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Posts Tagged: "patents issued"

GE Patents New Tower Design for Wind Turbines

The company’s robust research and development is often the subject of patents and patent applications published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This week, we profile some of General Electric’s most intriguing patent applications, especially those that pertain to smarter electrical and fuel systems.

One application describes a system of using devices to communicate fluctuating electricity costs in the case of a smart electrical grid. Another application would protect a system of monitoring travel conditions that affect fuel efficiency on trains. A third application we cover here describes improvements to wet gas compressors to reduce erosion within the compressor.

Energy generation and energy efficient systems are another major focus for GE. An official patent awarded recently to the company protects a new tower base design for wind turbines that are much easier to transport for installation. A final patent application covered here would offer General Electric the right to protect a system of separating carbon byproducts from gas streams within a carbon fuel system.

Google Seeks Patent on System For Targeting Customers Who Invite Other Customers to a Business

Google is another technological innovator whose name comes up often every week at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, as they are in the habit of protecting many of their Android system and Internet developments. This week, the USPTO published 9 patent applications assigned to the firm. Some of these improve user interfaces associated with touchscreen displays or head-mounted displays. Google also received 25 patents this week, including one that looks to improve online systems of user review for products.

Making it Easier to Get a Patent

Contrary to popular belief, things are getting much better in business methods. Applications filed in 1999 had prosecution times of over 10 years (lower green arrow). These and subsequent applications jammed up the system leading to excessive delays to first office actions. Applications filed in 2004, for example, had delays to first office action of 6 years (middle red arrow). Sometime around 2010, however, things started to improve. A lot more patents started issuing and the delays to first office action dropped to around 2 years (upper red arrow). That’s not to say that it’s easy to get a patent in business methods, but at least examiners and applicants are making much better progress in reaching agreement on allowable claims in a reasonable amount of time.

Recession Not Responsible for Dip in US Patent Filings

In the popular press there have been a number of stories over the last week or so regarding how the US is losing its edge in innovation as indicated by the drop in patent filings between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009.  The headlines have been sensational at times, claiming that the recession is affecting US innovation.  While such…