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Dow Chemical Donates Patents to RPI

August 4, 1999

TROY, N.Y. (AP) _ Now this is recycling.

Dow Chemical Co. didn’t need some patents so the company found someone who did. The officials at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were eager to take the $4 million in patents and now are using them to shop for international companies interested in licensing film technology.

The patents are about 4 years old. Company officials said the patents were donated after it was determined they no longer fit the company’s long-range plans.

``Big companies often wind up with lots of patents in areas they are not going to develop. It’s a great opportunity for us,″ said Bruce Nauman, an engineering professor who handles patenting and licensing at the school.

Three of the patents grant the university all U.S. rights to a film technology that protects outdoor plastic products like house siding. The fourth patent gives RPI the U.S. and foreign rights to technology that protects indoor appliances.

With a number of professors who deal in polymers, including plastic recycling, the school is well positioned to take advantage of the patents, said Robert Wintermyer, global intellectual asset manager for Dow.

The patent donation isn’t the first to be made to a school by a company. In February, DuPont Co. donated $64 million worth of technology to the University of Iowa, Penn State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

When corporations make such donations, they are generally granted tax breaks worth one third of the value of the patents.

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