Artif Organs 2002 Mar;26(3):280-3
Neural Engineering Clinic, Rockport, Maine, U.S.A.
Since 1973, the author has been implanting neural stimulators and later drug pumps to restore or improve motor function and modulate pain, spasticity, and seizures in patients with spinal cord and brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.
During these 28 years, many physicians, biomedical engineers, and manufactures have realized worthwhile successes.
Many lessons have been learned to improve operative techniques to ensure safety, low infection, and improved results for implant patients.
The relationships between manufacturers and physicians have varied.
Problems arise with patents, royalties, confidentiality, publishing, and liability insurance.
There has been a need to patent ideas and intellectual properties; however, some of the patented concepts have been published previously but missed by the patent author and patent office.
This has led to vigorous legal battles, consuming money with time delays, or resulting in surrendering worthwhile projects.
There is a need for a responsible, independent appeals board to review these disputed patent claims.
Then their findings should be admissible at the Patent Office and if necessary in court.