USPTO announces 2020 Patents for Humanity winners

by John Roberts on August 26, 2020

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USPTO announces 2020 Patents for Humanity winners

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the latest winners of the Patents for Humanity program, a USPTO initiative promoting game-changing innovations that address long-standing development challenges.

“Throughout history, inventors and entrepreneurs have harnessed the power of innovation to help the less fortunate around the globe,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “I am truly honored to recognize these innovators from across the United States, whose creativity and curiosity dared them to solve some of the toughest humanitarian challenges, and I hope this program will inspire countless more to follow in their footsteps.”

This year’s virtual award ceremony is scheduled for September 17. Scheduled speakers include U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Representative Martha Roby as well as Director Iancu.

The USPTO congratulates the 2020 Patents for Humanity winners and honorable mentions, and celebrates the contributions these American innovators have put forth to improve the human condition.

2020 Patents for Humanity winners:

  • Global Vision 2020 (Maryland), for developing the USee Vision Kit, used to provide prescription eyeglasses cost-effectively to hundreds of people, particularly in remote parts of the world, who normally do not have access to vision care.
  • Sisu Global (Maryland), for creating the Hemafuse, a highly effective, mechanical alternative to transfusing donor blood. With a simple push and pull of a handle, the Hemafuse can salvage, filter, and recycle blood from an internal bleeding in trauma, without the use of electricity.
  • Sanaria Inc. (Maryland), for developing a whole parasite vaccine for malaria.
  • Flexcrevator (North Carolina), for creating a machine that enables fast, safe, and hygienic fecal sludge removal, surpassing manual emptying.
  • NEWgenerator (Florida), for utilizing state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor technology to create a machine capable of the simultaneous recovery of nutrients, energy, and water from wastewater.
  • Nonspec (Massachusetts), for providing affordable and highly adjustable prosthetic limb systems to amputees that can be taken off the shelf and adjusted in under an hour to those in need.

2020 Patents for Humanity honorable mentions:

  • Rubitection (Pennsylvania), for creating a medical device that detects early stage bed sores, thereby improving the quality of patients’ care and lives.
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California), for creating the Warming Indicator, a low-cost, convenient, re-usable, and non-electric infant warmer that maintains a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (the average human core temperature) for approximately six hours when a parent is not available for skin-to-skin care.

Patents for Humanity is a global competition open to any patent owners, patent applicants, or patent licensees. Submissions are evaluated on the effectiveness of their technology to address humanitarian issues, the contributions made by applicants to increase use of their technology among the impoverished, and the impact those contributions have made to improve lives.

For more information about the program, visit the Patents for Humanity page on the USPTO website.

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