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Computer Motion Files Suit Against Intuitive Surgical.

Business Editors

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 19, 2000

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. announced today that Computer Motion, Inc. of Goleta, California has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging infringement by Intuitive Surgical of seven U.S. patents relating to robotic surgery.

Intuitive has assembled and continues to build an extensive patent portfolio in robotic surgery through a combination of internal development and exclusive licensing agreements with IBM and SRI International, two of the early innovators in the field. Three weeks ago, Intuitive also exclusively licensed an extensive minimally invasive heart surgery patent portfolio in the field of robotic surgery.

Beginning in May 1999, based on the early original patent filing dates of its licensed robotic technology, Intuitive requested that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decide who first invented the subject matter of five of Computer Motion's patents through multiple "requests for interference." Last August, the PTO sent notices to Computer Motion that its patents were being challenged. Computer Motion included all five of these patents in the suit it filed last week.

Intuitive believes it has meritorious defenses to Computer Motion's action, and will vigorously defend itself against this challenge.

Intuitive Surgical designs and manufactures the da Vinci(TM) Surgical System, a computer-enhanced surgical platform that enables surgeons to realize the benefits of open surgery -- including intuitive instrument control, natural range of motion, fine tissue manipulation capability and 3-D visualization -- while operating through the small puncture incisions of minimally invasive surgery.

The statements contained in this release may be deemed to contain "forward-looking statements." Such statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "anticipate," "estimate," "projects," "believes," "intends," "expects" and similar words and phrases. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, competition and market acceptance of the Company's products, ability to obtain regulatory approvals and third-party reimbursement, ability to raise additional capital and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

Note to Editors: da Vinci(TM)is a trademark of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 19, 2000
Words:374
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