DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - October 7, 2016

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NIST Offers Challenge for T2 Impact Studies

The Technology Partnerships Office at NIST has just released: their first challenge competition on challenge.gov. From the challenge web site, “[D]espite the proliferation of Federal research and the profound effect that many Federally-developed technologies have upon our everyday life, more effort is needed to assess the impact of these technologies … The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Journal of Technology Transfer aim to stimulate efforts in this area through this Challenge. … Eligible technologies for this Challenge must meet two criteria, namely 1) the technology must have been developed in whole or in part by a Federal employee(s) during the course of their employment duties at any time over the past 30 years, and 2) the technology must have been transferred in a manner that can be traced back to the agency. … The objective of this Challenge is to identify and measure economic and societal impacts that result from the transfer of federally developed technologies. … This Challenge is open to anyone (or any organization) that meets the eligibility requirements described in the Rules. … [To enter, submit] a research paper that identifies a federally developed technology and analyzes the economic or social or economic impact that occurred as a result of it being transferred outside of the federal agency in which it was developed.  If your paper is selected as a winner, you will receive a $5,000 cash award and you will be invited to have your paper considered for publication in The Journal of Technology Transfer.” Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017. See associated Federal Register Notice here. (Original Sources: Challenge.gov web site, FRN web site)

…. and speaking of challenges …

PTO Announces Cancer Moonshot Challenge Winners

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced: the winners of the USPTO Cancer Moonshot Challenge. From the press release, “[T]he challenge was launched by the USPTO in August as part of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, which aims to speed up patient-focused cancer treatments, increase patient access to clinical trials and therapies, and align public-private policies investments to improve the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.  [The Challenge] enlisted the public’s help to leverage the USPTO’s intellectual property data, often an early indicator of meaningful research and development, and combine it with other economic and funding statistics. Using data sets released through the USPTO Developer Hub, participants used analytic tools, processes and complimentary data sets to build rich visualizations of intellectual property data, which can illuminate trend lines for new insights.” See the link for the list of winners. (Original Sources: USPTO web site)

DOE Announces Second Round of ‘TIR’ Winners

(Technologist in Residence)

The Department of Energy recently announced: the initial selections for the second cohort of the Technologist in Residence (TIR) Program. From the press release, “[T]hree national laboratories will receive nearly $1.2 million to advance collaborative research and development focused on improving the manufacturing processes of industry partners. The TIR Program is designed to streamline engagement and increase collaborative research and development between national laboratories and private-sector companies. The program partners a senior technologist from a national laboratory with an industry professional from a clean energy manufacturing company or consortium of companies.” See the link for the list of winners. (Original Sources: DOE web site)

PTO Announces ‘Patents for Humanity’ Winners

The USPTO recently announced: the latest winners of the Patents for Humanity program.

From the press release, “[T]he Patents for Humanity program was launched by the USPTO in February 2012 as part of an Obama administration initiative promoting game-changing innovations to solve long-standing development challenges. …  The Patents for Humanity Award is the USPTO's top honor for applicants best representing the Patents for Humanity principles. Award recipients receive public recognition at an award ceremony arranged by the USPTO.  They also receive a certificate to accelerate certain matters before the Office. Honorable mentions go to applicants who were close to qualifying for top honors and may apply again in future years with further development of their technology.  They receive a limited acceleration benefit.  Entries were received in five categories: medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy and living standards.  Although four of the categories did not produce honorees this year, the USPTO expects that will change in future cycles.” Congrats to all – especially the FDA for the meningitis vaccine MenAfriVac®. See the link for the list of winners. (Original Sources: USPTO web site)

2017 Budget CR Signed – Through Dec 9

(Brief update on specific science-related bills)

The Congress passed – and the President has signed – a continuing resolution: effectively funding the government for the next 2.5 months. From a summary in AIP, “[I]n a vote of 342 to 85, the House [Sept 28] sent a 10-week stopgap federal spending bill to President Obama for his signature. The Senate easily passed the same bill earlier in the day by a vote of 72 to 26 after House and Senate leaders reached agreement on the bill’s terms. …

The bill, which is now law after President Obama signed it [Sept 29], extends funding for the federal government at last year’s appropriated levels through Dec. 9, or 10 weeks beyond the end of the fiscal year.” The AIP summary also notes that “[C]ongress will also have to decide whether or not to move forward on several major science-related bills that have been advancing through the legislative process over the course of the last two years [when they return after the election]…” These bills include a comprehensive energy policy bill, COMPETES reauthorization, NASA reauthorization, National Defense Authorization among them. (Original Sources: AIP web site)

FTC Releases Study on Patent Assertion Entities

The Federal Trade Commission has released: it anticipated report on Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). From a post in Patently-O, “[U]sing its subpoena power, the agency obtained data on more than 2000 patent holding companies, a minority of which have asserted their patent rights in court. The report offers important insight into PAE business models – primarily identifying two categories: Litigation PAEs and Portfolio PAEs.  The FTC found that Litigation PAE licenses are ‘typically … less than the lower bounds of early stage litigation costs’ and thus seen by the FTC as consistent with ‘nuisance litigation.’ The report suggests a variety of litigation reforms to help alleviate potential abusive litigation tactics by patent owners.” See the FTC report here. Original Sources: Patently-O blog)


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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