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Karl R. Hermanns is a Partner at Seed IP Law Group, where he specializes in pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent matters, with an emphasis on strategic management of patent portfolios, early stage company counseling, investment due diligence, and competitive patent analysis. He graduated with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Washington and received his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law.
During 2014, 3M received 517 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, putting it in 80th place among companies petitioning the USPTO for patents that year. The company has received 143 U.S. patents in the past three months, according to Innography’s patent portfolio analysis tools. The text cluster provided here details widespread R&D in optical film, electrical cable, abrasive particles and curable compositions.
Prevention of the unauthorized use of television services is also reflected in U.S. Patent No. 9124933, entitled Method and System for Detecting Unauthorized Use of a Set Top Box Using Expected Terrestrial Signal Identification, originally a DirecTV patent which became AT&T’s property after its merger. It discloses a method of determining expected terrestrial signal identifiers for a billing address of a fixed user device at a head end, receiving a plurality of terrestrial signals identifying a respective source at the fixed user device, communicating the expected terrestrial signal identifiers to the fixed user device, storing those identifiers in the fixed user device’s memory, comparing stored identifiers to received identifiers and denying the fixed user device from accessing satellite signals in response to the comparison. This invention is intended to provide a mechanism to ensure that television subscribers are following access rules laid out by government regulations or contracted with content providers, like blackout restrictions.
The Consultation is part of the Commission’s assessment of the role of online platforms, promised in its Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe (DSM) dated 6 May 2015. The Consultation covers a range of topics, including several controversial issues concerning transparency of online platforms and the proper extent of the hosting defence under the E-Commerce Directive. Interested parties have until around the end of December 2015 to respond (the exact closing date has not yet been published).
The most intriguing patent application we’ve seen recently is Apple’s patent application titled ‘Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device.’ It would protect a fuel cell system for a portable computing device comprising a fuel cell stack converting fuel into electrical power, a fuel source for the fuel cell stack and an interface to the portable device which includes a power link providing power to the portable device and a bidirectional communication link providing communication between the portable device and a fuel cell stack’s controller which sends fuel state information to the portable device and receives fuel cell control information. This innovation seeks to incorporate fuel cell electricity generation tech into portable computing devices for which it’s difficult to provide cost-effective and portable fuel cell systems, as the patent application itself points out.