Speaker Series: Martine Rothblatt


Good afternoon welcome to those of you
who are with us here at the USPTO campus as well as those joining remotely from
our regional offices and throughout the United States we are continuing with the
USPTO speaker series program featuring inventors and entrepreneurs whose
innovations have had a profound impact on the world today the USPTO is pleased
to welcome Dr. Martine Rothblatt the creator of Sirius Radio as well as the
founder of United Therapeutics now I will turn it over to Director Iancu
Dr. Rothblatt please come up on stage Thank You Chris great to see everybody
here and I know many people watching and listening online in in the USPTO
tradition of teleworking so that’s great so as Chris mentioned we established
this series maybe a year or so ago in order to bring to all of our employees
at the Patent and Trademark Office as well as the Department of Commerce and
all the rest of our neighbors here in Alexandria some of the greatest
inventors and entrepreneurs who come before us because we do amazing work
here at the PTO and as I often say the future comes through our doors in the
future that comes through our doors is represented by some of the greatest
Americans who contribute and have contributed amazing innovations and
technologies to the United States economy and we have
one of those folks with us here today and that is Dr. Martine Rothblatt it’s
an unusual situation because I usually get to delve into a little bit of the
invention that the inventor came up with but here I’m gonna have to take a little
bit of time because Dr. Rothblatt spans the spectrum of technologies which is of
in my experience unprecedented so as early as nineteen 874 Dr. Rothblatt
saw that satellite communications could unite the world I’m sure we’re gonna
hear a bit more about that over the course of graduate school she published
the legal articles and business proposal defining her vision for this
revolutionary change to go to private satellite that vision became reality
over a career that launched the first private international space
communications project PanAm set the first global satellite
radio world space and the first non geostationary satellite to car
broadcasting system Sirius satellite radio
by the way Sirius I learned game before XM this is very important to keep that
in mind please she has also worked to make airship based Internet
communications part of the ever expanding digital world world these
achievements were accompanied by equally groundbreaking legal work leading to
national international approval and acceptance of new technologies but why
stop with telecommunications seemed fairly easy to revolutionize one
industry let’s let’s do another so when her daughter was diagnosed with
life-threatening pulmonary hypertension dr. Rothblatt created the pph cure
foundation and then founded and she will tell us a lot more about this founded
what ultimately became United therapeutics where she serves as CEO
today dr. Roth letter and the PhD in medical ethics from the Bart’s and the
London School of Medicine and Dentistry in London her dissertation was later
published as the book entitled your life or mine how geo-ethics can resolve the
conflict between public and private interests in xenotransplantation she
also led the International Bar Association’s development of the
Universal Declaration on the human genome and human rights for the United
Nations but again why stop at those industries doctor Rothblatt is in
additionally is an airplane and helicopter pilot so of course she had to
change aviation as well as president of lung biotechnology PBC she
mathematically demonstrated and sponsored the flight of the world first
world’s first electric power powered full-size helicopter
she and Rick Webb set a world speed record for electric helicopters of 100
knots during the first ever flight of two people in a battery-powered
helicopter and for that dr. Roth blood Rothblatt is in the
Guinness Book of World Records last year back on the ground and the
nearby Silver Spring Maryland she inaugurated the Unisphere the world’s
largest Net Zero office building which is completely powered by on-site
sustainable energy technologies by the way is all this true what I’m saying to my knowledge though it seems like at
least so far no revolutionary technologies in ocean travel right
something else to work on next lots of accomplishment and long lists of
awards including election as a member of the American Philosophical Society
honorary Doctorate degrees from many universities including the ben-gurion
University of the Negev a doctor of commercial science degree from NYU
honorary that is membership in the Forbes list of the 100 greatest living
business minds recognition is one of Business Insider’s most powerful LGBTQ
people in tech just just last month she was officially awarded an honorary
Doctor degree from of law from the University of Victoria and from that
flew straight to Texas to receive the Excellence Award in electronic aviation
from Ross Perot’s son she is also a three-time Bruin this is the best part
of the of dr. Roth Blatz career three-time Bruin we seeing a BA JD and
MBA from UCLA in January of last of last year she was
presented with a UCLA medal which is the call the school’s highest honor or her
work in remaking how people around the world live that is an amazing career I
could go on and on but with that let me stop and welcome dr. Rothblatt thank you
for being here and we’d love to hear from you thank you so much thank you so
much mr. director for that very generous and kind introduction it’s a great
pleasure for me to be at the Patent and Trademark Office I’m a huge fan of
patents and trademarks we have in our company’s offices in Research Triangle
Park North Carolina and in Silver Spring Maryland a very large wall which is
called the inventors wall of honor and on that wall we have all of the bronze
plaques that you can get memorializing patents that have been issued by the
Patent and Trademark Office and each year on national inventors day we have a
like a wine and cheese reception to honor all the different employees and
United therapeutics that have made invention since the previous year so
inventors inventions trademarks these are all very crucial to the
accomplishment of all of these industry changing feats that director leskew
referred to I’d like to start off with a quick couple minute video that
illustrates some of the different industry changing activities that we’re
involved with and that all of and that which all of you by supporting the
Patent and Trademark Office helped us to accomplish these very cool things that
you’re going to see in this video we couldn’t be doing without the in
contributions of everybody in the USPTO could you please show the video in 2011 United therapeutics CEO Martine
Rothblatt challenged her company to before the decade was out transplant an
end-stage pulmonary disease patient with a manufactured lung and returned them
safely back to health by 2017 they were manufacturing over along a month and by
2019 dozens of lives had been saved but the need for transplantable hearts and
lungs is thousands of times greater and a way is needed to deliver these tens of
thousands of organs without the drawbacks of conventional rotorcraft so
the biotechnology company led by Sirius XM’s creator who was also an avid
rotorcraft pilot designed and optionally piloted fully battery-powered rota craft
together with her partners at Tier one engineering they built and flew
prototypes that establish Guinness World Records for electric helicopter distance
altitude airspeed and payload as their electric helicopters move towards
certification they are simultaneously ramping up their organ manufacturing
capabilities by the end of the coming decade they expect to manufacture organs
that are customized to the patient’s DNA so no immunosuppression will be needed
these personalized organs will be delivered from their points of
manufacture to the transplanting Hospital on set schedules by a fleet of
hundreds of quieter zero-carbon and pilot in rotorcraft at United
therapeutics biology is technology alright great so thank you for the video
I want to spend the next half an hour or so asking you a number of questions and
then we’ll open it up to the audience for any questions they might have but
just watching this video seeing the helicopters the first
question that pops to mind which I don’t want to ask you is aren’t their
helicopter companies out there that can make helicopters as opposed to a
therapeutics company but that takes me back to the first story that you have
which is satellite radio what led you to create satellite radio wasn’t there
radio that was good enough people were listening they seemed happy they were
they banging on your door saying we want satellite radio how did that come about
so Andre it’s a really great question and in fact I wish with all of these
inventions that other people would do it because in fact it’s a humongous amount
of work to to not only like come up with the invention to organize a company to
make it happen to raise the capital to change the laws to to launch it it’s
it’s a it’s a huge huge amount of effort and the whole time it’s like you’re
walking on a tightrope you never know that like if you make one
mistake that you’re gonna fall off the tightrope and there could be like
nothing at the bottom so to give the example of Sirius XM I was already an
expert in the field of satellite communications and this takes you back
to the days when you know how many of you remember when satellite dishes were
like you know the size the big thing like that in West Virginia they call
them the state flower and but I I knew that by the laws of
electrical engineering that the satellite dish size was inversely
proportional to the power of the signal that was received on the ground from
satellite so I knew that Rockets were becoming larger it would be possible to
build more powerful satellites also it was possible to fold larger and larger
aperture antennas inside a rocket shroud so you could really have both more power
and you could focus that power on smaller and smaller portions of the
Earth’s surface such as just the United States instead of spreading the signal
over the whole face of the earth as seen from the geostationary orbit which is by
the way 1/6 of the way to the moon and if the signal was powerful enough
then you could make that satellite dish smaller and smaller and smaller until it
would just be a section of a parabola it would be flat just a small little
section about the size that of my making with my fingers here in that case we
could mount it on top of a car roof and you could stay tuned to a satellite
signal while you were driving around anywhere in the country
so I did in fact think that the radio broadcasters would be tremendously
excited about this so the first thing I did is rode up happens and filed them
with a Patent and Trademark Office the second thing that I did was went to the
FCC and I had searched the radio frequencies for signals that would be
ideal in passing through the atmosphere so that we wouldn’t have to make our job
even more difficult forcing a signal through parts of the
atmosphere that were relatively opaque to the microwave region signal I found
these ideal frequency bands I crafted a good reasonable argument why the current
occupants should be displaced to other frequency bands because there was plenty
of frequency bands for things like electronic newsgathering trucks showing
accidents on the highway but no frequencies for satellite radio and then
I went to the big radio companies ABC radio CBS radio infinity
radio and I said here is a way that you can gather the entire country listening
to your signal and every one of them Andre they said there this is ridiculous
they said our engineers are sure us that there’s no way for a signal to work on
the car from a satellite secondly even if that was possible it would never be
approved by the FCC because the FCC rules say that no operator of a radio or
television station can have more than one or two handfuls of licenses in
different cities you’re saying that one company is going to control a hundred
channels in every town village nook and cranny city and suburban area in the
whole country that that’s almost like that’s insane they never agree with that
in fact it contravenes the Communications Act and then finally even
if you overcame all of those obstacles who’s going to be listening on day one
well on you know local FM station you know one oh eight point one one oh five
point one we’ve got at least a million listeners but there’ll be nobody
listening why would advertisers pay for something there’s nobody listen I said
no you don’t need advertisers people will love having a hundred different
channels the love having serious Sinatra they’ll love having Howard Stern they’ll
pay every month for this they said nobody’s gonna pay for radio I then said
but they pay for TV that’s different so I could not get the existing industry to
agree to do this consequently we had to go to Wall Street we had to raise money
thank goodness that we had patents that gave us
protection on our design thank goodness that we had an FCC license that allowed
us a semi exclusive right to broadcast and now I can’t tell you they’re not
more people Audrey come up and hug me for being able to listen to Howard Stern
on their Sirius XM radio then for the medicines that we’ve created the save
people’s lives so do you think that in the long run that’s changed the
terrestrial broadcasting industry and do you feel sorry about that no I don’t I
don’t feel sorry about it and
I said to them I gave a quote from arthur c clarke
who’s always been my inspiration on satellite communications arthur c clarke
regrets he passed away but he said he only regretted one thing in his life and
he lived a good long life to almost 90 years old he said he regretted never
filing a patent for the idea of the geostationary orbit he was the one that
came up with an idea that if you launch a satellite six earth radio i out from
from the earth that it will go around the earth at the same time that the
Earth rotates on its axis and therefore it will always be above the same part of
the earth well that’s what we use in Sirius XM and and many other satellite
systems DirecTV he never filed a patent on that but he had a great quote his
quote was no form of technology ever becomes obsolete it only becomes less
and less important as the technological horizon widens and so it is that there
are still you can you know if you can find a radio that tunes 2 a.m. you will
hear people broadcasting on AM people still broadcast on FM and tens of
millions of people subscribe to Theory affect them so one of the biggest
challenges that inventors and entrepreneurs have basically is what you
have described by definition when you come up with something new you meet a
lot of resistance from folks who are used to what they already have and they
shrug their shoulders why do we need something else but some folks a subset
of folks you’re a very good example of this persisting the face of that
tremendous adversity what is it if you can think back in your career what is it
that gave you the additional motivation or you know I don’t know what to call it
stamina and and and desire to keep fighting and overcome these tremendous
odds not just in the technology space but also in business and industry so the
the the book said I most enjoyed reading as I was a kid were biographies of other
people not not just inventors but but mostly inventors and scientists and the
story of every and and scientists going back you know 200
years or more is that of people being very skeptical that this thing will
never work you know Morse was laughed out of
Congress when he came and presented the The Telegraph Tesla was was told that
you know AC was impossible there it’s just like the whole you know
Westinghouse was told all of his numerous inventions couldn’t be done
history is full of this over and over so these biographies of great inventors
when I’m you know 10 12 14 16 years old this became like like you know my
liturgy like my Bible and when you have been brought up with literally dozens
and dozens examples of people who followed the physics followed the
science and had their visions turn out to be true notwithstanding all of the
other objections it really stiffens your backbone in it and it fills you with
spirit and I can say to myself I’m channeling my inner Westinghouse you
know if Westinghouse could demonstrate that a river dozens of miles away from a
major urban city can have its power transfer transitioned into electricity
and and sent dozens of miles when even Edison thought that was impossible then
you know I myself can can come up with this idea of satellite radio or electric
helicopters is a component of this an ignorance of of the sense of fear or
failure the fear of failure how do you overcome the fear of failure that so
many in modern society have or maybe you don’t have that sense of fear of failure
no I I do have that sense of fear of failure and I never had it worse then in
the case of having to save my daughter’s life
everything else was if I if I failed I I would try something else if I failed
with SiriusXM I would make another type of satellite communication system if I
failed with an electric helicopter I would find another way to make a greener
form of Transportation but with my daughter’s life if I failed she was a
hundred percent going to die and that was determined by the doctors at
Children’s National Medical Center just across the Potomac here and and other
experts and it was in a field that I had no preparation for I my background is in
electrical engineering so things that are like you know kind of cut and dry
like like physics and math I feel most comfortable with biology just seemed to
me he’s like such a black box almost so difficult to really ever predict the
output from from any given input so I very much sweated you know everyday and
everynight dead if I don’t succeed our daughter whose name is Genesis would die
and that drove me to a higher level of work and insistence on success than I
ever had before and that ultimately led to the United therapeutics company that
you currently lead so talk a little bit more about that’s a creation story from
your daughter’s illness to the creation of this company and the complete change
in your professional profile so once again it was it was these you know
naysayers and these ankle-biters and these negative East people who said
there’s no way to save your daughter nobody has ever lived more than five
years with this disease the only hope is a lung transplant but the chances of her
getting one for her she was just a little kid that small size is is very
short and that just trades one disease for another disease
I love chronic rejection which for lung transplants half the people die in five
years so it’s not a really good solution now can’t you see what I’m working on
with the immune suppression free organ manufacturing and then when I finally
found a molecule that I believed would specifically address her disease and do
so successfully I was told that that I didn’t know what I was talking about
because I wasn’t a molecular biologist I had no medical people on my team and
when I finally did get some medical people on my team and I finally did
begin making the medicine it turns out this medicine has a very short half-life
of just a couple minutes that means it has to be infused into the body 24 hours
a day 365 days a year well nobody’s gonna want their daughter
to be like you know living with like a you know ivy tree so I had to figure out
a way that would be compatible with the good quality of life so I had to invent
a delivery system and the molecule at the same time every step along the way
Andrae people said you know we feel really everybody always felt very sorry
for me I was like I was being pitied to be frank but inch-by-inch
I move forward and I just tried to say everyday what progress can I make this
day what goal do I have for this week I am a viciously goal-oriented person and
my partner beam is as well so sometimes the challenging house to grow up in but
but both of us we have daily goals weekly goals monthly goals and we just
like viciously pursue our goals long story short our medicine was
approved it saved the life of our Genesis dawn of our daughter Genesis and
thousands and thousands of other people today she was patented in the US Patent
and Trademark Office your daughter was 10 when she was
diagnosed and in how old is she now she’s in her 30s now so it worked and
I’ve met I’ve met you know there’s so many I hate to sound like you know keep
turning Impossibles into I’m Possible’s but it is a is a
fact like so after she had this she I thought she’d be really grateful said
well no I really would like something more like the asthma inhalers that my
friends at school have fun okay you know and and it was like all over again like
I woulda first I thought that people would give me some credit for Sirius XM
and Pan Am sat and stuff and believed I could do this medicine no they said well
that’s that’s fine that satellites this is medicine and I thought people give me
some credit for this medicine they know it’s impossible to make this medicine
ever work by inhalation finally we did get it to work by inhalation got another
patent in the Patent and Trademark Office for that and then finally now
we’ve reduced it just to appeal that you have to take three times a day and my
goal okay is now and our team is working very hard we figured out how to make
this appeal that you only have to take once a day and one of the reasons I like
the patent system a lot and this is a little bit counterintuitive is the
patents that we got all those ones I just mentioned they of course run out in
so many years and once they run out then you know people can make generic copies
of your medicines or whatnot and I tell people I think this whole system is a
good system because if it wasn’t for this system we might sit on our laurels
with a pill that you take three times a day and instead um now that’s difficult
for these patients every time they miss a dose the disease
grabs another kind of like millimeter of lung space so that’s what’s driven me to
make a pill that works once a day and that’s what’s driving me harder to make
a organ that won’t be rejected so you off to take any pills at all yeah you
know there’s obviously a big debate in this country about drug pricing
like one of the arguments that’s being made against some folks make against
patents is why get patents on improvements so you already you know
have a drug that’s administered three times a day you’re not necessarily
making a new molecules and the like you’re just improving the dosage or the
delivery mechanism why give a patent on that so those people who say that I
don’t think they’ve talked to too many patients and if you talk to a patient
for example the first parenteral pumps that were used for delivering this
weighed like a kilo now imagine walking around your whole life with a kilo of
think it’s so big you had to wear it in a fanny pack the first versions of this
medicine they were unstable at room temperature that meant that that fanny
pack with a kilo weight thing had to be surrounded by ice ice obviously he’s not
going to wait last all day so now you’re tethered to like a freezer where you
have to go and refill your fanny pack should somebody get a patent on
improvement on that yeah I think so and thank goodness that people have and now
we’ve reduced the size of those pumps – it’s like a small deck of cards smaller
than the deck of cards we now hope that be approved in 2020 a version of that
pump that is so small and requires such little power that it actually can be
implanted inside the patient’s abdomen so that they don’t have any observable
sign that they’re on medicines at all for for medicine I would say medicine is
the story of improvements should we still be like chiseling bark off of a
tree to get some aspirin or I mean it’s crazy right so I want to go back to
something you mentioned the second minute ago and a little bit more into
that you you did say it you said that so you’re working on your daughter’s you to
come up with with a treatment for your daughter and you found a molecule that
works but I want to spend a second on that how does an electrical engineer a
satellite engineer just go about to find the molecule that works I mean I
you know mechanical aerospace engineer I don’t even know where I would begin even
if I wanted to so the answer is is reading and research is is where it
begins and you have to read first of all with what I would do is I’d go into a
library and I would find index entries for pulmonary arterial hypertension to
understand what this disease was I’d look in medical textbooks for pulmonary
arterial hypertension and people had written books and described this disease
at the end of each article and at the end of a chapter of a book there’d be
references the footnotes just like in every patent disclosure you got to
disclose you know at the upfront all the other people that have you know done
things that are similar so I would go and get those references I read each one
of those references at the beginning a lot of the references were Greek to me
because it wasn’t it wasn’t my field so then I went back to even a high school
biology book to understand okay what are they talking about here back to a high
school chemistry book how do these chemicals work together then I would go
back to the article I still didn’t understand enough I would go to a
college-level biology Anatomy or chemistry book and that was something I
could now understand so I’d read the high school level stuff then I would go
back to the peer review article aha I see why this molecule might work there’s
more references I would follow all of those references and you keep doing that
until finally you’re reading articles that the references of which more than
90% of which you’ve already read as referenced in other articles if you’re
obsessive like me you actually get down to the last reference you’re gonna read
every article hurt somebody’s quoted because my sweet daughter Genesis was in
the hospital at Children’s National Medical Center for so long when she was
able to get from the intensive care ward to the regular ward I would have her
come down to the library with me and just kind of help me file these articles
and sit it’s it’s it’s as simple as that it’s just reading and researching
reading and researching sounds very simple Bismarck I expect the molecule
next so I’m gonna open it up to questions
there are microphones in the three aisles please if you have questions go
to the microphones while you’re doing that you know we are the Patent and
Trademark Office I know you have many trademarks and you have a particularly
interesting story regarding the name of your current company yes we we like
trademarks at United therapeutics we have because one of our big activities
right now is manufacturing an unlimited supply of transplantable organs so
nobody anymore needs to die on the organ transplant list
we have trademarked I would have liked a trademark I lung I heart I kidney and I
liver but I think Apple likes really yeah covered that space but we did get
our trademarks for ulong you you heart and and so and so forth but the
interesting story that the director was referring to is the first name of United
therapeutics was lung rx which basically shows you just how naive I was really at
the beginning of this is I just wanted to help my daughter’s lung problem and I
knew that like you know Rx was like the just lamest name for a pharmaceutical or
a drug so I called it lung rx when I went out to raise capital some
people criticize me saying you you’re just a one-trick pony you got this one
molecule for pulmonary hypertension what happens if somebody cures it and then
you’ll be you know y’all have no business you need to have developed you
know find some more diseases to treat by the way you know I’m so thankful that we
have been able to do that and one of the medicines that we offer cures and
neuroblastoma which is a almost inevitably fatal pediatric cancer in 50%
of of the kids who who have it so in any of them we changed our name from lung rx
to lrx with the L standing for life-saving
medicines we were then sued by a company who had the trademark for their name L
XR and they pronounced it elixir like a life-saving thing and they said that we
lrx we’re trading on their good name of l XR I mean the thought frankly never
never came into my mind of all the weird ideas that came into my mind that’s not
one of them but they sued us and so we said that’s it we’re gonna change our
name to get away from all of this l RX l XR I was advised by really good
trademark attorneys that if you have a good trademark the worst thing you could
do is keep it secret because it’s only going to be good like this of this area
of use you have to actually use it the Patent and Trademark Office is not a
place to lock up secrets in a in the freezer it’s a place to use things so we
adopted the new name United therapeutics and we took out full-page advertisements
New England Journal of Medicine for a year saying here you hear you United
therapeutics is here great ok so let’s take some questions sir thank you for
coming doctor or oplan I have a two-part question piggybacking each other first
is on your helicopter is a barrier protect helicopter so if so here comes
the piggyback how did you balance the weight lift function if at all the
weight or the battery versus the lift function on the Lakotas in your design
yeah that’s a great question and that’s I love that question because that ties
back to the directors initial point I did not want to get into really
manufacturing helicopters got a plate full with all of these organs and other
things but I am a pilot and I I know people at the major helicopter companies
so I am also a very much of an enthusiast for electric cars so of
course you know I had like one of the first Tesla’s and I tried to learn
everything I could about the car and understand the weight the power output
Valerie’s and I didn’t mathematical calculations and I saw that the that the
250 kilowatt which was I’m sorry the 750 kilowatts which was equivalent to a
thousand horsepower matched exactly the power output of my bell 206 Jet Ranger
and so I figured that the power of the Tesla was in fact had an equivalent
amount of power to the power output of the of the helicopter and now with the
helicopter I could keep that power output going as long as I pour fuel into
it as long as I pour gas into it so it has a 70 gallon gas tank and that gas
will run through it in a couple hours so I can fly for two two hours in that
helicopter but if I powered that same helicopter with the batteries from my
Tesla I would be able to power it for about 15 minutes so that was actually
very encouraging to me on a number of accounts first I thought well if I could
do it for 15 minutes then there are improvements I could make that turn the
15 minutes in the 20 minutes and 25 of the 30 minutes so these are the
improvements I went about doing first of all a helicopter has a very bad
lift-to-drag ratio has a lift to drag ratio of about 4 I thought if I could go
ahead and put some wings on the helicopter and streamlined a helicopter
I could double triple even quadruple the lift-to-drag ratio that would give me 2
3 or 4 times as long of a range secondly I knew that the energy density of
batteries from research I did was increasing 7 to 10% every year and and
and that has been true ever since then because all with all this interest in
electric cars well if something is increasing 7 to 10 percent a year let’s
do 10 percent that’s easy that means every 7 years it has double the power so
I said Wow in the 7 year time period what now is 15 minutes will be 30
minutes but by improving the lift to drag ratio that will be an hour
hour and a half or two hours I now have an electric help helicopter that has the
same range as a gas-filled helicopter okay yeah just the last part of it so
how did you get to fly in a day I thought he said you flew around the
world with it though the the gentleman who provided
was kind enough to give me the inaugural Excellence Award an electric aviation
Ross Perot jr. flew all the way around the world in the helicopter oh not your
electric it’s all my goals it’s all my goals that’s my goal for the 2020s and
the tool who happens to be our chief economist right thank you so much dr.
Roth let your your story is actually super inspirational and I think it’s
been it’s been wonderful to hear about it so economists always talk about
scarce resources and one of the one of the scarcest resources is time and I’m
amazed at how much you’ve been able to accomplish in the end every day only has
24 hours but somehow you’ve squeezed an amazing productivity and amazing
accomplishments out of these out of each of these days do you have any you know
insights you could pass so I’m trying to squeeze some you know productivity out
of my time do you have any insights that you could pass on yes I thank you for
the compliment I really appreciate it I think the main reason I’ve been able to
accomplish these things is that I’ve been able to inspire super good people
to join me and thereby have a huge leverage effect on what I’m doing for
example the picture that was shown in the video of my electric helicopter team
everybody wants to make a difference in the world and I believe that all of us
do make a difference in the world so these guys who are aerodynamicists and
electrical aeronautical engineers they look back in the 1910s and 20s and say
wow those were the glory days of aviation that’s when there were a
hundred airplane companies and people were all coming up with new
things and I would save them and say guys we have a chance to reinvent
aviation already aviation is accounting for about 5% of Globen carbon footprint
it’s going to end up with around 10% all you have to do is read the paper I mean
the Pope thinks we should calm down the world temperature everybody thinks we
should calm down the world’s temperature so there is definitely going to be a
huge market for green energy charged battery powered aviation we have an
opportunity to change the world I said the same thing to the building
engineers in the civil engineers that work on our headquarters up in Silver
Spring for the people that do the organ manufacturing here’s just a couple of
quick shots on the that’s a 3d printed organ that is grown from collagen inside
the tobacco plant I’m going to move ahead to the next
slide here the computers on this side I just pointed pointed yep right here okay
sorry yep so there you see I’ll meet my team holding this 3d printed lung you
can see the joy in those guys faces can’t you it’s they’re excited because
who does not want to be able to go home and say to their friends and family
they’re working to make sure that nobody again ever dies on the organ transplant
list I mean it’s just an intrinsically good thing to do and um and and then to
say okay let’s work together to have a slice by slice step by step way to
achieve it so these people are motivated the helicopter folks are motivated here
I’m at a place across the street from Camus Texas A&M University which is by
the way the place that really invented the black light for growing things
internally there we are growing Khan tobacco plants whose DNA has been
modified to express human collagen and extremely expensive by the gram compound
to buy right now we will end up collagen however is the most abundant protein
that your body produces all the DNA in your body is like an amazing Factory
number one protein that it pumps out as collagen so we present we now have made
tobacco plants that caused so much lung disease B our collagen power plant so we
produced a collagen in the leaves of the tobacco plant digest a tobacco plant and
then use the collagen we extract from the digest to 3d print a lung that can
be then implanted into a person covered with the person’s own stem cells for
which they will not require me a suppression so when you tell people
about you know these very accessible but world-changing events they’re willing to
work night and day so the reason that I can you know I don’t want to say I work
9:00 to 5:00 but but the reason I don’t have to work 24 hours a day is because I
got a thousand other super jazz super motivated people working around the
clock you know on these awesome inspiring dreams the way to achieve that
is you have to give somebody a really good goal to work for and make it
something that they can accomplish within a human accessible timeframe
which in my experience is five to ten years if people have a goal that they
can really see that they can change the world in five to ten years they’ll put
their all into it thank you thank you sir
that my name is Steve and I know you’re good friends with Dean Kaman and your
company United therapeutics is a part of the advanced regenerative manufacturing
Institute yes so could you kind of explain the role that your company plays
on that and what you see coming out of that Institute because to me it sounds
like it’s a pretty exciting space for medicine as we go into the future yes it
is so first of all one of those pictures you saw is actually from Army the
advanced regenerative medicine Institute the one of the 3d printed collagen
scaffolds lung those are printed up there in Manchester New Hampshire in a
completely redesigned milliard building Dina and I share the passion to bring
manufacturing back to America and you know at one point in time Manchester New
Hampshire was like what a hundred years previously Manchester England was like
they worked chopped of the world and there were literally thousands of people
that would go into those milliards and make fabrics well that’s you know long
ago been commoditized and everything but what our vision is is to bring
manufacturing of biology things that keep people alive and healthy back to
Manchester so one of the things we’re doing there is the 3d printed organs in
partnership with 3d systems and the inventor of the 3d printer chuck hall
who no doubt has numerous patents in this Patent and Trademark Office and
would be an awesome speaker for a program plus he all relative okay okay yeah you
said yet he’s just a super great guy he’s also a pilot and another thing
we’re doing there is Dean Dean pulled off one of the most amazing inventions
in my opinion in medical device history he for a hundred years
all infusion pumps have worked exactly the same and there are a screw driven
pump that basically creates pressure and pushes pushes a fluid through a pipe
through a tube he invented a way and I think this is so elegant and brilliant
to use sound waves going through a fluid that ever the ever faster rate at which
a sound wave will go through an ever-diminishing amount of fluid to
determine through through a mathematical formula how much fluid is left in that
reservoir and therefore at what and therefore measure and make adjustments
for how much fluid goes out of it using only a night no wire that just bends to
allow the fluid to pass into the catheter so his new pump which I’m sure
it’s like many patents file here on it because Dean’s got hundreds of patents
that new pump which is called the unity pump has no moving parts I call it like
the Tesla of pumps it’s it’s such an elegant device so we at United
therapeutics are manufacturing that up there in Manchester New Hampshire and
that will be able to be used for all type of regenerative medicine that are
people if they have kind of like a neurological condition Parkinson’s or
something like that or any other type of medical condition that needs our
regenerating of their body’s fluids that regenerative therapeutic can be put into
this pump with no moving parts and gradually sent into the body so there’s
now a manufacturing line for those unity pumps up there in Manchester New
Hampshire by the way we’re working on having Dean came in here as the next
speaker early early in 2020 so just in a short
while some people ask me who do I look up to as as a role model and I look up
to Dean Kaman and if you think that how I do all these things I would say
what I do is is 10% of what Dean does because he does all of these kind of
things that we’re talking about he invented the turbine and Strom
helicopter I won’t go through his whole things he’s already done but on top of
that he has organized a global organization nonprofit organization
called FIRST Robotics for inspiration and recognition and science and
technology and just convened in Dubai more nations then are at the regular
Olympics Aidan Olympics of junior high and high school kids from 191 countries
to compete in building a robotic robots that compete against each other in
sports and that the finals attended by the highest leader of Dubai for after
God’s exact name it turned out the finalists were two teams one team had
the Israelis on the team the other team had a Syrian refugee group on the team
and at the end these two teams got all the way up to the finals jumped over the
rope and we’re all hugging each other right and Dubai I mean and that’s a kind
of miracle that I think only Dean came and can make happen thank you for your very inspiring
stories my question is like how did you secure funding the first time around
when you had no prior business experience yes it was a very very
difficult and I was turned away by more than 90% of all of the all of the
investors that I approached but I I did learn I think you know I tell people who
want to go to the MBA school I learned really one good thing out of out of MBA
school in my opinion I’m grateful to UCLA for that but but but that was
really basically just comes down to how to calculate a net present value of
something and I learned very well how to how to show that a possible future
stream of things was worth something real today and it sounds almost like
magic okay how do you show that a possible future stream of things is is
worth something real today but you do that by first of all saying well what
would it be worth if you had say 10 million subscribers to a satellite radio
system well they would pay 10 dollars a month so you know 10 million times you
know $10 a month 10 million dollars a month that’s that’s worth something well
what are the probabilities of that occurring well if you’re a skeptic you
may say it’s only a 10% probability of occurring okay but that’s still worth
something okay that’s still worth something even if it’s only 10% it’s
still worth something and you do that for every year year ten year nine year
eight year 7 and and then you have to count in how much it costs to create
that reality and now you don’t have to pay all of that money on day one so even
though you have to pay that money in year two year three or four that money
in the year four is not really the same amount as the money in year one because
it’s in the future so these things balance
and what you learn to do in the in a and I like it at Anderson School of
Management at UCLA you learn to I would say keep tweaking those numbers until
the present value the year zero number is a positive number and I don’t mean
tweaking those numbers in an unfair way I mean tweaking it in in a fair way like
if the probabilities are too low then you need to do some things to increase
the probability maybe you need to get a patent granted because that would
increase the probability that you wouldn’t be undercut by a competitor or
maybe in my case what I did is I did an actual test I put a transmitter on top
of the Gannett usatoday building and I transmitted a signal at the equivalent
power flux density to a car driving through Rock Creek Park because the
people at the FCC thought it was impossible to transmit my signal through
leaves and I had to show them that it was possible so you do things like this
that’s what I mean by tweak the probabilities finally you get the thing
is worth on day zero whatever the number is you can call it you know ten million
dollars fifty million doesn’t really matter with the number then you go to
the investor and you say I will give you this thing that’s worth whatever the
number is ten million five pound I’ll give it to you for half the price all I
need is the price and so what that means is like you’ve given half your company
you know to that investor but now you got the five million or the 50 million
and you can start building out your your technology and that’s called series a
round and you just you know repeat that repeat if you move along and that’s
exactly how I did it and ninety percent of the people will tell you no I think
your numbers are are optimistic and I think the numbers actually negative
right now so I’m not going to give you I’ll give you half of a negative number
but that’s nothing but finally if you don’t give up you will run into a
believer you will run into a believer if you don’t give up I think the story that
we hear from you and from many other people the key is never give up never
give up one final question Mary Denison who is our Commissioner for
trademarks oh great and
the main reason I asked the trademark question in fear of the commissioner for
trade lies well I want to start off by saying thank you for saying the Patent
and Trademark Office throughout your comments and not calling it the patent
and trade office or just the patent office so I’m very grateful to you for
acknowledging that we exist because I can’t tell you how many speakers don’t
do that so thank you for that but my question has nothing to do with
trademarks um I have a friend that needs a heart transplant but she’s too old and
her mother died at 107 and so she’s 79 she thinks she could go to 170 has this
heart problem so I’m wondering if you’re I know that you’re dealing with
rejections and are you targeting people are you hoping that this will be
available to everybody at some point and you would never want to have one from a
person it would totally replace that I’m just kind of wondering what your
ambition is there yes it’s a it’s a great question my my view is to create
an unlimited supply of transplantable organs and to leave it up to the doctors
best judgment which particular type of transplantable organs any particular
patient would have because organs that are anatomical donations are especially
scarce there are a whole detailed set of rules for who would get these organs and
there is it is very difficult for an older person to get a heart transplant
because people’s logic is that there are the heart transplant would statistically
live exist longer in a 40 or 45 year old person but you know the old saying that
there are three types of liars there’s Liars there’s damn liars and
they’re statisticians so uh so uh I’m on I’m on her side and
and I’m voting that she’s going to go to 107 now on the manufactured lungs that
you see there the expert lung transplant surgeons have advised us that the first
persons to get these lungs would be people who have lung cancer of which
there are over a quarter million people a year in America in America alone who
died of lung cancer that’s a lot of people and and you know many people kind
of they can’t help themselves say well it’s because they smoked personally as a
medical ethicist I don’t think that’s either here and they’re there but I do
want to point out that 25,000 people die a year of lung cancer we’ve never smoked
at all and radon exposure is the principal cause of that and you know and
so you just be perfectly didn’t do anything you just happen to live in a
house to hell a lot of radon and you got lung cancer so anyway that’s a that’s a
sidebar there but they’ve said that because lung cancer patients are not
allowed on the organ transplant list the first Pierson’s to get our
manufactured lungs would be lung cancer patients who the lung and the cancer not
yet metastasized and that they could get it and then the persons who would first
get our manufactured hearts would be the older patients the patients in their
seventh and eighth and ninth decade and I love that because my my catch phrase
when people when why one of the P reasons I say that I want to make an
unlimited supply of transplantable organs is like old people are people –
well we could go on forever among many other things that you’re doing my
understanding is that your company is the largest manufacturer of genetically
engineered pigs yes you’re also working on artificial intelligence technologies
primarily when it comes to cognitive applications for Alzheimer’s patients
and alike there’s we could go on forever here but your last answer with respect
to an unlimited supply of organs leads me to think a
would would people just live forever but I want to leave for today with a thought
from you what do you think the world will look like let’s say 50 years from
now or let’s go even a bit longer let’s say in the year 2100 and are we all
still gonna be here I think the the answer to the second
part of your question is it all depends upon what decisions we all make in
during the 2020s this is going to be one of the most important decades in human
history there are no shortage of threats to to
life on earth probably the one that I myself worried the most about is goes
under the rubric of do-it-yourself biotech it’s of you know it’s it’s it’s
ever more easy for anybody to create a pathogen in the bioterror type of sense
so this is a very difficult type of problem to control we we are doing I
think a pretty good job no not perfect with nuclear
proliferation but there there’s many ways to measure radiation and it’s it’s
harder to hide like nuclear weapons bioterror is a much more difficult thing
to to monitor so we have a lot of threats going forward not to not to
mention you know global warming and everything else so the decisions that we
make as a people during the 2020s will dictate whether it will be a good world
for everybody in 2100 a good world for just some people in 2100 or kind of you
know a sad in and negative place for most people I think you know no no day
is guaranteed to anybody so what’s most important is what you do each and every
day and my my favorite phrase that I from the religious community is that the
good Lord put two eyes in front of us and no eyes behind us because we
shouldn’t worry about what’s already happened just focus on what’s in front
of us focus on today and tomorrow well thank you very much
with everybody join me in thanking dr. Ross Blatt for being here and for being such a great friend of the
US Patent and Trademark Office and keeping our examiner’s busy in all our
units and and in trademark areas I want to give you a USPTO pin which I will put
here where you put it anyway okay wherever the director puts
it it’s the right place you know what this is a you know what I’m not gonna
put it because your coat is probably a bullet proof and I’ll just give it to
you and please always keep coming back I will thank you very much!

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