An increase in new patents recently confirmed by the University of Puerto Rico reflects the advances necessary to strengthen the academic prestige of the university and above all to generate its income to facilitate the revitalization of the island's leading higher education institution.
Universities are major sources of knowledge generation that contributes to the social development and progress of citizens. Therefore, renewed efforts by the UPR focused on the creation of new patents, is of great importance.
The UPR reported that 26 new patents were recently approved, bringing the number to 98, resulting from research and work in the institution. Before this, the UPR only had 72 patents, but today it is working hard to advance in this line and has achieved good results in the short term. The goal is to reach 140 patents by the end of this year.
This projection is based on the fact that the UPR has already submitted the documentation of 50 inventions before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and another 12 are before the initial consideration of the Intellectual Property and Marketing Office, which works in coordination with the university Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation. Such progress is remarkable because, unlike many universities in the United States and other countries, resources in these UPR offices are limited.
Research carried out with high academic rigor represents an asset for each university, as well as for the staff responsible for developing new products or services. In past centuries and now, inventions or developments resulting from academic research contributed to the prestige of universities such as Oxford, with penicillin; Minnesota, with the production of the first pacemaker, and more recently the New York University, which patented the bar code, or Stanford, which holds the original Google patent.
The formulas and legal stipulations that determine the creation of new products and services in the market contribute to economic development and improve the quality of life while involving income from royalties on sales of products and services for the universities that created such products.
When universities stand out for the creation of new knowledge translating into practical and beneficial solutions, each institution, in addition to prestige, achieves greater support from the government and private sector in terms of funds or financing for new research or studies, leading universities to also incorporate better professors, increase specialized resources and their graduates have more potential for well-paid hiring.
According to the UPR Law Review, the procedure to obtain patents is a complex one and involves the availability of licensing experts and key legal support. Each case can take atleast six months or a year, so it requires good follow-up and big efforts. In the United States, university offices in charge of these matters have personnel who, once the permits are obtained, ensure compliance with patent payments to ensure consistent income for the institutions, among other resources.
For this reason, it will be convenient to examine that as part of the changes contemplated in the UPR, current efficient models on technology transfer in other universities can be replicated or adjusted.
Dynamism aimed at maximizing the development of intellectual property to obtain commercialization benefits such as patents and maintaining research in diverse fields such as biotechnology, agriculture, and engineering, among others, will be central as part of the UPR revitalization process.
This momentum should be replicated at all levels of the university to strengthen its sound administration and transparency. Advancing these objectives in an institution that is a reservoir of brilliant and innovative minds will enable the University to strengthen its role as an innovative institution in the new century.