USPTO Awards 2015 Patents For Humanity Winners

In a ceremony held at the White House,  the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)  awarded the winners of its Patents For Humanity program for using game-changing technology to help people in less developed parts of the world. The Patents for Humanity program was launched by the USPTO in February 2012 as part of an Obama administration initiative promoting innovations that strive to solve long-standing development challenges.

The 2015 Patents for Humanity awards ceremony recognized seven recipients in five categories, which included Medicine, Sanitation, Energy, Nutrition and Living Standards. The USPTO also made three honorable mentions, entries that did not win but made significant contributions to the betterment of humanity. The winners and honorable mentions were selected from the 2014 application period. Read more about the winners after the break!

Winners – Medicine

  • Sanofi, for supplying large quantities of anti-malarial compounds on an at-cost basis for use in developing countries.
  • Novartis AG, for identifying new drug compounds for potentially treating drug-resistant tuberculosis and providing them to the non-profit TB Alliance for further development.


Winners – Sanitation

  • American Standard, for developing the “SaTo” safe toilet latrine pans and distributing 700.000 units to communities in Africa and Southeast Asia.


Winners – Energy

  • Sunpower Corp., for developing rechargeable lanterns as a safer alternative to kerosene lamps and providing them in Philippine villages, via shipping containers converted into portable, solar-powered energy stations.


Winners – Nutrition

  • Nutriset, for fighting childhood malnutrition by creating a worldwide network of partners to supply their patented Plumpy’Nut® formula using local ingredients.
  • Golden Rice, for creating vitamin-A enriched strains of rice to prevent thousands of cases of blindness and death each day in people who subsist primarily on rice.


Winners – Living Standards

  • GRIT, for developing an all-terrain wheelchair using readily available bicycle parts for use in India, Guatemala, Haiti, and other locations.


Honorable Mentions

  • Case Western Reserve University, for creating a novel, low-cost, accurate malaria detection device to improve treatment.
  • InBios International, for developing and distributing diagnostic assays for early detection of dengue fever, improving patient outcomes and aiding disease surveillance.
  • FlameStower, for creating a device to convert excess heat energy from cooking stoves into electricity to charge phones and other devices, decreasing the cost of energy access for those living in off-grid regions of the world.

The USPTO announced that the Patents for Humanity winners will also be awarded a certificate which will help them to accelerate certain matters before the USPTO including a patent application, ex parte reexam, or an ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Honorable mentions will receive accelerated examination of one patent application and a featured write-up on the USPTO website.


Here is the link to the USPTO press release and the awards ceremony.




Patent Searches from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Abhishek Tiwari. The Intellogist blog and Intellogist are provided for free by Landon IP, which is a CPA Global company. Landon IP is a major provider of professional services meeting the needs of the IP community, including patent searches; analytics and technology consulting; patent, legal, and technical translations; and information research and retrieval.

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