Tuesday, July 24, 2007

US Colleges and Universities - Utility Patent Grants

Did you know that Rice University received at least 79 patent assignments between 1969 and 2005? Additional Rice patent assignments can be found by searching the USPTO Patent Database.

From the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program Office:

The 2005 PTMT report profiling patenting by U.S. universities ("US Colleges and Universities- Utility Patent Grants, 1969-Present") is now available on the USPTO Web Site (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/univ/univ_toc.htm) as is the 2006 update of the report that profiles utility patent applications by country of origin ("Number of Utility Patent Applications Filed in the United States By Country of Origin, Calendar Years 1965 to Present").

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Science Channel Celebrating Green

Do you have an ingenious solution to an environmental problem? If so, the Science Channel is seeking out grassroots "green" inventors for a new show entitled "Trippin' the Green Fantastic." The show will feature two hosts "passionate about green" who will use an SUV fueled by veggie-oil to travel across America in search of "homemade eco-inventions."

Fakes and Plagiarisms

The Plagiarius Museum in Solingen, Germany has a unique mission - to education the public about the negative impacts plagiarisms and fakes have on the world's economy. Each year the museum gives a negative gnome award to companies judged to be guilty of making the "most flagrant" design imitations. Access the website to see this year's winners.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Patent Concerns

Dissatisfaction with the current U.S. patent system is being expressed by various groups. Several patent lawyers and inventors from California have filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia contending that Margaret J.A. Peterlin, the recently appointed Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, does not have the qualifications to move the USPTO forward.

Congress is also concerned about patent issues. On Feb. 15, 2007 the Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held an oversight hearing entitled American Innovation at Risk: The Case for Patent Reform. Suzanne Michel, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel and the Deputy Assistant Director for Policy Coordination, FTC testified as did public witnesses from Brandeis University, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Public Patent Foundation. Additionally, Congressman Howard L. Berman sponsored The Patent Reform Act of 2007 with thanks to Senator Leahy, Congressman Rick Boucher, and Congressman Lamar Smith. The act expresses concern about a "decrease in patent quality and an increase in litigation abuses."

On July 9 Business Week published "Look Who's Fighting Patent Reform" which reveals that universities, venture capitalists, and trade groups are concerned that "Big Tech" firms ( America's largest software and computer companies) are trying to rewrite patent law to lessen litigation from smaller entities.

Friday, July 6, 2007

One Million for Wearable Power Supply

The Department of Defense is offering a $1,000,000 prize to the inventor(s) (individual or teams) of a wearable power supply for soldiers that will provide 96 hours of equipment operation and weigh 4kg or less.The contest includes a $500,000 2nd place prize and a $250,000 3rd place prize. Rules of the contest are available at http://www.dod.mil/ddre/prize/rules_doc.html. Registration for the contest ends Nov. 30, 2007..