Ex parte GAPCO - Page 13

          Appeal No. 1999-1480                                                        
          Application No. 08/523,330                                                  

          recited in independent claim 52 are not met by the combined                 
          teachings of the applied prior art (i.e., McRae and Taylor).                
          In particular, it is our opinion that the combined teachings                
          of the applied prior art fail to teach or suggest a key                     
          attachment structure comprising a “thermoexpansive clamping                 
          structure.”  In our view the nut and bolt taught by Taylor                  
          does not constitute  a “thermoexpansive clamping structure” as              
          defined by appellant.  The examiner noted that a nut and bolt               
          are commonly made of metal and that when metal is heated it                 
          expands; therefore the nut and bolt form a thermoexpansive                  
          clamping structure.  As we noted above, appellant clearly sets              
          forth, on page 5, lines 21-28, of the instant specification,                
          that “a thermoexpansive material or arrangement of materials                
          may be used in the slot area or for the entire handle,                      
          allowing easier insertion of a key when the handle is cooled                
          as in the freezer compartment of a common refrigerator, but                 
          providing increased clamping or retention force when the                    
          handle assembly is allowed to return to room temperature.”                  
          Thus, we interpret the thermoexpansive clamping structure of                
          claim 52 as being a structure that exhibits the above                       
          characteristics and that relies upon the thermal expansion                  

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