AUTM Newsbrief
Aug. 2, 2012

Senate Bill Would Undermine University Tech Inventions
Entrepreneur (commentary)
Buried deep in Start-up Act 2.0 is a bad idea that will hinder commercialization of inventions developed at U.S. universities. Called the "free agent" provision, this clause would allow university professors to choose their own technology transfer agents rather than have them use their university's technology transfer office, an approach that has been in place since the passage of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. Congress can do better. Rather than undermining an effective system in the vain hope of squeezing more commercial technology out of academic institutions, our elected leaders should focus on a proven solution: Simply provide more research funding to academic scientists and engineers.More

Taiwanese University Sues Apple over Alleged Patent Infringement
The Wall Street Journal
Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University said Monday it has filed a patent infringement complaint against Apple Inc. (AAPL) in a U.S. court over the Siri voice command system used in the latest iPhone and iPad models. The university is asking for an undisclosed sum of damages from Apple, according to the filing dated Friday. More

Utah Researchers to Test Implanted Devices to Anchor Prosthetics
The Salt Lake Tribune
For the first time ever in the United States, University of Utah and VA researchers will test implanted devices to anchor prosthetics worn by fighters who have lost limbs in war. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a feasibility study for what's called osseointegrated direct skeletal attachment of prosthetics. In the clinical trial that will begin within a year at the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, 10 veterans or active members of the armed forces will have devices implanted in their remaining bone.More

Eying Profits, Singularity University Tightens Grip on Student Startups
As it draws up plans to become a for-profit corporation, Singularity University has significantly tightened the terms under which its students may use the intellectual property they develop in their courses. When it was created four years ago with support from neighboring Google and Google's co-founder Larry Page, the prestigious but non-accredited institution was all about teaching "exponentially advancing technologies" as a supplement to a traditional education. Now Singularity U. apparently believes it can best promote those technologies and address humanity's biggest problems by better controlling and assisting student startups, reading between the lines of new contracts students are being asked to sign. More

Maine Researchers Receive Patent for Fence, Deck Wood Composite
Bangor Daily News
Your next deck or fence could last longer and withstand more punishment thanks to newly patented technology developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. U.S. Patent No. 8,221,663, which was issued July 17, introduces a method for the manufacture of synthetic wood. The process involves combining wood and plastic in a manner that strengthens and stiffens the final product by polymer cross-linking, which reduces the weight because bubbles are formed in the mixture, according to a university press release. The patent application states that traditional wood fences, while they look nice, are more labor-intensive to construct, heavier and more difficult to maintain. More

As Patent Wars Escalate, Business Booms for Those Who Can Predict the Odds
The Verge
Over the last decade the number of patent lawsuits filed in the United States each year has exploded. A new study found that "patent trolls" now cost American companies about $29 billion a year. The number of defendants named in these lawsuits has more than tripled in the past five years, and range from major corporations to fledgling startups. For many in the tech industry, this has become cause for serious concern. For LexMachina, the patent crisis is a massive business opportunity, and the company has just raised $2 million led by X/Seed Capital to expand its operations. "The common wisdom when companies are hit with a patent lawsuit is to settle, because you don't know things will go in court," explains CEO Josh Becker. More

5 Years After I-35 Collapse, Big Leap in Bridge Sensors
Five years after the deadly I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, MN, advances in sensors are making warning systems more affordable and practical. A new generation of these devices is needed to adequately monitor the nearly 150,000 U.S. highway bridges — about one in four — listed by the federal government as either "structurally deficient" or "obsolete," say researchers at the University of Maryland. "We no longer need to roll the dice when it comes to the structural integrity of the nation's highway bridges," says engineer Mehdi Kalantari. "Technical advances in wireless sensors make real-time monitoring both affordable and practical." Kalantari's startup, Rensensys, has manufactured systems for use in the private sector and for testing by Maryland State Highway officials. More

Register Now for the AUTM 2012 Eastern Region Meeting: Sept. 12 — 14
The AUTM 2012 Eastern Region Meeting, Revolutionary Ideas and Liberating Collaborations, will take place Sept. 12 - 14 in Philadelphia, PA USA, at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing. Join your colleagues to discuss practices and strategies for industry-academia partnerships, culminating in successful company formation or product commercialization. More

The AUTM 2012 Western Region Meeting, Nov. 15 — 16
The AUTM Western Region Meeting will take place immediately following the Leadership Forum, Nov. 15 – 16, 2012. Plan to attend both events to maximize your networking opportunities!More

Howard Bremer Scholarship: Application Deadline: Aug. 31
Don't miss this year's deadline to apply for AUTM Foundation's Howard Bremer Scholarship. Applications from students, scholars and new professionals pursuing a career in academic technology transfer will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 31.

Other available scholarships include:

Scholarships for New Technology Transfer Professionals from Developing Economies
Application Deadline: Sept. 12

Academic Tech Transfer and Commercialization Graduate Student Literature Review Prize
Application Deadline: Sept. 28 More