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

On February 19, 2019, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) instituted an inter partes review (“IPR) Petition filed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (“Petitioner”).

In IPR2018-01703, the Petitioner challenged claims 1, 2, 6, and 10-13 of U.S. Patent No. 8,616,431 (“the ‘431 Patent”) as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102 and claims 1-7, 10-14, 16-20, and 23-26 as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. The Board instituted trial on all challenged claims and grounds and rejected Ethicon LLC’s (“Patent Owner”) argument that the petition should be denied under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d).

The ‘431 Patent is owned by Ethicon LLC and is drawn to a drive interface for robotically controlled surgical tools. The inter partes review remains pending at the Board.

By:  April Breyer Menon

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