Ex Parte Virgil et al - Page 5

                Appeal 2006-3059                                                                                
                Application 10/293,725                                                                          
                above, that the thread diameter of fastener 24 is slightly larger than the                      
                aperture diameter and that the fastener threadably engages the aperture.                        
                That such engagement occurs without shaving, penetrating, or otherwise                          
                damaging the anti-corrosion coating on the fastener appears to be a                             
                consequence of providing a depending sleeve 38, which does not present the                      
                sharp edges of a hole (Hasan, col. 1, ll. 62-65), to engage the threads of the                  
                fastener (Hasan, col. 2, ll. 45-51).                                                            
                       In light of the above, Appellants have not demonstrated that the                         
                Examiner erred in rejecting claim 1 as anticipated by Hasan.  The rejection                     
                of claim 1, and claims 2, 3, and 6 depending from claim 1, is sustained.                        
                       Turning now to claim 7, the Examiner contends that, in the illustrated                   
                embodiment of Hasan’s plate, the conically-shaped depression 20 and sleeve                      
                38 together respond to the “lip” recited in the claim and points out that the                   
                flat section of the main body 12 of the plate is immediately adjacent such lip                  
                (Answer 5).  In the alternative, the Examiner refers to Hasan’s teaching that,                  
                “[i]f other fasteners are used, such as those having flat heads, the flat head is               
                preferably located on the main body 12, and the depression 20 is not                            
                required” (Hasan, col. 3, ll. 57-60), in which case the sleeve 38 would                         
                respond to the recited “lip,” with the flat section of the main body 12 of the                  
                plate being immediately adjacent such lip (Answer 5-6).  Both positions are                     
                well taken.                                                                                     
                       We determine the scope of the claims in patent applications “not                         
                solely on the basis of the claim language, but upon giving claims their                         
                broadest reasonable construction ‘in light of the specification as it would be                  
                interpreted by one of ordinary skill in the art.’”  Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415                  
                F.3d 1303, 1316, 75 USPQ2d 1321, 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc)                                


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