Sometimes in an OA you'll see something like, "prior art cited but not relied upon includes US Patent 5,987,321 which describes generally [field of endeavour]".
In an OA that I'm currently working, the Examiner waxes expansive, stating "...art cited but not relied upon includes US Patent 5,987,321 which would either have read upon [sic see ] or made obvious most or all of the already-rejected claims, however, making such rejections over US Patent 5,987,321 would have been redundant. See for example Figures 12-13 and accompanying text".
I don't recall getting such a specific "art cited but not relied upon" comment before.
A. If I fail in my reply to comment on or rebut the "art not relied upon", given the specific nature of the Examiner's statements, can I be said to have failed to fully respond to the OA as required?
B. Even if the answer to A is "nope" or "probably not", would you address it anyway, providing arguments to distinguish the claims from that art not relied upon?
C. More general question, do you folks normally ever make any comments regarding "art cited but not relied upon"? Or do you routinely ignore it?
Thanks in advance for your consideration.
 For nit pickers like me, it is my claims that read on the art, not vice versa. Just sayin'.