New Patent Policy at Brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--A new patent policy intended to encourage professors to design marketable inventions goes into effect this month at Brown University, the Brown Daily Herald reported last week.

In exchange for a share of the rights to their inventions, Brown will take over the paperwork for researchers applying for patents.

A 1980 law allowing universities to seek rights to inventions developed at their school prompted the new policy, Joe Loferski, associate dean of the graduate school, said, adding that previously the university made little money from professors' inventions.

Under the new policy, Brown will be entitled to a percentage of the profits from any patent awarded to a Brown professor.

Previously, professors had little incentive to file for a patent, because it costs from $2000 to 15,000 to get one, Loferski said.

The new patent policy also encourages professors to attract aid from industry, taking advantage of a recent tax act that provides incentives for industry to support university research, Tom Wunderlich, director of research administration, said.