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Boston Patent Law Group Honors CICS Team for Inventions

Deepak Ganesan
Deepak Ganesan

Professor Deepak Ganesan of the College of Computer and Information Sciences (CICS), with former students Pengyu Zhang and Pan Hu, recently received one of the 2020 Boston Patent Lawyers' Association (BPLA) tenth annual "Invented Here!" Awards for his team's invention and successful patenting of "Systems and Methods for Asymmetric Backscatter Communications" and "Systems and Methods for Backscatter Communication."

The cutting-edge inventors were honored at a virtual awards event on Nov.17, the association says. Its Invented Here! program "celebrates New England innovators, their inventions, and the stories behind their innovations." This year, BPLA received 78 patent nominations covering a wide range of sciences and technologies, with just 18 selected to receive awards.

Ganesan, who is also director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences' Center for Personalized Health Monitoring on campus, has been actively experimenting with ultra-low power wireless communication systems that can enable continuous data transmission from ultra-low power on-body sensors. On-body sensors often have to be extremely small, which means they need to use either tiny batteries or operate on harvested energy.

Further, the cost of transmitting data via a wireless radio is often a major bottleneck in designing such sensors, he points out. His team's patents address this challenge by designing ultra-low-power radios that transmit data by intelligently reflecting wireless signals like WiFi and Bluetooth. They use only a tiny fraction of the energy consumed by traditional radios. Ganesan and colleagues' methods also allow large numbers of sensors to communicate concurrently without requiring coordination between them.

Ganesan's partner on the first patent is Zhang, who is now at Alibaba, and on the second patent, former CICS student Hu. The winning teams worked with attorneys from the intellectual property department of the Boston law firm, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP on drafting and prosecuting to allowance each of the four patents that were honored.

This article was first published by the UMass Amherst Office of News & Media Relations.