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2 Utah County firms get patents

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This column owes its appearance today to two Utah County companies, without whom there would be no Utah patents to report this week.

A modest two patents were awarded to Utah inventors on Jan. 1, the lowest weekly patent output from Utah inventors in years. This humble patent week follows a record patent year in Utah, in which 917 patents were granted to Utah inventors in 2001, an average of 17.6 patents per week. U.S. patents are granted each Tuesday.

One of the patents went to The Ensign-Bickford Co., an explosives manufacturer in Spanish Fork. The other was awarded to IBC Advanced Technologies Inc., a molecular recognition technology company in American Fork.

Connecticut-based Ensign-Bickford opened a branch in Utah in 1936 and employs approximately 130 people in Spanish Fork, according to the Utah Valley Economic Development Association. The mining and construction industries depend on the company's explosives products. Ensign-Bickford is an industry leader in blast-initiation systems and specialty blasting products.

IBC Advanced Technologies is a specialty chemicals company that develops and commercializes molecular recognition technology products and processes. Molecular recognition is a process by which one chemical species shows a distinct preference for another. IBC provides molecular recognition products to the industrial process, environmental, analytical and life sciences industries.

IBC is privately held and was founded in 1988 by, and named after BYU professors Reed M. Izatt, Jerald S. Bradshaw and the late James J. Christensen. In their honor, IBC sponsors the annual Izatt-Christensen Award in Macrocyclic Chemistry to the top macrocyclic chemist in the world.

The company has received several awards in its field and has produced numerous scholarly publications.

The two patents granted to Utah inventors on Jan. 1 were:

Methods, apparatus and systems for accelerated bioremediation of explosives. Farrell G. Badger, Mapleton; Brendan M. Welch, Farmington, Conn.; Ronald D. Thomas, Woodlands Hills; Lyman G. Bahr, Payson; Dean F. Richards, Pleasant Grove. Assigned to The Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. Filed May 30, 1997, a continuation-in-part of Patent No. 6,120,627, filed Oct. 18, 1996, which is a continuation-in-part of Application No. 08/658,104, filed June 4, 1996, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of Application No. 08/560,074, filed Nov. 17, 1995, now abandoned, Patent No. 6,120,627 also being a continuation-in-part of Application No. 08/687,092, filed June 4, 1996, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of Application No. 08/560,102, filed Nov. 17, 1995, now abandoned. Patent No. 6,334,395.

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