EX-UT teacher sued over in­ven­tion

Strip to soothe mouth burns stolen, busi­ness­man says.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz rhau­r­witz@states­man.com Con­tact Ralph K.M. Haurwitz at 445-3604.

An Austin busi­ness­man is charg­ing in a law­suit that a former Univer­sity of Texas as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor es­sen­tially stole his in­ven­tion of a dis­solv­able strip in­tended to re­lieve mouth burns from hot food and liq­uids.

Robert W. McDon­ald III, who de­scribes him­self as a real es­tate de­vel­oper and en­tre­pre­neur in the civil suit he filed Mon­day in U.S. District Court, says Ja­son T. McConville breached an agree­ment giv­ing all rights, in­clud­ing patents, to McDon­ald and his com­pany, known as 2010 MFI LLC.

The suit seeks un­spec­i­fied mon­e­tary dam­ages, patent rights and an or­der com­pelling McConville to is­sue a press re­lease declar­ing that McDon­ald, not McConville, is the in­ven­tor of the “Dis­solv­able Strip for Treat­ment of Oral Ther­mal Burns.”

McConville, now an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico, did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the suit, McDon­ald funded a se­nior project for a fourstu­dent de­sign team in UT’s De­part­ment of Bio­med­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing in the 2011-12 aca­demic year. McDon­ald’s pro­posal called for the stu­dents to eval­u­ate in­gre­di­ents and de­velop pro­to­types.

“McConville used his po­si­tion as a fac­ulty spon­sor of the project to wrong­fully take from the de­sign team con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion” be­long­ing to McDon­ald and his com­pany, the suit says. McConville sub­se­quently pre­sented the re­search at a con­fer­ence in Oc­to­ber of the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sci­en­tists and iden­ti­fied him­self as the lead re­searcher and in­ven­tor.

A news re­lease is­sued by the as­so­ci­a­tion said the strip, which looks like a breath-fresh­en­ing strip, de­liv­ers a lo­cal anes­thetic, ben­zo­caine, and a ther­a­peu­tic poly­mer.

Lance Hansen, a stu­dent on the project, told the Amer­i­can-States­man, “We cre­ated a pro­to­type for the strip, nowhere near pro­duc­tion-ready.”

The suit does not name UT as a de­fen­dant, and Patti Oh­len­dorf, the univer­sity’s vice pres­i­dent for le­gal af­fairs, said in a state­ment that it wouldn’t be ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on the case now.

“How­ever,” Oh­len­dorf said, “the univer­sity does pro­vide train­ing ev­ery year to new fac­ulty and ad­min­is­tra­tors on a num­ber of is­sues re­lated to re­search and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer. We also send all fac­ulty a list of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as it re­lates to the proper con­duct of re­search.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.