UNSW researchers top vision IP list

Sydney, Australia, 3 June 2015: Brien Holden Vision Institute and Vision CRC Ltd at the University of New South Wales have been the leading intellectual property generators in vision related technologies over the last decade in Australia, according to a report released by IP Australia. The Brien Holden Vision Institute’s Chief Technologist, Professor Arthur Ho, was named among the top five inventors in the medical devices field.

The IP Australia report identified registered medical device patents (2001 to 2012) in Australia. Brien Holden Vision Institute, Vision CRC and Brien Holden Vision Pty Ltd (previously Adventus Australia Pty Ltd) registered a total of 33 patents for technologies such as contact lenses, spectacles, optical imaging devices and instruments for eye surgery.

“Our success in intellectual property development has enabled us to grow and take on bigger challenges facing the field of vision and blindness prevention,” said Professor Brien Holden, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute, and Vision CRC. “We are fortunate to have a group of excellent scientists and top engineers who have been the backbone of our intellectual property output for decades.

“Among the recent designs we have patented are contact lenses and spectacle lenses to control myopia and correct presbyopia and a number of clinical trials studying these technologies are underway. We are licensing and commercialising new designs that provide excellent vision to millions affected worldwide and also help prevent millions of people losing their vision due to conditions such as high myopia.”

In addition to registered patents, the group has been involved in the development of successful commercial contact lens products, through collaborations with leading manufacturers. These include the most popular soft contact lens material used in the world today, the leading soft toric lenses for astigmatism and the leading multifocal contact lens in the U.S.

“The royalties we have received from these products of $300 million over the last 20 years of the CRC program have helped build and sustain our global research, education, public health and commercialisation operations,” said Professor Holden.

Institute IP Manager, Assoc. Prof. Padmaja Sankaridurg, said, “While the number of patents registered by the group is gratifying, the number of organisations filing patents in the medical devices area in Australia is disappointing. The report indicates that the field has been dominated by only a few corporations specialising in particular technologies. Australia could be doing better in innovation in this area.

“The pathway to commercialisation is not easy and registering and protecting intellectual property is very expensive but is a critical step for achieving success in the commercial arena. What is needed is appropriate incentives and support systems for businesses and innovators to enable adequate protection of inventions, including filing patents and commercialising ideas.”

The IP Australia report is available at: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/sites/g/files/net856/f/australian_medical_devices_patent_analytics_report_2014.pdf



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