University research has spawned some of the more impressive inventions in recent memory, and it appears that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is keen to call upon this engine of innovation once again and work with academic institutions to flatten regulatory hurdles standing in their way.
In a recent interview with the National Academy of Inventors, USPTO associate commissioner for innovation and development Richard Maulsby expressed his interest in serving as an advocate for American academic progress. The agency spokesman pledged to continue his working relationship with the NAI community and suggested that his office has a number of outreach initiatives, such as round table discussions and workshops, geared toward the interests of colleges and universities.
"Such support from associate commissioner Maulsby and his colleagues will likely further encourage more institutions to consider more seriously the benefits of faculty innovation," University of South Florida researcher Paul Sandberg explained in a statement.
The potential implications of the recently passed America Invents Act is expected to be one area in which university patent teams will embrace USPTO guidance. Colorado State University director of technology transfer Todd Healey recently asserted that the move to a first to file framework could place an increased burden on his office. In an interview with the Coloradoan, Healey suggested that the change could cut down on patent prosecution in the future, but university staff will have to be all the more diligent in filing their initial claims.