Institution of Inter Partes Review Petitions by Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

On December 7, 2018, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) instituted two inter partes review Petitions filed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (“Petitioner”). In IPR2018-00934, the Petitioner challenged claims 1-18 of U.S. Patent No. 8,998,058 (“the ‘058 Patent”) as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. On September 10, 2018, Ethicon LLC (“Patent Owner”) disclaimed claims 11-18 of the ‘058 Patent, and on December 7, 2018, the Board instituted trial on claims 1-10.

In IPR2018-00935, the Petitioner challenged claims 1-18 of U.S. Patent No. 8,991,677 (“the ‘677 Patent”) as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. The Patent Owner disclaimed claims 11-15 and 18 of the ‘677 Patent on September 10, 2018, and the Board instituted trial on claims 1-10, 16, and 17 on December 7, 2018.

The ‘058 and ‘677 Patents are drawn to detachable motor powered surgical instruments, particularly surgical cutting and stapling instruments. The inter partes reviews remain pending at the Board.

By:  April Breyer Menon

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