Optimal Vision Corporation Wins Fish & Richardson IP Powerhouse Award

March 30, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
HOUSTON – A team of graduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago believes it has the answer for the 78 million Americans suffering near vision loss as a result of presbyopia, the naturally occurring gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects.

Optimal Vision Corporation (OVC) hopes to introduce Infrared Keratectomy, a procedure that reshapes the cornea with an infrared laser. The procedure, based on three University of Illinois at Chicago patents, would offer a non-invasive procedure to correct presbyopia with practically immediate recovery. According to the company, a solution to presbyopia "remains the Holy Grail of refractive surgery."

OVC presented their idea last weekend at the Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston, and was honored with the IP Powerhouse Award. The award was presented by the law firm of Fish & Richardson P.C., which has represented entrepreneurs and innovators behind such breakthroughs as the telephone, light bulb and airplane.

Contestants for the IP Powerhouse Award $2,000 cash prize were judged on the patentability of their idea and its potential for commercial success.

"OVC's patented procedure could eliminate much of the need for glasses, contacts and invasive surgeries," says event judge Kelly Kordzik, a Principal in Fish & Richardson's Austin office and President of the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative. "There is obviously a market for vision correction, and we at Fish & Richardson hope our involvement can help provide the spark to turn these students' 'vision' into reality."

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship hosted the annual Rice Business Plan Competition, which ranks among the largest and richest events of its kind. Thirty-six top graduate schools from around the world presented business plans to a panel of more than 150 distinguished judges, including venture capitalists, investors, attorneys and business executives.

Business plans were presented for a wide variety of original ideas and innovations. Dozens of past participants have gone on to patent their ideas, raise funding and successfully start their companies after competing at the Rice Business Plan Competition.

Founded in 1878, Fish & Richardson is one of the largest law firms in the U.S. practicing exclusively in the areas of intellectual property, litigation, and corporate law. The firm has over 420 attorneys and technology specialists in 10 offices nationwide: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Delaware, New York City, San Diego, Silicon Valley, Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. Fish & Richardson has long represented great innovators and entrepreneurs, including pioneering inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers.

According to a recent survey in Managing Intellectual Property, Fish & Richardson has the largest IP practice in the world. Also, Fish & Richardson handles more patent litigation than any other law firm in the U.S. (IP Law & Business July 2006). It is the top firm in patent cases at the International Trade Commission and rates among the top U.S. firms in patents and trademarks obtained.