Ex parte BINDER et al. - Page 6

         Appeal No. 1998-3016                                                    
         Application No. 08/568,344                                              

         member via a flange consisting of metal sheet coated with               
         rubber and forming a seal between the base and housing.                 
              Turning first to Thurman, we observe that Thurman teaches          
         a member (14) sealingly connected to a housing (10) via a bent          
         sheet metal flange (17, 18), the flange being provided on both          
         sides with a rubber sealing gasket or packing (19), an annular          
         filter bag (16) being connected to the member (14) via the              
         flange.  It is the examiner's position that the flange is               
         coated with rubber (the final rejection, Paper No. 10, page             
         7), whereas in this regard we are in agreement with the                 
         appellants' position that Thurman's gasket (19) is a separate           
         member, not a coating.                                                  
              As stated by appellants, the issue is "[w]hether a claim           
         limitation calling for a flange consisting of a metal sheet             
         coated with rubber is anticipated... by a flange assembled              
         with a separate rubber gasket" (brief, page 3).  We note that           
         Thurman describes the flange as "provided on each side with a           
         gasket or packing (19) of some suitable material such as                
         rubber and which when in position lies between the top of the           
         casing (10) and the cover (14) and serves to form an air-tight          
         closure for the cover" (page 1, lines 97-102).  In our opinion          

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