Johnson & Johnson is a very respected brand in the consumer medical devices and pharmaceutical goods industries. Well known for its highly recognizable personal care products, including Band-Aids, Neutrogena and Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson is also a major player in other healthcare fields. For example, a recent piece from the investment research online publication Seeking Alpha discussed the company’s attempts to build the world’s first artificial, fully-functioning pancreas.
As a result of all this research and development, Johnson & Johnson will often file patent applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This week, IPWatchdog wants to take a look at the consumer and pharmaceutical health conglomerate to see what advances in personal medical care we can expect in the coming years. Perhaps the most exciting thing in our perusal of recent patents and patent applications is a patent just issued on certain topical anti-cancer compositions.
Many patent applications published also pertain to Johnson & Johnson’s extensive lineup of medical cosmetic products. One application would protect a dermabrasion kit with a detachable head for sensitive skin, and another was filed to protect a system of manufacturing bacteria-resistant contact lenses.
Johnson & Johnson is also focused on protecting medical devices designed by the company. Two other recent patent applications that we feature here are for punctal plugs (shown above right) and eye misting devices that can deliver medication directly to the body through the incredibly permeable membranes within the eye.
Today at IPWatchdog, we’re going back to take a closer look at U.S. Patent & Trademark Office patents and patent applications assigned to Qualcomm Incorporated. This San Diego, CA, technology developer is a major manufacturer of mobile device products, including software and chipsets. Their technologies are involved in a wide range of industries. They’ve even recently been growing in the field of healthcare technology with their recent acquisition of HealthyCircles, a coordinated care digital platform.
One area in particular that receives a lot of focus from Qualcomm’s research and development functions is efficiency improvements to wireless network connections. Patent applications filed by Qualcomm and published recently by the USPTO seek to protect new systems of digital file sharing and power management during sleep mode, both of which conserve device battery resources. A patent awarded to Qualcomm this month protects a system of maintaining a data session for applications even if a network connection is lost momentarily.
Qualcomm’s other patent applications showcase a focus on improving device systems internally through better components or communication protocols. One such patent application describes a method of improving ultrasound reception for the use of a digital stylus. The last patent application covered by IPWatchdog in this column describes a system of controlling interference on wireless networks.
Critics argue that pharmaceutical patents are a barrier to wide-reaching access to medicines, especially for vulnerable populations in the developing world. They cast their argument in the phrase, “Patents Kill” and advocate against intellectual property (IP) protection for medical innovation and the trade agreements that incorporate them. Their position, however, begs the question of what truly influences a population’s access to medicines. This week, as the United States and a dozen other nations continue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations, the answer is more important than ever. Despite the critics’ position, recent students cast doubt on their argument, providing evidence that access is critically linked to a country’s level of economic development which is enhanced by strong intellectual property rights protection.
Access is defined as “having medicines continuously available and affordable at public or private health facilities or medicine outlets that are within one hour’s walk from the homes of the population” (United Nations Development Group, 2003). Fundamentally, access is largely continent upon the nation’s level of economic development and available infrastructure. Given this, there are two important reasons to believe that the TPP will not inhibit access to medicine. First, most would-be signatory nations are well developed. Second, trade and IP protection enhance growth and growth furthers access.
The Samsung Group of Seoul, South Korea, is a major international conglomerate involved in almost every industry. Here at IPWatchdog, we occasionally take a look at some of the recent technology patents and filed applications coming from this industry behemoth. For our complete series see Companies We Follow.
Over the past few years, electronic devices have become a staple for Samsung’s main subsidiary, Samsung Electronics. That subsidiary is a major standard bearer for the mobile device industry, and even recently announced plans to release consumer electronics on the 5G network as early as 2020, according to Forbes. This focus on technological research and development makes this international firm a common name at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Patent applications published by the USPTO recently and assigned to Samsung show the wide scope of the electronic developer’s operations. Different applications protect more space-efficient surgical robotic arms, a component device for video playback of broadcasts from different global regions and more precise systems of infrared 3D location sensing.
A few documents pertain directly to mobile consumer devices developed by the South Korean conglomerate. A fourth patent application covered here describes an enhanced system of analyzing touch gestures when reading e-books. A legal patent has also been awarded to Samsung for the protection of a hydrogen generating apparatus for powering fuel cells in electronic devices.
One month after our last check into Oracle Corporation, IPWatchdog is back to see how the database management system developer has been faring at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Along with database management, the technology developer is also involved with the innovation of enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and customer relationship software.
Many of the recent patent applications filed by Oracle and published by the USPTO showcase the company’s focus on providing software business solutions. These patent applications seek protections for improvements to enterprise software, including voice control and more efficient upgrades for enterprise planning and management software. Another application lays out a system of smart allocation for resources within a supply chain.
Oracle is also involved with efficiency upgrades to enterprise software, especially those that would benefit small businesses. Another patent application filed by Oracle would improve the reaction time for queries registered within a Model-View-Controller online database application. An official patent awarded to Oracle this month provides a better deployment model for small firms who manufacture and sell software applications.
Senator Birch Bayh (right) with then Staffer Joe Allen (left) in a Bayh-Dole Act hearing in 1980.
As I sat there this morning having breakfast and drinking my coffee I was reading Innovation, which has as its tag line America’s Journal of Technology Commercialization.
Really? I find it impossible to believe that a magazine that purports to be a journal of technology commercialization would publish the complete and utter nonsense that I read this morning.
Newsflash… Bayh-Dole is objectively positive and has been extraordinarily successful in its mission. The FACTS are overwhelming. Anyone who suggests Bayh-Dole is anything other than successful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams is simply not being honest and is ignoring factual evidence. Indeed, detractors frequently make arguments that fly directly in the face of facts. Many believe they simply lie or make up what they are saying to forward their own agenda.
Microsoft Corporation, headquartered in Redmond, WA, is an American leader in developing and manufacturing computer services products, including Microsoft Office document software suites and Microsoft Windows operating systems. As a leader in the computer services market, Microsoft is a regular each week at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This week, we return to see what the Washington State-based technology juggernaut has been up to lately.
As always, many patent applications show Microsoft’s focus on improving their software for business applications. Different Microsoft patent applications this week provide for systems of sharing meeting notes within office software, mapping identities to keep important business documents secure as well as using serious games to identify talent within an organization.
Other USPTO documents of note show that the computer developer is also trying to reach beyond this market. Another patent application would protect a system of creating digital memorabilia for events. Also, one patent awarded to Microsoft protects a system of identifying different users on a touchscreen.
Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, is back in focus this week at IPWatchdog as we return to our regular coverage of technology companies that have patent documents regularly published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office after our Earth Day 2013 series. As usual, Apple has filed many applications and received patents recently from the USPTO that show what the company sees for the future of its iPhone, iPad and other digital device products.
This month, the USPTO has published many Apple patent applications that are specifically for improvements to the technology developer’s mobile devices. These include a more secure system of connecting an iPhone to a computer and two new applications, one for easily creating social groups among acquaintances and another for students who wish to enroll in online courses. Apple also wants to protect a system of pre-processing images to create and store thumbnails that are accessed by image applications.
One patent recently received by Apple grants them the legal right to protect a system of generating security codes for more security in connections between two or more devices.
Normally when we discuss the impact of the Bayh-Dole Act, allowing universities and small companies to commercialize inventions made with federal support, we focus on the life sciences where the resulting new drugs and therapies dramatically improved lives for millions around the world. However, the celebration of Earth Day is an appropriate time to consider the contributions our publicly funded research organizations– partnering with an entrepreneurial private sector– make in protecting our environment.
A key purpose of the Bayh-Dole legislation is unleashing federally funded basic research so that it could be commercialized, thus benefitting society. As industry retreats more and more from conducting early stage research (where breakthrough discoveries are made) this alliance is essential to our nation.
One of the drivers behind the bipartisan support of the Bayh-Dole Act was that 28,000 taxpayer funded inventions were sitting idly on the shelves in Washington, D.C. benefitting no one. Under pre Bayh-Dole policies the government took federally funded inventions away from their creators destroying the intended incentives of the patent system. Thus, the full impact of billions of dollars spent annually on taxpayer supported R&D was squandered.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., is a global electronics development company headquartered in South Korea. The company is well known for its consumer electronics products, as well as its ongoing patent war with Apple. Nonetheless, as the following shows, Samsung is involved with much more than electronic devices and televisions.
Patent applications published recently by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office show Samsung’s goals of developing stronger systems of software protection and user interfaces for gesture-based gaming systems. Another patent application assigned to Samsung Electronics could protect an important advance in cancer treatments. One of the recent patents awarded to Samsung from the USPTO protects a more efficient system of location tracking designed for parents.
To see our other snapshot looks at some of the top innovators please see Companies We Follow. Without further ado, our snapshot look at Samsung and what they are working on presently.
Location Based Service (LBS) systems are designed to identify a target’s geographic position and present that data to a party requesting that information. Often, these LBS systems are used for parents who want to stay aware of where their children are. However, current systems of requesting information don’t aid communication between parents, as different parties will have to send their own requests to the LBS service to receive location data. Multiple requests can have the further effect of slowing down the LBS servers to process these server demands.
Research In Motion Limited is an electronics developer based in Waterloo, Ontario, most notable for its BlackBerry cell phone device. Although Research In Motion, sometimes referred to as RIM, has become a much smaller player in the device industry as iPhones and Android devices have stolen substantial marketshare from the hey-day of the BlackBerry, RIM is still involved with the research and development of many communication technologies.
As a part of our ongoing look at high-tech innovators, we periodically look at patents and patent applications to get a sense of what companies are working on in the technology sector. With that in mind, what follows is discussion of several patents and patent applications that caught my attention over the last several weeks.
Oracle Corporation is yet another technology innovator from the state of California. The company specializes in the development of database management systems, and is a heavy user of the patent system to protect its innovations, especially for patents involving efficiency upgrades to computer systems.
Recent patent applications filed by Oracle, and released by the USPTO, highlight the technology developer’s planned upgrades to current software systems, including dead memory retrieval by garbage collection applications and automated event grouping for timeline user interfaces. Another application describes a more exact system of mileage tracking for business expense reports. A recent patent also promises to give end users a better ability to tailor their search queries to provide better search results.
Microsoft Corporation was a huge winner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office this past week, as the Washington State-based computer software developer received no fewer than 65 patents from the USPTO and had another 49 patent applications published. Many of Microsoft’s more intriguing applications deal with upgrades in responsiveness to user input, including e-mail address book synchronization and a collection manager for content users follow online. Microsoft also received a patent that improves the parsing of handwritten digital text for conversion into textual characters.
It’s very easy for a computer user to obtain multiple e-mail addresses from which they can send and receive e-mail. These different accounts are housed in separate servers and come with a variety of features to aid digital communication, like an address book to store contacts. These features don’t sync well between accounts and can cause conflicts in certain cases, such as when an e-mail application tries to communicate with contacts from multiple addresses. If a contact is listed in two different address books, it can cause a communication error if the e-mail application simply copies the contact lists from both addresses, and managing the application by removing duplicated e-mail addresses can be time consuming.
The emergence of mobile computing as a technology platform has been a game changing development in many ways. The ability to be connected anywhere and to have real time information at our finger tips has transformed the way we do business and live our lives. As this computing paradigm has gained mass market acceptance we’ve witnessed a series of patent battles among firms vying for their share of this lucrative market. These so-called smart phone patent wars have in turn motivated patent system critics to vociferously decry the system as an impediment to innovation, which must be eliminated or radically overhauled. Defenders of the system respond that patent battles are a characteristic of market competitionoccurring with other breakthrough innovations throughout our history, and that patents address the need to protect innovations to encourage investment in innovation.
Despite all the chatter however, there is something that we have not heard in the discussions about these smart phone patent wars. The debate seems to have focused on patents and the patent system and it has ignored the fact that this current patent battle is really a battle between three competing business models advanced by the three highly competitive mobile OS providers and members of their ecosystems. Apple is pursuing a fully proprietary business model where mobile OS and mobile hardware are proprietary to Apple. This is consistent with Apple’s prior business model in traditional computing which has worked quite well for them. Similarly Microsoft is advancing a business model much like its successful traditional computing business model with a proprietary OS and an “open” hardware platform that allows third party handset makers to provide phones running the Windows mobile OS. Finally, Google is advancing an “all open” model in which it uses Android, an open source mobile OS and an open hardware approach.
This past week was another very prolific one for Apple, as the California-based electronic device developer received 35 patents and had another 36 applications published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many patent applications were concerned with the ways computer users interact with their systems, and we see a number of upgrades to graphical user interfaces coming for device address books and online stores. Of the patents issued to Apple, one protects a webpage retrieval method that can help browsers save a lot of time while searching for information on the Internet.
One of the many patents received by Apple last Tuesday involves an upgrade to the user interface for web browsing applications. Users of browsers like Internet Explorer are able to go back to previous webpage presentations that they’ve visited, often using the “Back” button. However, using this technique, users can only go back one webpage at a time. Users can view their history to pull up a webpage visited further back without having to load every webpage in between. However, in the case of search engine results or webpages with confusing URLs, identifying the proper page in this way can be difficult.
Apple has invented what they call a “page snapback method” to visit a specific webpage that a browser had loaded earlier without loading the intermediate pages first. A page can be recorded either automatically or manually and restored as is when the system receives an input from the user. The language of the patent document seems to suggest that this system is optimized for search engine result page retrieval, so that a user can return to the search engine listings without having to go backwards one webpage at a time.
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more. The treatise is continuously updated to address relevant Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decision impacting patent drafting.
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