Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fun Fact: Website Encourages Clever Ideas for Untapped Patents

Are you an inventive person? Do you like to find new uses for existing technology? If so, there is a new website that will be fully functional soon, Marbler.com, that encourages people to post ideas on how to use dormant or unused patents. The people with the best ideas will receive a cash reward of up to £10,000 for those ideas.

As an initial test, the website posted a technique patented by the University of South Hampton in the UK which allows DNA nucleotides to be linked together without using an enzyme. Several days later there was a suggestion that the patent could be used as a new technique to screen potential DNA-based therapies. This was an idea that the original patent inventor never thought of and that could turn into a new use for the patent.

There are other notable websites that use this new crowdsourcing technique to tap into ideas from the world wide community. A site that is similar, Innocentive.com, is where companies present problems that need to be solved, while sites like yet2.com and ibridgenetwork.com try to find people who want to license technology from university or corporate research.

Read more about this new website at the New Scientist.

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