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da Vinci robot creators being sued by Caltech

Darren Murph

It's no secret that doctors ought to have a good bit of insurance on their side due to the flurry of medical malpractice (and similar) lawsuits that hit hospitals and surgeons everyday, but you know things are rough when robotic MDs get taken to court as well. Intuitive Surgical Inc., the creators of the da Vinci system for robotic surgery, has been sued by the California Institute of Technology, which claims that the system "infringes four patents held by the university." Obviously, Intuitive's CEO called the suit "outrageous and without merit," but the Pasadena school is nevertheless "seeking an injunction" and repayment for "damages." What's notable about the case, however, is where it was filed, as Tyler, Texas is quite a long ways from both institutions, but attorney's in the know have called the Lonestar State "a haven for patent pirates." Of course, there are rulings out there that are finally leaning the way of the tech firms at hand, suggesting that "obvious patent laws" should be relaxed somewhat, but it seems that even this probably won't mess with Texas. Nevertheless, let's just hope one of those lawyers doesn't end up under a (disgruntled) da Vinci knife one day.

[Via RobotGossip]

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