| 8 August 2000
For Immediate Release
APL Licenses Internet Technologies to Sphere Corporation
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is teaming up with the Sphere Corporation, a Baltimore-based information technology firm, to make the Internet a safer and more secure place to conduct business.
APL technology is forming the foundation of GuardedProfile Corporation, a new, wholly owned Sphere Corporation subsidiary created to provide secure e-commerce vehicles for corporate and individual Web users. Under a nonexclusive licensing agreement the partners will tailor, for GuardedProfile's use, APL-designed structures for protecting networks and databases, retrieving data, and organizing electronic information. The agreement also includes up-front licensing fees, milestone payments, royalties on product sales and an equity position for JHU/APL in the Sphere Corporation.
"This is more than a typical licensing agreement," says Wayne Swann, the Laboratory's director of technology transfer. "This joint effort forms a new company that allows us to support Maryland's emerging technology base. It will invite investment, create jobs and lead to innovative products that benefit the public."
Using APL's tools to enhance its patented SwiftID technology, GuardedProfile will offer customers a private and secure way to store and send personal electronic information, ranging from names and addresses to site-registration passwords and credit card numbers. The system features a data storehouse from which people can transact e-business away from the prying keys of computer hackers.
"Our licensing agreement and strategic relationship with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory enables Sphere to function as a conduit for the commercialization of select APL technology," says Dave Glock, Sphere Corporation president and CEO. "GuardedProfile Corporation is the first Sphere company incorporating APL technology spun-out through a licensing agreement." It's also the latest step in APL's comprehensive initiative to share its wide-ranging technology development expertise with small and emerging enterprises, particularly those in Maryland. APL draws from a portfolio of more than 200 issued patents, with many more patents pending.
"Sphere Corporation's interest in APL validates that the technologies we develop can meet the needs of today's leading-edge businesses," says John Sommerer, head of APL's Research and Technology Development Center. "It is also an opportunity for our staff to expand its capabilities by working with researchers and developers outside our traditional customer base, and provides an entrepreneurial outlet for our inventors."
The Applied Physics Laboratory is a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, conducting research and development primarily for national security and for nondefense projects of national and global significance. APL is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in Laurel, Md. For more information visit http://www.jhuapl.edu.
Sphere Corporation is the parent company of Sphere Solutions, Inc. (SSI), an information security, network, and systems engineering consultancy. Founded in 1995, Sphere Solutions has an engineering staff with revenues of about $2 million. For more information, visit http://www.sphere.com.