Innovative Minds: SBU Inventors Spearhead Patent Pursuits

Stony Brook University stands at the forefront of innovative excellence, not only for its commitment to cutting-edge research but also for the impressive roster of inventors dedicated to transforming groundbreaking ideas into tangible solutions.

February 11 was National Inventors’ Day, and Stony Brook inventors and innovators were celebrated for their achievements, a testament to the innovative spirit of Stony Brook and their commitment to advance their fields. Over the years, Stony Brook has received more than 2,700 disclosures and has been issued 2,050 patents, and the number of technologies disclosed and patents issued and licensed with the assistance of Intellectual Property Partners (IPP) is constantly growing.

IPP, which averages one to two patents issued each month, fosters innovation by partnering with on-campus innovators and the business community. “We help inventors identify where there’s potential commercial, market-relevant inventions,” said IPP Director Sean Boykevisch. “Some faculty may be new to inventing, patenting and the licensing process and may not even be aware that they have an invention, and we’re happy to meet with those faculty.”

IPP staff keep apprised of faculty research and innovative work by attending departmental retreats, on-campus conferences and poster sessions. Many faculty, Boykevisch explained, are not aware that antibodies, certain research materials or assays can be licensed as material property, and IPP has successfully partnered with companies that commercialize these reagents.

Sean boykevisch
IPP Director Sean Boykevisch

“Once we’re engaged with a faculty member and learning about their research, we can help guide the invention and help them submit the technology disclosure,” said Boykevisch. “Then we work with them to evaluate that invention in terms of whether it’s patentable. Can we secure a patent in view of the prior art? How broad are the patent claims? Are they going to be very, very narrow, where there is increased possibility of designing around the patent or are they broad enough to cover different implementations of the invention.”

After assessing the patentability of the invention, the IPP team performs a market analysis to determine market size and demand. The team may assist in identifying other applications of the invention that may be marketable based on the needs of the IPP industry partners, and coordinates meetings to determine whether the partner is interested in a commercial agreement to move the technology forward. If a company is not interested in moving forward, IPP tries to bring specific feedback from the company to the inventor for consideration in their further research.

The best time to contact IPP with an invention, Boykevisch said, is before there is a publication. “What we like to tell our faculty is that if you think there’s something there, send us the paper that you drafted before you submit it, and we’ll take a look and meet with you,” he said. “Generally, if there is no publication timeline, continue to work on the invention and get as much data and information as possible, and then disclose it to us.”

One way for faculty to find and establish partnerships with R&D intensive companies is by using IN-PART, a global online matchmaking platform that academics may use, free of charge, to respond to Industry Call for Opportunities and Requests for Research Proposals. Companies including Johnson and Johnson, Bayer and Ultragenyx seek university opportunities and faculty partnerships in a specific area of interest.

IPP and SBU Economic Development find and cultivate partnerships with companies in order to pair the company with faculty performing relevant research. In 2021, the GE Advanced Manufacturing Organization approached Stony Brook with an innovative concept to drastically reduce the need for magnetic material that is required to make a turbine by implementing topology optimization. Working with the help of several seed grants, the SBU/GE team now has results that may reduce costs and dependency of foreign sources while improving the sustainability of rare earth materials, and received a $550,000 National Science Foundation grant to help transition academic research into industry and commercialization.

Wei Zhao, co-director of Radiology Research and professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, has worked closely with IPP on her inventions. “The IPP office has been extremely helpful in getting our inventions patented,” said Zhao. “They make timely decisions with the filing of provisional and full patent applications, and facilitate discussions on IP licensing. Their efforts make our inventive process fully supported so that we can focus on research and innovation.”

Congratulations to the following Stony Brook University inventors on the recent issuance of their U.S. patents:

Eden Figueroa, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Sonali Gera, PhD,  Research Assistant, Physics and Astronomy
Quantum Network Devices, Systems, and Methods

Amirhossein Goldan, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
Andrew Labella, Medical Physicist, Department of Radiology
Anthony R. Lubinsky, Research Scientist, Department of Radiology
Wei Zhao, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
High Resolution Depth-Encoding PET Detector With Prismatoid Light Guide Array

Adrian Howansky, Medical Physicist, Department of Radiology
Anthony R. Lubinsky, Research Scientist, Department of Radiology
Wei Zhao, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Flat Panel X-Ray Imager With Scintillating Glass Substrate 

Arie Kaufman, Department of Computer Science
Saeed Boorboor, Department of Computer Science
System, Method, and Computer-accessible Medium for Processing Brain Images and Extracting Neuronal Structures

Benjamin Lawler, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Mozhgan Rahimi Boldaji, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Brian Gainey, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Method for Control of Advanced Combustion through Split Direct Injection of High Heat of Vaporization Fuel or Water Fuel Mixtures

Frank M. Russo, NYS Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University
Bioreactor System and Method for Nitrification and Denitrification

Emre Salman, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Milutin Stanacevic, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Yasha Karimi, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Tutu Wan, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Yuanfei Huang, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ultra Low Power Core for Lightweight Encryption

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