Located in Sunnyvale, CA, the American multinational corporation Yahoo! Inc. is a major developer of Internet services that are used worldwide. Every month, hundreds of millions of users access Yahoo! websites and services, making it one of the most popularly visited American websites on the Internet. Recently, the company announced a new online picture printing program called Flickr Photo Books that would integrate photos stored on Flickr. Yahoo!’s fiscal strength is evidenced with the announcement that the company is increasing a share buyback program by $5 billion, a decision that’s resulted in rising stock prices for Yahoo! in recent days.
We haven’t profiled Yahoo! before in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, but we’re starting to take a closer look as we notice the company showing up often in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office publishings. Recently, the company has filed a large number of patent applications and has been issued a fair amount of patents, all focused on various innovations for its array of Internet services and applications.
In today’s column, we’re going in-depth to explore a patent application that would notify mobile device users of nearby events. These events would be collected from social media applications and filtered based on a user’s interest and proximity to the user, helping that person find interesting events that they were unaware of. Also, a couple of patent applications describe improvements to social networks available through Yahoo!, both on an individual and a group basis.
The online retailing giant Amazon.com is an American corporation that is headquartered in Seattle, WA. With Black Friday later this week, we at IPWatchdog wanted to take a closer look at one of the companies that has drastically changed the current reality of retail. As parents all over the country get ready to find gifts for their children, Amazon might earn a better market share with recent reports that it’s toys are cheaper than those found on Wal-Mart’s online store. Recent reports from The Seattle Times indicate that the corporation is looking to increase its leased spacing within Seattle by 20 percent, or about 275,000 square feet.
Holding the rights to more than 1,200 patents, Amazon is definitely a company to profile in our Companies We Follow series. It’s never too long before a new patent application or issued patent is published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which is assigned to the company. As you can see, Amazon is busy finding new and more effective ways of putting consumers in touch with useful multimedia.
Today’s featured patent application would protect a software widget for handheld electronic devices that allows playback of Amazon digital files. This widget would save system resources that typically get drained when users open multiple applications for video and audio playback or eBook reading. A couple of other patent applications discuss improved delivery systems for physical copies of media, including a system of creating custom shipping containers. Another patent application allows handheld electronic devices to conserve energy typically used by touchscreen operations.
Headquartered in Dallas, TX, the American semiconductor manufacturer Texas Instruments (TI) is the world’s third-largest microchip manufacturer, as of April 2011. Its logic and processor technologies power many of the smartphones, calculators, computers and other electronic devices we use daily. Recently, the corporation announced that its Multicore Software Development Kit, which is used by programmers to develop applications for TI platforms, will be available in a version for low-power processors. According to the stock market insight website OptionMONSTER, Texas Instruments stock has recently experienced thousands of put options, which could indicate financial volatility in a positive or negative direction.
Texas Instruments is one of the strongest companies in its field throughout the world, making it a great choice for featuring in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series. Those who are interested in the ever-growing world of the semiconductor may be interested to see the upcoming developments affecting this sector of technology. We’ve explored the recent patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and assigned to TI for a clearer look at this technology firm’s research and development aims.
Today, we’ve chosen for our featured patent application an interesting development that may finally make practical indoor mapping applications for electronic device owners feasible. This system, developed by Texas Instruments, would use wireless local access network analysis of device motion within a building instead of satellite-based systems to provide an exact location of a device user. Other patent applications have been filed by TI to protect systems of determining accurate touch commands on a multi-touch screen surface, as well as a plastic-packaged semiconductor device that is lightweight and better protected against electrical shorts.
The patents issued by the USPTO to any corporation are an important indicator of that company’s strength in intellectual property, and we have an intriguing assortment of patents assigned to Texas Instruments recently. One issued patent focuses on better systems of video processing to prevent digital video from developing a flicker effect. Another patent protects a system of improving digital navigation programs that respond better to a device’s actual state within a moving vehicle. We’ve also taken a look at one patent that provides adaptive forms of partitioning system resources within an electronic device.
The man with the electronic throat tattoo. Figure 3 from U.S. Patent Application 20130297301.
File this in the “you have to be kidding me” category if you like, but U.S. Patent Application No. 20130297301, which published November 7, 2013, shows that Google has applied for a patent on a system and method of coupling an electronic skin tattoo together with a mobile communication device. It seems that this particular electronic tattoo incorporated circuitry within the tattoo that enables the picking up of acoustic sounds that emanate from the throat region of the body when said tattoo is applied in close proximity to the throat region.
Essentially, Google is trying to patent a throat microphone that is embedded in a tattoo.
With this patent application it seems to me that Google has officially jumped the shark, and has lost all credibility in the patent debate they seem so desperate to influence in an anti-patent way. Google representatives constantly preach that they don’t need patents, they don’t want patents, the world would be a better place without patents, and that the only reason that they obtain patents is for defensive purposes. That specious argument never rang true, particularly when they would pivot from “we only get patents for defensive purposes” into complaining about the injustice they suffer at the hands of patent trolls, as if to tie the two wholly unrelated matters together.
Once again, IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow is returning to Mountain View, CA, to focus on Google Inc., one of the premier names in online technologies throughout the world. In mid-November, the corporation received a major legal victory when the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the company’s Google Books service is protected under the “fair use” principle of copyright law. Google’s Android system is still very strong in the mobile device market, which the corporation is hoping to improve with the recent launch of its low-cost Moto G smartphone.
Google is a major player in the American patent system, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark System regularly churns out bunches of issued patents and patent application publishings which are assigned to the company. This week, we’re profiling a number of interesting technologies for mobile devices and online software applications that this multinational corporation is either seeking to protect or for which they’ve earned the rights already.
Today’s column starts with a thorough profile of one patent application that seeks to converge content from social networks with the news feed that a person sees when browsing a news aggregator service. Google wants to patent a system that analyzes a user’s social media feeds to pull up relevant media or comments that may enhance the value of browsing through news stories. Other patent applications protect better routing systems, both for public transportation as well as personal vehicles, and one discusses an interesting system of providing instant text translations between two foreign parties on one tablet computer.
The Bank of America Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a financial services and banking institution that operates in all 50 states across America. One the nation’s largest banks, Bank of America has come under some recent fire with federal prosecutors lately. In early November, a motion was filed in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan to fine the corporation $864 million for bad mortgage loans sold by Countryside, a subsidiary, to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the leadup to the 2008 financial crisis. However, many of these sales occurred before Bank of America acquired Countryside in 2008. With a new CEO in place as of 2010, the corporation has been trying to reduce financial lossesincurred by its many acquisitions during the global financial crisis.
For the first time in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re taking a look at this major player in the financial markets to get a glimpse at what developments we may see in banking, both in this country and worldwide. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regularly deals with Bank of America as a patent applicant. This week, we’re going through a bunch of patent applications and issued patents that describe some very intriguing new services for bank account holders, especially individuals.
Our featured patent application today discusses the operation of an automatic teller machine, or ATM, that includes a universal serial bus (USB) port. This USB port would enable the ATM to connect to external security devices, such as a fingerprint scanner, to provide authentication. We’ve pulled up two applications that deal with providing targeted shopping offers digitally, one that provides offers while browsing an online store and another that can provide discounts after the purchase has been made. Other patent applications describe a marketplace for exchanging gift cards, as well as a system for vehicle navigation to points of interest along a driving route.
Siemens AG, a multinational conglomerate of engineering and electronics developers, is a major source of innovations in a wide array of fields, including medical technologies, communications, power generation and industrial automation. Recently, subsidiary Siemens Water Technologies announced a partnership with Texas A&M to develop more efficient systems of removing heavy metals from industrial wastewater. The next few weeks will be interesting ones for Siemens as they chart a course under a brand new CEO who has only been serving since August.
We’re taking a look once again at Siemens here in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series to get an idea of how the corporation is applying its research and development to medical technologies and other industries. As always, we’ve pulled up a number of patent applications and issued patents assigned to Siemens by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that should interest our readers.
Our featured patent application today discusses improvements to methods of ultrasound therapy in medical settings. Ablation therapies in this system would have better safeguards that keep a patient’s skin from becoming uncomfortably warm during the procedure. Another medical technology innovation is discussed in a patent application focused on imaging a patient’s tongue for speech therapy. Other applications include more secure telecommunications systems and protocols and a system of detecting short circuits in the charging systems of electric vehicles.
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