Public Release: 

Patently readable

Professor guides inventors with new book

University of Akron

Akron, Ohio, Nov. 15, 2012 -- Many inventors find the patenting process puzzling and problematic. Dr. Joseph P. Kennedy, distinguished professor of polymer science and chemistry at The University of Akron and a prolific inventor with more than 100 issued U.S. patents, wants to make the solutions to those problems patently obvious in his latest textbook, "How to Invent and Protect Your Invention: A Guide to Patents for Scientists and Engineers," available at Amazon.

The book, co-authored by Wayne H. Watkins, associate vice president for research at UA, with contributions from Elyse N. Ball, project manager for the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF), is the subject of the special-topics graduate-level course Kennedy will teach in the spring, "How to Invent and Protect Your Invention." According to the book's back cover, the book provides a "clear, jargon-free and comprehensive overview of the patenting process tailored specifically to the needs of scientists and engineers, including:

  • requirements for a patentable invention,
  • how to invent,
  • new laws created by the 2011 America Invents Act,
  • the process of applying for and obtaining a patent in the U.S. and in foreign countries, and
  • commercializing inventions and the importance of innovation."

Based on more than 25 years of lecture notes and the personal experiences of its authors, the book intends to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that UA inspires in its students and faculty. Dr. Kennedy, whose research has generated billions of dollars in revenue and benefitted millions of lives through its industrial, household and medical applications, personifies the university's dedication to the development of research that drives the economy and benefits humankind.

"My research philosophy became to combine basic research with useful research," says Kennedy. "What we need to do is to discover what is needed by mankind, what is needed by the marketplace, and let the market pull our discoveries into the marketplace."

Yet, many inventors are unable to make such important societal contributions because they do not know how to protect and commercialize their inventions. Kennedy, Watkins and Ball seek to ensure that the painstaking research of chemists, physicists, biologists, polymer scientists, engineers and students is protected and directed toward real-world problems and societal needs.


About The University of Akron

The University of Akron offers more than 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate and law degree programs - with accreditations by 35 professional agencies. With nearly 30,000 students and $65 million in research expenditures, UA is among the nation's strongest public universities focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in community and economic growth. Programs are targeted to diverse groups of learners, including full-time, part-time and on-line students, veterans, and adults returning to the classroom. The distinctive Akron Experience enhances post-graduate success through internships and co-ops, academic research (both undergraduate and graduate), study abroad, on-campus student employment, and service projects.

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