As we get deeper into the month of April, the Companies We Follow series here at IPWatchdog wanted to take a little time to review the databases of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for inventions from this corporation. Over the past month or two, we’ve found many intriguing patent applications and issued patents describing a wide array of new technologies. We’re noticing some real activity on behalf of GE regarding medical and wind energy generation, among other developments.
Today’s featured patent application would protect a novel system of addressing power outages when a utility network doesn’t receive notification of the event directly from customers. This system allows a utility network to scan social media posts for relevant information about outages, and then turn those posts into instructions for maintenance crews. We also discuss a few inventions related to wind turbines, including a new method for measuring lightning strike damage on wind turbine blades, and a couple of patent applications filed to protect medical monitoring technologies.
It seems like everyone is online these days, male, female, young and old. And tapping into this vast audience is a low-cost, highly effective way to launch a small-business brand into the global marketplace. Building your brand through social media allows you to cultivate new relationships, increase brand awareness, develop customer loyalty and make word-of-mouth marketing go viral. Although social media seems relatively easy to get started with, it takes strategy and consistency to build your brand online. The most important thing to keep in mind while doing so is no matter how big the company you work for is, whether you work for yourself or for someone else, you still have your own personal brand.
But what exactly does it mean to have a personal brand? How can one use social media to represent a larger company or firm yet still maintain a personal brand? Well if you have read my article With Social Media, YOU are Your Own Brandpublished in June of 2011, I explained that although you may be using social media to promote the offerings of the company or firm you work for, large or small, you are doing so as an individual. Building upon this previous article, below are 5 simple steps you can take to build your own personal brand using social media.
It was another exciting year for us here at IPWatchdog, and before anything else we want to thank all of our readers for continuing to make us one of the top intellectual property blogs.
If the vote tally on the ABA Journal mobile website is correct, it looks as if congratulations are in order for PatentlyO and Professor Dennis Crouch. We were in the lead going into the last day of voting, but a strong surge by the PatentlyO faithful couldn’t be match by our own late surge. Nevertheless, it is a great honor to be recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the top 100 legal blogs. For three years now we have been in the top 100, which really continues to fuel the drive to excel. Sometimes you go long stretches not knowing whether what you are doing matters, and then someone will send a note, you will hear that a particular article has stirred debate in the industry or that folks at the ABA are noticing and know who you are. The intellectual property community and the patent community specifically, are lucky to have a bunch of excellent citizen journalists and commentators, and it is humbling to be considered one of the best.
It is New Years Eve, which means it is time to take stock by looking back at the past year, remembering, learning and becoming energized with ideas, thoughts and plans for the next year.
At IPWatchdog.com we had a splendid 2011. Our number of readers has again grown year to year. During 2011 we averaged over 71,000 unique visitors a month, compared with 67,640 unique visitors a month during 2010. During 2011 we also published 447 articles, including 98 guest contributions, 34 articles by Renee Quinn — The Social Media Diva™ and 292 articles (or interviews) by me. The remaining posts were largely press releases from the USPTO or AIPLA.
What follows is a look at the top 20 articles (in terms of traffic) published by IPWatchdog.com during 2011. Thank you for reading! We look forward to another great year in 2012!
Most within the patent community who follow the blogs and read articles undoubtedly know that Hal Wegner seems to relish the opportunity to criticize me. I don’t read Hal’s newsletter because I don’t particularly like his brand of cantankerous writing, which seems laced with inaccuracies and misrepresentations. I do, however, get forwarded what he writes about me from time to time, and if what he writes about me and my opinions are typical for his newsletter I wonder why anyone reads what he writes. He is almost universally incorrect about what he says about me personally, what I have written and in order to achieve his point he uses ellipses and outright misrepresents my positions. Don’t get me wrong, I am appreciative that Hal is an avid reader of IPWatchdog.com, I am just perplexed by why he is unable to understand what I write and why he feels the need to cut me down at seemingly every opportunity.
Typically I let what Hal writes slide off my back because I don’t take him seriously. Having said that, the other day he did one of his trademark hatchet jobs on an article I wrote titled The Constitutional Underpinnings of Patent Law. This was actually the second Constitutional article I wrote in as many weeks. One week earlier I wrote Patents, Copyrights and the Constitution, Perfect Together. Hal’s newsletter, sent out with the subject “naive and wholly incorrect understandings,” grossly misrepresented my writings, and was incorrect on the law in places as well. That being the case, and given the particularly prickly and fallacious subject heading, I thought I might set the record straight. I think it is also time to challenge Hal to a debate so he will either put up or shut up.
If you are going to go down the path of blogging for profit or for notoriety you need to have a well developed sense of what your market is interested in when you set out to write. Copying others isn’t likely a winning strategy, but identifying what you like, what you can provide and what you want to do are all essential. Then you need to think about the reader. You know the mantra — know your audience. It is certainly helpful to write what interests you because, in my view, that which you are interested in and passionate about makes for great reading, but it is also important to give readers what they want otherwise you won’t build an audience, or you will lose the audience you do have.
I think it is fair to say that the majority of what I write on the pages of IPWatchdog.com is op-ed journalism, but that is certainly not all I write. In my time writing op-ed articles, which dates back to 2004 when I started writing for Patent World, I believe I have found a formula that works. My formula may not work for you (more on that later), but what I try and do when I write an op-ed article is to not only convey my opinions, but I try and quickly bring the reader up to speed on the factual background of what I am going to comment on, give some analysis and then liberally apply my opinion. Not as if it is salt and/or pepper, but more like marinara sauce, which in my opinion you just can’t get enough of on spaghetti, whether decorated by Meatballs or Chicken Parmesan.
It has been an interesting year for us at IPWatchdog.com, from getting sued in January 2010, to exclusive interviews with the likes of Chief Judge Randall Rader, Chief Judge Paul Michel, Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, USPTO Director David Kappos and former USPTO Directors Todd Dickinson and Nick Godici and others, we have stayed busy. We have put more emphasis this year on reporting live from industry news events, such as from the BIO 2010 International Convention and the AIPLA Annual Meeting. Of course, the familiar opinion commentary that I so love to write has also been a mainstay.
The big news for us is just coming in as of today. I am pleased to announce that IPWatchdog.com was selected by the readers of the ABA Journal as their favorite IP Law blog for 2010. See ABA Journal Blawg 100 IP Law category for 2010. I am also pleased to announce that for 2010 we had over 2,000,000 visits, delivered nearly 11.8 million pages, our homepage was viewed 3.06 million times and we averaged over 67,000 unique monthly visitors! Thanks to all our readers for coming back day after day, and thanks to all of our Guest Contributors!
I am pleased to announce that the Editors of the ABA Journal yesterday announced they have selected IPWatchdog.com as one of the top 100 best law blogs by lawyers, for lawyers. Now readers are being asked to vote on their favorites in each of the 4th Annual Blawg 100’s 12 categories. IPWatchdog.com is in the “IP Law” category. To vote, please visit The 2010 ABA Journal Blawg 100. You do need to register to be able to vote, but registration is free (and they don’t seem to send any unsolicited e-mails, which is nice). If you are already registered all you have to do is sign in and vote. Voting ends at close of business on December 30, 2010.
In a recent article, Mobile Business Tools – Social Media Apps for Apple iPad, iPhone & iPod, I discussed the topic of Social Media/Networking applications that are available for download on the iPhone, iPad and iPod that can help you stay connected to your Social Media. There are thousands of other Mobile Business Tools available to you and can be found in multiple different application categories. Following is a guide to several of the more popular Mobile Business Apps that one can use when on the go, whether to make your trip easier or to take the office with you. Heed my warning though — once you start using this tools you will never know when to “go home!”
Friday afternoon I attended the second day of the AIPLA annual meeting. I got to the Marriott Wardman Park hotel at 9:00 am and was there until after 11:00 pm, for a full day of activities. I met so many interesting people while there, including the current Chief Judge Randall Rader for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who I encountered at the AIPLA Excellence Award dinner, which honored Chief Judge Paul Michel. Throughout the afternoon there where many different topics of discussions and presentations. The one I could not wait to attend was the session on blogging titled “Blog On! Thoughts on Patent Blogging from Inside and Outside the Blogospere.” I was particularly interested because the panel was to address the case where IPWatchdog as a company and Gene Quinn and I as individuals were sued by an invention promotion company that didn’t like what we had written about them. See Settlement Announcement: Lawsuit Against IPWatchdog Over.
In this edition of News, Notes & Announcements, happy birthday wishes to IPWatchdog.com for celebrating our 11th year online and a heartfelt thank you to all our readers. Additionally, the TiVo patent used to sue Echostar, the litigation at question in the en banc review at the Federal Circuit, survives reexamination at the USPTO. Professor Thomas Field (UNH) publishes the 21st edition of his IP casebook, which is now online in royalty free version; the USPTO is hosting the National Trademark Expo this Friday and Saturday on campus in Alexandria; the USPTO is hosting the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference on November 4-5, 2010, and I will be there teaching two sessions of patent claim drafting; US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visits the USPTO and the AIPLA will host is Annual Meeting next week.
One reason I was quite interested in Bilski was because the Supreme Court (not surprisingly) ruled that the Federal Circuit’s “machine or transformation” test was too inflexible, much like the “teaching, suggestion and motivation” (TSM) test in KSR International v. Teleflex. So why my intense interest in the Supreme Court (aka the Judicial Mount Olympus) relegating the “machine or transformation” (aka MoT) test to “second class status” in Bilski? Besides the inanity of MoT as the sole test for patent-eligibility, I am interested because of Judge Sweet’s ill-advised reliance on MoT (now smitten by the thunderbolts from our Judicial Mount Olympus in Bilski) for invalidating Myriad’s method claims using its BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene sequence technology.