Ex parte GRUBER et al. - Page 6

          Appeal No. 1998-3207                                       Page 6           
          Application No. 08/518,874                                                  

               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.                                                                   

               The examiner's focus during examination of claims for                  
          compliance with the requirement for definiteness of 35 U.S.C.               
           112, second paragraph, is whether the claims meet the                     
          threshold requirements of clarity and precision, not whether                
          more suitable language or modes of expression are available.                
          Some latitude in the manner of expression and the aptness of                
          terms is permitted even though the claim language is not as                 
          precise as the examiner might desire.  If the scope of the                  
          invention sought to be patented cannot be determined from the               
          language of the claims with a reasonable degree of certainty,               

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