Ex Parte Dunifon et al - Page 6

                Appeal 2006-2998                                                                                  
                Application 09/956,524                                                                            
                Appellants argue that even if the surface of Flaugher showed curvature in a                       
                second direction transverse to a first direction, Flaugher would not anticipate                   
                the present claims because if there were curvature in this direction, the linear                  
                rods of Flaugher would, out of necessity, not be substantially of a constant                      
                distance from the pressing surface as the distance would vary in accordance                       
                with the curvature.                                                                               
                       We are not convinced by Appellants’ arguments for the following                            
                reasons.                                                                                          
                       First, Appellants’ specification does not provide a specific description,                  
                e.g., measurements, for defining the term “substantially.”  Hence, we turn to                     
                the ordinary meaning of this word.  As stated by the Examiner on page 5 of                        
                the Answer, the word “substantially” encompasses a relatively wide ranges                         
                of values.  In re Sinex, 309 F.2d 488, 492, 135 USPQ 302, 305 (CCPA                               
                1962).  In this light, referring to Figure 2 of Flaugher, heating elements 70                     
                are disposed to substantially follow the contoured shape of the pressing                          
                surface to maintain a substantially constant distance from the pressing                           
                surface of the male mold.  We see no difference between that depicted in                          
                Figure 2 of Flaugher and that claimed in the last paragraph of Appellants’                        
                claim 1, in light of the claim interpretation discussed herein.                                   
                       Second, we agree with the Examiner’s findings that the figures in                          
                Flaugher depict a curvature along the longitudinal axis and transverse axis.                      
                For example, both drawings of Figure 3 depict such a feature.  We do note                         
                that the C.C.P.A. has recognized a subtle distinction between a written                           
                description adequate to support a claim under 112 and a written description                      
                sufficient to anticipate its subject matter under 102(b).  The difference                        
                between "claim-supporting disclosures" and "claim-anticipating disclosures"                       

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