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Why teenage girl's smartphone battery breakthrough may never see daylight

Colin Neagle | May 30, 2013
Solaroad CEO threatens patent suit if 18-year-old California student tries to commercialize her research on supercapacitors

"I would never consciously hurt or cast aspersions on anybody. I just simply wanted to put somebody on notice that we already developed this technology," Retti said in a phone interview with Network World. "I don't want to hurt this girl's feelings or anybody else's. I'm just frustrated after trying to get Intel or Google to talk to us for decades, and they won't even talk to me, but they're jumping on this bandwagon."

Indeed, Khare's research project isn't the first to infringe upon Solaroad's; Retti says he has encountered this issue "about a dozen times." And he says academic projects like these raise concerns with investors, making it all the more difficult to raise capital.

Retti says he'd like to get to a point where academia and private businesses collaborate. But if any separate companies invest in Khare's project, he says he would have to take legal action.

"I don't want to pee on anyone's parade and I don't want to stop any technology that could be for the greater good of the world, but I'm here to say that I did it," Retti says.

"I don't want to have to bring legal action against her," he added. "But if she raises capital, I'll have to stop her."


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