During the budget debates of 2013, Vice-President Joe Biden famously proclaimed: “Show me your budget and I will tell you what you value.” There is no doubt a lot of logic behind this statement. If you are spending money in one area but not in others that is the best indication of where you place the greatest importance. If that is case, it is clear that Microsoft prioritizes innovation. Between 2010 and 2012, corporate investment in R&D increased from $8.7 billion to $9.8 billion, or about 14 percent of the company’s total revenue during those years.
Kristina Dinerman, Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Yahoo! Inc.
In part 1 of my interview with Kristina Dinerman we discussed Katherine Heigl, Michael Jordan and Elvis impersonators, as well as the impact social media has had on rights of publicity in the Internet age. In this final installment of our conversation Dinerman discusses how aggressive celebrities are becoming with respect to protecting their right of publicity in the age of social media, whether the Supreme Court may interject itself at some point and decide whether tweeting constitutes commercial speech, and the growing phenomenon of people becoming celebrities as the result of being famous for, well… being famous.
QUINN: So what do you think is going to wind up happening longer term with the Internet and right of publicity? If you were looking into your crystal ball say maybe over the short term, intermediate, and then long term? I suspect we’re going to see more of these cases but what kind of cases do you think we’re going to be seeing?
DINERMAN: Well, one of the things that is happening is that the line between commercial and noncommercial speech is continuing to blur. We are going to see more cases that involve advertising integrated into content. As advertising continues to develop I think that you’re going to see more crossover between celebrities who are trying to self promote and companies who are trying to increase awareness of their brand. And there will continue to be more intersection between the two. Take award shows for example such as the recent American Music Awards. The next day you see photos of celebrities in what they wore and you see brands trying to to connect to that, with ads like “get the look.” I think that you’re going to see this continued intersection between advertising and social media and it will be interesting to see how celebrities will and will not allow companies to use their pictures, their images and their names.
IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series has profiled BoA’s innovations on a few occasions in the past. In this edition, we found a number of patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect technologies for customer loyalty rewards programs, including one innovative system for encouraging account holders to achieve long-term goals. Another patent application would protect a technology designed to identify opportunities for business mergers or acquisitions. We also discuss one patent application filed to protect a platform for disseminating carbon credit data based on personal transactions.
Social networking platforms were at the core of a couple of patents recently issued to Bank of America, including one invention meant to help uncover potential social networking opportunities based on financial transactions. A couple of cybersecurity technologies, including one for isolating an infected client device to stop of the spread of a virus within a network, are also featured. We were also intrigued to share a patent protecting a method of presenting vehicle information of interest to someone who may want to buy a vehicle by capturing a video feed of that vehicle.
Kristina Dinerman, Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Yahoo! Inc.
Kristina Dinerman is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Yahoo! Inc. Dinerman handles business and legal affairs for media, marketing and the Yahoo Studio, which means that dealing with the many thorny issues associated with rights of publicity are on her daily radar. Rights of publicity and entertainment licensing are not topics we frequently cover on IPWatchdog.com, but I noticed that Dinerman would be speaking about these topics at Understanding the Intellectual Property License program in San Francisco, California on December 8, 2014. I set the wheels in motion for an on the record conversation, which appears below.
In this interview we discuss how the Internet generally, and social media more specifically, has changed the landscape with respect to rights of publicity, raising a number of interesting questions about what is, and what is not, commercial speech.
Without further ado, here is part 1 of my 2 part interview with Kristina Dinerman.
Yahoo! may not be responsible for the large amounts of intellectual property development seen with other companies featured in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, but we do always find many intriguing innovations when we look at the corporation’s recently filed patent applications. We were greatly interested in a trio of patent applications which are evidence of Yahoo!’s desire to build a social platform for achieving personal goals, including one application discussing the use of social and economic motivators to achieve goals. Other innovations included online advertisement improvements, including a method for presenting virtual billboards through a digital lens device, and methods for discovering relevant online content.
Making a startup into a successful small business venture requires more than an entrepreneurial heart and willpower. It takes a loyal base comprised of engaged, connected customers and clients to help a business go from start up to sustainable.
In other articles and discussions, IP WatchDog has touched on building and improving a solid company website and networking off line, but what about online networks? What have you done lately to engage potential clients that find your company page online? Are you putting a priority on these efforts as well? If not, now is the time to get serious.
Companies in technology sectors, especially social media companies, have seen some incredible investment through recent initial public offerings (IPOs) of corporate stock. Multi-billion dollar valuations for companies like Facebook, Twitter and more gave investors some excitement, but questions about sustainability, revenue generation and user growth has caused stock prices to dip in recent months.
Many of these companies have valuations that seem to fly in the face of their business models, which harkens back to the days of “irrational exuberance” of the “dot com” era. Still, social media companies can enjoy billions of users, but many of them use their services for free and generate negligible ad revenue for the company providing the platform. Will social media evolve into a money-making proposition or will these companies falter? Time will tell, as it tells with all things.
Against this backdrop and with the full knowledge that higher levels of investment almost universally require significant intellectual property holdings, we thought we’d take some time to look at the current state of the social media industry, including revenue and innovations. To accomplish this task we will also take a closer look at some recent inventions patented by major companies in this field.
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.
The International Business Machines Corporation, headquartered in Armonk, NY, is a major global manufacturer of computer hardware and software, especially for business applications. They provide physical products and consulting services designed to improve operational efficiencies for businesses in various ways. Recently, IBM announced the opening of its Accelerated Discovery Lab, a facility dedicated to finding new relationships between disparate data sets, providing the ability to use Big Data for increasingly groundbreaking discoveries in various fields. IBM is also getting involved in improving cloud security for businesses, recently announcing a business partnership with online security developer Akamai.
This week, IPWatchdog is taking some time in our Companies We Follow series to feature the undisputed top patenting company in the world — IBM. Today, we’re featuring a bevy of patent applications and issued patents featuring IBM developments in a wide range of computing services.
Our featured patent application describes a system of filtering social media messages sent to group members based on a recipient rating system. Negative ratings from group message recipients may be used to inform future methods of blocking similar messages from that sender. Other patent applications would protect more efficient systems of performing computer maintenance and identifying healthcare risks. Another patent application describes an improved coolant system for computing systems.
As the dust settles after the storm caused by the conversion of the United States patent system from a first-to-invent system to a “modified” first-to-file system through implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA) on March 16, 2013, it is essential that companies and inventors avoid inadvertent disclosures of the company’s or inventor’s inventions on social media networks and the company’s website.
Social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, have changed the manner that businesses communicate and market their products and innovations. Although these tools may be beneficial by creating market “buzz” for new products through rapid information sharing, they may also be detrimental to a company’s patenting practices for the same reason. If disclosures of up and coming products are made on social media websites without the company first filing for patent protection, and the disclosures are then copied by a second party who then files an application based on the company’s social media disclosures, before the company does, then the first-to-file law could bar the company from patenting the invention, whereas the second party could then obtain patent rights to the invention disclosed on the social media site.
The Samsung Group of Seoul, South Korea, is a conglomerate made up of many subsidiaries that are in the business of developing different electronics. Samsung’s line of products is as varied as washing machines, televisions, microwaves and handheld electronic devices. Recently, the manufacturer announced that it would begetting more serious in the tablet market with the upcoming release of the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note tablet.
In this edition of IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow our series returns to focus once again on Samsung and its recent appearances at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. As has often been the case recently, many of the more intriguing patents and patent applications from Samsung deal with electronic device development. One patent document protects a better system of constructing biochips to monitor drug trials. An application filed by Samsung describes a devised method of allowing mobile phones to give off fragrance in response to user interaction. Upgrades to electro-wetting displays, which use water and oil to affect light displays, are featured in a second patent application.
Smarter computing systems are also a major focus for Samsung. We also look at an application that would protect a system for controlling social network user interactions based on emotional states, and more efficient systems of detecting eye regions for facial recognition.
On May 9, 2013, IPWatchdog’s very own Gene Quinn will be attending and presenting at the Business Development Institute’s Social Media Marketing Summit for Law Firms in NY. When they first reached out to IPWatchdog to ask Gene to present at this event, I offered to speak as the Social Media Diva, but given that the program specifically targets Law Firms, they declined my offer expressing their desire to have an attorney who not only knows and understand the importance of social media but one who also utilizes social media on a regular basis as part of the work he does each day! So Gene is definitely their guy!
The summit was put together as a result of increased awareness of social media by law firms and how these platforms can be used to attract new clients and to expand business with existing clients. According to the Summit’s Event Summary, “Most lawyers use social media networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and most firms have at least one blog. Many firms now recognize that blogging and social networking have helped produce new client leads.” Gene himself gets all of his client work as a result of his blogging and other social media efforts. So BDI recognized that he is the perfect person to present at the Summit.