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Posts Tagged: "environment"

2018 HoF Inductee Jacqueline Quinn Invents EZVI Environmental Remediation Technology to Cleanup Groundwater Contaminants

Clean sources of groundwater are incredibly important to the general population of the United States. More than 50 percent of the U.S. population relies on groundwater sources for their drinking water according to The Groundwater Foundation. These groundwater sources are susceptible to contamination from various sources including chemical storage tanks, uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, residential and commercial septic systems, road…

Follow the Money: Is the U.S. patent system fostering investment and risk taking?

PTAB proceedings have radically changed the time to money for patent owners asserting U.S. patents against infringers. Additionally, the value of U.S. patents has dropped substantially since its peak in the 2012… Like many others, I applaud Director Iancu’s stated focus on the PTAB process and his concern about whether the U.S. patent system is fostering innovation investment and risk taking, especially for inventors, universities, and small to medium enterprises.

Patent-Ineligibility of Medical Diagnostics, Life Sciences Discoveries Arrests U.S. Progress

In a research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), evidence emerged that a higher expression of the GIRK1 protein in malignant tissue samples was linked to higher relapse and mortality rates in breast cancer patients who have gone through surgery. The novel use of the GIRK1 protein as a biomarker could have a great impact on breast cancer diagnostics and treatments and further research could yield more discovery on the interdependence of GIRK1 with other important biological pathways critical to cancer management… Unfortunately, discovery of GIRK1 as a biomarker for breast cancer diagnostics would run into 35 U.S.C. § 101, the basic threshold statute for determining patentability of subject matter, under the Supreme Court’s March 2012 ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. In that case, the Court held that processes involving correlations between blood test results and patient health is not patent-eligible subject matter because the process incorporates laws of nature. This would seemingly render any processes involving the application of GIRK1 as a biomarker for breast cancer prognoses unpatentable as well as the expression of GIRK1 occurs naturally.

China streamlines patent examination for Internet, big data patent applications

On July 28th, 2017, China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) announced a new set of regulations which are intended to streamline the examination of patent applications in certain burgeoning fields of technology. The new policy, which comes in response to “the central government’s call for an improved business environment, streamlined procedures for administrative approval, and the booming market,” will allow for the examination of both utility model and industrial design patent applications; SIPO guidelines issued as recently as five years ago only covered a single patent application designation, invention patents.

Florida algal blooms put focus on phosphorus depletion and ultrasonic wave tech

Algal blooms are caused when algae living in seas or freshwater grow uncontrollably because of the presence of nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen; high temperatures and the underwater penetration of light also play roles in the process. Public health costs, however, are dwarfed by the price tag which algal blooms can put on industries requiring clean water, such as seafood, tourism and restaurants. Every year, harmful algal blooms (HABs), the toxic variety currently seen in Florida, cost about $82 million in lost economic output according to statistics published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Last year, algal blooms on the West Coast caused beaches in Washington State to close, preventing razor clamming at an estimated economic cost of $9 million over one month.

Toshiba seeks patents on medical imaging, radioactive waste disposal

The Toshiba Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, is a multinational conglomerate with business activities in electronic components, power systems, information technology and household appliances. One of the company’s most recent product unveilings was the near field communication (NFC)-enabled SDHC memory card, the world’s first, which enables a mobile electronic device to quickly scan the contents of the memory card without inserting…

Innovation Focus: Water Treatment & Desalination

We’ve noticed a great deal of inventions that involve desalination techniques to turn saline water containing a lot of salts into fresh, drinkable water. Desalination is capable of reducing salinity in water from 35,000 ppm, the typical salinity of ocean water, to 1,000 ppm, and many of these innovations are designed to help people apply desalination techniques on a wider scale at lower costs. We’ve also noticed some developments that might help communities derive water from sources other than rivers and streams, such as the atmosphere. As I conducted my research I was struck by how many of these inventions for creating clean water involved other recycling or sustainable technologies, addressing many environmental concerns through one novel system or apparatus.

University Research Leads to Biofuel Breakthrough

Exciting new innovations being patented and licensed by American universities may provide some effective answers to issues that have been vexing biofuel developers for years. Wilkerson described the breakthrough in Science, explaining that poplars can be specifically designed for deconstruction. “Poplars are dense, easy to store, and the flourish on marginal lands not suitable for food crops, making them a non-competing and sustainable source of biofuel,” said Wilkerson. According to Jennifer Gottwald, a licensing manager with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the basic technology applied here to poplar trees could used in a variety of other plant life, even grasses.

Earth Day 2014: A Salute to Recycling Innovations

Today is Earth Day 2014, and with that in mind we will be taking some time today and throughout the week to take some time to look at the progress of sustainable, environmentally friendly technologies… We’ve searched the recently published patent applications and issued patents coming out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find the most unique innovations in the realm of recycling technologies. We’ve found an assortment regarding novel systems for improving retrieval of recyclable material, as well as new systems of recycling existing waste products… We also found some recently issued patents related to recycling technologies including a couple of original systems for recyclable collection, including one method of shredding mixed waste to remove glass, metal and other recyclables, as well as new methods of recycling disposable materials, such as artificial bait.

GE Wind Patents Focus on Blade Design, Protecting Birds

Recently published patent applications include documents filed to protect a more efficiently designed turbine blade and an electronic sensor that can determine if corrosive forces have damaged a turbine blade. Another application is for a light reflective substance that can help warn birds away from turbine blades, which may at first seem insignificant but a major obstacle in the adoption of wind energy are complaints from environmentalists relating to the number of birds killed each year. GE has also received a few patents recently granting them the legal right to protect certain wind energy system designs. These include a new tapered tip design that increases energy generation efficiency and a new method of pre-assembling internal components to reduce costs.

The Energy and Environmental Innovation Conundrum: Can the Patent System Protect New Ways of Using Old Technologies?

The field of clean or green technology is one of those areas where innovation is desperately needed if our planet Earth is to survive as a place where all living things can thrive. But what if a “new” and needed technology is not really new, but rather a new way of doing something which builds on a known (and patented technology where the exclusive protection period has expired)? And, what if the “new” technology cannot find its way to market (i.e. real-world application) unless there is funding? And, what if that funding requires some type of market exclusivity (such as patent protection) be in place first?

IPO Inventor Award Rewards Green Technologies

Four times over the past nine years the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Education Foundation has recognized inventors of green technologies as the Inventor of the Year. This trend is certainly not accidental given the growing interest in green technologies and the increased importance they will play as the global economy shifts from a carbon-based energy platform to more sustainable and environmentally friendly sources of energy. Will the IPO continue its recent trend and recognize a green innovation in 2013, making 5 out of the last 10 years a celebration of environmentally friendly technologies? That is at least in part up to the community. The IPO is currently looking for nominations for the 2013 Inventor of the Year Award, which will be handed out in a ceremony in Washington, DC, in December 2013. The nomination deadline is May 15, 2013.

Being Green: Bayh-Dole Makes Every Day Earth Day

Normally when we discuss the impact of the Bayh-Dole Act, allowing universities and small companies to commercialize inventions made with federal support, we focus on the life sciences where the resulting new drugs and therapies dramatically improved lives for millions around the world. However, the celebration of Earth Day is an appropriate time to consider the contributions our publicly funded research organizations– partnering with an entrepreneurial private sector– make in protecting our environment.

Obama Press Conference Address Oil and Renewable Energy

Little impacts cascading together can have a large impact, but for the time being we need to realize that the technology is not where it needs to be to leverage alternative and renewable energy in an impactful way. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but it does mean we need to be perfectly honest with ourselves and realize that a silver-bullet green technology is unlikely. In the meantime as we incentivize innovators we need an all-of-the-above series of solutions.