Ex parte HATTORI - Page 6




               Appeal No. 1999-1721                                                                           Page 6                 
               Application No. 08/734,125                                                                                            


                       Accordingly, we shall sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 2 under 35 U.S.C.                            
               102(b) as being anticipated by Hara.                                                                                  
                       As to claim 3, the ball holding grooves (5) of Hara respond to the recited "grooves."     3                   

               Thus, we shall also sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 3.                                                      
                       As to claim 6, however, we agree with the appellant (brief, pages 9 and 10) that Hara                         
               does not teach that the rail is metal.  Thus, we are constrained to reverse the examiner's                            
               rejection of claim 6 under 35 U.S.C.  102.                                                                           
                       As to claim 7, we note that the claim does not positively recite a steel ball.                                
               Consequently, the diameter of the raceway is not limited to any particular steel ball diameter                        
               and, as such, is sufficiently broad to encompass the diameter of the grooves (5) of Hara's rail.                      
               Therefore, we shall also sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 7.                                                 
                       As to claim 35, which recites that the elongated shaft is "elastic," we find untenable the                    
               examiner's argument that "[b]earing steel is, however, elastic" (answer, page 4).  Therefore,                         
               we shall not sustain the examiner's rejection of claim 35.                                                            
                       As to claim 37, we find no teaching in Hara that the rail (2) comprises "first and second                     
               shaft parts adjoining each other" to support the examiner's statement (answer, page 4) "[t]hat                        
               would appear to be the case with Hara."  It follows that we shall not sustain the examiner's                          
               rejection of claim 37.                                                                                                

                       3We note that "said contact surfaces" in claim 3 appear to lack clear antecedent basis in the claim and       
               leave this issue to be addressed in the event of any further prosecution before the examiner.                         







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