2014 Edison Patent Award Winners

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and inventors Thomas L. Marzetta and Alexei Ashikhmin received a patent award in the telecommunications category for “MIMO System Having a Plurality of Service Antennas For Data Transmission Thereof” (U.S. Patent 8,594,215), an invention that comprises a decentralized architecture for a Massive MIMO (large-scale antenna systems). The advantages of this architecture over an architecture based on a centralized processor include scalability, reliability, and the ability to quickly put any subset of antennas to sleep during periods of slack demand and to quickly revive them as needed.

Avaya Inc. and inventors Lorraine Denby, Bengi Karacali, and the late Jean Meloche were recognized with a patent award in the information technology category for “Method and Apparatus For Automatic Determination of Performance Problem Locations in a Network” (U.S. Patent 7,408,885). The invention is a process for quickly identifying the location and root cause of network performance problems when voice, video, and data are carried over an Internet Protocol (IP) Network. The method applies equally well to paths at the network layer and the data link layer.

BASF Corporation and inventors Xiaolin D. Yang, Ph.D, Pascaline H. Tran, Ph.D., and Lawrence Shore will receive the patent award in the environmental category for “Pollutant Emission Control Sorbents and Methods of Manufacture and Use” (U.S. Patent 8,685,351 B2), while a solution for mercury emission compliance, this pollutant emission control sorbent also preserves fly ash value as a raw materials sourced for concrete applications.

Colgate-Palmolive Company and inventors Suman K. Chopra, Lynette Zaidel, and Michael Prencipe were selected for a patent award in the consumer products category for “Single Phase Whitening Dentrifice” (U.S. Patent 8,591,868 B2). This invention resulted in a daily whitening toothpaste that combines surface stain removal with the whitening power of hydrogen peroxide, giving consumers noticeably whiter teeth on one week.

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and inventors Margaret M. Wu, Norman Yang, Lisa S. Baugh, Jo Ann M. Canich, Steven P. Rucker, John F. Walzer Jr., Gordon H. Lee, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Yip-Kwai Lo, Shakeel Tirmizi, Mark Hagemeister, Peijun Jiang and Chia S. Chee were selected for a patent award in the industrial process category for “Polyalpha-olefin Compositions and Processes to Produce the Same” (U.S. Patent 8,748,361). This invention describes the composition, properties, and synthesis of a new class of polyalpha-olefins, which are a basic building block of synthetic lubricating oils.  These new building blocks are synthesized with a metallocene catalyst.  The performance capabilities of these new building blocks enabled a new product opportunity for ExxonMobil known as SpectraSyn Elite™, which creates the flexibility to develop finished lubricants with many improved properties.

Honeywell and inventors John V. Facinelli, Timothy J. Kraft, and Robbyn L. Prange received a patent award in the materials technology category for “Methods For Preparing Polyamide Compositions” (U.S. Patent 8,722,844 B1), an invention improving the manufacturing process of high molecular weight nylon resins using solid state polymerization and a phosphorous-based catalyst. These resins are widely used for a variety of consumer applications, particularly in flexible packaging of meats and cheese. This new technology leads to greater productivity and lower manufacturing costs.

Immunomedics and inventors Serengulam V. Govindan, Ph.D., Sung-Ju Moon, Ph.D., and David M. Goldenberg, Sc.D. received a patent award in the biotechnology category for “Immunoconjugates with an intracellularly-cleavable linkage” (U.S. Patent 7,999,083), an invention that delivers higher amounts of an FDA-approved cancer drug to the tumor by linking the drug to cancer-targeting antibodies with a unique linker that detaches the active drug near the disease sites.  The invention has resulted in the creation of novel antibody-drug conjugates that have produced tumor shrinkage and tumor control in patients with a broad spectrum of difficult-to-treat solid cancers.

Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., and inventors Christopher Savile (Codexis), Emily Mundorff (Codexis), Jeffrey C. Moore, Paul N. Devine, and Jacob M. Janey received a patent award in the pharmaceutical process category for “Transaminase Biocatalysts” (U.S. Patent 8,293,507 B2), a technological breakthrough that transforms the nt production of the diabetes drug Januvia® into a more efficient and sustainable manufacturing process. It also leads to a significantly greener synthesis with reduced consumption of organic solvents and removes the need for heavy metals.  The new synthesis has been approved by the FDA for the manufacture of sitagliptin, the active ingredient of Januvia®. This was a joint effort between Merck and Codexis.

New Jersey Institute of Technology and inventors Somenath Mitra and Zafar Iqbal received a patent award in the enabling technology category for “Microwave Induced Functionalization of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes” (U.S Patent 7,754,054). This invention describes the use of microwave heating in a closed vessel over to create rapid, environmentally friendly functionalization of carbon nanotubes. With this invention, functionalizing reaction times significantly drop from days to minutes, and the use of toxic solvents is eliminated.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation  and inventors Tomoyuki Oomura, Madhusudhan Pudipeddi, Colleen Ruegger, Alan E. Royce, Masaki Sasaki and Tamura Tokuhiro received a patent award in the pharmaceutical formulation category for “Solid pharmaceutical compositions comprising a SIP receptor agonist and a sugar alcohol” (U.S. Patent 8,324,283). The invention relates to the discovery, development and commercial manufacture of the formulation of fingolimod drug substance into Gilenya capsules for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Fingolimod, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) targeted for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) exhibited poor stability when combined with typical pharmaceutical excipients and it also had a low sub-milligram therapeutic dose making achievement of dosing accuracy a major challenge.  Through a combination of advanced statistical techniques, including design of experiments, state of the art analytics and pharmaceutical processing techniques, a unique formulation containing a sugar alcohol allowed the development of a capsule dosage form with acceptable stability and dose accuracy.

Siemens Corporate Technology and inventors Thomas Gruenewald, Georg Muenzel, and George Lo., Ph.D.. were recognized with a patent award in the energy category for “Integrated Demand Response for Energy Utilization” (U.S Patent 8,676,394). The invention describes methods and devices for efficient holistic management of energy resources and demands within large-scale facilities such as office buildings and industrial plants, and the ability to efficiently implement a specific energy load reduction request.

TE Connectivity SubCom and inventors Maurice E. Kordahi and Steven Bernstein received a patent award in the communication technology category for “Fiber Retaining System” (U.S. Patent 6,438,300), a mechanical device that is capable of terminating multiple optical fibers in an undersea fiber-optic cable without an increase in attenuation caused by stresses on the fiber. This product has successfully been used in undersea repeaters and cable-to-cable joints connecting over 350,000 km of undersea telecommunications cable that transmits massive amounts of data around the world.

U.S. Army ARDEC and inventors Jesse J. Sabatini, Ph.D., Jay C. Poret, Ph.D., and Russell N. Broad were recognized with a patent award in the defense category for “Green Light Emitting Pyrotechnic Compositions” (U.S Patent 8,282,749). The invention uses boron carbide compositions to produce safe, easy to use and low cost green light. Traditionally, the Army and other US military branches, along with the civilian fireworks sector, used barium compounds and chlorinated organic compounds that are occupation health hazards and produce cardiotoxic products. This technology can be tuned to produce different light outputs and different burning rates depending on the fuel/oxidizer ratio and packaged illuminant configuration.