Patent Affairs at Nottingham

Peter Mansfield

in The Long Road to Stockholm

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199664542
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758461 | DOI:
Patent Affairs at Nottingham

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Technicare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, was one of a few companies that had taken a royalty agreement with NRDC. Several Technicare MRI machines were made and sold. But after a five year period Technicare decided that there was not enough demand to justify them staying in business. So they pulled out completely. But having sold a few machines, NRDC believed that royalties were due. Technicare offered royalty payment in kind. This turned out to be an old console and a few bits and pieces including a patient coil system. This was shipped to England and disposed of to a research group in Oxford. He was not happy about this and asked what was the monetary value of the equipment. A sum was produced and split according to the Revenue Sharing Agreement. The inventor’s share was quite small, but the whole process of Royalty payments was established. From his view point that was just as well, because shortly after this General Electric paid a lump sum royalty on machines that they had already built plus an advance on future machines. This was the initiative trigger for other smaller companies to pay up. Following this, they filed a patent on active magnetic screening. This was an immediate success. However a G.E. scientist, Peter Roemer gave a paper on the very topic, claiming he had invented active magnetic screening. This led to a legal hearing in the European Patent Courts, after lengthy hearings from both sides, the court found in their favour. On another occasion, he together with Ruth Sutherland and Norman Davis, were summoned to appear before a Washington Court to defend their basic imaging Patent, brought by one of the American companies. On this they were favourabley acquitted. Since he seemed to be doing the lions share of both inventing and defending the patents, he put it to the Vice Chancellor, Basil Weedon, that the University did nothing to deserve a substantial slice of the Royalties. After several meetings and much discussion they finally agreed to split royalties equally between the University and the inventors.

Keywords: Technicare; royalties; General Electric; University of Nottingham

Chapter.  3167 words. 

Subjects: Physics

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