Ex parte MICHAEL E. MILLER et al. - Page 2

          Appeal No. 96-2294                                                          
          Application 08/278,558                                                      

               This is an appeal from the final rejection of claims 1 to              
          8 and 10 to 12.  Claim 9 has been cancelled.  These are the only            
          claims in the application.                                                  
               The invention is directed to a surgical instrument which has           
          an outer cannula of tubular shape which is sized for insertion              
          into a body.  The outer cannula has a cutting opening at its                
          distal end and is supported by a handpiece at its proximal end.             
          The instrument further comprises an inner cannula which is                  
          slidably and concentrically disposed within the central barrel of           
          the outer cannula.  The inner cannula reciprocates inside the               
          outer cannula and by reciprocation cuts tissue that protrudes               
          through the opening in the outer cannula.  In the first                     
          embodiment, the inner cannula has a hinge means to permit the               
          cutting head to pivot slightly to give closer cutting.  In the              
          second embodiment, the body portion which extends from the                  
          cutting head to the connecting means on the handpiece is defined            
          by an arc segment of preferably 70 to 80E.  The arc segment gives           
          the benefit of the hinge means of the first embodiment.                     
               Claim 1 is further illustrative of the claimed subject                 
          matter and is appended to this decision.                                    
               The reference of record relied upon by the examiner as                 
          evidence of anticipation is:                                                


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