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USU Receives Record Number of Patents in 2010


Thursday, Sep. 23, 2010


patent illustration
A record 16 patents were issued to USU in fiscal year 2010, the most patents ever received by USU's Technology Commercialization office in a single year.
Utah State University’s success as one of Utah’s leading research institutions is evident in many ways. For the second year in a row, USU saw increased commercialization. A record 16 patents were issued to USU in fiscal year 2010, the most patents ever received by USU’s Technology Commercialization office in a single year.

In fiscal year 2010, USU’s Technology Commercialization office received 92 invention disclosures from students and professors, leading to 50 patent application filings.

By comparison, in fiscal year 2009, the previous record-holding year, 98 ideas were disclosed, 46 patents were filed and 11 patents were received. In FY 2008, 62 ideas were disclosed to the TCO, 26 patents filed and five patents received.
 
And while the number of patents received by USU’s Technology Commercialization office continues to grow, the growth is witnessed in the real-world production of companies licensing USU technologies. Nineteen license agreements were signed in FY 2010, compared to 11 agreements signed each year in 2009 and 2008, and licensing income increased by 14 percent from the previous fiscal year. Five spin-out companies were created using USU technologies — a match to the previous year’s five companies.

“USU is committed to doing all it can to ensure the success of patents filed and technologies licensed,” said Ray DeVito, director of the TCO at USU. “USU inventors are generating an impressive flow of innovations over a wide range of disciplines — something we are seeing more of each year.”

The five spin-out companies created around USU-developed technologies included Water Prevention Systems, patent pending wastewater backflow valve; Teton Botanicals, all natural, petroleum-free skin care product; PureStream, environmental impact mitigation; Short Solutions, automobile wire fault detection; and Hida-Soc, optimization technology for field programmable gate arrays.

Utah State University and the TCO were recognized for their achievements in calendar year 2009 at the Utah Genius 2010 awards.

USU appeared on the list for the first time, debuting as one of the top 20 entities in the state by the number of issued patents (12) and was tied for 11th place. Logan placed in the top five cities in the state for number of patents issued (53), and Cache Valley towns Paradise, Hyde Park and Millville placed in the top five cities for number of issued patents per capita.

DeVito is encouraged by the progress made in recent years.

“Utah State University continues to produce marketable technologies that benefit the local and state communities,” he said. “The work we’ve done is making a difference in the lives of the Cache Valley community and in the lives of Utahns throughout the state.”

In 2006, after seeing Utah’s role in technology development dwindle as companies moved to cluster areas throughout the United States, the Utah legislature approved then Gov. Jon Huntsman’s economic development plan. The plan would create jobs for Utahns in high-tech fields — and because high-tech industries tend to pay employees better than other industries, state tax revenues would also increase.

Part of the plan was to make way for future growth by expanding technology commercialization offices throughout the state.

Utah State University took the expansion to heart and, in the years since, has worked to ensure that more faculty and student inventors made the most of available resources available through USU’s Technology Commercialization Office.

“Strategic Ventures and Economic Development was created by President Albrecht to ensure the cooperation between USU’s TCO, USTAR at USU and the USU Innovation Campus,” said Ned M. Weinshenker, vice president for strategic ventures and economic development. “I’m delighted to see that vision coming to reality and creating results that will have a long-term impact on the university, the community and the state of Utah.”

The Technology Commercialization Office at USU is comprised of experienced tech-savvy professionals with backgrounds in the commercial sector and academia. The TCO staff is knowledgeable in all areas of the commercialization process, technology licensing, business formation and intellectual property law. TCO staff is focused on providing professional, responsive services to USU faculty, staff and scientists. The TCO works with inventors in every phase of technology commercialization, from initial consultations and technology assessments, to IP protection, marketing, licensing and start-up formation.

USU technology resources are available online. Technology commercialization news at USU is also online or follow on Twitter.

Contact: Ray DeVito, director of technology commercialization, Utah State University, 435-797-9615
Writer: Jacoba Mendelkow Poppleton, 435-797-9608, jacoba.mendelkow@usu.edu


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