During the interview with Dr. Betageri, I asked key questions that led to his success with his multiple U.S. Patents. He credited most of success to his education as he stated, “when you construct a building, you need a strong foundation, then you build upon it.” This metaphor was a major theme throughout our discussion as he kept referring to the building as experience and that it could be built through education and reading articles. He also mentioned that he did have ideas before he came to WesternU, but it was through the support that the school gave him that would make his ideas into reality. In the interview, I mentioned that I was also an inventor with a provisional patent, but have not had an idea in a while, so I asked him how does one come up with an original idea. His process is that he first must be aware of a problem, then he could only go about solving it if the problem is within his specialty.
My invention is named the Capsule Holder for Safe and Efficient Liquid Medication Extraction in Pharmacy Setting posted on the UCI website. This idea is for a medication called nimodipine which is for the treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhagic stroke, SAH. SAH accounts for 10% of the 800,000 people in the United States that have a stroke per year. Nimodipine has only two forms available in the U.S. as liquid filled capsules and liquid, but the liquid is far more expensive than the capsules. However, since most stroke patients do not have the ability to swallow, drugs are usually given intravenously or through a nasogastric tube. Therefore, capsules must have the liquid extracted from it and placed in an oral syringe. By using the device that I have created, hospitals can save up to $1,800 per patient and prevent possible needle sticks. After creating my device, I met with the UCI Invention Transfer Group and they liked my idea so much that they decided to put a provisional patent on it. This inspired me to make more prototypes and research the patenting process.
Patents are built on the idea from the first article of the U.S. Constitution which states that the U.S. shall protect original ideas made by its citizens. The first step in protecting an idea is to research if there is already a patent on the product which could be done by utilizing patents.google.com. Afterwards, a provisional patent may be a good first route as it is not evaluated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office while holding a filing date for the inventor’s idea. Then the inventor could file for a utility patent which will protect the idea for about 20 years if granted. Once the fees are paid for, the patent grant comes with references to prior patents, the inventor’s name, specification and claims along with a gold seal and red ribbon. Overall, by interviewing Dr. Betageri and explaining the patenting process using my experience as an example, I hope that I will be able to inspire more people to explore their ideas and pursue their patents.
Posted by Leonel Garcia, PharmD Candidate 2018