U.S. Patent 8616431 was awarded to Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. on 2013-12-31 and describes a “Shiftable drive interface for robotically-controlled surgical tool.” This patent has been cited 306 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 an end effector that has a selectively reciprocatable implement movably supported therein. The implement is selectively advanceable in a distal direction upon application of a rotary actuation motion thereto and retractable in a proximal direction upon application of a rotary retraction motion thereto. An elongate shaft assembly is coupled to the end effector and is configured to transmit the rotary actuation motion and rotary retraction motion to the reciprocatable implement from a robotic system that is configured to generate the rotary actuation motion and said rotary retraction motion. Link: U.S. Patent 8616431
This patent was originally filed on 2012-02-09 which gives it a processing time of 691 days, compared to an average processing time of 575 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 Michelle Lopez.
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