ThermoEnergy Corp. has begun a formal intellectual property development and incentive program to create the strongest possible patent positions as the company prepares to move forward in its power and water treatment businesses.
ThermoEnergy already has important patents in two key areas. For the generation of clean electric power, the company has patents on a process called pressurized oxy-combustion, in which coal is burned in highly purified oxygen at high pressure. That not only boosts efficiency, it enables the capture of virtually all pollutants—including the carbon dioxide that causes climate change.
ThermoEnergy has formed the Unity Power Alliance to license and commercialize this technology.
The company also has critical patents for water treatment and chemical separation technologies. These technologies are expected to be useful for cleaning the water used in ‘hydrofracking’ for natural gas drilling, for creating biogas from palm oil, for making ethanol from waste sugar, and for other applications. Strong intellectual property positions on these technologies will enable ThermoEnergy to change its business model from selling equipment to selling services.
To ensure that ThermoEnergy is getting the most value from its existing intellectual property and to protect that value, the company has hired Wolf Greenfield, a law firm specializing in Intellectual Property to evaluate and manage ThermoEnergy’s intellectual property.
In addition, ThermoEnergy has launched a reward program to encourage the creation of additional intellectual property.
Under the new plan, introduced by ThermoEnergy Chairman and CEO Cary Bullock, employees will receive cash bonuses and stock options for ideas that lead to successful patent filings. “Innovation is crucial for successful clean technology companies,” explained Bullock. “ThermoEnergy is fortunate to have some of the best engineers and technicians in the industry. With this program, we will better reward their creativity, spurring new ideas and adding value to the company.”