Paul Chu's superconductor research at the University of Houston will act as a "multiplier" to Du Pont's own efforts, senior vice president Al MacLachlan said after Du Pont announced a multimillion dollar deal with Houston on August 23. Under the agreement, which took a year to negotiate, Du Pont made an initial payment of $1.5 million to the university and will fork over an additional $1.5 million upon issuance of a patent to Chu covering the class of 1-2-3 superconducting compounds (YBa2Cu3O7). Two years after the patent is issued, Du Pont will pay another $1.5 million. In return, Du Pont receives exclusive rights to commercial applications of any patent granted to Chu for his work on 1-2-3 compounds. It also has first refusal for rights to other superconductivity inventions that may come out of Chu's lab in the next three years.

Du Pont has...

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