J&J affiliate beats majority of patent challenges from Intuitive

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

Johnson & Johnson affiliate Ethicon kept most of its robotic surgical tool patent after Intuitive Surgical attempted to get it thrown out, Mass Device reports.

Intuitive issued 28 infringement claims against Ethicon's patent for a surgical robot tool. A Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Feb. 18, that a third of Ethicon's claims in the patent were unpatentable but allowed the majority of them.

The board said Intuitive failed to prove that a mechanical engineer with past experience would've thought to take a surgical tool with a shiftable drive system and combine it with a robot.

The board wrote, "Petitioner's proposal in that regard appears rooted in the bias of hindsight rather than based on what a skilled artisan would have gleaned from the teachings of the prior art."

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