NASA as patent troll?

NASA wants to use Innography software-as-a-service to correlate patent data with company and litigation information

NASA research results in hundreds of patents ever year in technologies ranging from aeronautical and chemistry to lasers and artificial intelligence.  

In an effort to better protect and garner income from its patent portfolio, the agency said it was looking to buy Patent Analysis Software from Innography.  

Innography offers a software-as-a-service that correlates patent data with company and litigation information to calculate relative patent strength in a specific technology area to support decisions on selecting and ranking patents for licensing or selling to generate income, according to NASA. 

Such patent technology is needed by NASA now that it is looking to move its intellectual property further into the public realm. Certainly picking up additional cash won't hurt the agency either.  

Layer 8 Extra: 10 NASA space technologies that may never see the cosmos 

A year ago NASA took part in the first ever sale of a government patent license through a public auction of intellectual property. NASA teamed with intellectual property firm Ocean Tomo to handle the patent sale which reportedly netted $55 million.   Whether or not NASA will conduct more auctions in the future remains to be seen but experts say such methods  are a good way to get such advanced technology into the mainstream quicker. 

But it's not like NASA has been shy about sharing technology in the past.  NASA's  Innovative Partners Program office lists a number of available technologies as well as success stories from companies who have licensed such research. 

Layer 8 in a box

Check out these other hot stories:

Saturn's never-ending thunderstorm sets solar record

What can be done to ensure online privacy?

Can the mainframe really grow?

Software helps robots make intelligent decisions

Military looking for ways to spin seawater into fuel

Sears forced to destroy spyware-gathered information

NASA's future manned spaceflight forecast: Bleak

Military spends $10M to build Web sites aimed at squelching anti-US messages

NASA teams to build pod-like, high-speed everyday transport system

Has US been unfairly torched over the electronic waste disposal issue?

Deep-space clouds smell like mothballs?

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.