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FedEx Institute of Technology's Office of Technology Transfer Announces Newly Issued Patents

April 7, 2017 - This has proven to be a strong year for the Office of Technology Transfer, as it announces three patents issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office during January and February. This is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates the efforts by director Dr. Hai Trieu to move forward with obtaining patents for intellectual property. For each patent, the investigators originate from various disciplines, building upon the FedEx Institute of Technology's commitment to grow an interdisciplinary and collaborative research model.

Patent number 9,552,526, "Image Processing Using Cellular Simultaneous Recurrent Network," invented by John Keith Anderson and Dr. Khan M. Iftekharuddin, was issued Jan. 24. Anderson stated, "This invention is a software implementation of a generalized image processor utilizing a cellular simultaneous recurrent network (CSRN). A CSRN is a type of artificial neural network arranged in a cellular matrix, much like parts of the human brain. It is capable of learning (via supervised learning) to perform a wide array of image processing tasks, which include pixel transformation, filtering and geometric transformation. It utilizes sub-image processing to decrease training times and improve functional approximation. It is capable of operating on both binary and gray-scale images. To date, we have demonstrated the processors ability to learn and perform gray scale to binary conversion, low-pass filtering, affine transformation and image registration under rigid-body constraints. While we are a long way from matching our brain's capabilities, it's a small step in the right direction."

Dr. Robert Kozma is principal inventor for patent number 9,557,413, "Surveillance and Tracking System and Method," assisted by Dr. Lan Wang, Dr. Khan M. Iftekharuddin, Ross Deming, Orges Furxhi and Sergi Pacreu. It was issued Jan. 31. "The project targets intelligent technologies that robustly support dynamic coalition formation, adaptation and resource allocation between heterogeneous autonomous vehicles, which have limited communication bandwidth, limited sensing, limited computing resources, and limited power supply," said Kozma. "The developed radar device provides innovative solutions for the identification, localization and tracking of dynamically changing targets in noisy environments."

Patent number 9,566,576, "Novel Metal Complex Catalysts and Uses Thereof," was invented by Dr. Xuan Zhao and Dr. Joel Bumgardner and issued on Feb. 13. Zhao explains, "The patent describes the development of cobalt catalysts for the generation of hydrogen from water. The production of hydrogen from renewable sources such as water and sunlight offers a new approach to generate clean and renewable fuels for the future. The discovery of new catalysts is key to realize clean hydrogen production from light and water. Cobalt complexes coordinated with different types of ligands have been utilized for hydrogen production using light or electricity as a source of energy. This invention describes new type of pentadentate ligands and their metal complexes that can catalyze electro- and photolytic hydrogen production in aqueous solutions. Various types of ligand scaffolds and their metal complexes are described and studied using techniques such as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, cyclic voltammetry and kinetic analysis. The discovery of well-defined catalysts based on Earth-abundant metals for the scalable production of hydrogen can offer other potential applications such as the reduction of carbon dioxide, the oxidation of water, and the functionalization of hydrocarbons."

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is working diligently with outside partners to protect the valuable intellectual property that University of Memphis researchers invent. The OTT is hosting a workshop/luncheon for professors and researchers across the UofM campus to review the intellectual property protection process, discuss the Invention Disclosure form, and gain valuable insight about patent law and the fundamental aspects of intellectual property. This workshop will be held Wednesday, April 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the FedEx Institute of Technology, room 225. The event is free. To attend, RSVP here.

Contact: Mary Ann Dawson