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2001 a record year for inventors

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The final numbers for patents granted in 2001 are in. On Dec. 25, 2001, the last patent-issuance date of 2001, nine new patents were granted to Utah inventors. Patents are granted each Tuesday.

A look back at Utah's patent history reveals 2001 to be another record patent year for the state's inventors.

The number of patents granted to Utahns has been climbing steadily each year since the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Utahns were typically granted about 200 patents annually. Since 1986, a year in which Utahns garnered a respectable 256 patents, Utahns' annual increase in patent numbers has been dramatic, with increases reaching as high as 35 percent in some years.

Some 917 patents were granted to Utah inventors in 2001, compared with 875 patents in 2000, 870 in 1999 and 849 in 1998, the previous record patent years for Utahns. Until 1999, annual increases in patents granted to Utahns had been in the neighborhood of 12 percent to 13 percent. Utahns' increase in patents for the year 2001 was only 4.8 percent, but that is up from a 0.6 percent increase in 2000.

When I reported the negligible 0.6 percent increase in Utah patents last year, I speculated that the patent plateau may be a temporary bench leading to additional increases in patent numbers in coming years. The 4.8 percent patent increase in 2001 comes as fulfillment of that speculation. It seems forgivable for me to toot my own horn there, since it is accompanied by good news. Patent increases often have corresponded with economic prosperity.

The nine patents granted to Utah inventors Dec. 25 were:

Method for disposing a brake for motorcycles having foot boards. Brant Monson, Provo. Filed Sept. 29, 2000, a continuation of Patent No. 6,178,613, filed Dec. 24, 1999, which was a continuation of Application No. 08/988,945, filed Dec. 11, 1997, now abandoned, which was a continuation-in-part of Patent No. 5,826,463, filed Dec. 11, 1996. Patent No. 6,332,258.

Air bag inflation gas generation via a dissociating material and the moderation thereof. Karl K. Rink, Liberty, Weber County; Walter A. Moore, Parker, Colo.; David J. Green, Brigham City; Ivan V. Mendenhall, Providence, Cache County. Assigned to Autoliv ASP Inc., Ogden. Filed Feb. 2, 2000, a continuation-in-part of Patent No. 6,289,814, filed July 10, 1998, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of Application No. 09/027,020, filed Feb. 20, 1998. Patent No. 6,332,404.

Peel back and resealable extended text label with detachment segment. Dana S. Kirk, Kearns. Assigned to Impaxx Inc., Schaumburg, Ill. Filed Oct. 6, 2000, claiming priority to provisional Application No. 60/177,808, filed Jan. 25, 2000, and is a continuing application claiming priority to Application No. 09/539,156, filed March 30, 2000. Patent No. 6,332,631.

Housing for a communications card. David Oliphant, Salt Lake City; Brent Madsen, Providence, Cache County. Filed June 2, 2000. Patent No. 6,332,784.

Coupling and stabilization system for proximal end of catheter. Kenneth A. Eliasen, Queensbury, N.Y.; Kelly B. Powers, North Salt Lake; Daniel T. Schlehuber, Sandy. Assigned to C.R. Bard Inc., Murray Hill, N.J. Filed Aug. 28, 1998, a continuation-in-part of Design Patent No. D408,530, filed April 20, 1999. Patent No. 6,332,874.

Orthopaedic hip implant with proximal collar. Barry Hubbard, Sandy; Timothy McTighe, Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Jerry Kee, Park City; Paul Mraz, Cleveland, Ohio. Assigned to Ortho Development Corp., Draper. Filed Nov. 12, 1998, a continuation-in-part of Application No. 09/037,643, filed March 10, 1998, now abandoned, which was a continuation of Patent No. 5,725,594, filed Feb. 12, 1996, which was a continuation of Application No. 08/274,956, filed July 14, 1994, now abandoned. Patent No. 6,332,896.

Chromosome 17p-linked prostate cancer susceptibility gene and a paralog and orthologous genes. Sean V. Tavtigian and David H. F. Teng, both of Salt Lake City; Jacques Simard, St. Augustin de DesMaures, Calif.; Johanna M. Rommens, Toronto, Calif. Assigned to Myriad Genetics Inc., Salt Lake City, and to The Hospital for Sick Children, California. Filed May 5, 2000, a continuation-in-part of Application No. 09/434,382, filed Nov. 5, 1999. Patent No. 6,333,403.

Emi shield with connector cover extension. David Oliphant, Salt Lake City; Brent Madsen, Providence, Cache County; Michael Cochrane, San Jose, Calif. Assigned to 3Com Corp., Santa Clara, Calif. Filed March 20, 2000. Patent No. 6,333,860.

Contouring sanding system. Rick B. Stanzione, Ogden. Filed March 5, 1999, a reissue of Patent No. 5,651,728, filed June 14, 1996. Reissue Patent No. RE37,486.

Karl R. Cannon is a partner in the law firm of Clayton, Howarth & Cannon, P.C., specialists in patent, trademark and copyright law. He may be contacted at 801-255-5335 or by e-mail at kcannon@chcpat.com. Copies of patents are available by mail for $3 each from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Box 9 (Copy Sales), Washington, DC 20231; by credit card via telephone 703-308-9726 or toll free 800-972-6382; facsimile 703-305-8759; or e-mail ptcs@uspto.gov. Patents can also be viewed and printed free of charge from several Internet sites, including www.uspto.gov or www.delphion.com