APRIL 2020

Innovation Review

Monthly information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlights and profiles of resources and events across New York state.


News From The Center


Innovation Law Center Zooms Online For Virtual Presentations

The Innovation Law Center (ILC) students and professors have wrapped up a semester’s work on a dozen research projects for a variety of clients. However, due to COVID-19, the research had to be presented in a virtual environment. Nevertheless, the students, professors and clients came together virtually to finish the semester strong. Adapting to new standards, the clients received their final presentations via Zoom. While it was non-traditional, the students stayed positive throughout the process and the experience was beneficial for the clients and the center. To learn more and hear feedback from ILC students and professors, click here.

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ILC COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, the Innovation Law team is working remotely; but we want to hear from you!  This is the time of year we begin assessing requests for research to be completed over the summer. We will have a team of student researchers ready to investigate the IP landscape, regulations, and market relating to new technologies in NYS. Please email us at mzimme01@law.syr.edu to inquire.


IP/Regulatory Law Watch


WIPO Launches Online Dashboard to Monitor Operations

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) unveiled a new online dashboard that allows stakeholders to monitor the organization’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform, known as the WIPO Crisis Management Dashboard, will provide information including monthly patent, trademark and industrial design filings. The dashboard will also provide indicators of financial performance and productivity. To learn more about the WIPO Crisis Management Dashboard, click here.

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USPTO To Expand Law School Clinic Certification Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is expanding its Law School Clinic Certification Program with the admission of additional schools. The program, which was originally founded in 2008, currently includes 59 law school clinics and offers patent and trademark applicants access to pro bono services. Additionally, the program offers law students the ability to gain real experience practicing intellectual property law before the USPTO. The program will accept applications from interested law school clinical programs through May 31, 2021. To learn more about the Law School Clinic Certification Program expansion, click here. To apply, click here.

Asia Accounts for Majority of 5G Patent Filings

As the world moves towards creating room for 5G network adoption, several big players have emerged as leaders in this revolution. Asian companies account for 65% of total 5G patent filings, led by China’s Huawei with 3,147 patents. Other leading companies include South Korea’s Samsung and LG and Chinese firm ZTE. In North America, Qualcomm has filed 1,293 5G patents, while Intel has 870 filings. The number of patents filed is expected to grow greatly over the next five years as the number of 5G connections worldwide is anticipated to reach 2.7 billion by 2025. To learn more about the 5G patents and the growth of 5G, click here.

Intellectual Property

Across Industries, the Female Inventor Rate is Half the Female Employment Rate

In 2018, the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) directed the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to study the number of patents applied for and obtained by women, minorities, and veterans, and by small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. In February 2019, the USPTO published a response in its Progress and Potential – A Profile of Women Inventors on US Patents. The report aimed to learn more about the progress and potential of women in patenting to harness underexploited talent. Although there has been a sizeable increase in the female inventor rate, it remains low. While the USPTO hypothesized that the low inventor rates are a result of low employment rates of women in STEM industries, data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) disputes that hypothesis. According to the data, a discrepancy exists between the female inventor rate and female employment rate across all STEM industries. To best understand this data, a need for further, more specific research on types of occupational positions for males versus females and potential impediments in patenting is needed. To learn more about the issue, click here.


Around New York State


COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants Program To Help Businesses Fund PPE Production

FuzeHub, the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership center, has developed a statewide grant program in hopes of increasing the production of PPE and ventilators. The program, known as the COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants program, looks to aid New York State small-to-medium sized businesses that meet FDA requirements and can quickly assemble PPE or ventilators. The program will grant a total of $400,000, and the chosen companies will be announced in the coming three to four weeks. To learn more about the COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants program, click here.


Cornell Aids NYS Distillers in Making Hand Sanitizer Amidst Pandemic

Nearly 40 New York State craft distilleries have halted production of their signature spirits to produce hand sanitizer, a much-needed commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The distilleries have transitioned production with the assistance of Cornell AgriTech, an agriculture and food science research center in Geneva, NY. The center is helping the distilleries source ingredients and packaging, create supply chain connections and understand new processes and policies. Now, the distilleries have produced hundreds of thousands of bottles for hospitals and communities in need and will continue to produce hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. To learn more, click here.


ResilienX Chosen for NASA Project

ResilienX, Inc., a participant and finalist of GENIUS NY’s 2019 business competition, has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to participate in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Grand Challenge. The challenge aims to test the capabilities and readiness of drones and systems that could revolutionize mobility in and around densely populated metropolitan areas, including innovations such as air medical services, cargo delivery, small package delivery, etc. ResilienX will join a team including universities and companies around the country, contributing its FRAIMWORK (Fault Recovery and Isolation, Health Monitoring frameWORK) technology. FRAIMWORK monitors the health and integrity of an ecosystem and enables fault tolerance, graceful degradation and contingency management. Additionally, its product will provide System-wide Safety Assurance (ISSA) to safeguard the overall resiliency and safety of the airspace. To learn more about ResilienX’s role in NASA’s Grand Challenge, click here.


New Model Can Improve Energy Demand Predictions in New York, Other States

A new study from University at Buffalo researchers seeks to improve energy demand innovatively: using predictive models to capture the interdependencies among various energy sectors and end-users such as single-family households or factories. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Purdue University Center for the Environment with support by the National Science Foundation, describes a predictive model that demonstrates how electricity and natural gas are highly interdependent. In New York State, the model improved the accuracy of residential natural gas demand forecasts by 15% during previous spring and fall months. According to UB researchers, improving this demand forecasting can help utility companies deliver steadier prices and more reliable services to customers, in turn aiding aging energy systems in a time of climate change. To learn more about the research and its potential impact, click here.


Funding and Incubation Opportunities


NYFIRST Accepting Application for 2020 Grants

The New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NYFIRST) is now accepting applications for its medical school grant program. The program aims to encourage the recruitment and retention of exceptional life science researchers. NYFIRST will hand award up to $1.0 million to each chosen applicant, which may be used to support the establishment/upgrading of laboratories, to purchase capital equipment and specialized supplies, and as working capital. The goal of the program is to build upon basic scientific research to best find new ways to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The application for NYFIRST will remain open until July 20, 2020. To learn more about the NYFIRST grant program, click here. To apply, click here.


CNYBAC Medical Device Innovation Challenge Accepting Applications for 2020 Competition

The CNY Biotech Accelerator is accepting applications for its 2020 Medical Device Innovation Challenge until May 31. The program, which is funded by Empire State Development, will provide selected participants with work space, intensive mentorship, access to research partners and experts, and networking opportunities. Additionally, participants will have access to other CNY Biotech Accelerator events including the Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp and the NEXT Innovation Conference. To learn more about the 2020 Medical Device Innovation Challenge and apply, click here.


StartFast Accepting Applications for 2020 Investments

StartFast is accepting applications for its 2020 investment period. A unique, value-add pre-seed venture firm, StartFast seeks applications from early-stage, high-growth tech startups in a variety of industries. Chosen applicants will receive $50,000 in initial investment, followed by a potential $50-$750k in follow-on funding. By working with StartFast, startups can expect to find their product-market fit, gain early market traction, develop a scalable business model and raise larger rounds of funding. To learn more about StartFast, click here. To apply for its 2020 investments, click here.




Save The Date: CYNBAC’s Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp

Save the date for the upcoming Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp on October 15-16, 2020! The event will be hosted by the Innovation Resource Center, Empire State Development and CNY Biotech Accelerator, and Upstate Medical University. The Boot Camp will cover topics including business model canvas, intellectual property, manufacturing, business development, etc. To learn more about the Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp, stay up to date on CNYBAC’s events page here.


Save The Date: MedTech 16th Annual Conference

Save the date for the upcoming MedTech Conference on October 21-22, 2020! An event focused on bio/med, the conference will focus on bringing innovations to the market, tackling workforce challenges, and bolstering New York’s economy. Additionally, the conference will feature speed networking, a tech showcase, a C-suite roundtable, and several other activities. To learn more about MedTech 2020, click here.


Save The Date: NYS Innovation Summit

Save the date for the upcoming New York State Innovation Summit on October 27-28, 2020! The event, which is hosted by FuzeHub and NYSTAR, is aimed at New York State startups, developers, manufacturers and businesses looking to showcase and discover new and emerging technologies that support innovation and drive business growth. The Summit will celebrate the state’s leadership in technology-fronted economic growth and feature expert speakers in biotechnology, energy information, artificial intelligence and many other industries. Registration for the event will begin in spring 2020. To learn more about the New York State Innovation Summit, click here.


FuzeHub Events

Visit the FuzeHub Events page here to learn about upcoming New York manufacturing industry networking opportunities and events!

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Upstate Venture Connect Events

Visit the Upstate Venture Connect calendar here to learn about upcoming Upstate New York networking and entrepreneurial events!

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