October 7, 2016

Innovation Inspiration: IP Champion Second Sight

Each year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) recognizes the world’s greatest innovators and creators – true IP Champions.

Their stories are the stories of the inspiration behind world-changing innovations: scientists developing lifesaving medical technologies, filmmakers, artists, and musicians on the cutting-edge of their craft, and iconic brands behind the millions of products we now know we can’t live without.

Each of these champions reminds us of the role intellectual property plays in stimulating the very innovation we celebrate. They are our innovation inspirations.

As we look to the 2016 IP Champions Gala, we are taking the opportunity to highlight their stories once more.  The first: Second Sight.

Second Sight

What if you could give the blind eyes to see? What if an IP Champion already has?

Second sight was recognized as a 2015 IP Champion for its creation of the Argus II bionic eye system: the world’s first approved device intended to restore vision for people suffering from blindness.

The Argus system sends signals to the electrode array, which emits small pulses of electricity, which bypass a patient’s damaged photoreceptors and stimulates the retina’s remaining cells, therefore transmitting visual information along the optic nerve to the brain. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is.

But Willie Collins, one of thousands of blind patients that have benefited from the Argus system, will describe its effects quite simply: “Light, bright light!”

In July, Second Sight announced positive five-year safety and performance outcomes from the latest clinical trial.

The trial included 30 blind patients, like Willie, in 10 centers throughout the United States and Europe; patients not only reported significant vision improvement, they reported a renewed connection with friends, families, and the world around them.

The Argus system is truly life-changing.

Today, over 200 blind patients have been treated with the Argus system.

We can all celebrate as more and more patients begin to see the light, thanks to the Argus system.

Want to meet the 2016 Champions? Register today to attend the 2016 IP Champions Gala!

Mark Elliot is executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center.

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