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Posts Tagged: "drones"

Flying Cars, Drone Taxis and Other Futuristic Personal Transportation

While many of us long for the days to come in which our sedans or SUVs can suddenly sprout wings, taking us far away from congestive traffic blocking up interstate highways, there have been some developments in recent years bringing us closer to the reality of drone taxis or personal unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as a replacement for cars. Such technologies were the focus of discussion at the recent House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on new aircraft technologies. Flying cars and their development is not limited to the United States as recent reports indicate that several Japanese companies are working on a project roadmap for flying car development that will be released by the end of this year. In late August, Uber announced that it was looking into the potential of developing test sites for flying cars in five countries outside of the U.S. With the future of flying vehicles for personal transportation coming into more focus, we wanted to explore filings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see the current state of flying car technologies, both in the patent grants being issued by the UPSTO as well as in the patent applications being filed at the agency.

House Aviation Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Flying Cars and Passenger Drones

The development of UAS vehicles for delivering packages or passengers could go a long way in alleviating issues of congestion occurring along the nation’s roadways. Aviation subcommittee ranking member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) spoke to these possibilities, citing a recent industry scorecard which found that U.S. drivers spent 40 hours each year stuck in traffic during peak hours, leading to an economic loss of $300 billion in lost productivity. Larsen noted that there were currently more than 50 passenger drone concepts in development and was the first of a series of Representatives attending the hearing to note that such technologies would make the science fiction world of The Jetsons a distinct reality.

Patent Filings Increase for E-Cigarettes, 3-D Printing and Machine Learning

One interesting aspect of IFI CLAIMS’ most recent annual patent analysis is a list of eight areas of technology that have seen the fastest growing increases in patent applications between 2013 and 2017. To do this, IFI computed the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of patent applications for all Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) codes over the course of the study period to see which CPC codes were receiving the greatest number of patent applications. According to IFI’s analysis, the greatest growth in patent applications were for E-cigarettes and other technologies under the CPC code A24F for smokers’ requisites.

Government and 3D Printing: A New Line of Innovation to Protect

For the last 20 years, manufacturers have used 3D printing to build prototypes, but it was only recently that this industrial technology entered the mainstream.  The 3D printing of products can enable faster time-to-market, save money, mitigate risk and allow manufacturers to customize a component to suit customer needs. 3D printing can produce individual, specifically tailored parts on demand. Boeing printed an entire plane cabin in 2013 and Ford can manufacture vehicle parts in four days that would have taken four months using traditional methods.

From underwater storage to drones, what is Amazon’s patent strategy?

At first sight Amazon´s patent portfolio is indeed remarkable, with respect to its total value as well as its development over time: the total value of the company’s patent portfolio shows a strong over-proportional growth within the past six years. Starting 2010 with about 550 patent families and € 130m, the patents have reached a total value in September 2016 an impressive total sum of € 1,15b with 4,162 alive patent families. For a company being recognized as a retailer this is indeed remarkable and shows the trend of being more and more a high tech company. This can be seen within their strong increase of total patent portfolio value but also the technical analysis.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Patents: A Survey

Given the broad range of countries deploying UAVs and the large number of applications for UAVs, we took a look at patent data from the last 20 years (1997 to 2016) to determine whether any trends in UAV development could be identified. Our findings show some surprising results with regard to development and patenting of drone technology. In this analysis we focuses on the top-5 patent offices for obtaining UAV related patents, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in China, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in South Korea, and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

FAA’s new rule allows somewhat larger degree of commercial drone use

The latest regulatory development at the FAA concerning UAVs is the issue of a new rule regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) which went into effect August 29th. The new rule, known as Part 107, allow for the transportation of property for compensation or hire provided that the total weight of the drone and its cargo do not exceed 55 pounds, the flight is conducted within the visual line of sight of an operator and the flight occurs wholly within the boundary of a single state… One impact of the new small UAS rules issued by the FAA is that commercial drone operations can take place without obtaining a special exemption from the federal regulatory agency. Previously, UAV operators who were looking to use drones for purposes beyond hobby or recreational activities had to obtain a Section 333 exemption from the FAA to do so. As of August 26th, the FAA had granted 5,552 Section 333 exemptions for commercial UAS operators.

Heritage Foundation panel focuses on FAA missteps in drone regulations

There is a legitimate question to be raised, however, over whether the FAA’s registry regulations and the harsh penalties for offenders actually makes our skies any safer for American citizens. That was a question tackled by a panel at The Heritage Foundation at a moderated discussion on better approaches to U.S. drone policy… Some panelists questioned why there was a need to single out UAVs as a particularly dangerous threat to manned aircraft when it was clear that there were far greater environmental risks to aircraft. Sargent chastised the media, saying that they have “not been much of a help on this” by overstating drone risks, further noting that damage risks from large birds were far greater than drones… Taylor expanded the scope of this idea, mentioning that while a few dozen people died in recreational watercraft accidents each year, and hundreds are put into hospitals from injuries related to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), he was not aware of any story where an American was injured by a drone.

How Drone Disabling Patents Change Everything

The proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly referred to as drones, has cluttered airspaces all over the world in a precarious way. Security and privacy issues related to drones have prompted some organizations to ban the use of drones entirely… With so much interest in developing systems for drone disabling and capturing unauthorized drones, it’s not surprising to see patents being issued for related technologies over the past year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One such patent, U.S. Patent No. 9085362, titled Counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System and Method, generally relates to a UAV for providing counter-UAV measures… Although American aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) appears to maintain a leading position in this field, smaller inventors are also active in this field…

IBM hits torrid patent pace in Q1 2016, invents cloud management and automotive tech

2016 has gotten off to a strong start for the company as the patent portfolio analysis tools at Innography are showing us that IBM has already earned 1,927 U.S. patents through the first three months of this year. Not surprisingly, much of IBM’s patent activities have been focused on computing devices, data sets, computing environment, storage devices and data structures. Natural language technologies are another area where IBM has pursued recent innovative advances. Likewise, we note a trio of patents recently issued to IBM in automotive and related sectors, starting with the crash damage mitigation technology, technologies for communicating information between vehicles, and enhanced methods of traffic routing involving stoplight timing.

The Top 10 Patents Issued in 2015

2015 was a truly remarkable year for innovation and we saw major trends in self-driving cars, wearable technologies, digital wallets and much more. I hope you will enjoy this top 10 listing, which includes innovations for providing water in arid regions, wireless charging systems for electronic devices and even the collection and retransmission of sunlight. Of course, as with all of these types of lists, the criteria used for inclusion on this list is subjective, based on my own personal preferences. Please feel free to let us know if you saw something particularly noteworthy in 2015.

Qualcomm pursues innovation in drone chipsets, wireless electric vehicle charging systems

Wireless communication technology remains a great focus among Qualcomm’s recent research and development, as well mobile devices and user equipment. In fact, over the past few months and we noticed Qualcomm patent applications relating to wireless charging for an electric vehicle. U.S. Patent Applications No. 20150202970, titled Systems and Methods for Electric Vehicle Induction Coil Alignment, would protect a method of receiving wireless power involving the detection of a transmission signal in a wireless power transmission, the signal varying periodically between two frequencies, as well as a the determination of a phase of a base system induction coil signal based on the detected transmission signal.

Senators Booker, Hoeven draw up bipartisan bill promoting commercial drone use

The proposed bill comes as welcome news to large companies like Google and Amazon which have been looking for ways to start developing beyond line-of-sight flight plans and other complex operations. The rules may, however, be less well suited for smaller UAV innovators. As an article published by Motherboard points out, the Booker/Hoeven legislation will require commercial drone operators to register for a license whereas currently allowable commercial drone operations operate in a non-licensed legal grey area. The undisclosed registration fees that would be put in place for licensing is also a cause for concern among small commercial players with limited financial resources.

Senate hearing on drones seeks to balance safety issues and commercial opportunities

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation addressed whether unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones, could be further incorporated into American airspace for commercial purposes. Drones have enjoyed a growing profile in our collective consciousness thanks in large part to both the incredible array of applications for this technology as well as the concerns over public safety and privacy. Drones can take much of the danger out of work such as utility line inspection or search and rescue missions but their ability to capture images with high-definition cameras has led many to worry about a growth in unwanted snooping by drones.

FAA clears up regulatory questions concerning drones, keeps Amazon grounded for now

With an eye toward taking a step forward on the regulatory front, on Sunday, February 15th, the U.S. Federal Aviation Industry released a proposed framework of regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, that the agency and many drone operators are hopeful will lead to the greater incorporation of drones into American airspace. However, some of the proposed regulations would effectively squash certain commercial applications of drone aircraft being developed by Amazon and others, or at least postpone them for the time being.