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ODU Hires In-House Patent Agent

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

For Old Dominion University faculty looking to file patents, the process can be overwhelming and often expensive.

In the past, the University's Innovations Commercializations area, in the Office of Research, has had to file for patents using an outside law firm. That could create long waits and extra filing costs for both the University and the researcher. But now researchers can turn to the University's in-house patent agent, the newly hired David Einfeldt.

Not all universities hire an in-house patent agent, but it's "something universities do when they're serious about patents and licensing" for their faculty, said Khaled Abul-Hassan, director of Patents and Licensing in the Office of Research. Hiring someone to file in-house will cut costs to faculty by as much as 50 percent, he said.

Einfeldt received his juris doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a certification in intellectual property law in 2011, and is licensed to practice law in Utah and North Carolina. Most importantly to ODU, he is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office and worked as a patent examiner at the Patent Office, and in two IP firms until joining ODU.

The hire also ensures compliance with the federal government's Bayh-Dole Act, which sets the standards for federal patents and licensing. It has undergone significant changes in the past year, meaning that someone with expertise on the subject was necessary to keep the University in compliance with the federal rules.

"Reporting duties have changed, and they've raised the bar on requirements for reporting, so then (the University is) dealing with increased requirements for reporting," Abul-Hassan said. "That, along with the fact that research is expanding at ODU, means that there are increased demands for patent filings and reporting for Bayh-Dole."

For more information on patents and the University, contact the Office of Research.

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