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Dissecting the Software Patent Amici in Support of CLS Bank

Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 @ 12:13 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 16 comments
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Computers, Facebook, Gene Quinn, Google, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patentability, Patents, Software, US Supreme Court

There are numerous briefs listed on the ABA’s brief publication webpage for Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank that are filed in support of the respondent, most of which make specious claims about software patents blocking innovation, or which make arguments that claims that specifically recite computers, data storage units, devices and more are somehow abstract and imaginary. These arguments should be easy enough to dispose of as ridiculous on their face, but who knows how the Supreme Court will respond. Still, one would hope that the Supreme Court would notice that neither patents generally or software patents specifically have done anything to block innovation in the smartphone industry.

Whereas the Alice supporters feel that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s issuance of software patents are important for protecting and spurring innovation in many fields, the supporters of CLS Bank have largely responded that software patents hurt innovation. But that can’t be! One of the areas critics always say has been allegedly hamstrung by patents, the smartphones industry, is barely over 6 years old.  Have patents stopped innovation of smartphones? Hardly. In fact, with every new version companies tout just how much more the phones do and how they are so far superior to the previous model. Thus, it is easy to see that those claiming that software patents block innovation simply ignore market reality and how the functionality of current devices (which is thanks to software) match up with previous generations of devices over the last 6 years. Corporate critics must also ignore their own marketing of new smartphones, which directly contradicts the ridiculous claim that software patents are preventing innovation. Still they make these and other specious arguments as if they are true.



Google Seeks Patent on Ordering Ahead with a Mobile Device

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 @ 11:44 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Google, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

When discussing technological innovations, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the activities going on at the headquarters of Google Inc. in Mountain View, CA. In recent years, this corporation has been very interested in acquiring Internet technologies and services of interest to millions of their users, evidenced by the company’s latest decision to invest $50 million for a minority stake in the real estate service website Auction.com. The company has also been busy developing its new Google Glass technology, and people are now getting an idea of what kind of apps this new device will utilize. In June, the company will unveil a new smartwatch developed in partnership with LG, complete with a new smartwatch-centric operating system.

Google is a favorite among the corporations profiled here on IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series because of its development of interesting consumer technologies. As we check back in for our latest round with the company, we see that it hasn’t slowed its activities with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We found an intriguing assortment of new technologies created by this company, especially those related to Google’s mobile device innovations.

The featured patent application for today highlights a novel system of using mobile devices to improve something millions of Americans do every day: order out for food. This Internet-based system of ordering enables more precise delivery, better estimation of arrival times as well as secure payments for food and other items. We also profile some patent applications pertaining to speech recognition technologies and online searches for flight itineraries.



US No. 1 in Patent Filings at the European Patent Office

Posted: Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 @ 9:45 am | Written by European Patent Office | No Comments »
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Posted in: Boeing, Companies We Follow, Europe, General Electric, Google, HP, Intel, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Patents, Qualcomm
  • Almost a quarter of all European patent filings originate from the US
  • US patent filings in Europe grew by 2.8% to highest figure ever
  • General Electric and Qualcomm biggest patent filers from the US
  • US companies strongest in medical technology and IT sector
  • EPO President Benoît Battistelli: “Europe is a premier hub of innovation.”

Brussels, 6 March 2014 – Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) hit a new record in 2013, with applications coming from the US growing by 2.8% (2012: +5.1%). Last year US companies deposited 64 967, or 24.5%, of all European patent filings (2012: 63 198), which confirms the US as the No. 1 among all countries at the EPO, ahead of Japan (52 437; +1.2%) and Germany (32 022, -5.4%). It is the highest number of patents ever filed by US companies within one year at the EPO.

In the last decade, European patent filings originating in the US grew an average 2.2% per year. Since 2004 the number of US patent filings in Europe has risen by more than 20%.



East Texas Jury Finds Google Infringed, $125 MM at Stake

Posted: Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 @ 3:19 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, Google, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Litigation, Patent Trolls, Patents

SimpleAir, an inventor-owned technology licensing company, holds eight issued U.S. Patents and several pending patent applications in the areas of wireless content delivery, mobile applications, and push notifications. SimpleAir has licensed its inventions to many leading technology companies, including Apple. See also Apple, others settle with patent troll SimpleAirGoogle decided not take a license and/or otherwise settle a patent infringement litigation brought by SimpleAir and now has been found to infringed one of SimpleAir’s patents.

A federal jury in the Eastern District of Texas returned a verdict on Saturday, January 18, 2014, following a week-long trial presided over by the Judge Rodney Gilstrap, finding that Google infringed SimpleAir’s U.S. Patent No. 7,035,914.  The ’914 patent covers a system and method for connecting on-line networks with on-line and off-line computers. The system provides for broadcast of up to the minute notification, which thereby provides an instant call to action for users who are provided with the ability to instantaneously retrieve further detailed information. The notification is wirelessly broadcast to wireless receiving devices attached to computing devices. The services accused of infringing the ’914 patent were the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services. Those services are used by Google to process and send instant notifications for Android applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.

The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the amount of damages to award for Google’s infringement. The damages issue will be decided by a separate jury in a second trial limited to the issue of damages.  SimpleAir has announced that they will seek damages in excess of $125 million for Google’s infringement in the damages retrial.



Spherix Acquires 100 Rockstar Patents

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | No Comments »
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Posted in: Apple, Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, Google, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, Sony

Spherix Incorporated (NASDAQ: SPEX), a Tysons Corner, Virginia intellectual property monetization company, recently announced that it has entered into a series of agreements with Rockstar Consortium (US) LP in which Spherix Incorporated acquired over 100 patents and patent applications.  The newly acquired patents cover among other things, numerous aspects of access, switching, routing, optical and voice communication network devices.

In addition to the 100 patents/application acquired will complement the Rockstar patents previously acquired by Spherix and will further support Rockstar’s current licensing efforts. Rockstar will also share usage information with Spherix for the transferred patents, and will assist Spherix in working with the patents’ inventors, to assist Spherix’s commercialization efforts.



The Year of the Cloud: Cloud Computing Goes Mainstream

Posted: Monday, Jan 6, 2014 @ 3:40 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | 5 comments
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Posted in: Computers, Google, Guest Contributors, IBM, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Brachmann

Take a quick listen to the many conversations that have been taking place in the computing world over the past year and you’ll likely notice one term being thrown about fairly often: cloud computing. This new form of computer networking is fraught with possibilities that would completely transform the idea of computing, whether in the home or in the workplace.

Even as more of us are becoming acquainted with the idea of the cloud, many of us are still woefully ignorant of what the term actually means. For example, a survey by cloud software developer Citrix Systems showed that 54 percent of respondents did not believe that they used cloud-based computing, even though 95 percent of them actually did. Almost as many respondents confused the cloud metaphor, believing that stormy weather could actually interfere with cloud systems.

Cloud computing is set to take a much more prominent role in our technologically savvy society. Providing advanced computing applications through networking channels severely reduces the IT needs of homes and businesses who want to use more powerful software programs without installing them on a client computer. With more than $131 billion in economic activity for the cloud computing sector in 2013, more business infrastructure and software services should be taking to the cloud than ever before.

Entire corporations have begun to narrow their focus on cloud computing. IBM has been developing cloud-based solutions for business needs for a few years now, and Google’s cloud options for Internet users include online file storage and document creation. It is against this backdrop that we want to take a quick look back at 2013 and celebrate what some could call the Year of the Cloud, during which the concept began to truly enter the mainstream consciousness.



Is Google the “Snow White” of the Patent System?

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 @ 7:50 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 4 comments
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, Google, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Technology & Innovation

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.



Google Seeks Patent on Social News Aggregator

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Google, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Social Media, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

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.