Computer Motion to start patent infringement war on medical robotics against Intuitive Surgical

Santa Barbara 02 June 2000The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the broad-based patent no. 6.063.095, thus offering Computer Motion Inc., a principal leader in medical robotics, the ownership of hand tremor elimination with a robotic surgical system during minimally invasive surgery. In the meanwhile, Computer Motion has filed suit in the United States, alleging infringement by Intuitive Surgical of seven United States patents, equally relating to robotic surgery. Patent no. 6.063.095 will bring this number to eight.


"As with our previously granted patents, the United States Patent and Trademark Office considered all the other known inventions of similar nature, including that of Stanford Research Institute and IBM, and concluded that the Computer Motion hand tremor elimination invention is unique and patentable", stated Yulun Wang, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Computer Motion.

Computer Motion believes this invention is utilised by Intuitive Surgical Inc. in their da Vinci product. Intuitive Surgical designs and manufactures the da Vinci Surgical System, a computer-enhanced surgical platform enabling surgeons to realise the benefits of open surgery, such as intuitive instrument control, natural range of motion, fine tissue manipulation capability, and 3D visualisation, while operating through the small puncture incisions of MIS or minimally invasive surgery.

Computer Motion recently filed suit against Intuitive Surgical Company for infringement of seven Computer Motion patents. Patent No. 6.063.095 brings this number to eight. Computer Motion has another 45 patent applications currently pending.

"Computer Motion has developed its core proprietary technology with an in-house team of robotic and computer experts", commented Dr. Wang. "Over the past eleven years, Computer Motion has built broad-based, comprehensive intellectual property covering key aspects of robotic surgery. This extensive portfolio provides a strong competitive advantage in establishing and dominating this marketplace", Dr. Wang added.

Computer Motion, the current world leader in medical robotics, is creating the cornerstone technologies and products for the Intelligent Operating Room. The company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary computer-enhanced and robotic surgical systems, which enhance surgeons' capabilities, improve outcomes, and reduce costs.

Computer Motion's products include the voice-controlled AESOP endoscope positioning system; the HERMES Control Center, a centralised system which enables the surgeon to voice control a network of "smart" medical devices; and the ZEUS Robotic Surgical System for new minimally invasive microsurgery procedures, including beating heart, endoscopic coronary artery bypass grafting (E-CABG).

ZEUS is CE-Marked for commercial sale in the European Community. In turn, the company has completed an FDA-approved Phase 1 Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) coronary bypass study with ZEUS, and also initiated a mitral valve surgery IDE study. Computer Motion and Medtronic are co-marketing ZEUS.

More details about Computer Motion's ZEUS medical robot system and the da Vinci surgical platform, designed by Intuitive Surgical, can be found in the following VMW articles:

Leslie Versweyveld

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