Sunday, April 30, 2017

EPO Awards 2017 - The Jury

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

This year, the jury of the EPO Awards is gender-equal for the very first time! This means that an equal number of men and women selected the finalists and winners of the European patent awards in all the categories, except the popular vote now in process.   

In previous years, such famous inventors as Ernö Rubik (the Hungarian inventor of the Rubik’s cube) and Mandy Haberman (the British inventor of the “Anywayup™” sippy cup) were members of the jury.

Who are the 12 members of the EPO Awards jury this year, and how did they select the finalists and winners?

Below, you will find a video narrated by the President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, which gives a fascinating glimpse of the jurying process. 

For additional information on juror accolades, a hyperlinked list of the twelve 2017 jurors is also included, some of whose names you may recognize from previous years.  Dr. Helen Lee, for example,  who was Winner of the 2016 European Inventor Award in the popular vote category for SAMBA, a portable diagnostic lab developed for the third world; or Mario Moretti Polegato, Chair of the 2017 Jury, who is the inventor of Geox shoes, the Italian “breathable and holey shoes”, also nominated in 2012 for a European Inventor Award in the Lifetime Achievement category.

For everyone else, just click to find out!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lineup for 2017 EPO awards

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The fifteen contenders for a 2017 European patent award, three in each of the five categories of Industry, Research, Non-EPO countries, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Life-time Achievement, are presented in the short EPO video. Hyperlinks to the contenders and the patented inventions are also included below.

Copyright ©  EPOFilm  


Non EPO countries
  • James G. Fujimoto, Eric A. Swanson and Robert Huber (USA, Germany) - EP0883793 (B1) ― 2007-11-14 - Method and apparatus for performing optical measurements using a fiber optic imaging guidewire, catheter or endoscope
  • Waleed Hassanein (USA) - EP1768490 (A2) ― 2007-04-04 - Systems and methods for ex-vivo organ care 
  • Adnane Remmal (Morocco) - EP1879655 (B1) ― 2014-11-26 - Pharmaceutical composition comprising an anti-bacterial agent and an active ingredient selected from carveol, carvacrol, alpha-ionone, beta-ionone, and thymol.  

Small & Medium enterprises
  • Gert-Jan Gruter (The Netherlands)- EP2001859 (B1) ― 2010-05-19 - Use of organic acid esters of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural as a fuel or fuel additive
  • Günter Hufschmid (Germany) - EP2392630 (B1) ― 2015-12-02 - Spray products from polymers (hydrocarbons) in the form of a fibrously matted polymer wool, production as well as their use as an oil binding agent and chemical binding agent, as adsorption products for oils, oil rubbish and other hydrophobic liquids to the cleaning of water, rivers, lakes and seas, sand or earth 
  • Steve Lindsey (United Kingdom) - EP0933500 (B1) ― 2003-08-27 - Rotary piston machine.  

Life-time achievement
  • Elmar Mock (Switzerland) - EP0101663 (B1) ― 1986-10-08 - Method of producing a watch and watch obtained by this method
  • Rino Rappuoli (Italy) - EP0322533 (A1) ― 1989-07-05 - Bordetella pertussis toxin with altered toxicity  
  • Axel Ullrich (Germany) -  EP0121338 (A1) ― 1984-10-10 - Biosynthetically produced human nerve growth factor, process for producing it, compositions containing it, DNA sequence encoding it, vectors containing the sequence and host cells transformed thereby.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

European Patent Awards 2017 - Vote here!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The Jury of the annual European Patent Office Awards has deliberated. The list of the 2017 finalists has been announced. 

You may participate in the European Inventor Awards by casting votes for your favorite invention in the Popular Awards category. Prizes are awarded in a total of six categories, including Industry, Research, Small and Medium Entreprises, Non-European Patent Organization inventor, Lifetime Achievement and the Popular Award.

The winners, one in each category, will receive their prizes on June 15, 2017, in a ceremony to be held this year in Venice (Italy).
You may vote as many times as you like, every day, but just one vote each day. The list of the finalists with videos highlighting their work is included with the ballot. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

An inconvenient sequel

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

10 years ago, former Vice-President Al Gore, delivered the message of climate change to the world in a beautiful documentary and book, both titled An inconvenient Truth. A year later, in 2007, Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in connection with this message. Although the effects of greenhouse gasses on the climate were known well before the publication of this book and release of the documentary, no one had really understood the urgency of the situation or felt compelled to take action.

Thereafter, this much changed on a planetary level. Whether it was Energy Star appliances in the home economics department, idle functions on laptops, solar energy initiatives, the widescale adoption of hybrid cars as a step towards electric ones, or flyknit uppers on sports shoes, everyone both personally and collectively began taking steps to reduce their fossil fuel footprint. On an international level, the largest industrial polluting nations of the Northern hemisphere also began taking responsibility for creating an increased threat of famine and hardship, arising from ever greater climate changes in the Southern hemisphere.

Now, mark July 28, 2017 in your agendas as the release date of An Inconvenient Sequel: From Truth to Power,  a documentary that promises to be at least as game-changing as the first. 

In any event, green might be staying, contrary to what was feared at Patents on the soles of your shoes in the aftermath of the Nov 2016 elections.

AL Gore
IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Nobel Peace Prize 2007
The Climate Reality Project
Green gone grey post November 2016 US elections?