Ex parte FUTO et al. - Page 5

              Appeal No. 1999-1165                                                                      Page 5                 
              Application No. 08/753,174                                                                                       

              stated on page 6 of the Answer, or that the Vollers wrench is capable of operating in the                        
              manner required in the closing lines of claim 1, which is implicit in the examiner’s rationale.                  

                      As we stated above, the objective of the appellants’ invention is to solve problems                      
              which exist in the field of plumbing drain line connections.  From our perspective, the                          
              preamble of claim 1 establishes this environment as a part of the claim, that is, that the                       
              wrench is for rotating a plastic slip nut relative to drain line components that are axially                     
              opposed, are tubular, and have a diameter of greater than one inch.  We share the                                
              appellants’ opinion that without consideration of the words in the preamble, the relationship                    
              between the various elements of the invention that is set forth in the last seven lines of the                   
              claim, requiring that there be a “neutral condition” in which ends of the body portion and                       
              that the inner surfaces of the handles are spaced apart “a given distance” which, along with                     
              the resiliency of the polymeric material, allow the handles and the body portion to be                           
              “moved laterally onto said one drain line component,” would be meaningless.                                      
                      Vollers discloses a wrench for removing the top from a soda bottle or the like.  Its                     
              general shape has some commonality with the shape of the claimed wrench, in that it                              
              comprises a C-shaped resilient body portion that terminates in first and second spaced                           
              apart end portions, from which extend first and second legs, and the inner surface of the                        
              body portion is provided with surfaces for engaging the cap of the bottle.  However, there                       

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