Ex parte PHILLIPS - Page 5

          Appeal No. 1999-0242                                                        
          Application 08/643,829                                                      

          221 USPQ 385, 388 (Fed. Cir. 1984).  Under principles of                    
          inherency, when a reference is silent about an asserted                     
          inherent characteristic, it                                                 
          must be clear that the missing descriptive matter is                        
          necessarily present in the thing described in the reference,                
          and that it would be so recognized by persons of ordinary                   
          skill.  Continental Can Co. v. Monsanto Co., 948 F.2d 1264,                 
          1268, 20 USPQ2d 1746, 1749 (Fed. Cir. 1991).  As the court                  
          stated in In re Oelrich, 666 F.2d 578, 581, 212 USPQ 323, 326               
          (CCPA 1981)(quoting Hansgirg v. Kemmer, 102 F.2d 212, 214, 40               
          USPQ 665, 667 (CCPA 1939)):                                                 
               Inherency, however, may not be established by                          
               probabilities or possibilities.  The mere fact that                    
               a certain thing may result from a given set of                         
               circumstances is not sufficient. [Citations                            
               omitted.]  If, however, the disclosure is sufficient                   
               to show that the natural result flowing from the                       
               operation as taught would result in the performance                    
               of the questioned function, it seems to be well                        
               settled that the disclosure should be regarded as                      
               As indicated above, the examiner considers the opposing                
          flat surfaces on Sackett’s extension 54 and recess 56 to meet               
          the limitations in claim 28 pertaining to the coupling member               
          flat mating surface and the foot member flat mating surface,                
          respectively.  Sackett, however, is silent as to whether these              

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