Ex parte HURST et al. - Page 10

          Appeal No. 1998-2556                                                        
          Application 08/571,044                                                      

          The remaining independent claims are claims 17 and 22.                      
          Claims 17 and 22 are rejected based on Grotz taken alone.                   
          Since claim 22 has the same means for estimating noise                      
          recitations as we considered in claim 1 above, the examiner’s               
          rejection of claim 22 must fail because there is no teaching                
          or suggestion of a means for estimating noise in Grotz.                     
          Independent claim 17 does not recite a means for estimating                 
          noise, but instead, recites details of the transfer function                
          of a nonlinear processing means having a coring window.  The                
          examiner admits that Grotz does not teach transfer functions                
          having the properties set forth in claim 17, but the examiner               
          finds that the artisan having general knowledge of noise                    
          reduction image processing systems “would have had no                       
          difficulty” in providing such transfer functions [answer,                   
          pages 6-7].  Appellants respond that neither “general                       
          knowledge” nor any of the cited references suggest transfer                 
          functions having the properties recited in claim 17 [brief,                 
          pages 7-8].                                                                 

          We agree with appellants that the prior art applied by                      

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