On July 31, 1790, the first United States patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for a process for making potash. Millions of patents have been issued in the 221 years since, many of them related to medical devices and technologies. This week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the awarding of the 8 millionth patent – a medical device!
We’ve covered this device extensively before – it’s Second Sight Medical’s Argus II retinal prosthesis.
According to the patent, the invention is:
A visual prosthesis apparatus and a method for limiting power consumption in a visual prosthesis apparatus. The visual prosthesis apparatus comprises a camera for capturing a video image, a video processing unit associated with the camera, the video processing unit configured to convert the video image to stimulation patterns, and a retinal stimulation system configured to stop stimulating neural tissue in the subject’s eye based on the stimulation patterns when an error is detected in forward telemetry received from the video processing unit.
In addition to patent #8,000,000, Second Sight Medical holds 90 other patents related to the Argus II’s technology, according to a press release from the USPTO.
Press release from the USPTO: United States Patent and Trademark Office Issues 8 Millionth Patent…
United States Patent No. 8,000,000 (PDF)
Medgadget’s coverage of Second Sight Medical and the Argus II…