U.S. Patent 7905380 was awarded to Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. on 2011-03-15 and describes a “Surgical instrument having a multiple rate directional switching mechanism.” This patent has been cited 428 times by other U.S. patents which places it in the top 500 cited patents since 2010 according to our law firm research, and makes it of the most innovative medical technology patents in the field of instruments. The abstract states:
A surgical instrument including a drive mechanism configured to advance a staple driver and/or cutting member at a first rate and retract the staple driver and/or cutting member at a different rate. In at least one embodiment, the rate at which the driver and cutting member is advanced and/or retracted is the distance that the driver and/or cutting member is translated per actuation of a trigger, for example. In various embodiments, the cutting member can be retracted at a faster rate as compared to the rate in which it is advanced. In such embodiments, the surgical instrument can, owing to the slower advancing rate, provide a greater torque or advancing force to the cutting member while, owing to the faster retracting rate, reduce the time required for the surgeon to retract the cutting member. Link: U.S. Patent 7905380
This patent was originally filed on 2007-06-04 which gives it a processing time of 1380 days, compared to an average processing time of 1226 in the field. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. has 2128 total patents. The first named inventor is Frederick E. Shelton, IV of Hillsboro, OR. The primary examiner was Rinaldi I. Rada.
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