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A Comprehensive Study Of The Patent Application Process
Faculty Sponsor: Bahram Nassersharif, Mechanical Engineering
Next year I will be attending graduate school to attain a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. During this time, I will be completing a research fellowship which involves the study of new forms of green energy. The field of green energy is expanding and new inventions have the potential to be incredibly profitable if they are efficient and competitive in today’s market. It is likely that my research will need to be protected from competitors looking to create similar products for harvesting green energy. In order to better prepare myself to write applications for patents on this research, I have completed a comprehensive study of the patent application process. This project has allowed me to discover the pathway to a successful patent application from the position of a researcher at a university or college.
During my study of the patenting process, I contacted university professors and interviewed them about their experiences patenting research. After this, I spoke with the Division of Research and Economic Development to discover more about how the University of Rhode Island handles research patents. I was allowed to sit in on an Intellectual Property Committee meeting, during which time a multidiscipline team of professors gathered to hear about the research being done by their colleagues. The Division of Research and Economic Development’s staff explained the types of patents and their associated costs. Research deemed profitable by the committee is funded and proceeds to be reviewed by a patent lawyer who helps the researcher formally apply for a patent. Finally, I acquired a successful and unsuccessful patent application for comparison and contrast. From these experiences and my private studies of the U.S. patent office website, I have created a detailed guide of all the information a researcher might need to complete the patent application process.