NRL-SSC Scientists Receive Awards for Inventions and Patents


10/26/2012 09:30 EDT - 139-12r
Contact: Donna McKinney, (202) 767-2541


Four Naval Research Laboratory principal investigators received inaugural Powering Economic Achievement, Regionally and Locally (PEARL) Awards in August. The awards were presented to NRL employees at Stennis Space Center who have excelled at documenting their intellectual property discoveries and achievements.

Dr. Brian Bourgeois receives the PEARL award for most invention disclosures from Dr. Herb Eppert. Dr. Brian Bourgeois, a research engineer who heads the Network Enabled Meteorology and Oceanography Section, receives the PEARL award for most invention disclosures from Marine Geosciences Division Superintendent Dr. Herb Eppert. (Not pictured Mr. John Dubberley and Dr. John Sample.) (Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Mr. John Dubberley, a computer scientist in the Geospatial Human-Computer Interaction Section, and Dr. Brian Bourgeois, a research engineer who heads the Network Enabled Meteorology and Oceanography Section, tied for the PEARL award for most invention disclosures. An invention disclosure is a form that helps the NRL-SSC patent attorney determine if she should seek patent protection for the described invention or intellectual property (IP).

Dr. Cheryl Ann Blain, an oceanographer in the Nearshore and Coupled Model Systems Section, received the PEARL Award for most patent applications. If an invention disclosure reveals a patent application is warranted, the attorney and inventor file an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once a patent application is filed, inventors may wait two years or more before receiving an issued patent or denial.

Dr. John Sample, a computer scientist who heads the Geospatial Computing Section, received the PEARL Award for the most patents issued. Sample's issued patents include Patent No. US 7,791,616 B2, a method for efficiently transforming a raster image from one map projection to another map projection. The method is frequently used in GIS-based mapping applications.

The NRL-SSC Office of Legal Counsel with the NRL Technology Transfer Office in Washington, D.C., hosted and sponsored the awards.

"In the past two years, patent applications have doubled at NRL-SSC," said Kathleen Chapman, the NRL-SSC patent attorney.

Dr. Cheryl Ann Blain receives the PEARL Award for most patent applications from Dr. Ruth Preller. Dr. Cheryl Ann Blain, an oceanographer in the Nearshore and Coupled Model Systems Section, receives the PEARL Award for most patent applications from Oceanography Division Superintendent Dr. Ruth Preller. (Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Cameron Childs, a licensing associate with the NRL Technology Transfer Office, attended the ceremony to discuss the technology transfer process-from patent to commercially viable product resulting in royalties to the inventor-and the overall importance of transferring technology to the public.

"Technology Transfer facilitates the implementation of NRL's innovative technologies in products and services to benefit the public, Navy, or other government agency," said Cameron Childs, an NRL licensing associate. "It can provide that missing link for an industrial process or it can help transition a technology to the end user, whether that be warfighter in the field or another mission critical position."

Private companies or universities interested in cooperating on research and development projects or licensing NRL patents should visit the NRL Technology Transfer Office for more information.



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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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