Nominations Open for IPO Inventor of the Year Award

The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation currently has an open Call for Nominations for the 39th Annual Inventor of the Year Award. Nominations are due by April 16, 2012, and the winner (and the nominators) will be honored on Monday, December 10, 2012, in Washington, D.C. at a gala event. I have already nominated one inventor from a University client of ours, and I encourage everyone to nominate those you represent (or those you know) who have made an outstanding contribution to innovation.

The purpose of the award is to increase public awareness of inventors and how they benefit the nation’s economy and our quality of life.  To accomplish this goal the IPO Inventor of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding recent inventor (or inventors in the case of joint invention). While some of the material you may have read indicates that the invention is U.S. centric, inventions originating outside the U.S. are eligible for the award this year. If you do decide to nominate someone keep in mind the invention must be of recent vintage. This is not a lifetime achievement award as would be the case with the Inventors Hall of Fame, for example.

In order to be eligible for the 2012 award the subject invention must: (1) be covered by a U.S. patent; (2) have been recently commercialized; and (3) have significant impact on society. The judging criteria include originality of the concept, ingenuity in bringing the concept to design, societal benefit and commercial success. Anyone is allowed to submit a nomination — self-nominations are also acceptable.

Nominations can be made via Internet submission, via Fax to 2020-507-4501 or via regular mail to the IPO Educational Foundation, 1501 M Street NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20005. For those opting for Fax of regular mail there is a nomination form available in the Call for Nominations PDF on page 4. Whether nominating via Internet or otherwise, the following supporting material is required:

  1. A one page, non-technical summary of the invention.
  2. A one-page biography of the inventor.
  3. A copy of the U.S. patent.
  4. A statement addressing the following questions:
  • What economic impact has the invention had in the United States?
  • What effect has the invention had on humanity?
  • What effect has the invention had on the environment?
  • Is the invention subject to regulatory approval? If so, what is the status?
  • Is the patent a subject of pending litigation or other scrutiny?

Additionally, video footage, photographs, newspaper articles and technical reports may be submitted in support of the nomination.

The winners of the 38th Annual National Inventor of the Year Award were announced on December 5, 2011, in a ceremony at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery.  The awards ceremony was attended by nearly 300 people last year, including government officials and others interested in innovation. to a team of inventors from Pfizer Inc.

The winners of the 38th Annual National Inventor of the Year Award were a remarkable group of scientists who collectively developed Xalkori® (crizotinib) at Pfizer’s La Jolla, California.   The team was spearheaded by Dr. J. Jean Cui, along with Lee Andrew Funk, Lei Jia, Pei-Pei Kung, Jerry Meng, Mitchell Nambu, Mason Allen Pairish, Hong Chen, and Michelle Tran-Dube. It became the first new drug approved for lung cancer in the U.S. in more than six years, being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late August 2011 under the agency’s accelerated approval program.

Xalkori® represents a shift in lung cancer treatment, moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach toward personalized therapy. It is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has a genetic aberration called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) as detected by FDA-approved test.  Xalkori® works by inhibiting the protein produced by the ALK gene.

While I did not attend the festivities last year, I did attend the Award Ceremony in 2010 when the event was hosted at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  The evening was fun, the conversation excellent, the festivities appropriately dignified.  If you are available to attend I  highly recommend it.  The fact that it will be in DC as the holiday season approaches may provide an opportunity to combine business with pleasure in the Nations’ Capitol as well.

Stay tuned for more information on the Awards Ceremony itself, but for now Nominate, Nominate, Nominate!

About the IPO Education Foundation

The IPO Education Foundation is affiliated with the Intellectual Property Owners Association, which is a trade association with members who own or are interested in intellectual property rights.  The IPO Education Foundation is tax-exempt under 501(c)(3). 


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