DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - July 29, 2016

DOD T2 Study Highlights Economic Impacts

(Licensing agreements from 2000 – 2014)

A new report by the TechLink for DOD: highlights the results of a “yearlong study of the economic impacts from DOD license agreements with U.S. industry.”  From the Executive Summary, “[T]he study’s primary purpose was to determine the extent to which DOD license agreements active during the 2000-2014 period contributed to new economic activity and job creation in the United States.  A secondary purpose was to estimate the extent to which these license agreements resulted in the transition of new technology to U.S. military use. … The research team surveyed all 602 companies with DOD license agreements active during the 2000-2014 period. … The team was able to obtain full or partial information on the economic outcomes of 663 out of the 733 total DOD license agreements (90 percent). … Major findings from the study included the following:

  • $20.4 billion in total sales of new products and services resulting from the DOD license agreements
  • $3.4 billion in sales of new products to the U.S. military
  • $48.8 billion in total economic output nationwide
  • $1.6 billion in new tax revenues (federal, state, and local)
  • 182,985 full-time jobs created or retained
  • 12,199 full-time jobs per year with an average salary of $71,337”

(Original Sources: TechLink website)

PTO Replaces Patent Review Processing System

 A recent blog post by the Chief Judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB): notes that the “USPTO deployed an e-filing system known as the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS) for trials under the America Invents Act (AIA) on September 16, 2012.”  From the post, “[S]ince then, usage of PRPS has exceeded our expectations, and the time has come to transition to a new system to better serve the needs of the public.  That new system is called Patent Trial and Appeal Board End to End (PTAB E2E).  PTAB E2E uses a web browser (Chrome is the preferred browser) and a step by step filing program to enable petitioners and patent owners to provide metadata and upload pdf documents to the system.  PTAB E2E also provides an interface to the USPTO Next Generation financial system (FPNG) for paying fees.”  See the link for more details on the new system.  (Original Sources: USPTO blog)

 National Defense Authorization Act of 2017

(Senate version highlights Defense R&D and lab governance issues)

The Senate has now passed its version: of the 2017 NDAA, “the annual defense policy bill considered to be one of the few ‘must pass’ pieces of legislation.”  From a summary by AIP, “[T]he House approved its take on the bill in May. The two chambers are now gearing up for a conference to reconcile the significant differences between the bills.  … Although a NDAA has been signed into law annually for 54 consecutive years, there is some concern that the streak may end this year.  The House and Senate bills differ from each other on numerous substantive policy issues, and the administration has issued lengthy statements detailing grievances with both.  Most of the points of contention are unrelated to science, pertaining to subjects such as war funding levels and limitations on the size of the National Security Council staff.  However, the Senate bill would overhaul management of DOD’s R&D enterprise, an action that the House bill does not take and that the administration opposes.  Many of the provisions relevant to science are in the sections on Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (Title II) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (Title XXXI).  The bill also contains multiple lab personnel and management reforms intended to help DOD hire top scientists and engineers and increase the effectiveness of the DOD lab system.  Notably, the accompanying committee report authored by the Senate Armed Services Committee describes the rationale for these reforms at length and also expresses the committee’s interest in eventually conducting ‘comprehensive defense lab governance reform.’” (Original Sources: AIP web site)

NSF Tech Commercialization

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced: approximately $10 million in new funding through its Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program. From a summary by SSTI, “[T]he PFI program offers NSF-funded researchers at institutions of higher education opportunities to connect new knowledge to societal benefit through translational research efforts and/or partnerships that encourage, enhance, and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship. Via the new announcement, Accelerating Innovation Research- Technology Translation (AIR-TT), NSF intends to make up to 50 awards to institutions of higher education (including community colleges) to move previously NSF-funded research results with promising commercial potential along the path toward commercialization.  Eligible proposers are required to submit a letter of intent to NSF by September 8.”  See the solicitation here.  (Original Sources: SSTI web site, NSF web site)

Fun Facts – Patent Applications on the Rise

The blog Patently-O provides a chart: that “shows USPTO application filings for non-provisional patent applications as well as RCE’s.”  From the blurb/chart, “[B]oth have been on the rise for many years.  The filing numbers appear to have continued to rise since implementation of the America Invents Act, although at a slower rate (acceleration has slowed).  The USPTO expects that applications filed today will receive a first action within 16 months.”  (Original Sources: Patently-O blog)

GAO Reports on USPTO and IP

Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity found “that district court filings of new patent infringement lawsuits increased from about 2,000 in 2007 to more than 5,000 in 2015, while the number of defendants named in these lawsuits increased from 5,000 to 8,000 over the same period. … GAO also found that most patent suits involve software-related patents and computer and communications technologies.  Several stakeholders told GAO that it is easy to unintentionally infringe on patents associated with these technologies because the patents can be unclear and overly broad, which several stakeholders believe is a characteristic of low patent quality.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken actions to address patent quality, most notably through its Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative, but there are additional opportunities for the agency to improve patent quality.”  See the report for more detail.  (Original Sources: GAO web site)

Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Strengthen Search Capabilities and Better Monitor Examiners’ Work found that “[E]xperts and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners described a variety of challenges in identifying information relevant to a claimed invention—or “prior art”—that can affect examiners' ability to complete a thorough prior art search in the time allotted and their confidence in their search efforts. These challenges include, among others, the quantity and availability of prior art, the clarity of patent applications, and USPTO's policies and search tools. … USPTO has taken actions to address challenges in identifying prior art, but some actions have limitations. For example, USPTO is in the process of upgrading its search tools. However, examiners will still need to access a variety of external sources to meet USPTO's requirement to consider nonpatent literature. Federal internal control standards call for controls to evolve to remain effective and USPTO officials noted that the new search system can be expanded to include more nonpatent literature as the European and Japan patent offices have done. However, USPTO does not have a documented strategy for identifying additional sources.”  See report for more details.  (Original Sources: GAO web site)

AAAS News

Nominations Sought for Philip Abelson Award

AAAS invites nominations: for the 2016 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.  From the web site, “[T]he prize was established in 1985 by the AAAS Board of Directors to be awarded to someone who has made signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States either as: a public servant, in recognition of sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science; or a scientist, whose career has been distinguished both for scientific achievement and for other notable services to the scientific community.  The award consists of an engraved medallion and an honorarium of $5,000.  The winner will be selected by a five-member judging panel. The 2016 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize will be presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass., Feb 16-20, 2017.”  (Original Sources: AAASA web site) 

Registration Open for Leadership Seminar in S&T Policy 

AAAS is once again offering: it’s S&T Policy Seminar, for those who “need to know how S&T policy works.”  From the web site, “[I]t is modeled after the highly acclaimed orientation program that AAAS provides for its new S&T Policy Fellows, but distills the key material into 5 days instead of two weeks.  Space is limited to only 30 to 35 participants--the small group setting provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the challenges and solutions of S&T policy from the experts.  [Participants will learn] directly from the key players in federal S&T policy about: where S&T fits in public policy; the policy process in general and the federal budget process in particular; how S&T policy is coordinated at the federal level; how to interact effectively with both congressional offices and executive branch agencies; the role of lobbying; the role of S&T in U.S. foreign policy; the politics of innovation and competitiveness; and how science advice is acquired and used by various parts of government.”  The seminar takes place in early November 2016.  (Original Sources: AAAS web site)

Spotlight on Member Lab/Agency

(NASA releases patented technologies into the public domain)

NASA has recently released: “56 formerly-patented agency technologies into the public domain, making its government-developed technologies freely available for unrestricted commercial use.”  From the press release, “[I]n addition to the release of these technologies, a searchable database now is available that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain.  These technologies were developed to advance NASA missions but may have non-aerospace applications and be used by commercial space ventures and other companies free of charge, eliminating the time, expense and paperwork often associated with licensing intellectual property. The technologies include advanced manufacturing processes, sensors, propulsion methods, rocket nozzles, thrusters, aircraft wing designs and improved rocket safety and performance concepts.  ‘By making these technologies available in the public domain, we are helping foster a new era of entrepreneurship that will again place America at the forefront of high-tech manufacturing and economic competitiveness,’ said Daniel Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive.”  See related story on IP-Watchdog blog.  (Originals Sources: NASA web site)

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Note:  The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and technology transfer community -- i.e., current legislation, trends, reports, policy and other developments potentially affecting technology transfer or related activities -- designed to keep the community informed of relevant issues on a timely basis.  Information is gleaned directly from a variety of sources (newsletters, email alerts, web sites, direct participation at events from the FLC DC Representative’s office, etc.) -- with original sources, contacts and links provided.

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