Patexia. Contest

CONTEST

Competed
Prize
$3,000
DEADLINE
This contest is closed.
Winner

Problem

If you are new, see patent and prior art basics and tips for Patexia's prior art contests, and refer to the submission notes below. The following questions will help you understand specifically what we are looking for in this study.

We request previously undiscovered prior art including products, patents, and non-patent literature which can help invalidate claims 34, 153, and 168 of 5,782,862 -- “Suture anchor inserter assembly and method.” This patent describes a hand-held device for inserting a suture and suture anchor through a perforation in body tissue.

Fig. 1 -- Hand-held suture anchor inserter device; exemplary operation.

For more detail about sutures and suture anchors, please check the contest “bone suture.”

The anchor with attached suture protrudes through the tip at the end of the device. At the tip, an outer member maintains the alignment of the anchor while tension in the suture holds the anchor in place against an inner member.

Fig. 2 -- Suture anchor holder tip: a) tip cutaway detail; b) outer member in extended position; c) outer member in retracted position, retraction distance.

To administer the anchor, the handle and inner member move forward relative to the outer member and the body tissue, pushing the anchor into place. Fig. 2 shows the device with the inner member in its retracted (2a) and extended (2b) positions. Once the suture and anchor are in place, the inner member is retracted and the device is removed. This insertion process is shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 -- Steps for anchor insertion: a) anchor held in place by outer member; b) inner member used to push anchor into place; c) removing inner member  and rotating anchor into place; d) pulling suture tight.

Most importantly, we are looking for this type of suture-insertion device with a means for limiting the depth of insertion by restricting the relative travel distance of the inner and outer members. Importantly, either the inner or the outer member can be fixed to the handle of the device, with the other movable relative to the handle.

Fig. 4 -- A depth selector actuator on the handle allows the user to adjust the distance between the extended and retracted positions of the movable member, thus controlling the depth of insertion of the suture anchor.

Sources included in contest submissions should clearly describe suture-insertion device described above. Source material can include patents or patent applications filed before July 1st, 1996 or non-patent literature (for example advertisements, product documentation, technical descriptions, etc.) published before that date.

Questions

The following questions will help contestants identify and clarify the specific criteria we’re looking for, as well as help us select winning entries. The winner will be the first submission to answer the most questions beyond questions 1-5 and provide a clear, concise indication of where in each source we can find the pertinent support for each question answer.
 

  1. Does the source describe a hand-held suture anchor inserter device before July 1st,1996?
  2. Does the source describe a handle on the device?
  3. Does the source describe an “outer” member extending from the handle, forming a chamber inside for accepting the suture anchor (as in Fig. 2a, 2b)?
  4. Does the source describe an “inner” member extending from the handle along an interior of the outer member?
  5. Is either the inner member or the outer member movable relative to the other?
  6. Does the source describe a means for limiting the depth to which the anchor is inserted by limiting the relative movement between the outer and inner members?
  7. Does the source describe the means for limiting depth control means as including a selector on the handle movable to selectively limit the relative movement between the inner member and the outer member?
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Questions

#QuestionValue
1Does the source describe a hand-held suture anchor inserter device before July 1st,1996? 0
2Does the source describe a handle on the device? 0
3Does the source describe an “outer” member extending from the handle, forming a chamber inside for accepting the suture anchor (as in Fig. 2a, 2b)? 0
4Does the source describe an “inner” member extending from the handle along an interior of the outer member? 0
5Is either the inner member or the outer member movable relative to the other? 0
6Does the source describe a means for limiting the depth to which the anchor is inserted by limiting the relative movement between the outer and inner members? 0
7Does the source describe the means for limiting depth control means as including a selector on the handle movable to selectively limit the relative movement between the inner member and the outer member? 0

Additional Notes

Selection Criteria and Prize Distribution

Patexia will evaluate each response to ensure each question has been satisfactorily answered. We will determine the contest winner and runners-up based first on the number of correct "yes" responses and second on the order responses were submitted. We will award 80% of the contest prize to the winning submission, and will distribute the remaining 20% amongst the qualifying runners up. If the winning entry was referred by another user, a $500 referral prize will be subtracted from the 80% winner's award. Winner selection is based on community responses to Patexia's research questions, and does not constitute a legal opinion on patent validity or related litigation.

Known References

In addition to the patents listed in the 5,782,862 reference, the following are also known related prior art. Please do not resubmit them. Entries relying on known references will not be considered for contest prizes.

  • 5,626,614 T-ANCHOR SUTURING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR USING SAME
  • 5,398,861 DEVICE FOR DRIVING SURGICAL FASTENERS
  • 2,248,054 SCREW DRIVER
  • 4,235,238 APPARATUS FOR SUTURING COELIAC TISSUES
  • 5,484,440 BONE SCREW AND SCREWDRIVER
  • 5,021,059 PLUG DEVICE WITH PULLEY FOR SEALING PUNCTURES IN TISSUE AND METHODS OF USE
  • 5,569,264 SURGICAL INSTALLATION INSTRUMENT
  • 5,562,689 APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR APPLYING AND ADJUSTING AN ANCHORING DEVICE
  • 5,002,550 SUTURE ANCHOR INSTALLATION TOOL
  • 5,649,931 ORTHOPAEDIC APPARATUS FOR DRIVING AND/OR REMOVING A BONE SCREW
  • 5,203,787 SUTURE RETAINING ARRANGEMENT
  • 5,207,679 SUTURE ANCHOR AND INSTALLATION TOOL
  • 4,898,156 SUTURE ANCHOR
  • 5,354,298 SUTURE ANCHOR INSTALLATION SYSTEM
  • 5,350,399 PERCUTANEOUS ARTERIAL PUNCTURE SEAL DEVICE AND INSERTION TOOL THEREFORE
  • 5,545,178 SYSTEM FOR CLOSING A PERCUTANEOUS PUNCTURE FORMED BY A TROCAR TO PREVENT TISSUE AT THE PUNCTURE FROM HERNIATING
  • Journal of Orthopedic Trauma (Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 78-82) REPAIR OF THE TIBIOFIBULAR SYNDESMOSIS WITH A FLEXIBLE IMPLANT
  • 6,068,648 TISSUE ANCHORING SYSTEM AND METHOD
  • 5,139,520 METHOD FOR ACL RECONSTRUCTION
  • 6,068,648 TISSUE ANCHORING SYSTEM AND METHOD
  • 5,269,809 LOCKING MECHANISM FOR USE WITH A SLOTTED SUTURE ANCHOR DE9002844.9 BUTTON FOR ATTACHMENT OF LIGAMENT AND SUTURE MATERIAL
  • 5,306,301 GRAFT ATTACHMENT DEVICE AND METHOD OF USING SAME
  • 5,041,129 SLOTTED SUTURE ANCHOR AND METHOD OF ANCHORING A SUTURE
  • 4,741,330 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ANCHORING AND MANIPULATING CARTILAGE
  • 5,662,681 SELF LOCKING CLOSURE FOR SEALING PERCUTANEOUS PUNCTURES
  • 5,601,557 ANCHORING AND MANIPULATING TISSUE
  • 5,258,016 SUTURE ANCHOR AND DRIVER ASSEMBLY
  • 5,645,588 GRAFT ATTACHMENT DEVICE
  • 4,705,040 PERCUTANEOUS FIXATION OF HOLLOW ORGANS
  • 5,769,894 GRAFT ATTACHMENT DEVICE AND METHOD OF ATTACHMENT
  • RE43,143 TISSUE MANIPULATION
  • 624,969 BOLT
  • 4,006,747 SURGICAL METHOD
  • 4,669,473 SURGICAL FASTENER
  • 5,098,433 WINGED COMPRESSION BOLT ORTHOPEDIC FASTENER
  • 5,496,348 SUTURE ANCHOR