Intuitive Surgical sued over heart stabilizer patent
Alisanos LLC sues Intuitive Surgical, alleging that the da Vinci surgical robot infringes on an Alisanos patent for a heart stabilization device.
Alisanos, a Longview, Texas-based intellectual property development and licensing company, accused Intuitive of learning the ins and outs of its patent for the so-called "'573 patent, or "Through-Port Heart Stabilization System," when they began negotiation over a possible partnership in November 2000 – even as Alisanos' corporate predecessor, Medcanica/POPCAB, was seeking the patent, according to court documents. A feature of Intuitive's flagship da Vinci devices called the EndoWrist Stabilizer allegedly violates the patent, Alisanos claimed.
"After gaining knowledge of Medcanica/POPCAB’s proprietary information, Intuitive claimed to be interested in forming a 'product development relationship' with Medcanica/POPCAB whereby Medcanica/POPCAB would adapt its existing inventions (which shortly thereafter formed the basis of the ’573 patent application) to be used within Intuitive’s 'ISI Robotic Surgical System,'" according to the documents.