Ex parte FUTO et al. - Page 4

              Appeal No. 1999-1165                                                                      Page 4                 
              Application No. 08/753,174                                                                                       

              and second ends, and an inner circumferential surface between the ends upon which slip                           
              nut engaging means are affixed.   First and second handles extend from the first and                             
              second ends for rotating the body portion, with the handles having inner surfaces that are                       
              spaced apart when the wrench is in a neutral condition.  It is the examiner’s view that all of                   
              the subject matter recited in claim 1 is disclosed by Vollers, except for the particular                         
              means for grasping the nut, which the examiner finds in any of Moulin, Goss or Gilbert.                          
                      The arguments set out by the appellants in response to the examiner’s position                           
              focus on the preamble and the last seven lines of claim 1, which the appellants believe                          
              establish that there is a patentable distinction over the applied prior art.  These passages                     
              read as follows:                                                                                                 
                      A wrench for rotating a plastic slip nut relative to axially opposed tubular                             
                      drain components having a diameter greater than one inch and coupled by                                  
                      said slip nut to provide a joint therebetween.                                                           
                      [H]andles having opposed spaced apart inner surfaces, said body portion                                  
                      having a neutral condition in which said ends of said body portion and said                              
                      inner surfaces of said handles are spaced apart a given distance, the                                    
                      resiliency of said polymeric material biasing said body portion to said                                  
                      neutral condition, said given distance and the resiliency of said polymeric                              
                      material providing for said handles to receive one of said drain line                                    
                      components therebetween and for said handles and body portion to be                                      
                      moved laterally onto said one drain component for aligning said wrench axis                              
                      with said nut axis.                                                                                      
              It is the appellants’ position that the language of the preamble cannot be dismissed as                          
              merely setting forth a different use for the wrench disclosed by Vollers, as explicitly is                       

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