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

On January 15, 2019, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) instituted three inter partesreview (“IPR) Petitions filed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (“Petitioner”).

In IPR2018-00936, the Petitioner challenged claims 1-14 of U.S. Patent No. 9,585,658 (“the ‘658 Patent”) as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102 and as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. The Board instituted trial on all challenged claims and grounds.

In IPR2018-01247, the Petitioner challenged claims 19-22 and 24-26 of U.S. Patent No. 8,479,969 (“the ‘969 Patent”) as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. In IPR2018-01254, the Petitioner challenged claims 1-11 and 24 of the ‘969 Patent as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. The Board instituted trial on all challenged claims and grounds in both IPRs and rejected Ethicon LLC’s (“Patent Owner”) arguments that the petitions should be denied under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d).

The ‘658 and ‘969 Patents are owned by Ethicon LLC. The ‘658 Patent is drawn to surgical staplers, and the ‘969 Patent is drawn to robotic surgical systems. The inter partes reviews remain pending at the Board.

By:  April Breyer Menon

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