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Patent recipients honored

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 33 - June 13, 1996

Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties (VTIP) Inc. recognized the recipients of 29 patents recently.

The patents received in 1995 represent the most earned by Virginia Tech faculty and staff members and students in a single year. VTIP director Ted Kohn also announced that in 1995-1996, royalty revenues from intellectual properties will exceed $1 million.

The earnings are significant, considering the university has only had an intellectual-property policy for about 10 years, said Ernie Stout, who chairs the Intellectual Properties Committee. "Not so long ago, we debated the morality of accepting industry funds for research," he observed.

Len Peters, who chairs VTIP, recalled when patents were not as valued as publications. Now, patents and copyrights are respected for the research and scholarship they represent, as well as for their role in economic development, Peters said.

"There is no doubt the research university can contribute to economic development on a modest scale," said Stout. "At least if we look at all the businesses in our corporate research center and around Montgomery and Roanoke and other counties, it's clear the university is a significant factor.

"But colleges and universities have always been in the business of economic development," through the education of scientists and engineers, and other members of the future workforce, he said.

"Virginia Tech occupies a unique position in the intellectual property market," said Mike Martin, VTIP marketing director. "Not only are there the engineering and scientific intellectual resources, but also a unique organization--VTIP--to help develop intellectual properties into products.

"VTIP's role is to support the mission of the university, which is to educate students," Martin said. "So as a requirement for a business arrangement, we look for sustained relationships that will support research and be a basis for the growth of the wealth of the university community."

Patents earned and the inventors are:

Three patents from the Fiber and Electro-Optics Research Center--"Sapphire Optical Fiber Interferometer," by Richard Claus, Shari Feth, Sridhar Gollapudi, Kent Murphy, Ashish Vengsarkar, and Anbo Wang; "Split-Spectrum Self-Referenced Fiber Optic Sensor," by Claus, Murphy, and Wang; and "Controlled Dopant Diffusion for Fiber Optic Coupler," by Claus, Michael Gunther, Murphy, Angela Plante, Malika Sen, Nirmal Velayudhan, and Veerendra Vuppala.

Three patents from the Center for Advanced Ceramic Materials--"Reactive Ion Etching of Lead Zirconate Titanate and Ruthenium Oxide Thin Films Using (chlorinated hydrocarbons) as an Etch Gas," by Seshu Desu and Wei Pan; "Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition of Ferroelectric Thin Films," by Desu and Chien-Hsiung Peng; and "Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition of layered Structure Oxides," by Desu, Li, Peng, Tao, and Zhu.

Two patents by Carols Perry Jr., James Rancourt, and Larry Taylor--"Alloy Substitute for Mercury in Switch Applications," and "Electrical Switches and Sensors which use a Non-Toxic Liquid Metal Composition."

Three patents from the Virginia Center for Coal and Minerals Processing--"Video Instrumentation for the Analysis of Mineral Content in Ores and Coal" and "Apparatus for the Separation of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Particles using Microbubble Column Flotation Together with a Process and Apparatus for Generation of Microbubbles," by Gregory Adel, Gerald Luttrell, and Roe-Hoan Yoon; and "Method for Dewatering Fine Coal," by Luttrell and Yoon.

Four patents from the NSF Science and Technology Center for High Performance Polymeric Adhesives and Composites--"Phosphorous Containing Poly (Arylene Ether)s Useful as Oxygen Plasma Resistant Films and Nonlinear Optical Applications," by James McGrath, Timothy Pickering, Duane Priddy Jr., and Carrington Smith; "Oxygen Plasma Resistant Polymeric Film and Fiber Forming macromolecules Containing the Phosphine Oxide Moiety," by McGrath and Smith; "Aramid Compositions of Improved Solubility and Flame Retardancey," by Yadollah Delaviz, Harry Gibson, Attila Gungor, and McGrath; and " Methods of Preparing Polymeric Ketones," by Gibson and Ashish Pandya.

Three patents by the Virginia Power Electronics Center--"Zero-Voltage-Transition Pulse-Width-Modulated Converters," by Guichao Hua and Fred Lee; " Zero-Voltage-Switched, Three-Phase PWM Rectifier Inverter Circuit," by Dusan Borojevic, Lee, and Vlatkovic; and "Soft-Switching PWM Converters," by Hua and Lee.

David Kingston and colleagues received two patents--"Water Soluble Analogs and Prodrugs of Taxol," by Kingston and Jingyu Liang; and "Method for the Conversion of Cephalomannine to Taxol and for the Preparation of N-Acyl Analogs of Taxol," by Kingston, A.A. Leslie Gunatilaka, and Anthony Molinero.

Individual patent awards follow:

"Sol-Gel ß-Aluminum Titanate Thin Film Coating," by Jesse Brown Jr., Nancy Brown, and Tawei Sun.

"Compositions for Reducing Wear on Ceramic Surfaces," by Michael Furey and Czeslaw.

"Non-Capsulated Mutants of Actinobacillus Pleuropneumoniae useful as Vaccines," by Thomas Inzana.

"Thermoplastic Pentoasan-Rich Polysaccharides from Biomass," by Wolfgang Glasser, Rajesh Jain, and Markku Sjostedt.

"Method for Preparing Erythruronolactone," by Tomas Hudlicky and Martin Mandel.

"Elastic-Port Immersion Cell for Analyzing Microstructures in Materials," by Alan Anderson

"Corrosion Inhibiting Repair and Rehabilitation Treatment process for Reinforced Concrete Structures," by Brian Prowell and Richard Weyers.

"Wide Scanning Spherical Antenna," by Bing Shen and Warren Stutzman.

"Use of Carbon Monoxide Dehydrogenase for Bioremediation of Toxic Compounds," James Ferry and Peter Jablonski.