Academic inventors critical to American innovation

February 22, 2012

In an article published in Volume 13 Number 3 of Technology and Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, Richard Maulsby, associate commissioner for innovation and development for the USPTO's Office of Innovation Development, advocates for promoting American academic innovation. In his paper titled "Promoting American Innovation," he writes that the USPTO will be "building on the past success of our outreach to independent and small entity inventors and to inventors associated with colleges, universities and research institutions."

"To this end," said Maulsby, "the Office of Innovation and Development will be establishing initiatives in the coming year tailored more specifically to academic institutions. We also want to collaborate with the National Academy of ( on educational outreach regarding the value and importance of innovation and patents as well as recognition and support of academic inventors."

Maulsby noted that in June 2011, the USPTO announced a pro-bono to provide legal assistance to independent and small entity inventors. Maulsby also cites the close relationship he is establishing between his office and the NAI, as well as others in the private sector and government who are concerned with innovation.

"We look forward to participating in conferences and events sponsored by the NAI," said Maulsby. "The USPTO will develop an ongoing presence in this organization and in their publication, and we will include universities in our meetings and roundtables. This is clearly in our best interest because the is a major source of ."

Maulsby said in his paper that the USPTO will collaborate with the NAI on educational outreach on the value of recognizing and supporting academic inventors.

"We are pleased to have a collaborative relationship with the USPTO's new Office of Innovative Development," said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, senior associate vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida and president of the National Academy of Inventors. "Such support from associate commissioner Maulsby and his colleagues will likely further encourage more institutions to consider more seriously the benefits of faculty innovation."

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