SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG) today reported that equity awards approved by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors, which consists entirely of Independent Directors, were made to 44 new employees. Pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4), the equity awards were granted under the Intuitive Surgical, Inc. 2009 Commencement Incentive Plan, which the Board of Directors of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. adopted for the granting of equity awards to new employees. In accordance with NASDAQ rules, these grants were made under an equity incentive plan without shareholder approval. NASDAQ rules require a public announcement of equity awards to be made under this type of plan. 44 employees were granted options to purchase an aggregate of 21,165 shares of the Company's common stock. The options vest over four years and expire in 10 years assuming continued employment. No officers received any award under this plan. The exercise price for the option shares granted is $496.76, which was the closing price of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.'s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market as such price was reported by NASDAQ on August 7, 2012. The Company's policy is to issue stock option grants to new employees on the fifth business day of every calendar month. This announcement complies with the applicable NASDAQ rule requiring disclosure of such an inducement grant. About Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is the global technology leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets robotic technologies designed to improve clinical outcomes and help patients return more quickly to active and productive lives. The Company's mission is to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients. Intuitive Surgical - Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand™.