Ex parte ISHIUCHI et al. - Page 3

               Appeal No. 1999-1818                                                                       Page 3                 
               Application No. 08/586,806                                                                                        

                      Reference is made to the brief and reply brief (Paper Nos. 19 and 21 ) and the answer                      
               (Paper No. 20) for the respective positions of the appellants and the examiner with regard to                     
               the merits of these rejections.                                                                                   
                      In reaching our decision in this appeal, we have given careful consideration to the                        
               appellants' specification and claims , to the applied prior art references, and to the respective2                                                                             
               positions articulated by the appellants and the examiner.  As a consequence of our review, we                     
               make the determinations which follow.                                                                             
                      Independent claims 1 and 7 read as follows:                                                                
                      1.      A push rod comprising a rod body, and a steel ball bonded to bond sections of                      
               at least one end of the rod body by an electric resistance welding, wherein said rod body is                      
               formed from an aluminum alloy, and said bond sections of said rod body and said steel ball                        
               have mechanical engagement portions formed by said electric resistance welding wherein said                       
               mechanical engagement portions include biting in portions of the rod body into the steel ball                     
               and an aluminum layer formed on a surface of the steel ball by a liquid phase generated from                      
               the rod body during welding.                                                                                      

                      7.      A process for producing a push rod, comprising the steps of:                                       
                      bringing one end face of a rod body into pressure contact with a steel ball;                               

                      2We note that the preambles of claims 4 and 5, which are directed only to a push rod, appear to be         
               inconsistent with the recitations of these claims.  Specifically, the limitation in claim 4 that the push rod is  
               "disposed between a cam shaft and a rocker arm in an internal combustion engine" indicates the claim is directed to
               an internal combustion engine.  Similarly, the limitation in claim 5 that the push rod is "disposed between a pressure
               plate and a clutch-disengaging drive source in a friction clutch" indicates the claim is directed to a friction clutch.
               While these informalities do not, in our opinion, render the scope of the claims indefinite, they are deserving of
               correction in the event of further prosecution before the examiner.                                               

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