February 10, 2012

Changes to U.S. patent system focus of workshop

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The new “American Invents Act” brought the most sweeping changes to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and an upcoming workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will provide a complete update for inventors.

The free “Patent Reform and University Inventors” workshop is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.  Participants may enjoy lunch at no charge beginning at 11:30 a.m.  The guest speaker for the workshop is David L. Gulley, assistant vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois Chicago and an alumnus of SIU Carbondale.

“SIU has been increasingly successful at patenting and commercializing faculty inventions, some of which have created new jobs here in Southern Illinois.  It will be important for us to adapt to legislative changes in ways that insure that this trend continues, and we’re pleased to have Dr. Gulley here to provide his insights into how to do so,” said John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean. 

Congress approved the “America Invents Act” and President Barack Obama signed it into law on Sept. 16, 2011.  The workshop will highlight the changes that are important to inventors involved in university tech transfer.  Gulley brings to the presentation more than 20 years of experience in innovation-based economic development.  He’ll discuss the first-inventor-to-file-system, opposition to patent claims, prior user rights post-grant review and other information.

“It is very gratifying to have a successful SIU Carbondale graduate give back to the University,” said Kyle Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park and director of technology and entrepreneurship development for the University. “Patent reform is not well understood across the country.  Dr. Gulley is extremely knowledgeable on recent changes to patent law and how these new policies and procedures will affect inventors and universities.  He is able to break down complex procedures into meaningful information and easily communicate the implications of the new regulations.”

Although there is no cost to attend, seating is limited and you must pre-register to attend.  To register, call 618/453-3427 or email harfst@siu.edu

Sponsors of “Patent Reform and University Inventors” are the Southern Illinois Research Park, the SIU Carbondale Small Business Incubator Program, the SIU Carbondale vice chancellor for research/Technology Transfer Program and the Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center.  The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provide funding for the Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center and SIU Carbondale hosts the center.