Ex parte HERBELLEAU - Page 4




          Appeal No. 1999-0983                                                        
          Application No. 08/782,891                                                  


               anchoring                                                              
               function was the only feature of the bead wire                         
               pertinent to the claimed invention and therefore                       
               would not have understood appellant to have                            
               implicitly disclosed any possible carcass anchoring                    
               means by explicitly reciting only the bead wire.                       
               We agree with the appellant and, apparently, the examiner              
          that "carcass anchoring means" is a means-plus-function                     
          expression within the purview of 35 U.S.C.  112, sixth                     


          paragraph.  As such, the sixth paragraph provides that it                   
          shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure                     
          described in the specification (i.e., the bead wire) and                    
          equivalents thereof; the examiner's implication, supra, that                
          it covers "any possible carcass anchoring means" is a broader               
          interpretation than the statute provides.  See In re Donaldson              
          Co., Inc., 16 F.3d 1189, 1195, 29 USPQ2d 1845, 1850 (Fed. Cir.              
          1994).                                                                      
               The examiner seems to be of the opinion that, for a                    
          disclosed structure to be the structure which corresponds to a              
          means-plus-function, the claimed function must be the only                  
          feature of the structure which is pertinent to the claimed                  
          invention.  We are aware of no authority for this proposition               

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