Utah innovators honored for their 'genius'

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SALT LAKE CITY — Many of Utah's best and brightest minds were recognized for their technical savvy, creativity and overall geekiness.

On Wednesday, the winners of the 2012 Utah Genius Awards were announced at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

The awards honor extraordinary intellectual and creative achievement as well as serving as the state’s prime program for recognizing and paying tribute to the people and companies that contribute heavily to the state’s growth by securing numerous patents and trademarks.

“The Utah Genius Awards serve as a reminder to us all of the incredible people and companies that call this state home,” said program sponsor Randall Bateman.

This year, the University of Utah was the state's top patent-receiving organization. The school garnered accolades as the state's top patent recipient for a company or institution with 49, followed by Novell with 48 and Ogden-based Autoliv ASP with 44.

"The University of Utah is lucky to have incredibly talented faculty who make it possible for us to secure dozens of patents every year," said Jack Brittain, vice president for Technology Venture Development at the U. "We are committed to protecting and commercializing these inventions to help drive economic development for the state of Utah … (and) are very proud of the jobs, income and startup companies that we help generate.”

Among the other notable winners were David Hall of Provo who was issued the highest number of individual patents over the past 12 months with 62. The list of honorees also included Kaysville-based Shipley Associates and Monavie LLC of South Jordan — each having received the most trademarks during the year at 20 apiece.

In addition, Stephen Jacobsen received the lifetime achievement award for his work as a prolific inventor in the field of robotics and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah.

Contributing: Lori Prichard


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