Ex parte TAPPERSON et al. - Page 1

           The opinion in support of the decision being entered today was not written for
                     publication and is not binding precedent of the Board.           
                                                                 Paper No. 23         
                      UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE                       
                         BEFORE THE BOARD OF PATENT APPEALS                           
                                  AND INTERFERENCES                                   
                   Ex parte GARY TAPPERSON and THOMAS ANDREW BOYD                     
                                Appeal No. 1999-1456                                  
                             Application No. 08/864,750                               
                                      ON BRIEF                                        
          Before FLEMING, LALL and BLANKENSHIP, Administrative Patent                 
          FLEMING, Administrative Patent Judge.                                       

                                 DECISION ON APPEAL                                   
               This is a decision on appeal from the final rejection of               
          claims 2 through 12 and 14.  Claims 13 and 15 have been                     
          objected to.  Claim 1 has been canceled.                                    
               The invention relates to a distributed control system for              
          controlling material flow within an industrial process.  In                 
          particular, the invention relates to accessing field devices                
          in a distributed control system and providing redundant                     

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