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Wichita State University IP Program Fosters Local Innovation

Wichita State University’s Gateway to IP program helped local innovators at Akeratos apply for a patent for a recent innovation in raw material transport.

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A banner image announcing the partnership between Wichita State University and Akeratos to file a patent on the Uplift Levi-Load

David May, president of a Wichita-based aerospace parts manufacturer called Trinity Precision Inc., recently formed Akeratos LLC, a startup dedicated to increasing automation, efficiency and safety in machine shops.

Its debut product is the Uplift Levi-Load, a patent-pending product that connects to a standard crane and allows operators to easily, quickly and safely move heavy raw material from a horizontal position to a vertical position. A combination of Akeratos and Trinity Precision employees developed the Uplift Levi-Load in tandem, and say that the product is superior to tongs and more cost-effective than vacuum-lift machines.

Akeratos worked with Wichita State University’s Gateway to IP Program and Stinson LLP to seek patent protection for the Uplift Levi-Load. Wichita State launched the Gateway to IP Program at the beginning of 2020 with the aim of connecting local inventors with registered patent attorneys, such as Jonathan Pollmann at Stinson.

Rob Gerlach, executive director of Wichita State’s Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization, worked closely with May to protect his innovation.

“Intellectual property is important, and we want to make sure our local innovators get the help they need,” says Gerlach.

“As a startup, it’s important to have access to the right tools and to the right people,” said May. “The Gateway to IP Program has been a valuable resource for Akeratos, helping us file our first patent application.”

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