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New patent office opens at CSU

OCTOBER 14, 2010

A new office has opened in Parker Hannifin Hall this semester that wants to patent faculty inventions.

“One of President Berkman’s goals is to increase the offering of the university as a full service research university,” said Leonard Young, director of the Technology Transfer office.

“A well-organized technology transfer office will be the operative arm of those plans.”

The office’s objective is to turn faculty research like that done at the Fenn College of Engineering into patents that can help start new companies.

“The office defines a clear pathway from conception of the invention to commercialization,” said Young.

Ideas and concepts are not patentable, but a “novel, non-obvious and useful” invention is, said Young.

“A new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter may be eligible for patent protection,” he said.

Previous CSU inventions include patents for a device that determines particle characteristics, thrombin generation inhibitors and a high-temperature, non-catalytic infrared heater.

CSU averages about seven inventions, or invention disclosures, a year compared to the University of Akron and University of Toledo, which both average about 40 to 50 invention disclosures a year.

“Today hundreds of universities around the globe have active technology transfer programs,” said Young. “Their work has translated research into improvements in human health, useful new consumer products and new energy technologies and improved quality of life. CSU is committed to becoming a leader in the research and the commercialization of university discoveries and inventions.”

A five-member advisory board of people from local business, financial and legal communities was established to help guide the university’s research. Young said it will help improve the chances of bringing inventions to the marketplace.

“The advisory board will serve as a way to get cutting-edge feedback on university early-stage technologies and help the university build commercial partnerships,” said Young.

The advisory board includes Mark J. Williams, Director of Corporate Strategic Planning at KeyCorp; Roger M. Breedlove, Vice President of New Business Development at Hilite International; Chris McKenna, Managing Director at Carleton McKenna & Company; John T. Wiedemann, Attorney at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP; and Meg E. Groh, Director of Business Development at BioEnterprise.

“Each member will bring experiences evaluating new technology plus practical business experience that I believe will assist the university and the Patent Review Committee in making the decision on which university technologies the university should invest in,” said Young.

Patents are usually issued 18 to 36 months after application; however, inventions from the biotech and computer fields can take longer, said Young.

The Technology Transfer Office is located on the third floor of Parker Hannifin Hall and can be reached by phone at 216-802-3375.