Heads Up

Patent Applications for July 29, 2021

Hello from FedInvent,

Here’s what’s new in the Federal Innovation Ecosphere. This week USPTO published 184 patent applications that received federal funding. FedInvent analyzed them. Here are some of the taxpayer-funded inventions we found this week.  

Take Me To The Data

HEADS UP — READ THIS APPLICATION

Construction is the leading industry for serious work-related traumatic brain injuries due to the high incidence of falls and head struck-by incidents. Protection on the construction job site requires hard hats. There are two types of industrial helmets. The Type 1 industrial helmet model is what most people know as a construction hard hat. A Type 1 helmet is designed for top impact protection only. A Type II helmet is designed for protection from both top and lateral impacts. Approximately 7.3% of traumatic brain injury cases are work-related. Work-related traumatic brain injury (WrTBI) is thought to be one of the most serious occupational injuries that occur among construction workers.  

Two occupational engineers from CDC and NIOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and a public health physician specializing in occupational medicine invented a headgear protection system with an air-bubble cushioning similar to that used for commercial shipping. 20210227916, "HEADGEAR SYSTEMS WITH AIR-BUBBLE CUSHIONING LINER FOR IMPROVED SHOCK ABSORPTION PERFORMANCE," from Boise State University and the Department of Health and Human Services was published this week. An air bubble cushion to go with your hard hat.

The air bubbles are lightweight, low cost, and have unique mechanical performance attributes including improving shock absorption for preventing or reducing work-related traumatic brain injury and risk. The inventors note, "Despite widespread adoption of air-bubble cushions in ergonomic designs and commercial packaging as shock absorption materials, they have never been used in industrial helmets. Moreover, no prior art applications have assessed whether air-bubble cushions would also be effective in absorbing large impact forces, such as those observed with the industrial helmets."

The air-bubble cushioning for a hard hat is one of those inventions where you ask yourself, "Why didn’t I think of that?" 

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RECHARGE YOUR DRONE IN THE OCEAN

The Navy’s application for a Hybrid Seawater Battery for Powering an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (20210229560) is for, "an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a float system, at least one electric motor, and a seawater battery. The float system allows the UAV to maintain buoyancy on a body of water. The electric motor or motors produce the required lift for the UAV to achieve and maintain flight. The flight includes the UAV landing on the body of water and take off from the body of water. The seawater battery directly or indirectly powers the electric motor or motors using seawater from the body of water while the UAV is floating on the body of water."  


SEEING CLEARLY

The National Eye Institute works on cutting-edge research projects that investigate new ways to prevent, treat, or even reverse vision loss. Eight patent applications funded by the National Eye Institute were published this week:

20210228292 — SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AUTOMATED IMAGE-GUIDED ROBOTIC INTRAOCULAR SURGERY — University of California

20210228481 — COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR OPHTHALMIC AND/OR OTHER APPLICATIONS — Johns Hopkins University

20210228482 — COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR OPHTHALMIC AND/OR OTHER APPLICATIONS — Johns Hopkins University

20210228500 — CELLULAR RETINOID BINDING PROTEIN ANTAGONISTS AND USES THEREOF — Case Western Reserve University

20210228539 — SOLUBLE EPOXIDE HYDROLASE AS A TARGET FOR OCULAR DISEASES — Indiana University

20210228741 — METHODS AND COMPOSITIONS TO STIMULATE RETINAL REGENERATION — The University of Washington in Seattle

20210230231 — VARIANT ADENO-ASSOCIATED VIRUSES AND METHODS OF USING — The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California.

20210231684 — COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR TREATING EYE INFECTIONS AND DISEASE — University of Virginia


BACTERIA FOR BIOFUEL AND THE MICROBIOME

University of Wisconsin scientists created a bioengineered biofuel-producing strain of Lactobacillus casei. This synthetic bacterium is engineered to produce increased amounts of ethanol. 20210230643CONSTRUCTION OF A LACTOBACILLUS CASEI ETHANOLOGEN was funded by DOE and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). 

Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic invented a new method for altering the intestinal microbiome of patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The patients are administered bacterium to alter the intestinal microbiome of people with Cystic Fibrosis. The application, 20210228655, was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and five different institutes at the National Institutes of Health.


PLANTS TO THE RESCUE

The application from Kuality Herbceutics LLC, a venture of a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota, is for a Kava-derived therapeutic compound that may be useful in treating cancer. (20210228672). Kava is an extract made from Piper methysticum, a plant native to the western Pacific islands. Their work was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The pre-grant publications include an application for an Okra-Derived Antiviral Composition (20210228664), from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, one of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).


MORE CREEPY CRAWLERS

On Tuesday, it was bedbugs. Last week it was scorpions. Today, we have ticks. Lyme disease (LD) and human anaplasmosis, the illnesses caused by tick bites, have emerged as two of the most common vector-borne bacterial illnesses in the United States. Lyme disease is the most prevalent arthropod-borne disease in the US. Over 30,000 cases are reported yearly to CDC. Warming temperatures associated with climate change are projected to increase the range of suitable tick habitats driving the spread of Lyme disease. This invention is a kit for detecting tick-borne pathogens in a sample obtained from a tick or a mammal (20210230673).   


AUTOMATING LANDFILL GAS COLLECTION

Patents on Tuesday. A New Patent Application on Thursday

Loci Controls Inc. is a provider of automated landfill gas collection designed for Renewable Natural Gas projects and high-value LFG to electric projects. Earlier this week Loci Controls added another patent to its landfill gas (LFG) extractions portfolio — 11072006, "Devices and techniques relating to landfill gas extraction," This patent brought their portfolio up to 15 patents.  

On Thursday, patent application 20210229142 — "AUTOMATED COMPLIANCE MEASUREMENT AND CONTROL FOR LANDFILL GAS EXTRACTION SYSTEMS" was published. This application adds to their intellectual property pipeline. This patent application was filed on January 19, 2021. Loci Controls was funded by SBIR/STTR grants from NSF.  


THE BEST OF THE REST

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are among Congress’s high priority technologies.  Here are some of the notable applications this week.

The Navy funded the work of Indiana University to develop Natural Language Processing (20210232772). Natural Language Processing (NPL) is a type of machine learning that enables semantic analysis of tsunamis of digital information and intelligence data.  The Office of Naval Research funded work by inventors at the University of Minnesota work on 20210232091 — MACHINE LEARNING HOLOGRAPHY FOR PARTICLE FIELD IMAGING.  The National Science Foundation’s Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) funded work at the University of Washington on 20210232977 — "RESONANT MACHINE LEARNING ALGORITHMS, ARCHITECTURE AND APPLICATIONS."  ARPA-E at the Department of Energy funded the use of machine learning to identify and classify materials including different types of aluminum,  20210229133 — "SORTING BETWEEN METAL ALLOYS."

Finally, the Department of the Army at Fort Belvoir, home of the National Geospatial Agency known for its work in image identification is the assignee on 20210233316 — "Method for Generating an Augmented Set of Images."  This application is for a method for generating sets of augmented images that can be used for making large training sets need for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.

Florida International University invented a foldable antenna (20210234277). Carnegie Mellon University, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH, and the National Science Foundation Divisions of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), and Computer and Network Systems (CNS). This invention makes improvements to Low Power Wide Area Networks increasingly used for Internet of Things (IoT) implementations. Its invention 20210234570, improves the throughput, latency, and battery life of LP-WAN nodes.


PATENT APPLICATIONS BY THE NUMBERS

For Thursday, July 29, 2021, FedInvent identified 184 newly published taxpayer-funded patent applications. These documents have 201 references to federal agencies and departments that provided funding to the inventors. One hundred seventy-seven (177) of these patents contained government interest statements. Another 25 are patents where the federal government is the assignee or the applicant indicating government ownership of the inventions.

These 184 patent applications are the work of 652 inventors. Six hundred thirty-one (631) of the inventors are American. The American inventors come from 41 states and the District of Columbia. The foreign inventors come from ten countries. Five are from Canada, and four are from Israel.

 THE HEALTH COMPLEX

National Institutes of Health institutes were referenced 118 times as the funding agency on the patent applications published on Thursday.  The Military Health Complex, new applications from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs funded nine patent applications.

HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ENTITIES (HERD)

One hundred twenty-nine (129) universities or university-affiliated research entities, the HERD, are assignees on patent applications published today.  

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That’s it for this week.  We hope you have an enjoyable weekend. See you on Wednesday.

The Team at FedInvent


FedInvent is Wayfinder Digital’s project on the Federal Innovation Ecosphere and the inventions and discoveries it creates.

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