Ex parte RIEK et al. - Page 8

          Appeal No. 97-2600                                                          
          Application 08/500,091                                                      

          trocar may be  (a) sharp so that the screw threads cut tissue,              
          (b) “smoothly contoured” (apparently for the purpose of simply              
          distending tissue) or (c) a combination of sharp and smoothly               
          contoured  (see column 2, line 62 through column 3, line 23)                
          and (2) Alvord teaches an analogous medical instrument wherein              
          the spiral is formed from a wire which is clearly “rounded.”                
          The problem is,                                                             

          however, that Fig. 7 of the appellants’ drawings clearly                    
          the spiral as having a generally sharpened edge which appears               
          remarkably like the screw threads 32 of Auburn which are                    
          stated to cause “a gradual cutting through the abdominal wall”              
          (column 2, line 64).                                                        
                    Moreover, the appellants have provided evidence that              
          one skilled in the art would recognize that the spiral or wire              
          48 of the instant application has an edge which cuts tissue.                


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