Posts Tagged: "innovation"

My Top 10 Most Interesting Patent Innovations from 2013

Using no other criteria than my own, this list of the Top 10 Innovations of 2013, which may include a surprise or sentimental choice here and there, shows some technologies that will likely become ubiquitous in time. Especially social media and networking innovations, as well as a couple of inventions that are meant to improve well-being and sustainability among human beings, likely have real staying power. From multi-user touchscreens to self-healing electrical grids to a robotic system, here’s what I found to be some of this most interesting inventions we stumbled across this year.

AT&T Seeks Patent to Prevent Crime on Gaming Networks

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. We’ve also noticed a wide range of intriguing additions to AT&T’s patent holdings in recent weeks. One issued patent protects a system of analyzing user voice activity to determine demographic data about that user, which could then be used for suggesting goods and services. Another issued patent protects a system of adding maps to address book entries, while another patent protects a method of creating a personalized television channel based on user preferences. Finally, we pulled up an issued patent that enables for closer law enforcement surveillance of mobile networks in response to criminal activity.

The Importance of Protecting Incremental, Improvement Innovation

Innovation provides new therapies and breakthrough treatments that extend and enhance life. The scientific and financial resources required for these advances are an investment worth making and an important precedent for global health. Patents encourage those innovations, making cutting-edge treatments a reality. Patents give innovation life. Current efforts to amend existing intellectual property legislation to “fix” the patent system will only undermine the incentives that encourage innovation. All innovation, both breakthrough discoveries and incremental improvements, is valuable and should be protected and rewarded. India, Brazil, South Africa and other emerging economies should take note. Their proposed changes, aimed at weakening intellectual property rights protections, are misguided and potentially very damaging to public health.

Johns Hopkins Seeks Patent on Surgical Robot Systems

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. Other patent applications we feature here focus on improvements to surgical procedures. One patent application explains a new development for specialized surgical robotics and an improved interface for surgeon control. Finally, we feature a patent application discussing a minimally invasive surgical treatment for obesity using a gastric sponge.

The University of Texas: Biomedical Innovation Focus

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 notable patent application filings 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.

Bayh-Dole: A Success Beyond Wildest Dreams

Of course it would be wonderful to live in a world where self-interest takes a back seat to humanitarian efforts and altruism on all occasions; where financial incentives are not required to promote the greater social good. That, however, is not the world we live in and the regimes where this economic philosophy has been tried have unanimously faltered or failed. If we want maximum good for society pursuing a path that results in maximum good ought to be the agenda, not some pollyannish pursuit of the impossible because it feels better or fits into some pre-ordained social narrative that some deem acceptable. Failure for an altruistic reason is still failure, and when we are talking about the economy, jobs and hundreds of life saving treatments and cures the right thing is to do the most good. It is truly a pity that some would choose not to maximize social good simply because it means someone else will make money in the process.

Samsung Patents Simultaneous Translation, Seeks Patent on Robot Cleaner

What we find is an eclectic mix of computer systems, display devices and even an automated vacuum cleaner. Improved display devices are featured in a number of USPTO patent applications that we discuss in today’s column, and are an important focus for Samsung. One particular application would protect a display that is capable of providing a cleaner three-dimensional image, while another application would protect an LCD screen that can display a wider viewing angle for users. Other patents and applications we explore show the wide scope of Samsung’s development activities. One patent application describes a motorized robotic floor cleaner that can better clean under furniture. Another patent application has been filed for a system of providing personal health records to medical professionals in a way that better benefits patients. Finally, we look at a recently issued patent that gives Samsung protections over a system of simultaneously translating a voice message into a different language.

Google Patents Tax-Free Gifting

A few of the patent applications from Google we’re looking at today focus on improvements to mobile devices of various kinds. One patent application would protect a system of improving security measures for a portable device based on the device’s actual location. Another application would aid the image capture process on a mobile device based on the user’s field of vision. Other patent documents we feature discuss improvements created by applied computer analysis of various network data. One patent application filed by Google would allow users to monetize pictures that they share on social networks. We also explore a patent application that gives advertisers better insight into the demographics of a certain television show’s audience. But the reference that was by far the most eye-catching was an issued patent that gives Google the right to protect a system of paying tax for the recipient of a gift card, instead of that tax being applied to the recipient’s purchases.

Patent Focus: Foreign Automakers Toyota, BMW and Audi

Some of these developments aid drivers and improve their routing while out on the road. An issued patent from the USPTO gives BMW rights over a system of broadcasting traffic data to inform drivers about optimal speed based on stoplight schedules and other drivers. An Audi patent application protects an adjustable front-facing camera that can scan various ranges in front of the car to determine obstacles. A Toyota patent application would protect a system of improving routing results based on road work or other road obstacles. Better fuel systems and entertainment access are other goals that some of these vehicle manufacturers are working towards. BMW is hoping to patent a user display that allows drivers to access entertainment systems without having to take their eyes off the road. Finally, we explore a Toyota patent application that would protect a system of maintaining a hydrogen fuel cell’s temperature within an optimal range for fuel operation.

Patent Watch: The Big Three U.S. Automakers

Today at IPWatchdog in the Companies We Follow Series, we’re looking at the Big Three to see what developmental goals these companies are planning for the future. Many deal with better systems of obtaining vehicle repairs. Ford has been issued a patent pertaining to online service scheduling for vehicle repair. As well, General Motors has filed a patent application for a system of vehicle repair that provides better resources than a typical service manual. We also explore three patent applications related to improvements in the driving experience. Two of these deal with safety: Chrysler has a patent application filed to prevent unintended operation of the gas or brake pedals, and Ford is seeking to protect a new airbag design that better prevents neck and head trauma. Finally, General Motors has filed an application to protect a telematics system providing contact information for known drivers within a certain proximity.

AT&T Seeks Patents on E-mail Self Destruct and 3D Media Content

Many of these documents that we look through today deal with mobile wireless technology and media presentations. One patent application describes a system of analyzing a person’s geographical location to create a map detailing wireless coverage in the area. Another patent application provides for a system of developing three dimensional media content for images or video. Also, one patent issued by the USPTO protects a system of enhancing phone calls between business acquaintances by providing local news and weather information. A few other patent applications covered here relate to law enforcement and security. One application would make it easier to track suspects using stolen or prepaid phones by searching for voiceprints. Finally, one last patent application would protect an e-mail system that provides for deletion of sensitive e-mails after a period of time has elapsed.

Qualcomm: Diversified Innovation and Aggressive Patenting Leads to Success

Innovation has not been occurring at Qualcomm simply for the sake of innovation. Since 2010, Qualcomm’s quarterly sales have increased each year by 31 percent. On the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Qualcomm is the third-fastest growing large technology company in America as of 2013. Other Qualcomm operations involve the medical industry, for which they’re developing a wireless monitoring system for children with asthma, and video gaming, as many in the industry believe Qualcomm and Amazon are working together to build a console.

Patent Haters Take Notice! University Innovation Fuels Robust Economic Activity

But how could Universities ever be characterized as non-practicing entities in the first place? If we are going to be intellectually honest there is no way you can characterize Universities as non-practicing entities. University innovations have laid the foundation for thousands of startup companies since 1980; in fact well in excess of 7,000 startup companies have been formed. These startup companies are not just high-tech companies, they are the highest tech companies based on the most cutting edge research and innovation our country has to offer. These companies are not imaginary or mythical, but rather they are real, tangible and operating companies; they exist! These startup companies are also U.S. formed companies that are located in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers. Now that is a jobs plan if I ever saw one!

Fun in the Sun Patent Style: Let’s Go Surfing Now!

Today in IPWatchdog’s Summer Fun series, in honor of the ongoing U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, we’re featuring some of the most interesting new patent applications and issued patents related to surfing. Some of these newly devised innovations are designed to help a surfer save their physical energy. One patent application describes a new powered surfboard with a detachable chair for riding far out into a body of water. Another issued patent protects an attachable hard edge that can improve the performance of inflatable surfboards, which are easier to transport. A new four-pointed tail design from a patent application would improve a surfer’s speed and control on the water. Better surfboard components are also described by some other official documents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. A third issued patent protects an improved design for a surfboard ankle tether that improves rider safety. Finally, a last patent application has been filed to protect a system of measuring surfboard speed and displaying that information on an LCD screen.

Toyota Celebrates Inventors, Patents in Award Ceremony

Recently, the Toyota Technical Center held a ceremony to celebrate the corporation’s top inventors for the past year. The corporation and its subsidiaries were awarded 1,491 patents in 2012, the most for any automobile manufacturer according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Today we take a look at recent Toyota patents to celebrate this incredible output of technological innovation from the Japanese car maker. One patent protects a new multi-layer exterior for vehicles that reflects a wider range of light, providing a vehicle better protection from damaging sunlight rays. Another patent protects a smart calendar system that can inform onboard GPS routing based on regular errands.