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Patent for tolls sought for state

LAWRENCEVILLE -- While leaders discussed the details of the controversial HOT lanes along Interstate 85 during a town hall meeting Monday, some residents whispered about a conspiracy that officials are profiting from a patent for the technology.

But those reports are false, officials say.

A patent application listed in the name of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority's Jannine Miller was actually filed on behalf of the state of Georgia, explained Malika Reed Wilkins of the State Road and Tollway Authority.

In fact, the applications were applied to allow the state to continue to use the technology for free, even if private companies later decide to use the concept.

All of the names on the patent application worked at the time for SRTA and Georgia Tech, Wilkins said. Not only is the work product considered a "work made for hire," but the employees assigned all of their rights over to the public agencies, Wilkins said.

She said the patents, if they are issued, will list SRTA and Georgia Tech.

"None of the individuals have nor will they receive any personal financial benefit from the patent," Wilkins wrote in an email. She said the application was filed to keep the technology available at no cost, if other private toll entities decide to use the local concept, which issues gantries to control access and enforce rules instead of physically separating the toll lane.

"Without physical barriers separating the tolled lane from the general purpose lanes, the tolling equipment mounted on the gantries is being used to detect when a vehicle enters or exits the toll lane. This concept is the crux of the patent," Wilkins explained.

Comments

Oliver 2 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations. you're on the right track and I smell smoke. Where's there's smoke - there's fire. Keep digging and the truth shall appear.

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gwinnettpin 2 years, 10 months ago

JohannBach. I'm no HOT lane fan. However, the patent behavior described is completely normal and you shouldn't misread it into some conspiracy. There is a difference between the inventor(s) and the owner. Patent law requires all inventors to be included in the patent application. A patent can be invalidated if inventors are left out! The inventors almost certainly signed over their any claim to the invention to the SRTA as stated. I'm going to believe the SRTA when they say this occurred because it's absolutely common patent behavior among businesses. Now... the individuals listed as inventors may well have gotten some "reward" for filing the patent (and most likely agreeing that in the future they will testify regarding the patent, if required at any future date). They may also get a second "reward" if the patent application is awarded (in several years), but Jannine Miller and other individuals listed as inventors will hold no legal rights to the patent claims since this was signed over to SRTA. In my opinion, the most benefit any of the inventors will receive is the ability to state on their resume they have a patent --- assuming it does get approved in 3 or 4 years.

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TiredOfTheBull2 2 years, 10 months ago

The patent application does not list an assignee. All of my applications list the assignee. This needs to be looked at more closely. I do not trust that SRTA says it will be there when the patent is issued, because it should be there now.

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jack 2 years, 10 months ago

I am surprised, given the grumblings over the patent issue, that it has taken so long for the media to bring it to light, and yes, it should be examined more closely. Even if those involved with the patent applications do not directly profit, they are in the position to approve its application without public approval and with no accountability. How nice it must be to use the power of your goverment position to implement your ideas, no matter how misguided, and eliminate the uncertainty of the free market.

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Mack711 2 years, 10 months ago

Sort of confused here so please help me out on this one. Does anyone associated with the Toll authority or the State stand to make money off this system? If so then what happens next? There is more to this story than meets the eye. Could there possibly be misuse of office or corruption involved at taxpayer expense? There are too many unanswered questions here.

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kevin 2 years, 10 months ago

This article should be listed under the heading "CRIMES." Where is the state attorney general on this? As if it wasn't bad enough with these idiots making the decison to go ahead withthis project despite the majority not wanting it. SO much for state government agnecies and well-connected developers. Once this cat gets removed form the bag, they should be putting these employees under the jail and remove all dismiss retirement benefits. Imagine from Day 1, when this project was first dreamt about, these crooks ahd al of this in their minds to receive royatlies from a state project which is being funded by the Federal Government. I am waiting to hear from the state Attorney General, if he isn't part of the deal as well. I wonder who was the person)s) who allowed this original theft idea to go forward? WHo knows what else state or local employees might patent next for their own benefit. Who is funding the Georgia RTA, taxpayers or private companies?

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kevin 2 years, 10 months ago

I read where we were told that the State Road & Toll Authority, which includes Malika Reed Wilkins, copies this concept from other states or cities that developed HOT lanes. So they and Ga Tech want to make royalties from this deal provided by Federal monies and possible Georgia money as well. They know how to make this so innocent. What they aren't telling you is who in those 2 organizations are inline for the possible royalties? You don't patent something and don't expect to get paid for it in the future. Who funds the SRTA and Ga. Tech? I am sure it is our tax money. Add 2 + 2 and you can figure the end result here. Taxpayers lose to goverment employees/officers. THis reaod HAD to be built to give lucrative contracts to connected companies. This was obvoius before the project started and more so now.

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TiredOfTheBull2 2 years, 10 months ago

SOMEONE AT THE PAPER NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS MORE!!. I have several patents and several patent applications right now. All of mine have the name of the assignee listed on the application and the issued patent. The one mentioned in this article, 20090016819, does not have an assignee, so at some point these people could sue for patent infringement or they could license out the technology to get rich.

Look it up yourself by searching for the patent application number 20090016819 at USPTO.gov

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TiredOfTheBull2 2 years, 10 months ago

This is a very powerful patent that can be used for TAXING CARS BY THE MILE and for TRACKING THE LOCATION OF A CAR AT ANY TIME and for ISSUING ENFORCEMENT CITATIONS FOR ANY INFRACTION. The government only has to place sensors at intersections and they will be able to track where you are, charge you by the mile you drive, issue speeding tickets, improper lane changes, and if you forget to pay your registration they will know and can send an immediate fine or notify the police where you are. The TSplost will give them the funding to set up the revenue stream to implement this.

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Mack711 2 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like a hidden agenda for the Big Brother Agenda.

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