Patexia Contest




Patexia seeks prior art for patents which allegedly describe an implantable bone plate that secures directly onto the bone via a fastener that penetrates directly into the bone, and includes modifications that prevent the fastener from coming loose after implantation. The patent describes the bone plate being used to secure a spinal column, while including applications to secure other bone injuries.

The implant is described as containing two components: a bone plate and a fastener, both of which are made from a biocompatible material, the bone plate specifically mentioned as being made from a single piece construction.

The fastener has an elongated shank that is the part that penetrates the bone, and a head at the end of the shank that has a diameter that is wider than the shank.

The bone plate has a hole to allow the fastener to pass through when penetrating the bone, but the hole includes two modifications:

  • a constriction on the end of the hole that is proximate to the plate surface that is directly against the spinal column that is meant to catch the head of the fastener and allow the fastener to tighten the bone plate to the spinal column
  • and a retaining element on the opposite end of the hole that is proximate to the outside surface of the bone plate that allows only one-way passage of the fastener so that it can penetrate the bone, but not be removed from its implantation, so as to prevent the fastener from accidentally getting loose, as well as to present a smooth outside surface of the implant for the patient’s comfort

This retaining element can achieve this through a deformable element or an element with an elastic flexibility that allows one way passage for the head of the fastener during bone penetration, but also prevents the head from traveling back out after implantation.

Finally, the junction between the bone plate and the fastener is further modified to allow for the fastener to be inserted at a variable number of penetration angles for optimal implantation, ideally via a ball and socket joint.

Bonus Points

  • +5 for references that are non-patent literature
  • +5 for references published in a foreign language other than English

Learn more about bonus points at our Blog.

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1Was the reference filed or published before May 12th, 1998? T/F
2Does the reference describe an implantable bone plate that attaches via a fastener? 5
3Does the reference describe the entire implant being made from a biocompatible material? 5
4Is the implantable bone plate described as having an inside surface that is adapted or molded to sit directly against the bone? 10
5Is the fastener described as having an elongated shank meant to penetrate into the bone and a head at the end that is larger in diameter than the shank? 10
6Does the implantable bone plate include a hole with a constriction proximate to the bone plate’s inside surface that allows the fastener shank to pass through to penetrate into the bone, but catches the fastener head in order to keep the plate against the bone? 10
7Does the bone plate’s hole also include a retaining element, opposite from the constriction and proximate to the outside surface, that allows the shank and head to pass through as the fastener is inserted into the bone, but prevents the head of the fastener from traveling back out? 15
8Does the retaining element accomplish this by having an elastic flexibility that can allow for the fastener head to pass when forced into an “open” position, then prevent backing out when returning to the “closed” position? 15
9Does the bone plate hole, constriction, and retaining element allow the fastener to pivot during insertion to allow for multiple penetration angles when the shank penetrates the bone? 12
10Does the hole further allow for multiple penetrating angles by using a spherical ball and socket joint between the constriction and the fastener? 5
11Does the retaining element also guarantee that the fastener head is always either below or perfectly flush to the outside surface of the bone plate? 10
12Does the reference describe the implantable bone plate, the plate’s constriction, and the plate’s retaining element as being entirely of a single piece construction? 3

Additional Notes

Prior Art Search

This is a Prior Art Search contest aimed at determining if a patent idea was known and publicly available before a patent was filed.

This contest will close on Sunday, November 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM PST.

Please review the Contest Rules. For more information on how to submit to this Contest type, please read the Intro to Prior Art Search page.

Please review the full list of known references.