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Office of Patent Management records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-03-040

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Office of Patent Management spans the years 1950 to 1995, with the bulk of materials dating from 1955 to 1995. Types of records include general patent information, correspondence, Committee on Governmental Relations (COGR) files, invention disclosure records, patent applications, office files, project files and licensing records. The record group is divided into four series: (1) General Information, 1966-1984; (2) Invention Files, 1950-1986 ; (3) General Office Files; and (4) Federal Demonstration Project Files.


  • Creation: 1950-1995


Conditions Governing Access

Administrative records in this record group are restricted for twenty-five years from their date of creation. Personnel records and records of a legal nature are also restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.


The Office of Patent Management was founded on November 16, 1973, reporting to the vice president for business management. The objective of this office is to assist researchers in the complex process of transferring technology from the laboratory to use by society. The office brings in sufficient patent revenues to support all of the costs related to the prosecution of patents, and provides additional financial support to inventors and to the University.

Before the Office of Patent Management was established, patent management duties were handled by the Patents Coordinating and Advisory Committee (PCAC), reporting to the provost, although there were other organizational units in charge of various aspects of patent management, such as the Office of Sponsored Research Administration (OSRA), the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Institute for Cooperative Research (ICR). ICR handled patent management during the 1950s and 1960s, while the OSRA provided administrative and clerical services for the PCAC. The Applied Physics Laboratory oversees patent management services for the Laboratory itself.

Once the Office of Patent Management became operational in 1973, the University Patent Committee was established under the direction of the Provost. This committee is responsible for policy recommendations as well as providing technical advice to the Office of Patent Management and the inventors for the consideration of patentable inventions. To assist in this advisory capacity, the committee has the authority to appoint ad hoc peer evaluation committees to assist in specialized areas of technology. The Patent Management Officer serves as an ex officio member of the University Patent Committee.

The Office of Patent Management has full authority to prosecute patents for the University. It also provides a range of alternatives to the inventor through which inventions can be patented and licensed. Services include counseling the researcher/inventor regarding patentable inventions, assistance in evaluation of inventions, preparation and prosecution of disclosure documents, preparation of appeals and appeal briefs, participation in interference proceedings, negotiation and preparation of license and confidentiality agreements, establishment and administration of royalty payments, selection and utilization of patent counsel appropriate to the areas of art, and such other activities that will contribute to an environment that encourage recognition and prosecution of patentable inventions.

Edwin T. Yates was named director of the Office of Patent Management in 1973, and he remained in that position until he retired in 1995. The Office of Patent Management presently reports to the Vice Provost for Research. Prior to 1973, there were several PCAC committee members in charge of patents, including Alfred P. Ashton, Benjamin G. Willis, E. Maxwell Sauerwein, Robert B. Pond, and Walter G. Finch. Edwin Yates was suceeded by Nina Siegler, who has been Acting Director since January of 1998, originally joining the office in 1996 as a consultant. The Office was renamed the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) in January of 1996.


33.75 Cubic Feet (27 record center cartons)

Language of Materials



These records were transferred by Edwin T. Yates, Patent Management Officer, after storage in the Homewood Garage.

Accession Number

90.18, 96.16, 97.12

Office of Patent Management records
Jingqian Jiang, Edward Milligan, Evan Yost.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA