Although drug and surgical device patents are extremely common in the United States, actually patenting a surgical procedure is quite rare. This is largely because Federal Law prohibits any enforcement of patent infringement on surgical procedures under 35 U.S.C. § 287(c).
Dr. Gregory Marchand received final approval this month of a very rare type of patent. Dr. Marchand and The Marchand Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery were awarded a patent for the “Marchand Salpingectomy,” a surgical technique used for removing the fallopian tubes in a woman who desires sterilization.
The procedure was developed after multiple medical organizations including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) released guidelines speaking in favor of salpingectomy (removing the fallopian tubes,) for women who desire sterilization. The old surgical practice was simply to ligate the fallopian tubes, also known as having your “tubes tied.” The major advantage for salpingectomy instead of ligation is that removing the fallopian tubes actually decreases a woman’s change of Ovarian Cancer later in life.
Although it is very common for patents to be awarded for medical and surgical devices, it is extremely rare for a patent to be awarded for a surgical procedure with no accompanying device. This is largely because Federal Law prohibits any enforcement of patent infringement on surgical procedures under 35 U.S.C. § 287(c). Therefore, unlike all other patents, it is not possible to make money by selling the technique or suing others who might wish to perform the surgery. As a result, patenting a surgical procedure basically has the opposite effect of most patents – it helps get the word out about your invented technique, inviting more surgeons to try it. Dr. Marchand explained that this was exactly his intent with the patent.
“I really think my researchers and staff have created an innovative technique that will benefit most gynecologic surgeons.” said Dr. Marchand. “It’s important that all OBGYN’s know the importance of removing the fallopian tubes, not simply tying them, for sterilization. This technique is the fastest, easiest method to date.”
The procedure was originally presented at the American College of Surgeon’s Annual Meeting in October of 2017.
A full video of how-to perform the surgery can be found here: https://youtu.be/goPrQZsyZRY
The full text pdf of the newly approved patent can be found here: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/df/f5/f2/80ae65b4e44afb/US10695042.pdf
For more information about Dr. Marchand and the Marchand Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, you can visit www.MarchandInstitute.org. For interview requests or additional media, please contact Mrs. Kellee Clegg at 480-999-0905 or firstname.lastname@example.org .