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Guest Contributors

Creating Software Obviously Isn’t Easy – Part 3 with Bob Zeidman

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 3 comments
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Posted in: Bob Zeidman, Gene Quinn, Guest Contributors, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Software, Technology & Innovation

Software expert Bob Zeidman

Bob Zeidman is the president and founder of Zeidman Consulting, and he is also the president and founder of Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering Corporation. Zeidman is a software expert that I have known for several years and in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank we talked on the record about the decision, software in general and writing patent applications. What follows is part 3 of our 3 part conversation.

In this final installment we spend time talking about the problems associated with creating software that actually works. For something that Judges and mathematicians seem to say is so trivial software sure doesn’t work nearly as well as it should. Copied code cobbled together leads to broken systems, and programmers simply throw code up without proper vetting and let consumers find the bugs. Sure doesn’t sound like it is all that trivial to me, but then again, I’m not an ivy league educated Supreme Court Justice who is so computer illiterate that I don’t use e-mail.

To begin reading from the beginning please see A Conversation about Software and Patents.



Patent Drafting: Include Alternatives and Variations to Claim Limitations

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:28 am | Written by Joseph Root | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Drafting, Patents

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is an excerpt from Rules of Patent Drafting: Guidance from Federal Circuit Cases, 2014 Edition, which is now available at Amazon.com. This is the third installment of what is scheduled to be a 6 part series. To read other installments please see Joseph Root on Patent Claim Drafting.

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Recent Federal Circuit reasoning should make a patent drafter decidedly averse to single-embodiment patent applications, with good reason. Unfortunately, real-world constraints, principally centering on budget and time issues, have resulted and probably will continue to result in the production of a large number of applications in which multiple embodiments either do not exist or do not justify the time and effort to include them in a patent application.

One need not completely panic at the thought, however. Although multiple embodiments certainly should be included whenever possible, techniques are available to provide breadth beyond the minimal terms of a single embodiment. Reading the cases discussed above, it should become clear that the patents involved there not only disclosed single embodiment, but they generally failed to suggest that the claims should cover more territory than the minimal features of the disclosed embodiment. In most instances, the addition of a few sentences would have completely cured the cited problems.



Increase Renewable Energy with Better Hydrogen Storage Tech

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:56 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Battery Technology, Energy, Fuel Cells, Green Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

In the world of alternative energies, hydrogen fuel cells offer plenty of positive attributes which has attracted a great deal of research around the world in working towards greater development of these fuels. Hydrogen can be captured from energy generation processes involving fossil fuels or readily available biomass and can even be culled from the application of an electric current to water. Decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen through this process creates none of the harmful pollutants caused by combusting fossil fuels. Hydrogen must be created from other sources, as it does not exist freely in nature by itself, but many see it as a potentially effective means for generating useful energy in a more sustainable manner than fossil fuels.

Many of our readers will be familiar with efforts to incorporate hydrogen fuels into vehicle technologies for cleaner modes of transportation. Previously, we’ve discussed research and development aimed at creating hydrogen fuel cell technologies for use as renewable energy resources. Even larger scale applications for hydrogen fuels are currently being contemplated, in some cases by national governments. Japan, for example, recently released a white paper discussing the ability of that country to convert to a “hydrogen economy” and make hydrogen a main energy carrier for electrical utilities. Government officials believe that, by the year 2030, hydrogen-fueled energy could make up 10 percent of the total electricity needs of Japan.



Panasonic Patent Application Review: Portable Devices, Manufacturing Advancements and Behavior Analysis

Posted: Monday, Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:49 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Electronics, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Panasonic, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

From U.S. Patent Application No. 20140226294, titled “Display Device.”

In our latest installment of the Companies We Follow series here at IPWatchdog, we want to take an in-depth look at an indisputable giant in the field of electronics development and manufacturing over the past few decades. The Panasonic Corporation of Osaka, Japan, is a brand well-known to consumers of electronics all over the world.

Recently, Panasonic created a little stir in the alternative energy industry by announcing a partnership with Tesla Motors to contribute to that company’s Gigafactory operations, producing many of the lithium-ion cells needed for Tesla’s electric vehicle batteries. Panasonic is trying to make forays into developing markets, notably through the release of its Eluga U smartphone in Indian markets. Panasonic has faced tough economic times in recent months, but many believe the corporation is reorganizing its operations to focus on products with a higher profit margin, thus improving its prospects. Interestingly, Panasonic has also shown a recent interest in agriculture and its technology is being used to support Singapore’s first indoor vegetable farm licensed to operate in that country.

There can be no doubt that Panasonic has lately been an intellectual property giant; in 2013, the company was issued 2,601 U.S. patent grants from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the 6th-most among any global entity seeking U.S. patents that year. We want to be thorough in our investigation of a company’s recent research and development operations, so today we’ll be focusing strictly on patent applications published recently by the USPTO. Although these applications do not indicate that a company has earned the right to protect an invention, they have been filed more recently than issued patents and are therefore a better indication of a corporation’s recent developments.



Software, Silicon Valley and Computer Programmers – Part 2 with Bob Zeidman

Posted: Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 @ 9:16 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 23 comments
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Posted in: Bob Zeidman, Gene Quinn, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patentability, Patents, Software, Technology & Innovation

Software expert Bob Zeidman

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Bob Zeidman, the president and founder of Zeidman Consulting, who is also the president and founder of Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering Corporation, Zeidman is an software expert. In fact, in addition to consulting with lawyers and technology companies, he is an testifying and consulting expert witness. The premise of our conversation was the upheaval in the patent industry thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. In part 1 of our conversation we discussed the decision and ways that attorneys can build a specification to satisfy the Alice standard. In part 2 of our 3 part discussion, which appears below, we wrap up our discussion of the Alice decision and dive into a discussion about the fact that many in the computer science world don’t believe what they do to be particularly innovative or even special.

QUINN: And then there’s always the fear that if you put in code then you’re gonna be limiting yourself. I don’t think that’s really a justifiable fear as long as it’s put in properly as illustrative instead of limiting. You know, I mean the folks in the chemical world, they do this all the time. They have example after example after example after example, which is a great way to disclose what it is that you have, what it is that you’ve tried, what it is that you know that works.

ZEIDMAN: Exactly. It seems like if there is some ambiguity in the claims then you would go back to the specification to see if the code there could clarify the claims.



The Evolution of Bicycles: A Patent History

Posted: Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 @ 11:29 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Evolution of Technology, Green Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Karl Drais, circa 1820. Inventor of an early precursor to the modern bicycle.

For more than 100 years, the Tour de France has been the top competition in the bicycling world, and in recent years recognizable athletes such as Lance Armstrong have brought much more focus to the sport, albeit not always for positive reasons. The multiple-stage bicycle race that is a month long trek around France has lasted through multiple swells and declines in biking popularity. Currently, the bicycling world is seeing an uptick in interest, thanks to rising interests in personal transportation in urban environments as well as a growth in environmental responsibility in consumers from across the world. Many cities around the world have been embracing bicycle lanes on public roads as a means of supporting low-carbon emitting forms of transportation.

Here at IPWatchdog, we turn to our Evolution of Technology series whenever we want to profile the chronology of development for an intriguing invention which has revolutionized our world. With the storied Tour de France once more taking place across the picturesque regions of France, we thought that this week would be a good time to investigate the history of innovation which led to today’s bicycle.



A Conversation About Software and Patents: On the Record with Bob Zeidman

Posted: Friday, Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:22 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 12 comments
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Posted in: Bob Zeidman, Gene Quinn, Guest Contributors, Interviews & Conversations, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Software, Technology & Innovation

Bob Zeidman

Bob Zeidman is know to our readers as an occasional guest contributor. He is also the president and founder of Zeidman Consulting, a contract research and development firm in Silicon Valley that provides engineering consulting to law firm. He is also the president and founder of Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering Corporation, the leading provider of software intellectual property analysis tools. In short, Zeidman is a software expert in every sense of the word “expert”, he holds numerous patents and he is prolific author. He has written four engineering texts—The Software IP Detective’s HandbookVerilog Designer’s LibraryIntroduction to VerilogDesigning with FPGAs and CPLDs, and Just Enough Electronics to Impress Your Friends and Colleagues—in addition to numerous articles and papers. He has also written three award-winning screenplays and three award-winning novels including his latest, Good Intentions, a political satire about a future dystopia.

On August 12, 2014, I had the opportunity to speak with Zeidman on the record. As the dust begins to settle from the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank decision I thought it might be interesting to talk about the issues with a computer expert who regularly works with patent attorneys and technology clients, and who has been advising both attorneys and clients how to handle the Alice decision from a technical standpoint. In our three part interview we discuss the decision and various ways attorneys might be able to move forward to provide disclosure sufficient to satisfy even the Alice standard.



HP Patents: Social Network Sharing and Forensics Technologies

Posted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 @ 9:44 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Computers, Guest Contributors, HP, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Social Media, Social Networking, Software, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) of Palo Alto, CA, is a multinational information technology developer based in America with a storied history as a major computer manufacturer that began in a one-car garage. Well-known for its lineup of printers and computer hardware, HP looks to make a move into the rapidly growing wearable tech industry with a luxury smartwatch developed with input from American fashion designer Michael Bastian. Recently, the company was at the center of a U.S. Justice Department probe for overcharging the U.S. Postal Service for computing products, and was ordered to pay a $32.5 million fine. Still, the company recently surpassed Walgreen to become the 62nd-largest company in the S&P 500, as ordered by market capitalization.

In today’s Companies We Follow segment here at IPWatchdog, we’re returning to this giant of IT development to see the latest innovations coming out of its research facilities. As always, we start off with a look at the patent applications assigned to HP and recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. What we noticed in our most recent search was a bevy of technologies for business services, including a couple of software technologies for enterprise network security. We also share some printing technologies, as well as one intriguing innovation designed to help music fans better hear their favorite bands or orchestras when attending live concerts.