October, 15th, 2019

WHIPgroup successfully appealed rejections of a patent application directed to a surgical system.  The system includes a hollow shaft and a shaft-type instrument that is secured within the hollow shaft in a manner to provide a rinsing area for transmitting liquid agents.  The Examiner had rejected the claims as allegedly being obvious over a combination of two references.  On Appeal, WHIPgroup argued that several claimed elements were missing in the prior art and that one reference taught away from configuring a rinsing area between the interior surface of a hollow shaft and the exterior surface of an instrument.  The reference specifically disclosed a distal window sealing an instrument lumen to prevent exposure of an instrument to bodily fluids, thereby discouraging the need for a rinsing area.  The PTAB was convinced by WHIPgroup’s arguments and reversed the Examiner’s rejections.  Issuance of a patent containing all pending claims is expected in due course.

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