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Release: Immediate

UIRF reports record number of invention disclosures in FY97

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) received a record number of disclosures of potential inventions by university faculty and staff during the fiscal year (FY) ending June 30, 1997.

The 86 invention disclosures in FY97 beat the previous annual record of 74 established in 1996. It marks the fourth time in five years that a new record has been set, said W. Bruce Wheaton, UIRF executive director.

The UIRF filed about three dozen patent applications based on the 86 disclosures. The UIRF expects that more than half of the applications will result in patents that will be issued over the next several years.

Based on applications filed in preceding years, the UIRF received 15 patents on behalf of university inventors during FY97.

The UIRF, located in the Technology Innovation Center at Oakdale, is designated by university policy as the manager of inventions made by faculty, staff, and students. It oversees the procurement of patent prosecution and the commercial licensing of academic inventions.

Inventors on these issued patents, at the time of patent filings, were from 11 UI departments including chemical and biochemical engineering, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, internal medicine, medicinal and natural products chemistry, microbiology, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, physics and astronomy, physiology, and urology.

The FY97 patents received, the names of the inventors, the date of issue, date of filing and patent number are as follows:

"Safety retention and recapping devices for hypodermic needles/intravenous injection/ports;" Frederick C. Johlin, Jr.; issued Sept. 17, 1996; filed Feb. 14, 1994; 5,556,388.

"Hexose and pentose prodrugs of ethacrynic acid;" Charles F. Barfknecht, Ronald D. Schoenwald; issued Oct. 15, 1996; filed Feb. 23, 1996; 5,565,434.

(Patent jointly owned with MIT): "Purification, composition and specificity of heparinase I, II, and III from flavobacterium heparinum;" Ramnath Sasisekharan, Daniel L. Lohse, Charles L. Cooney, Robert J. Linhardt, Robert S. Langer; issued Oct. 29, 1996; filed Jan. 26, 1995; 5,569,600.

"Calcitonin/calcitonin gene related peptide enhancer element and associated DNA binding proteins;" Andrew F. Russo, Thomas M. Lanigan, Lois A. Tverberg; issued Oct. 29, 1996; filed Sept. 3, 1993; 5,569,604.

"Sensing device for incorporating thermally bistable material;" Lee S. Martinson, John W. Schweitzer, Norman C. Baenziger; issued Nov. 12, 1996; filed Nov. 14, 1994; 5,574,281.

"Human Thrombomodulin in wound healing;" Steven R. Lentz, Thomas J. Raife, Donna J. Lager; issued Dec. 10, 1996; filed Dec. 3, 1993; 5,583,102.

"Method for producing conductive or insulating feedthroughs in a substrate;" Janet K. Lumpp, Susan D. Allen; issued Dec. 17, 1996; filed May 9, 1994; 5,584,956.

(Patent jointly owned with University of Rochester and Ithaca College): "Autoinducer molecule," James P. Pearson, Kendall M. Gray, Luciano Passador, Kenneth D. Tucker, Anatol Eberhard, Barbara H. Iglewski, Everett P. Greenberg; issued Jan. 7, 1997; filed Aug. 9, 1993; 5,591,872.

"Synthesis of ansa-metallocene catalysts;" Richard F. Jordan, Gary M. Diamond; issued Jan. 28, 1997; filed May 15, 1995; 5,597,935.

(Patent jointly owned with Iowa State University Research Foundation and USDA): "Esterified vasoactive lipids for increasing perfusion pressure of the caruncular arterial bed in mammals;" Mohsen Al-Mahmoud, Stephen P. Ford, Robert E. Short, Donna B. Farley, Lane Christenson, John P. N. Rosazza; issued March 4, 1997; filed June 19, 1995; 5,607,971.

"Locality manager having memory and independent code, bus interface logic, and synchronization components for a processing element for intercommunication in a latency tolerant multiple processor;" Thomas L. Casavant, Samuel A. Fineberg, Devin L. Bright, Subbiah Sundaram, Michelle L. Roderick; issued March 18, 1997; filed Oct. 29, 1993; 5,618,136.

"Sugar-based polymers," Jonathan S. Dordick, David G. Rethwisch, Damodar R. Patil; issued April 8, 1997; filed May 31, 1994; 5,618,933.

(South Africa patent): "Urethral Pressure Catheter;" Karl Kreder; issued April 30, 1997; filed June 6, 1996; 96/4750.

"Control of consecutive packet loss in a packet buffer;" Chaewoo W. Lee, Mark S. Andersland; issued May 13, 1997; filed Aug. 1, 1994; 5,629,936.

"Genes and proteins for treating cystic fibrosis;" Michael J. Welsh, David N. Sheppard; issued June 17, 1997; filed March 23, 1994; 5,639,661.

Intellectual Property Management at the UI

* UI faculty, staff and students are obligated by policy to disclose inventions to the UIRF, a non-profit corporation affiliated with the UI.

* UIRF's principal objective is to enable beneficial human use for UI discoveries and inventions.

* UIRF evaluates invention disclosures for patentability and commercial potential, with advice from patent attorneys and the UI Patent Committee.

* UIRF seeks to license UI inventions to industry partners. In some cases,these partners may then need to invest many years and hundreds of millions of dollars in order to bring a new product or technology to market.

* In some cases, UIRF technology is licensed to "spin-off" companies started by UI inventors and located in the Technology Innovation Center, the UI business incubator on the Oakdale Campus.

* Income from UIRF license agreements provides the UIRF operating budget and provides important support for research endeavors at the UI. License income also rewards the inventor(s) personally.

Patents, copyrights, licenses

* A patent is a document, issued by the federal government, that grants to its owner a legally enforceable right to exclude others from practicing the invention described and claimed in the document, for a term ending 20 years from the date of filing an application for patent. To be timely, a patent application must be filed within one year of public disclosure (written publication, oral seminars, poster presentations, etc.). This one-year grace period, however, is not available in most foreign countries. A U.S. inventor who wants to obtain corresponding foreign patents must first file an application in the United States before any divulgence of the invention to the public. (Source : American Intellectual Property Law Association).

* Copyright is a statutory property right which grants to creators ("authors") certain exclusive rights in their creations for a limited duration. Copyright protects intangible original works of authorship which are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Put another way, copyright protects the expression of ideas, but not the ideas themselves. Copyright protects works such as books, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, music, photographs, movies and computer programs. (Source : American Intellectual Property Law Association).

* A license is an agreement whereby the UIRF (as patent owner/licensor) formally grants permission to the corporate partner (licensee) to develop and commercialize the invention under certain defined, negotiated conditions.

For further details, please contact the University of Iowa Research Foundation at 214 Technology Innovation Center, Oakdale Campus, Phone: 319-335-4546.

The UIRF invention disclosure form is on the UI's world wide web site at or