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Posts Tagged ‘ technology ’

Department of Energy Pumps Money into Offshore Wind Energy

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014 @ 11:30 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 11 comments
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Posted in: Energy, Green Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

From U.S. Patent No. 8,729,723, entitled “Removable Offshore Wind Turbines with Pre-Installed Mooring System.”

Alternative forms of energy which can create electricity in much cleaner processes than fossil fuels have been an area of intense development in recent years. Here at IPWatchdog, we’ve covered recent developments in solar and hydrogen energy generation technologies in the past, and alternative energy is a frequent topic, particularly during our Earth Day coverage each year. We dive into this topic given that reports from the U.S. Department of Energy have led to a lot of optimism in recent days about the future of wind energy, specifically wind energy collected from offshore sources.

A developed network of offshore wind turbines could power the entire United States of America. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, there is a potential 4,150 gigawatts of energy which can be collected from offshore wind collection around the country’s waters. The total electric generating capacity of the entire nation was 1,010 gigawatts as of 2008. All of this energy can be collected from waters within 50 nautical miles of America’s shorelines.

There are many obstacles in the way of increasing the scale of these technologies. Currently, offshore wind projects in America have capital costs of about $6,000 per kilowatt during installation, compared with about $1,940 per installed kilowatt for land-based wind projects. This is according to the recent Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis report released by the U.S. DoE, mentioned above.



The Evolution of Air Conditioning Technology

Posted: Friday, Jun 20, 2014 @ 2:36 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | 3 comments
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Posted in: Evolution of Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

As the sweltering heat of summer begins to set in across the country during the summer months, people all over the country are running to their thermostats or single-unit air conditioners to stay cool. Just by pressing a few buttons, a typical American homeowner has the capability to completely control the temperature and humidity in a space. This innovation has revolutionized the demographics of our entire country, allowing many people to live comfortably in southern climates which would otherwise be oppressively hot.

Air conditioners work on the essential premise of removing heat from forced air, often by blowing that air across cooling coils filled with refrigerants. Air conditioning has taken root in the psychology of middle class America, evidenced by the large number of homeowners who have at least one air conditioning unit in their homes. The incredible amounts of energy used to power these units have incited a large number of critics who speak out against the widespread use of air conditioning technologies. However, others are quick to point out that the number of British thermal units (BTUs) used by air conditioners pales in comparison to the amount of energy consumed by Americans for heating.

IPWatchdog is returning once again to our Evolution of Technology series to take an in-depth look at how AC technologies have developed over the years. Modern air conditioning goes back more than one century in America, although the evidence showing human attempts at cooling the air goes back millennia. Today, we’re sharing a quick timeline of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies, with a special focus on beating the heat. We also take a closer look at the current state of air conditioning technologies, including a trio of patents related to air conditioning within automobiles..



Stanford Invests $1.35 Billion Annually Leading to Diverse Innovation

Posted: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 @ 11:13 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Stanford University, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Universities

As the 2014 annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) continues, IPWatchdog also continues its coverage of groundbreaking inventions coming out of the halls and research facilities of America’s top academic institutions. Today we focus on Leland Stanford Junior University, more commonly known as Stanford University. Stanford is a private research university located near Palo Alto, CA, and boasts one of the most well developed and successful technology transfer programs in the country. But to be at the top of the tech transfer rankings that means Stanford is also committed to innovation in many forms and fields.

Stanford sets aside an annual research budget of about $1.35 billion to fund its development operations for 2013-2014, and since the 1930s the university has been the starting grounds for nearly 40,000 companies, creating about 5.4 million jobs total. A 2012 study conducted by Stanford estimated that companies formed by Stanford entrepreneurs generate world revenues of $2.7 trillion annually. Recent Stanford research projects have included new techniques for the successful removal of stomach cancer cells, as well as biological surveys of marine life showing how crude oil leaks can affect heart health in fish. Today, we’re looking at the recent publications released from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office assigned directly to Stanford University to take a snapshot look at the innovative side of this academic institution.

Our featured application today is evidenced that at least some of the research being developed by Stanford aims to improve American manufacturing. This patent application would protect a device that contains a plurality of electrodes that can create an adhering force to lift and move manufactured materials without damaging them. We also discuss a couple of patent applications related to medicine, including methods of generating ear cells from stem cells as well as better treatments for pulmonary fibrosis.



Univ. of California Invents: From Video Games to Treating E. coli

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 @ 10:15 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Biotechnology, Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Medical Devices & Methods, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer, University of California

February 19th is the opening of the 2014 Association of University Technology Managers annual meeting, which means this week IPWatchdog is taking a short break from our regular Companies We Follow series to celebrate some of the best recent innovations from America’s academic institutions. Yesterday we featured innovations from historically black colleges and universities.

The University of California is the state’s public university system and it is comprised of 10 member institutions. This system has one of the strongest research and development operations of any American collegiate system; in 2011 alone, UC was responsible for 1,581 new inventions. Today, we’re getting a closer look at the recent patent applications and issued patents assigned to the Regents of the University of California by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We’ve found an intriguing assortment of innovations in medical and industrial fields, and even the video game industry, coming out of these academic institutions.

The featured patent application for today’s column would protect a system of better capturing video game player motion for physical activities required of games. This system would make it harder for users to cheat these games and complete tasks without completing the physical motion the game asks users to perform. Other patent applications we discovered include better systems of creating useful stem cells and a more effective topical formula for acne treatment.



Concussion Science, Stagnant Helmet Innovation and the NFL

Posted: Sunday, Feb 2, 2014 @ 12:11 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | 8 comments
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

From U.S. Patent No. 8,528,118.

Today is Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played in New Jersey not far from New York City. The high-profile nature of this event is also expected to attract a lot of money as well as public attention. Although some experts are skeptical, the host committee for Super Bowl XLVIII recently reported that the game would bring a total economic impact to the region of $600 million. Companies looking to advertise during the game will have to pay $4 million for a 30-second commercial slot.

It’s clear that a lot of businesses make money off of these football players. In recent years, as the popularity of the sport continues to grow, many of these players have expressed concerns over the safety of the game, and lawsuits have been filed against the National Football League, claiming they’re responsible for the health and safety of players who have struggled with the effects of concussions years after their playing days are over. Today, we wanted to take a look at recent helmet technologies being patented to see if the National Football League really is doing all it can to prevent player concussions.



The Future of TV: Internet Television Tech on the Rise

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 @ 9:02 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Amazon.com, AT&T, Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, Intel, Internet, Internet Television, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Recently on IPWatchdog, we featured a series of AT&T patents in our Companies We Follow series that protect various technologies for Internet protocol television, or IPTV. More and more, we’ve been noticing various television technologies relying on Internet transmission that have been protected by patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This prompted us to take a closer look at the current state of Internet Television technologies in America and the surrounding world.

A few U.S. cable television providers, such as Comcast’s AnyPlay and AT&T’s U-verse, already offer Internet television technologies. Globally, there were about 66 million IPTV subscribers as of June 2012, and that amount is expected to rise to 102 million by 2018. Domestically, the IPTV market has seen some interesting movement lately; as we noted in our recent Companies We Follow column on the Intel Corporation, which also featured patents protecting IPTV tech, the corporation recently agreed to sell it’s OnCue IPTV business and associated technology holdings to Verizon Communications. In turn, Verizon plans to develop IPTV consumer packages within the United States. Amazon.com is also reportedly shopping for content for its own Internet TV service.

IPTV is much different than the digital video accessed by millions of users on YouTube or other video streaming websites, but it shares a lot of the same ubiquitous, pervasive nature. A single subscription can be accessed by multiple television sets within a home, and Internet-based transmission allows for web-based applications to enhance a viewer’s experience. Our goal today is to explore the the current state of IPTV and Internet television technologies globally, as well as what the near future holds for these entertainment systems.



Does University Patent Licensing Pay Off?

Posted: Monday, Jan 27, 2014 @ 1:54 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 3 comments
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Posted in: Biotechnology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, National Institutes of Health, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer

A recent study from the Brookings Institution University Start-Ups: Critical for Improving Technology Transfer received a lot of coverage in the national media.  While the title implies the focus is on expanding academic start-up formation (a laudable goal), The New York Times headline accurately reflects the real message: Patenting Their Discoveries Does Not Pay Off for Most Universities.

The report makes some good recommendations for increasing support for start-up formation, but implies that most university technology transfer offices (TTO’s) are not worth their cost because they are not self-supporting through patent licensing income.  As Brookings acknowledges, universities spend the vast majority of their licensing revenues rewarding inventors or funding new research, not in supporting technology transfer operations.  Brookings recommends that universities shift focus from patent licensing to start-up formation.

Ironically, recommendations from a preceding Brookings study would make both start- up formation and patent licensing more difficult.



AT&T Seeks Patent to Prevent Crime on Gaming Networks

Posted: Sunday, Oct 27, 2013 @ 6:15 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: AT&T, Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

AT&T Inc. of Dallas, TX, is a huge player in the mobile communications market, and is America’s largest provider of mobile telephony and line-landed telephony products as of 2012. AT&T’s consumer offerings for accessing wireless networks are becoming more varied, as is evidenced by the company’s recent announcement that it would sell $5 day passes for wireless data packages. AT&T will also support the development of an upcoming Samsung smart camera product, the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Telecommunications has been a major growth field in intellectual property for a number of technological firms. Today on IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re taking a look at AT&T to see what developments we can expect from arguably the strongest American telecommunications corporation. As always, we have a great collection of patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to show you what’s in store.

Our featured patent application today describes a system of preventing illegal and criminal activities on gaming networks by preventing predatory users from being able to come into contact with others who are susceptible. Also, this patent application indicates that the same gaming environments could be adjusted based on local user information to resemble that player’s local terrain. Other patent applications of note include a system of targeting emergency messages to an exact geographic location for affected mobile device owners, as well as a method for transmitting high-grade video data across a cellular network.



Johns Hopkins Seeks Patent on Surgical Robot Systems

Posted: Friday, Sep 20, 2013 @ 11:58 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Johns Hopkins, Medical Devices & Methods, Patents, Robotics, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Technology Transfer, Universities

The Johns Hopkins University is a private university with heavy research operations that is headquartered in Baltimore, MD, with partner campuses in Singapore, China, Italy and Washington, DC. Medical research is a major focus for the institution, and in late September the university will hold its first annual Forum on Emerging Topics in Patient Safety. Recently, Johns Hopkins has risen to the 12th overall spot among national universities on U.S. News & World Report’s most recent college rankings, and its biomedical engineering program was ranked first overall among that degree program.

As students all over the country are getting back into the swing of things at school, IPWatchdog is taking some time to look at some of the best innovations coming from many of these national universities. Recently we looked at patent activity at the University of California and patent activity at the University of Texas. Today, we’re taking some time to check out some of the most intriguing recent patent applications filed by the Johns Hopkins University with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Although the U.S. government holds certain rights in some of these developments because of funding, each of the following is assigned solely to the Johns Hopkins University.

The medical research university is heavily involved with developments for medical diagnostics, as many of the following applications show. One patent application describes a system of searching for similar images within a medical imaging database to aid in diagnosing issues. Another patent application would protect a system of developing a personalized library of tumor development indicators for cancer patients to determine if a cancer recurrence is forming. A third application discusses a method of analyzing albumin/peptide compounds in a patient’s plasma to determine if a blood flow issue exists.



The University of Texas: Biomedical Innovation Focus

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 @ 7:46 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Medical Devices & Methods, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Universities, University of Texas

The University of Texas System, headquartered in the state capital of Austin, is a network of nine academic campuses and six health institutions catering to more than 200,000 students. The UT System is currently looking to expand upon its existing medical facilities, having recently announced that a merger between two system campuses, the University of Texas at Brownville and the University of Texas-Pan American, and will break ground on construction of a new medical school in the Rio Grande Valley.

Member institutions of the University of Texas System are regularly involved with the development of technological inventions, especially those related to biomedical industries. Today at IPWatchdog, we’re taking some time to study the UT System’s recent patent applications and issued patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Some of these developments have received federal funding, giving the U.S. government some rights, but each of the following are solely assigned to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System.

Many of the University of Texas’s medical developments involve the use of synthetic materials to aid in treating patients. One patent application would protect a scaffold for tissue engineering that biodegrades and delivers treatment over time. Another application describes a system of using nanoparticles to stimulate hyperthermia to treat tumors. A third application discusses an improved bioadhesive for sealing tissues together. Other patent application filings profiled below pertain to improved systems of diagnosing and treating diseases that usually cause a poor prognosis in patients. One patent application deals with a system of analyzing gene expressions to determine a patient’s susceptibility to renal cell carcinoma. A final application we feature provides for a more effective course of treatment for most gastrointestinal tract infections.