AUTM Newsbrief
Sept. 23, 2010

United Nations: Demand for intellectual property rights starts to recover
UN News Centre
Innovative activity and demand for intellectual property rights declined at the height of the global economic crisis, but began to recover this year, the United Nations agency charged with protecting inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright said in a report released. The report by the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization also documents how the uncertainty associated with the crisis led companies to readjust their innovation strategies.More

The US Department of Energy funds 5 technology
commercialization 'ecosystems'

SustainableBusiness.com News
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of five projects to build and strengthen "innovation ecosystems" meant to accelerate the movement of cutting-edge energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies from university laboratories into the market. This is the first time the the U.S. Department of Energy is funding this type of university-based commercialization effort. The ecosystems are designed to foster collaborative environments, bringing together key players from universities, the private sector, the federal government and Department of Energy National Laboratories to identify and develop new clean energy technologies and help them succeed in the marketplace. More

South Africa: Jury out on intellectual property laws
University World News
Will South Africa's Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development (IPR) Act incentivize or bureaucratize innovation at public universities? Some academics are concerned about the law's impacts on international collaboration and open access to research, among other things. But it seems only time will tell. Regulations to the 2008 Act were published after multiple stakeholder consultations and amid ongoing concerns that the legislation, despite its worthy intentions, would impede the flow of knowledge, not only between academics and researchers but also in the public domain. More

Yale spinoff accuses Apple of stealing invention
Yale Daily News
The technology behind the popular Mac features Spotlight and Time Machine may have been invented not in Silicon Valley, but in New Haven, Conn., — and the Yale researchers who say they invented it want their due. Mirror Worlds, a computer software company that spun off from Yale's Department of Computer Science in 1996, is suing Apple Inc. for violating its patents. In court documents, Apple's lawyers allege the company has no knowledge of Mirror Worlds' claim to have invented the contested technology.More

'Synthetic trees' for capturing carbon dioxide
Renewable Energy Magazine
Columbia University in New York and a research company have entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement for technology that extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using "synthetic trees." The company, Global Research Technologies-based out of Wisconsin, hopes to have units within two years that would capture up to a ton of carbon dioxide a day. Only living plants, atmospheric chemical cycles and other natural systems can pull large volumes of carbon dioxide out of the air. Efforts to snare manmade carbon dioxide, released primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, are not yet viable at a large scale, but some scientists think they hold great promise in tackling climate change. Most financial support so far has gone to projects that capture carbon dioxide at large point-sources such as coal plants — not from the atmosphere at large — and policy makers have focused mainly on reducing emissions by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.More

Amantys dramatically simplifies medium voltage design
Cambridge Network
A dramatically simplified medium voltage design for high power wind turbines is being developed by a cleantech spin-out company from the University of Cambridge. Amantys Limited, based on research originating from Patrick Palmer, Ph.D., of the University of Cambridge's Department of Engineering and recently funded by the IP Group plc, has developed technology that will simplify the design of medium voltage power systems using insulated gate bipolar transistors. The first application of the technology is for medium voltage inverters in high power wind turbines. "Large wind turbines require medium voltage power systems to deliver the power efficiently," said Bryn Parry, Managing Director of Amantys "Our technology significantly simplifies the design of these systems through close control of the IGBTs in the system."More

Developing countries gain better patent access
Information World Review
Access to specialized patent information will give industrial property offices and government and academic researchers in developing countries free and low-cost access to comprehensive patent information, to foster innovation and participate more fully in the global economy. Under the collaboration agreement, Thomson Innovation, the intellectual property research and analysis platform from Thomson Reuters, will be made available to researchers through the program.More

Vanderbilt University and Australia's University of Melbourne
expand ties through new research collaborations

Vanderbilt University News
Vanderbilt University and Australia’s University of Melbourne have taken their academic partnership to a new level — committing $500,000 in joint seed funding over the next two years for research collaborations, expanding exchange programs for students, faculty and staff, and sharing space in Vanderbilt's Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C. The announcement came at a two-day meeting at Vanderbilt University Sept. 15-16 between Vanderbilt officials and University of Melbourne Provost John Dewar and a senior leadership delegation from his university. Also among the new initiatives is a plan for the exchange of publications and information in all areas and joint sponsorship of conferences, symposia, artistic performances and other gatherings.More

New technology promises to kill resistant bacteria
The Bay Citizen
In 2003, after selling South San Francisco-based Eos Biotechnology for a little more than $37 million, Dave Martin, a biochemist, started looking around the academic world for novel ideas. He found an intriguing concept in Jeffrey F. Miller's University of California, Los Angeles lab, which was looking at defense mechanisms that certain bacteria use naturally to fight off other bugs. With some seed money from his own pocket and from friends and family, Martin rolled up his sleeves to see if he and his collaborators could engineer what are known as R-type pyocins (now branded by the company as Avidocins) that could mimic this natural phenomenon.More