Monday, January 07, 2013

Obviousness reversed in Ex parte O'Toole

The Board reversed the examiner's obviousness rejection in Ex parte O'Toole:

The Examiner’s rejection of claims 14-17, 21-23, 27, 32-34, and 37-
48 under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) is reversed.

There seemed to be a missing claim element:

The Examiner cites O’Brien for this feature. The O’Brien patent shows an assembly that involves two structural members that are attached to the cutting assembly head. These members are identified as “boom arms 55.” Col. 2, l. 47. Consequently, Appellants argue that this prior art does not match the claim language, which is limited to a single arm disposed generally centrally of the underside of the aquatic craft. The Examiner appears to take the view that O’Brien has only one of the particular type of arm defined by the claim. The negative limitation of a single arm in the claims appears to only refer to the “disposed generally centrally” clause of the claim. The O’Brien patent itself refers to the members 55 as “arms,” and the Examiner has not made it clear what features distinguish boom arms 55 such that they would not reasonably be considered arms as defined by the claims. Accordingly, the rejection of these claims is not sustainable.

Note new link on 7 Jan 2013:


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