Applying for and obtaining intellectual property rights is a serious endeavor- it’s ordinarily neither a short nor easy process. Currently, the average time to obtain a U.S. patent is 24.5 months (what the USPTO calls “total pendency”), however, the time can vary greatly. Among all of WHOI’s filed patents, three tie for shortest time to patent, each taking a mere 20 months.
1. “Mechanical tether system for a submersible vehicle” by Robert McCabe, Andrew Bowen, and Matthew Heintz
2. “Systems and methods for tethering underwater vehicles” by Andy Bowen, Louis Whitcomb, Dana Yoerger, and Robert McCabe
3. “Sensor system for environmental impact monitoring” by Paul Fucile, Glenn McDonald, Edward Hobart
Congrats to all of WHOI’s speedy inventors!
Fun Fact: In 2015, Patent # 8,947,977 “Fusing arrangements” finally issued, FORTY-ONE years after being filed in 1974! The patent is for a system of arming a warhead and preventing premature detonation. Because of how long ago it was filed, the patent still enjoys 17 years from grant date. It won’t expire until 2032!