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Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Food Quality Indicator Device

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, HHS.




This is notice, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(c)(1) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i), that the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an exclusive patent license to practice the inventions embodied in the JP patent application H11-507724, filed 16 July 1998, to MBL, Co., Ltd., located in Nagoya-shi, Japan.

The prospective exclusive license territory may be Japan and the field of use may be limited to the development, manufacturing and sales of the food indicator devise.


Only written comments and/or application for a license which are received by the National Institutes of Health on or before April 10, 2006 will be considered.


Requests for copies of the patent, inquiries, comments and other materials relating to the contemplated exclusive license should be directed to: George G. Pipia, PhD., Technology Licensing Specialist, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, MD 20852-3804; Telephone: (301) 435-5560; Facsimile: (301) 402-0220; E-mail:

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The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209(c)(1) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within sixty (60) days from the date of this published notice, the NIH receives written evidence and argument that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

Description of the Technology

E-093-1997/0: Scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have invented an effective way to monitor food quality and freshness in real time. The major factor for food spoilage is the release of volatile gases due to the action of enzymes contained within the food or produced by microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts and molds growing in the food. The rate of release of such gases depends on food's storage history. In this technology, a reactive dye locked in a water-repellent material reacts with the gases released during food decomposition and changes color. Thus a rapid and informed decision can be made about quality of food and its shelf life under the storage conditions used. Since the detection is based on biological processes that are the root cause for food spoilage, these indicators are much more reliable.

This technology provides an excellent alternative to the current methods for assessing food quality that cannot accurately estimate shelf life of food products due to unreliable storage history. This technology is also much less expensive than the current methods. These indicators have been successfully tested on seafood and meats and can be easily adapted to dairy products. This product is fully developed and is ready for full commercial rollout.

Applications for a license in the field of use filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated exclusive license. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

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Dated: February 1, 2006.

Steven M. Ferguson,

Director, Division of Technology Development and Transfer, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health.

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[FR Doc. E6-1650 Filed 2-7-06; 8:45 am]