UVA Patent Foundation names Straightiff new director

The UVA Patent Foundation has named Michael Straightiff as its new director. The news comes just days after President Barack Obama signed legislation that targets and reshapes the nation’s patent laws to make the process less burdensome.

Straightiff is currently the director of biomedical engineering commercialization at Case Western Reserve University’s Technology Transfer Office, and was previously a senior licensing associate and consultant for Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. He formerly worked as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“His unique insight on innovation management and translational research will help strengthen the Patent Foundation’s efforts to support the University’s inventive researchers and, increasingly, entrepreneurs as we work to enhance the innovation ecosystem at UVA and in Central Virginia,” said Mark Crowell, executive director and VP for Innovation Partnership and Commercialization, in a news release.

Straightiff’s experience with the Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Partnership at Case could make for a smooth transition. UVA and Case were two of the 10 schools that received a Coulter Foundation award in 2006.

More after the photo.

Michael Straightiff was named the new director of the UVA Patent Foundation. (Photo Courtesy of UVA’s Patent Foundation)

In May, UVA matched a $10 million grant from Coulter to create a $20 million endowment, to enhance innovation in biomedical research.

“I’m eager to join the University of Virginia community and to help advance its business development, licensing and new venture creation activity,” said Straightiff in the release. Straightiff earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering and master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve and a master of public policy from George Mason University.  

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