Ex parte HATTORI - Page 3

               Appeal No. 1999-1721                                                                           Page 3                 
               Application No. 08/734,125                                                                                            

                       Reference is made to the brief (Paper No. 33) and the answer (Paper No. 34) for the                           
               respective positions of the appellant and the examiner with regard to the merits of these                             
                       In reaching our decision in this appeal, we have given careful consideration to the                           
               appellant's specification and claims, to the applied prior art references, and to the respective                      
               positions articulated by the appellant and the examiner.  As a consequence of our review, we                          
               make the determinations which follow.                                                                                 
                       Claim 2, the only independent claim on appeal, reads as follows:                                              
                               2.      A ball holder for a retainerless saddle having a bearing body and                             
                       a pair of end caps attached thereto, said ball holder to be used when the                                     
                       retainerless saddle is taken out of a rail, the retainerless saddle having a recess,                          
                       the retainerless saddle to be assembled with the rail with a plurality of preloaded                           
                       steel balls therebetween when said retainerless saddle is slid onto said rail to                              
                       form a preloaded retainerless linear motion bearing assembly, said ball holder                                
                               an elongated shaft portion independent of the retainerless saddle and to be                           
                       positioned within the recess of the retainerless saddle only when the retainerless                            
                       saddle is taken out of the rail, the elongated shaft portion also being independent                           
                       from the rail,                                                                                                
                               wherein said elongated shaft portion includes a plurality of ball holding                             
                       means for directly holding the steel balls and for preventing said steel balls from                           
                       falling off when the retainerless saddle is taken out of said rail, wherein the                               
                       plurality of ball holding means comprises a circumferential surface of the                                    
                       elongated shaft portion along the axis thereof and are separate from the                                      
                       retainerless saddle, each of said ball holding means being positioned adjacent to                             
                       each of grooves provided within the bearing body, such that each of said ball                                 

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