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September 21, 2011 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-21

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THE A2 BALANCE
How the city has maintained its traditional
charm while staying relevant in today's
world. 9 SEE THE STATEMENT, INSIDE
ON HNDE TE& Y N Y46 F EE(RA RE))

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

michigandaily.com

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH
U.S. patent
reform bill
could aid
inventors

University President Mary Sue Coleman meets students outside her home on South Univeresity Avenue during her annual open house yesterday.
Coleman greets hundreds of
students. at annual open house

Changes could have
positive impact on
'U' entrepreneurs
By ANDREW SCHULMAN
Daily StaffReporter
A legislative overhaul of the
nation's patent system, signed
into law en Friday by President
Barack Obama, could foster
innovation and entrepreneurship
at the University and throughout
Michigan.
The America Invents Act will
create a new, fast-track option to
shorten the patent review pro-
cess from three years to one year.
This comes as a part of an effort,
to reduce the current backlog of
700,000 patent applications and
synchronize the American pat-
ent system with systems in other
countries. University experts
said the new system will increase
patent quality and minimize pat-
ent litigation, which could sig-
nificantly aid entrepreneurs and
small businesses.
The changes - which Obama

praised ina Sept. 16 White House
press release as "the most sig-
nificant reform of the Patent Act
since 1952" - were "overdue,"
said Doug Neal, managing direc-
tor of the University's Center for
Entrepreneurial Programs. Neal
said the three-year wait time
between patent filing and issu-
ance was not reasonable amid
today's fast-changing innova-
tions.
"That's sort of a lifetime
for entrepreneurs," Neal said.
"Everything is very urgent, and
we're dealing with real-time
competitive issues and real-time
innovation in customer needs ...
I can't underscore enough the
value of time to an entrepreneur."
The reforms could also poten-
tially spur job growth and inno-
vation by discouraging patent
litigation among inventors, Neal
said. In the past, legal disputes
over the rights to patents have
inflicted a "big cost" on entrepre-
neurs and inventors, he said.
Prior to the reforms, two
inventors who submitted similar
patent applications at the same
See PATENT, Page 5A

President talks to
students an extra
hour at South
University home
By JOSEPH LICHTERMAN
Daily News Editor
University President Mary
Sue Coleman smiled and greet-
ed students, including one who

told her he wanted Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg to
speak at Spring Commence-
ment, at her on-campus home
yesterday. Two other students
representing student entrepre-
neurial group MPowered gave
Coleman a T-shirt, which she
said she'd wear while riding
her bike.
The students were among
the hundreds who waited in
line for more than an hour yes-
terday afternoon for the oppor-

tunity to spend a few moments
with Coleman at her annual
open house. Coleman fielded a
wide array of questions from
students who wanted to know
everything from whether she
actually lives in the President's
House at 815 South University
Ave., where the open house was
held (yes, she does), to whether
Coleman received a note left
at her front door last winter in
which the writer asked for a
snow day. (Coleman got the let-

a See avideo piece about this
story on Mchtgaa~algto
ter, but there was no snow day.)
The event was scheduled
to last an hour, but Coleman,
standing on the patio in her
lush backyard, continued to
greet students an hour after
the open house was scheduled
to end. In an interview with
The Michigan Daily after the
See COLEMAN, Page 5A

GREENING THE 'U'
Ann Arbor 350 petition calls -
for solar panels on Big House

Office of Campus
Sustainability:
Installation on
stadium unlikely
By CHELSEA LANDRY
For the Daily
The Big House might be one
of the largest stadiums in the
country, but one group wants
to also make it one of the most
environmentally friendly.
The Ecology Center, an Ann

Arbor-based nonprofit group,
started a project called Ann
Arbor 350, which aims to con-
vince the University to install
solar panels on Michigan Sta-
dium. Though the project has
been met with a mixed response
from the University, the group
started a petition calling for the
installation and has collected
more than 530 signatures as of
last night.
A similar petition was also
started on www.change.org
and has garnered about 3,000
signatures in 15 days. Ann
Arbor 350 has a goal of reach-

ing 10,000 signatures on its
petition, according to the proj-
ect website.
University alum Monica
Patel, who organized the Ann
Arbor 350 petition, said though
the Ecology Center cannot
determine the exact feasibil-
ity of the project, Patel is urg-
ing University officials to show
support for using solar energy.
"(We want) to use the Big
House as a tool for education
about the industry," she said.
Though many of the sup-
portive comments on the online
See SOLAR, Page 3A

UNIVERSITY ALUMNI
Recent University alumni beginning start-
up ventures without business degrees

LSA freshmen Haley Monaghan, Alexis Cobau and Michael Maas eat lunch in the North Quad dining hall yesterday.
Cobau said lunch time is very busy at North Quad, and she often has trouble finding an open seat.
North Quad dining hall
lacks lunch time seating

Alum starts websit
for free streaming
of movies, shows
By K.C.WASSMAN
Daily StaffReporter
University alum James Nor
man knew most of his life that h
wanted to be an engineer. But h
was also certain that he wante
to run his own business.

Though these might seem like
different career choices, for Nor-
man they aren't exclusive. Nor-
man, who graduated from the
College of Engineering in 2005,
is one of an increasing number
t of students decidingto pave their
own way without a traditional
business education - a trend the
- University has also recognized.
e Erik Gordon, associate direc-
te or of the Zell Lurie Institute
d for Entrepreneurial Studies at
the Ross School of Business, said

the institute encourages gradu-
ates with different degrees to be
entrepreneurs.
"If there's one message that
students should get is that we
don't care what school you're
in," Gordon said. "Most of our
(programs are) for anyone who's
interested in entrepreneurship."
Amy Klinke, assistant director
for small business initiatives in
the Center for Entrepreneurship
at the College of Engineering,
See STARTUPS, Page SA

Students sit
on floor due to
overcrowding
By ADAM RUBENFIRE
DailyStaffReporter
Sitting on the floor of the
North Quad dining hall during
lunch one day last week, Engi-
neering freshman Matt DeFore
dipped his spoon into a bowl of
soup by his feet.
DeFore, who sat on the floor

after an unsuccessful search
for a seat at a table, bemoaned
the challenge of eating off the
ground without spilling his
soup. The dining hall staff told
him the area was over capacity
and that he would have to sit
on the floor - a recent problem
at the bustling dining area in
North Quad, which debuted last
fall.
DeFore said he is disappoint-
ed with North Quad's handling
of the occupancy of the dining
room, which has a maximum
capacity of 197 patrons.

"I think it's very poor, espe-
cially because how new this
place is," DeFore said. "I feel
like they should expand it."
In a statement released to
The Michigan Daily yesterday,
University Housing spokes-
man Peter Logan responded to
concerns that the dining hall
is often overcrowded. Logan
wrote that throughout most
of the week, about 700 to 800
people eat lunch in North Quad
between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dur-
ing dinner service each day
See NORTH QUAD, Page SA

WEATHER H: 68
TOMORROW LU: 49

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2011TheMichigan Daily N EW S ..............SA THE STATEMENT.,......1.1B
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