Ex parte BINDER et al. - Page 12




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


              member to be part of the claimed invention, in                     
              combination with the rubber coated flange.  As                     
              pointed out in the Appeal Brief, that claimed                      
              structure of the base member distinguishes over                    
              Thurman and Briggs [reply brief, pages 2-3].                       

              In our view the examiner has not provided evidence                 
         supporting his contention that the base member structure is             
         notoriously well known in the art.  It is apparent to us that           
         the examiner is dismissing the structural features of                   
         appellants' claims 10 and 11 because of appellants' assertion           
         that the coating is the inventive aspect.  Our review of                
         appellants' prior art disclosure reveals nothing therein which          
         describes the above quoted structural features recited in               
         appellants' claims 10 and 11 as being part of the prior art.            
         Specifically, we do not find evidence that the nebulous                 
         "general state of the art" relied upon by the examiner teaches          
         or suggests a base member with two passages in communication            
         with a coalescer element as recited in claims 10 and 11.                
              Accordingly, the decision of the examiner to reject                
         claims 10 and 11 under 35 U.S.C.  103 as being unpatentable            
         over Briggs taken in view of the general state of the art is            
         reversed.  It also follows that the examiner's rejection of             
         claims 12, 13 and 15, which are dependent on claim 11, as               
                                       12                                        





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