Inventors and Patents From the City of Greensboro

The Office of Innovation Commercialization at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) supports the commercialization of discoveries made by the university faculty. It helps faculty secure corporate support for their research, advises on intellectual property and negotiates licensing deals. It also supports UNCG inventors in establishing start-up companies.


In April, the city of Greensboro witnessed its longest patent approval process in nearly a year, with 1,478 days between filing and approval. The longest time between filing and approval is for a patent application filed by HAECO Americas, LLC, which was approved on April 12. While a patent may not guarantee success, it is a necessary part of the invention process. According to Dennis Crouch, co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship, more than a dozen Greensboro inventors had patents issued in April.

Inventors from the area include Peter Guzman and Christopher L. Souder, who are based in Spencer, Iowa. Other inventors in the area include Christopher Eichhorn, who lives in Williamsburg, Iowa, and Michael A. Josephs, who resides in Waterloo. Other notable residents include Laron L. Peters, of Gothenburg, Neb., and Jeffrey L. McElroy of Mahomet, Illinois. Greg Holland lives in Troy, Ohio, and Hector Ramirez de Leon lives in O’Fallon, Mo.

African-American inventors include Benjamin Montgomery, who was born into slavery. In the 1850s, he invented a propeller that would help steamboats navigate shallow water. The propeller prevented steamboats from getting stuck and preventing them from carrying life-sustaining supplies to shore. Montgomery tried to patent his invention but was denied due to his status as a slave. His owners tried to claim credit for Montgomery’s propeller, but the patent office denied their request.

Corning Research and Development

Corning Research and Development, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been assigned a patent related to local convergence points. The patent was originally filed on March 11, 2019. The patent is a result of the efforts of four co-inventors: Jason J. Brown from Keller, Texas, Fernando Martinez Esteves from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Catherine Victoria McNaught from Conover, North Carolina.

Avista Pharma Solutions

Avista Pharma Solutions of Durham, North Carolina, has recently been awarded a patent for a novel synthetic process. The patent, originally filed on Nov. 23, was developed by seven co-inventors. These include Jason D. Speake, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Bharathi Pandi, Cary, North Carolina; Jeffrey A. Adams, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Joe B. Perales, Durham, North Carolina; and Keqiang Li, Durham, North Carolina.

The company has four facilities totaling more than 200,000 square feet and boasts an excellent regulatory track record. Their facilities also feature state-of-the-art assets. As of December 2018, Avista worked on over 200 small molecules for 180 customers, and currently generates $65 million in annual revenue.

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