Wichita State University sees increase in patent requests

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State University officials say an active marketing campaign has increased the amount of potential patents by school faculty and students.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1HYU3wB ) reports that Wichita State University Ventures, an arm of the school that assists with patenting and commercializing inventions or software, has sharply increased the number of invention disclosures by university faculty, staff and students in the last three years.

Invention disclosures are formal explanations on why university researchers' inventions should receive patent protection, Ventures director Cindy Claycomb said. She says there were 16 invention disclosures in the year ending June 30, 2013. The year that ended this past June 30 saw 41 disclosures.

After receiving a disclosure, Ventures decides whether to file for a provision patent, which gives it a year to seek a full patent.

Claycomb says she has spent a lot of time in the last year speaking to faculty members and classes about the opportunity to patent their research.

"Because we brought this to the forefront, more people on campus are now thinking, 'I might have something that is of interest to somebody that is marketable or commercial,' and many of them hadn't thought that way before," Claycomb said.

The director says many did not appreciate that they didn't need to have a gadget of some kind to consider getting a patent. Something like software or a curriculum tool may be considered intellectual property that needs to be legally protected from competitors.

Claycomb says the school has only had four patents issued in the last three years, but hopes to see that number increase.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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