Innovation and invention are paramount to overcoming global challenges in health and quality of life. Last week marked an especially important milestone in the promotion of intellectual property (IP) for the betterment of mankind, as the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the 10 winners of its Patents for Humanity pilot program during a ceremony on Capitol Hill.
Launched in February of 2012, Patents for Humanity is a competition promoting humanitarian uses of patented technologies. Entrants compete in four categories (medical technology, food and nutrition, clean technology and information technology) for the chance to receive accelerated processing of select matters at the USPTO. This year’s winners are working to solve global challenges in health and living standards, such as malaria, HIV and access to clean water. Each has developed a truly transformative technology aimed at improving the lives of millions. The full list of winners is available below.
The Patents for Humanity program was honored earlier this year during the Second Annual Global Technology Impact Forum (GTIF) in Geneva, Switzerland with the first ever “National IP and Technology Transfer Policy Award. ” One of this year’s Patents for Humanity winners, Nokero, was also featured as an “Appropriate Technology” during the Invent for Humanity Technology Transfer Fair held concurrently with the GTIF. From all of us at the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) and the GTIF planning committee, we are proud to support such an initiative. For more information about the GTIF Awards, visit www.gtiforum.org.
For more information on the Patents for Humanity program, including expanded descriptions of the winning patents and selection criteria, visit www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/patents_for_humanity.jsp.
2013 Patents for Humanity winners:
Category: Medical – subcategory Medicines & Vaccines
- Gilead Sciences, for making HIV drugs available to the world’s poor using a network of generics manufacturers in Asia and Africa.
- University of California, Berkeley, for developing research and license agreements to provide a lower-cost, more reliable way to produce anti-malarial compounds.
Category: Medical – subcategory Diagnostics & Devices
- SIGN Fracture Care International, for distributing low-cost fracture implants to speed healing in developing world hospitals.
- Becton Dickinson (BD), for creating a fast, accurate TB diagnosis machine and placing 300 systems in 22 High Burden Countries.
Category: Food & Nutrition
- DuPont Pioneer, for developing an improved strain of sorghum fortified with more protein and vitamins for use in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Intermark Partners Strategic Management LLP, for extracting edible protein and vitamins from waste rice bran in Latin America.
Category: Clean Tech
- Procter & Gamble, for distributing a small chemical packet which removes impurities and contaminants from drinking water and has purified nearly 5 billion liters worldwide.
- Nokero, for delivering solar light bulbs and phone chargers for off-grid villages through local entrepreneurs.
Category: Info Tech
- Sproxil, Inc, for deploying a system to identify counterfeit drugs with an ordinary cell phone in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Microsoft Corporation, for providing machine learning tools that allow health researchers to better analyze large data sets.