Patent for Breakthrough Brain Treatment Wins 2012 Edison Patent Award

US Patent 8,088,091 "No Clog Shunt Using a Compact Fluid Drag Path", which was drafted and prosecuted by the patent firm Gearhart Law, was granted on January 3, 2012 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to NJIT researchers Professor Reginald Farrow and Professor Gordon Thomas. Carl Georgeson, also at NJIT, managed the transfer of information between the professors and Gearhart Law and worked with Gearhart Law to facilitate the patent process. The researchers won a prestigious Edison Patent Award for the patent.

The Edison Awards are named after the most prolific American inventor of all time, Thomas Alva Edison. He obtained 1,093 US patents throughout his lifetime, and improved and modernized American life with his inventions. Among his most famous inventions are the light bulb and the phonograph. The Edison Awards recognize and reward innovators who, similar to Edison, improve lives with their innovations.

The patent that received the Edison Patent Award was for an improved method of removing excess fluid from the brain. Current technology uses shunts; unfortunately, shunts have a finite lifetime because they rely on holes that get clogged with body matter over time. US Patent 8,088,091 details innovative improvements in shunt technology that will aid patients who rely on shunts. The new technique reduces the need and frequency of invasive procedures by reducing clogging of the shunt and thereby increasing its lifetime. Most drainage systems have also relied on filters outside the brain but inside the skull. The new technology described in the patent uses an extracranial filter as opposed to older methods which used intracranial filters, meaning the physician no longer has to invade the skull to change the filter. The filter resides under a thin layer of skin which is easily opened when the filter needs replacement. Monitoring the flow of brain fluid is a crucial part of the process, and has been made less invasive in this new technology by using wireless methods to monitor flow and pressure of the brain fluid.

Gearhart Law was honored to work with NJIT and their researchers, who are on the cutting edge of developing new technologies to improve peoples’ lives.

Gearhart Law is an Intellectual Property (IP) firm located in Summit, New Jersey. Our team of professionals specializes in drafting and prosecuting patents, trademark filings and prosecution, drafting and reviewing licenses and agreements, conducting due diligence for both investors and entrepreneurs, drafting legal opinions, patent enforcement, and other legal matters related to IP. We file domestically and internationally, and have attorneys who speak multiple languages.

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