Miller School of Medicine >> UM Innovation >> Intellectual Property Strategy and Licensing >> For UM Community
What is Intellectual Property Strategy and Licensing?
Mission Statement
  • To maximize the value of intellectual property developed at the University of Miami by identifying, protecting and commercializing discoveries and inventions to save lives, improve the quality of life and to benefit the public in compliance with the Bayh Dole Act.
  • To generate revenue for the University of Miami to support education, research, and the charitable mission of the University.
  • To foster economic development of the local community. 
The Office of Intellectual Property Strategy and Licensing Is Here To:
  • Ensure that the University is in compliance with federal regulations related to intellectual property governed by the Bayh Dole Act.
  • Evaluate and market new discoveries for commercialization potential.
  • Prepare, file, prosecute and maintain patent applications and register trademarks and copyrights.
  • Negotiate material transfer, confidentiality, consulting, fee for service, corporate sponsored research, inter-institutional, option and license agreements.
  • Conduct workshops and seminars relating to the Intellectual Property Strategy and Licensing process.
  • Consult with sponsored research and clinical trial personnel on intellectual property aspects of clinical research contracts.
  • Facilitate collaboration between University of Miami researchers.
  • Facilitate the development of startup companies based on UM technologies.
Success Story

Like most pathologists, the Chief of Pathology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine worked his whole career with a system that was basically unchanged throughout the 20th century. Surgeons would deposit tissue samples into a preservative solution then technicians would put it through a chemical dehydration and wax impregnation process that took 12 hours and irreversibly destroyed any hope for molecular analysis. Azorides Morales, M.D., and a couple of colleagues wondered whether there might be a better and faster way to process tissue samples, knowing that it could revolutionize pathology. They found one.

In 1997, Dr. Morales began refining a new technique with some old colleagues, Ervin Essenfeld, M.D., and his son Harold Essenfeld, M.D., pathologists in Caracas, Venezuela.

They found a more efficient way to use an existing technology to expedite the processing of tissue. That technology was microwaves.

The system is a Rapid Tissue Processing instrument (RTP), and Jackson Memorial UM Hospital and UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center were the first institutions in the world to offer it – the only hospitals where nearly all surgery patients could find out their tissue pathology results in a little more than an hour.

Not only do patients have their results much faster, but physicians can begin treatment even sooner. In addition, the mild novel reagents preserve RNA and allow for molecular profiling of patients. RTP uses a specially-designed microwave that allows for uniform heating of tissue within an automated system that does not dry out or damage the tissue.
Now, the fully automated RTP system, reagents and accessories are for sale for the first time to hospitals around the world by Sakura Finetek USA, Inc. under the name Tissue-Tek® Xpress™ Rapid Tissue Processor.

The University of Miami also holds multiple U.S. and foreign patents on this method of microwave processing of tissue, the RTP instrument, and the reagents used.

The patents have been exclusively licensed to Sakura which is manufacturing and selling the instrument, reagents and accessories to other pathology departments. Sakura is the world market leader and technology leader in histopathology.


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