




          Appeal No. 1998-2240                                       Page 4           
          Application No. 08/443,058                                                  


               It is the examiner’s position that independent claims 1                
          and 13 are indefinite because the phrase “shaped to closely                 
          overlay” does not “require that the cover is overlaid [sic]                 
          the sheet,” and because the phrase “readily removable” is                   
          unclear.  We do                                                             
          not agree.                                                                  
               The second paragraph of 35 U.S.C.  112 requires claims                
          to set out and circumscribe a particular area with a                        
          reasonable degree of precision and particularity.  In re                    
          Johnson, 558 F.2d 1008, 1015, 194 USPQ 187, 193 (CCPA 1977).                
          In making this determination, the definiteness of the language              
          employed in the claims must be analyzed, not in a vacuum, but               
          always in light of the teachings of the prior art and of the                
          particular application disclosure as it would be interpreted                
          by one possessing the ordinary level of skill in the pertinent              
          art.  Id.  We do not understand the reasoning behind the                    
          examiner’s problem with the phrase “shaped to closely                       
          overlay.”  This is only a part of the language describing the               
          cover which, in full, reads “shaped to closely overlay said                 
          sheet when said sheet is positioned upon said sphere or                     
          hemisphere.”  From our perspective, the language of the claim,              







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