The Seeker is looking for prior art citations from sources from outside the United States that have been publicly disclosed or described prior to December 7, 2007 that clearly show or specifically describe a continuously tapered, flexible sleeve suitable for inserting into the human body in a surgical application.
Specifically, the Seeker wants information from patent or non-patent documents prior to December 7, 2007 that reference a prior art with images showing a flexible, conically-shaped device being used for surgical insertion of a prothesis. It must unmistakably illustrate that the sleeve is tapered with a first opening larger than the a second opening. Such a tapered sleeve is described and illustrated in patent (US 8,211,173). The figures below are from this patent:
Figure 1 shows a tapered conical sleeve (10) with the first opening (12) at a larger end of the sleeve and a smaller opening (14). Figures 2 and 3 show the sleeve containing an implant (20) being moved through the smaller opening (14). All images are from US 8,211,173.
For this search, relevant citations of greatest interest will relate to photographs or drawings of the sleeves that are described in the Mladick references (1, 2, 3). The published photographs in article 1 are not sufficiently clear to show the tapered conical sleeve. The other two (2, 3) Mladick references are letters in journals and do not have any images. A reference with the sleeve openings being the same size may be of interest but this is not optimal.
Information can be from primary or secondary sources and in any language. Submissions of non-English information will be reviewed more rapidly if you provide an English translation of the relevant passages.
The information will most likely be found in publically disclosed sources including but not limited to: scientific literature, presentations, public lectures, oral proceedings, conference proceedings, posters, research reports or proposals, citations, laboratory manuals, or publically available thesis.
Published work from major medical research or scientific publications or from U.S. sources are less likely to provide a successful solution to this Challenge because these have already been extensively explored.
Patents and non-patent literature reference listed in the spreadsheet available here have already been explored and are not eligible for consideration.
|Patent Applications and Patents NOT eligible for consideration:|
CA 2 230 615 C
CA 2 512 203 A1
CA 2 525 546 A1
D 723 164 S1
DE 3 027 681 A1
EP 0,102,342 B1
EP 0,228,375 A1
EP 1,214,109 A1
WO 103,239 2A