Posts Tagged: "university research"

Spread the Word About Tech Transfer – It Works!

At IPWatchdog.com we write about Bayh-Dole, technology transfer and University innovation regularly. In 2014 we are going to more regularly write about University innovations in the hope of getting good information out to the public to demonstrate the important role of Bayh- Dole and the innovations coming from Universities. Help us help you! Below is a list of the information that would be extremely helpful to have, much of which we could not obtain publicly. Critical to a good, interesting story is conveying the back story, which may be about why the inventor pursued this path in the first place or perhaps about real people who have benefit from the innovation. I understand that some of the following piece of information may be deemed to be confidential, but the more you provide the more substantive and interesting any article can be, which will lead to greater “good publicity,” which patent owners sorely need in this political climate.

Stanford Invests $1.35 Billion Annually Leading to Diverse Innovation

Stanford sets aside an annual research budget of about $1.35 billion to fund its development operations for 2013-2014, and since the 1930s the university has been the starting grounds for nearly 40,000 companies, creating about 5.4 million jobs total. A 2012 study conducted by Stanford estimated that companies formed by Stanford entrepreneurs generate world revenues of $2.7 trillion annually. Recent Stanford research projects have included new techniques for the successful removal of stomach cancer cells, as well as biological surveys of marine life showing how crude oil leaks can affect heart health in fish. Today, we’re looking at the recent publications released from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office assigned directly to Stanford University to take a snapshot look at the innovative side of this academic institution.

MIT Patents Surprisingly Wide Array of Technologies

Our featured patent application today features an artificial knee device that surpasses the range of motion available through previous passive devices or surgical implants. The variable motion of the mechanical knee joint found in this patent application would grant an implant patient a much greater degree of motion throughout their daily lives. Other patent applications that we decided to look at more closely include a vehicle engine designed for more efficient methanol consumption as well as more energy-efficient incandescent lighting devices. We also profile a series of patents recently issued to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to protect an array of technologies, most of them dealing with better designed computer user interfaces for various jobs. One system includes a collapsible stylus device that can enable better 3D image editing performance. Another system would control a novel style of vending machine that dispenses entertainment and information along with food and beverages. We also were piqued by a technology developed with a partner institution in Saudi Arabia for better desalination methods to create drinkable water.

Univ. of California Invents: From Video Games to Treating E. coli

We’ve found an intriguing assortment of innovations in medical and industrial fields, and even the video game industry, coming out of these academic institutions. The featured patent application for today’s column would protect a system of better capturing video game player motion for physical activities required of games. This system would make it harder for users to cheat these games and complete tasks without completing the physical motion the game asks users to perform. Other patent applications we discovered include better systems of creating useful stem cells and a more effective topical formula for acne treatment.

Does University Patent Licensing Pay Off?

Patent licensing or creating new companies is not a get rich quick path for schools despite the occasional blockbuster invention or Google spin-out. Indeed, enriching universities is not the goal of the Bayh-Dole Act which spurred the rapid growth of TTO’s. Still, every state now sees its research universities as key parts of their economic development strategy shows that it’s not just the traditionally dominant R&D universities that are making significant contributions under Bayh-Dole… AUTM estimates the impact from sales of products based on licensed academic research in 2012 totaled $80 billion dollars – that’s double the entire federal investment in university research. Another study found that university patent licensing supported 3 million jobs between 1996-2010 (that’s an average of 200,000 jobs per year).

Bayh-Dole: A Success Beyond Wildest Dreams

Of course it would be wonderful to live in a world where self-interest takes a back seat to humanitarian efforts and altruism on all occasions; where financial incentives are not required to promote the greater social good. That, however, is not the world we live in and the regimes where this economic philosophy has been tried have unanimously faltered or failed. If we want maximum good for society pursuing a path that results in maximum good ought to be the agenda, not some pollyannish pursuit of the impossible because it feels better or fits into some pre-ordained social narrative that some deem acceptable. Failure for an altruistic reason is still failure, and when we are talking about the economy, jobs and hundreds of life saving treatments and cures the right thing is to do the most good. It is truly a pity that some would choose not to maximize social good simply because it means someone else will make money in the process.

A Reply to the New England Journal of Medicine

The Bayh-Dole Act was passed because Congress was rightly concerned that potential benefits from billions of dollars of federally funded research were lying dormant on the shelves of government. Government funded inventions tend to be very early stage discoveries—more like ideas than products—requiring considerable private sector risk and investment to turn them into products that can be used by the public. Under prior patent polices government agencies took such inventions away from their creators and offered them non-exclusively for development. There were no incentives for the inventors to remain engaged in product development. Not surprisingly, few such inventions were ever commercialized even though billions of dollars were being spent annually on government R&D.

UC Patent App Discloses Cell Phone to Brain Interface

patent application needed separate treatment because the patent application explains that the innovation could be used to “detect abnormalities and transfer the information through cell-phone network…” If you let your Sci-fi mind run wild you can envision all kinds of potential uses for a technology capable of monitoring brain function to detect abnormalities. Could it, for example, know when someone is about to do something illegal or before someone might engage in self destructive behavior? As the boundaries of science and technology continue to get pushed into new realms you can certainly bet that there will be a great many technologies that will provoke significant ethical debate.

University of California Improves Diagnosis, Treatment for Arthritis

This week at IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we decide to leave the private sector and check out the recent patent applications and issued patents assigned to the University of California. This academic research system is involved with the research and development of computer, medical and energy technologies, among others.

Intellectual Dishonesty About Bayh-Dole Consequences

Prior to the enactment of Bayh-Dole 0 drugs were commercialized from underlying university research. Since Bayh-Dole became law 153 new drugs, vaccines, or new uses for existing drugs are fighting disease world-wide.

Taking Directions from the Lost

The report ignores actual practice. Universities rarely have multiple companies fighting to license their inventions. They’re lucky to find one. The rule of thumb is that a promising university technology requires 5-7 years of private sector development to turn into a product. For a drug, double the time and add a billion dollars in costs. Exclusive licenses are often essential to justify such risks.

NASA Selects Early Stage Innovation Proposals From 10 Universities

NASA has selected 10 university-led proposals for study of innovative, early-stage space technologies designed to improve shielding from space radiation, spacecraft thermal management and optical systems. The 1-year grants are worth approximately $250,000 each, with an additional year of research possible. Each of these technology areas requires dramatic improvements over existing capabilities for future science and human exploration missions. Early stage, or low technology readiness level concepts, could mature into tools that solve the difficult challenges facing future NASA missions.