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GM Seeks Patent Wireless Collection of Data from Autos

Posted: Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Automotive, Companies We Follow, General Motors, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

GM headquarters in Detroit, MI

Headquartered in Detroit, MI, the General Motors Company is a multinational corporation which makes up a large share of the global auto manufacturing industry. Recently, GM has been in the news an awful lot, but not for the right reasons. The auto manufacturer has recalled millions of cars in recent months because of unresolved issues with a faulty ignition switch used on multiple years and models of cars, an issue which has led to 13 reported deaths and hundreds of injuries in GM vehicle owners and passengers. Although the corporation is setting up a compensation fund for the families of victims, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is pushing for Congress to increase the fine a manufacturer faces for failing to fix long-term issues to $300 million, up from a previous maximum fine of $35 million. Most recently, General Motors issued a stop sale order to American and Canadian car dealers to prevent sales of 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruzes because of an airbag defect. In a bit of better news, the corporation has been making concerted efforts to increase renewable energy use at its facilities through solar panel arrays, and by the end of 2014 these should be able to generate about 38 megawatts of solar power across 13 facilities.

Although these may be difficult days for GM, here at IPWatchdog we understand that the amount and frequency of patenting activities undertaken by this corporation makes it impossible to skip them for our Companies We Follow series. As usual, we’re seeing a lot of patent applications and issued patents assigned to this corporation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and almost all of them are directed at vehicular technologies. Today, we discuss a collection of inventions which we feel offer up a good representation of the technologies being developed for the next generation of cars, trucks and more.

Telematics systems are the focus of a number of patent applications which we delve into today, including today’s featured application, which uses on-board telematics to transmit important automobile information to a central facility. The system is capable of sending more data than previous systems by routing the data through a wireless mobile device used by the driver, reducing the cost of data transmission from the vehicle. Improved speech recognition for on-board computer system controls and a steering wheel light system designed to refocus a driver’s attention onto the road are also discussed.

LexisNexis Acquires Patent Data Analytics Innovator PatentCore

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 @ 2:45 pm | Written by Press Releases | No Comments »
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Posted in: IP News, Articles

HORSHAM, Pa., July 1, 2014— Reed Technology and Information Services Inc., a LexisNexis company, today announced an agreement to acquire PatentCore, the Minneapolis-based developer of the LexisNexis® PatentAdvisorSM solution suite. The acquisition will enhance the LexisNexis intellectual property (IP) offerings and give customers access to a broader range of innovative and unique IP services.

“Our relationship with PatentCore has helped us integrate more dynamic patent analytics capabilities into a strong base of IP products and services available through LexisNexis,” said Samuel Hardman, President of Reed Tech. “PatentAdvisor offers highly valuable analytical and statistical insights on patent prosecution and portfolio management that are unique in the marketplace.”

PatentAdvisor is a suite of easy-to-use, web-based patent analytics tools that make patent prosecution a more strategic and predictable process for IP-driven companies and law firms. The suite leverages mature big data sets and analytics, delivering searchable and actionable information to drive more effective and efficient patent prosecution and management.

Microsoft Seeks Patent on Avatar Based Shared Media Experience

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 @ 1:36 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Video Games & Online Gaming

The Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, CA, has been a driving force in the personal computing industry for a couple of decades now. The company will be rolling out its line of Surface Pro 3 tablet/laptop computers in the coming days, a thinner and lighter model than its predecessors which also has a larger screen. Users of Microsoft’s online services, including OneDrive, Bing and Windows-related services, will enjoy new terms of service developed by the company to enhance privacy and reduce targeted ads. The longtime creator of computer software technologies is also getting into the wearable tech industry and has been developing a pair of pants which includes a phone charger for a mobile phone.

IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series always tries to pay close attention to the intellectual property activities of the world’s largest consumer electronics developers. Microsoft’s investment into research and development for computing technologies results in a large number of patent filings registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We return once again to focus on patent applications and recently issued patents assigned to Microsoft to provide an interesting look into this corporation’s innovations for our readers.

The featured patent application which we’ve chosen for today’s column discusses a social networking method which tries to enhance the shared viewing of video content among a group of people in geographically diverse locations. The movie theater interface gives group members the opportunity to communicate thoughts and emotions with others watching the same content. More intelligent computing systems for task management and advertising video games for download are also described within recently filed patent applications.

President Obama Poised to Nominate Phil Johnson PTO Director

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014 @ 6:22 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Government, IP News, Articles, Patents, USPTO, White House

Phil Johnson at IPO Inventor of the Year Ceremony, Dec. 10, 2013.

The National Journal is reporting that President Obama is poised to name Phil Johnson as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Johnson is currently Senior Vice-President for Intellectual Property Policy & Strategy at Johnson & Johnson.

“I’ve worked on legislative issues with Phil over the years through AIPLA,” said Nicholas Godici, former Acting Director of the USPTO and Commissioner for Patents. “Phil is very knowledgeable, fair and willing to listen to opposing views. He is certainly a well qualified candidate and in my view an excellent choice.”

Godici wasn’t the only high ranking former USPTO official to have extremely positive things to say about Phil Johnson. “I have worked with Phil Johnson on many different patent proposals over the years and have always found him to be thoughtful in his analysis of issues and willing to look at many different solutions to a problem,” said Robert Stoll, former Commissioner for Patents and current partner at Drinker Biddle. “Phil knows the patent system very well and is always seeking to improve it. He would be a great leader for the USPTO as he would need no ramp-up time and he would be able to reach reasonable compromises when others could not.”

PTO Deputy Michelle Lee Says the Patent System Needs Change

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014 @ 8:25 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 44 comments
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Posted in: Government, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, USPTO

USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee

If there was a major message to take away from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee’s speech at Stanford Law School on Friday, June 27, it was that the patent system needs change to properly address the needs of an ever-growing list of stakeholders in the patent process, including the general public. In response to questions after the event, Lee stressed that the USPTO wants to “keep all options on the table” and is looking for creative solutions to curtail patent litigation which the deputy director refers to as abusive, as well as other USPTO-related issues which need to be or are being addressed.

At the start of her speech, which was titled “Speaking Truth to Patents: The Case for a Better Patent System,” Deputy Director Lee was adamant about the importance of a strong, healthy patent system to support innovation in our own country. She cited patent-protected innovations as “well-known drivers of the nation’s economy.” As a result, many more people have an interest in our country’s patent system than ever before. Interest in patent law has grown tremendously over the past few decades, often in response to landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings or Congressional legislation, such as the America Invents Act. Lee even cites end-users of off-the-shelf products who have received demand letters alleging patent infringement as a significant group of stakeholders in the patent system.

An open discourse between all of these parties, including inventors, lawyers, end-users, USPTO personnel and more is the best means of encouraging positive changes to the system. “In general, more conversation is a good thing, but an increasingly divisive tone is not,” Lee told the group assembled at Stanford Law School. Specifically, she speaks to a willingness among stakeholders to label others as ‘pro-patent’ or ‘anti-patent,’ and she even went so far as to say that it’s unclear what those labels mean.

San Francisco Firm Seeks Patent Prosecution Lawyer

Posted: Monday, Jun 30, 2014 @ 4:35 pm | Written by JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted | Comments Off
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Posted in: IP News, Articles, JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted Section, Patent Attorney & Patent Agent Positions, Patent Prosecution, Patents

The San Francisco office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is seeking a patent prosecution lawyer with a minimum of four years of legal experience in the fields of electronics, software, networking and related fields to join our IP/Patent team, or one to four years of legal experience coupled with commensurate industry experience.

Qualified applicants will have a JD degree and be a member of the California State Bar; have a BS degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or related discipline; have experience working as a patent prosecution attorney (in-house or outside counsel); a strong work ethic; comfort with complex technology; and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Please upload a cover letter addressed to Dan DiResta, Lateral Attorney Recruiting Manager, resume, a copy of your law school transcript, and a brief writing sample, through our Self Apply site:

USPTO Opens Permanent Satellite Office in Denver, Colorado

Posted: Monday, Jun 30, 2014 @ 2:49 pm | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »
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Posted in: Government, IP News, Articles, Patents, USPTO

Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in Denver, CO.

DENVER – Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, along with several elected officials, today participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the permanent location for the USPTO Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver, Colorado. Located in the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in Denver’s central business district, the new office will help the region’s entrepreneurs advance cutting-edge ideas to the marketplace, grow their businesses, and more efficiently navigate the world’s strongest intellectual property system.

“Through our ‘Open for Business Agenda,’ the Commerce Department is actively investing in communities across the country to build their capacity to spur innovation. We support innovative startups and enterprises throughout their lifecycle because those companies produce economic growth, support good-paying jobs, and benefit America’s middle class,” Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews said during today’s ceremony. “We are excited to bring our department closer to our customers by opening the doors of this new USPTO satellite office – a one-stop-shop for intellectual property services that will help the Rocky Mountain region’s inventors and entrepreneurs speed their innovative products and technologies into the marketplace.”

Xerox to Sell Patents in Sealed Bid Auction

Posted: Monday, Jun 30, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Gene Quinn, IP News, Articles, Patent Business & Deals, Patents, Xerox

Xerox (NYSE: XRX), a global leader in business processes and document management systems, has engaged intellectual property brokerage ICAP Patent Brokerage, the world’s largest intellectual property brokerage and patent auction firm, to auction 239 U.S. patents and associated foreign patents and pending patent application. The patents represent projects from Xerox’s five global research centers, including PARC, a Xerox Company. The patents and pending U.S. and foreign applications will be divided into 27 different lots and are spread across 26 distinct technological fields. Bidding will take place between July 24th and July 29th. To facilitate due diligence, ICAP Patent Brokerage has partnered with IPStreet as their analytics partner, who will provide unique analytics and visualizations.

Xerox, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, serves clients in some 180 different countries, providing business services, printing equipment and software for commercial and government organizations. Even after this asset sale Xerox will still have more than 12,000 active U.S. patents in its portfolio. “It is vital that we seek the best return on our innovation investments,” said Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “We do that not only by using intellectual property to expand our services and product offerings, but also by licensing our patents and where appropriate, selling them.”

The Xerox patents being place up for sealed auction bidding by ICAP Patent Brokerage should be exceptionally attractive to a variety of entities. “Xerox and ICAP Patent Brokerage will be presenting a series of patent portfolios, concentrated on heavily-cited and technologically-relevant patents,” said Doug Rhoten, Chairman of the Board for ICAP Patent Brokerage. The assets that will be auctioned come from a diverse array of technical fields, including mobile devices, web content, wireless networks, compression and decompression technology, intelligent imaging, electronic paper displays, high definition video conferencing, multimedia shopping and more.