Cal Poly tops own patent record

May 6, 2011


California polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo reports that three patents have been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to university faculty this academic year—a record number of patents earned for a single year.

In an announcement this week, Cal Poly’s Research and Graduate Programs Office boasted the inventions which represent ingenuity in medicine, manufacturing, and computing.

John Sharpe, a professor in the Physics Department, received patent protection for a “System Method and Apparatus for Optical Directional Determination.” The technology is an optical technique which can measure the flow of fluid. The invention could potentially reduce costs of devices in manufacturing and in personal computer components such as optical mice.

Co-inventors Lanny Griffin from Cal Poly’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Dane Jones from the school’s Department of Chemistry were issued a patent for a “Polymeric Splint and Rapid-Setting Polyurethane.” The invention is a type of splint which offers immediate treatment for broken bones when breaks occur far from medical care, such as military field operations or wilderness backpacking.

The third patent is for a “System Method and Apparatus for a Multi-Phase DC-to-DC Converter.” The new power-converter design is intended to help the power-supply industry improve microprocessor and computer performance. The intellectual property right was given to Dr. Taufik, professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Electric Power Institute.

These latest innovations brings Cal Poly’s portfolio total to 11 patents. Eight other inventions are still in the process of seeking patents.

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Congratulations to the professors who brought in the patents….

However, I seem to remember that the guy who is the Chancellor of this system once put a student in jail for not turning his patent over to the state system… or was that just a viscous rumor???

I hope the ‘inventors’ see something from their effort?

I vaguely remember something along the lines of this (not here, per se, but in a university). Basically, any and all work done by students and non-tenured faculty defaulted to the property of the university (or something like that).

I doubt that the inventors got completely skunked. Cal Poly’s Intellectual Property Policy is reasonably good about such things. The part I worry about is the entity that gets the royalties: Cal Poly Corporation. I haven’t ever seen any significant cashflow from the Corporation into anything that furthers my education. Since Corporation refuses to open their books, we really have no idea where their “profits” go.

Congrats to our very smart local students. Someone posted about how we have lost our way in the tech arena, this is another example of how good we can really be…

Congratulations to our local talent for this, as well as increasing the prestige of my alma matter: Cal Poly.

I’m particularly interested in the polymeric splint… kind of similar to the old Nam ‘era use of superglue sutures which have progressed nicely since then.