Posts Tagged: "Yahoo"

Visual Search Engines: A New Side Door for Competitors or a Better Infringement Detection Tool?

Text-based search engines, such as Google and Yahoo (remember Ask Jeeves?), were arguably the most important development leading to our now everyday reliance on the Internet. The concept is simple: type a word or string of words into that inviting text box and instruct your favorite search engine to scour the Internet. The search engine does its magic and quickly displays a list of results, typically hyperlinks to webpages containing information the search engine decided was most relevant to your search. As web technology has progressed, search engines have become smarter and more robust. All major search engines can now, in response to text input, spit out a combination of web pages, images, videos, new articles, and other types of files.Of course, IP owners and those interested in capitalizing on the IP rights of others have found many creative ways to leverage search engine technology to get their goods and services to the top of search engine result pages. These techniques have sparked an entire industry—search engine optimization—which has long been the subject of copyright and trademark litigation. Given that nearly all consumers now have camera-enabled mobile devices, search engine providers have invested heavily in “visual” search engine technology. Visual search engines run search queries on photograph or image input, instead of text input. For example, a tourist visiting the Washington Monument can snap a quick photo of the famous obelisk and upload it into the visual search engine. The visual search engine will then analyze (using, for example, AI or other complicated algorithms) various data points within the photograph to identify the target and then spit out relevant information such as the location, operating hours, history, nearby places of interest, and the like. Google (Google Lens), Microsoft (Bing Visual Search), and Pinterest are all leveraging this technology.Critically important for IP owners, visual search engines can be used by consumers to identify products and quickly comparison shop or identify related products. A golfer could snap a photograph of a golf shirt and ask the visual search engine to return results to find a better price on that shirt or to identify a matching hat or pair of pants. Similarly, a music listener could snap a photograph of an album cover and ask the visual search engine to return results for other music in the same genre that might be interesting to the listener. These are only a few examples of the powerful capabilities of visual search engine technology.

Open Invention Network: A Mission to Maintain Open-Source Status for Linux Systems

As Jaime Siegel, OIN’s Global Director of Licensing, notes, OIN is able to grant free membership to companies joining the consortium thanks to the efforts of eight full-funding member companies which have each funded $20 million to support OIN’s operations through an endowment. These companies include the first six companies to form OIN: Sony, Phillips, IBM, Red Hat, NEC and SUSE; joining those companies are Google and Toyota. OIN’s board consists of representatives from each of these full funding members. Every new member of OIN signs the same licensing agreement as the full-funding members, giving all members in the organization equal standing in terms of the cross-license agreement.

Are Today’s Social Media Tech Giants the Big Brother that Orwell Warned Us About?

Dystopian novels and science fiction often return to the subject of the loss of personal privacy which is often encouraged by the use of technology enabling constant, omnipresent surveillance. Perhaps the most famous example of this in the science fiction canon of the 20th century is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. First published in 1949, Orwell’s novel conceives of a world where government surveillance is so complete that the vast majority of citizens don’t mind being watched by two-way telescreens in their own apartments. Even the novel’s rebellious protagonist Winston Smith comes around at the end to fall prey to the same cult of personality that allows the government overseer — Big Brother — to remain in power… With concerns over the use of personal data fresh in the mainstream news, we’ll run a series of articles that will take a closer look at U.S. tech giants both in terms of the types of data they track and the purposes for which that data is used.

Parties Agreement to Settle Issues Does Not Extinguish Board’s Ability to Determine Patentability

However, what if the Board refuses to terminate an IPR despite a joint request by both parties based on a settlement and proceeds to a final written decision? As indicated in Section 317, a joint request for termination may not be granted if the Office has decided the merits of the proceeding before the request for termination is filed. Although the section does not specifically list or explain the criteria for determining the merits of the proceeding to a final written decision, there are cases providing us with a number of considerations… From the cases above, it can be seen that even when the Board terminates an IPR as to a petitioner, it may nevertheless proceed to a final written decision when the trial issues have been fully briefed and argued at the time the parties move to terminate an IPR. The Board may also proceed to a decision on the merits when there is a large number of existing district court cases involving the patent at issue.

Trademark hijackers are hurting online advertisers; here’s how to stop them

Avery Labels worked hard to establish its brand among consumers as the premier retailer of label products, as well as providing software solutions through their design-and-print-online tool and one-stop premium printing service, “WePrint.” As a result, when consumers search online for label products, Avery is typically the top-of-mind brand, making Avery the envy of its competitors. A few of those competitors recently attempted to benefit from Avery’s category-leading position by using the Avery trademark on their digital marketing ads without Avery’s permission, which not only drove up Avery’s ad costs and cut into its results, but was a clear case of trademark infringement.

Cybercrimes, Data Breaches Rise Against Big Firms

Cyber crimes and data breaches have become far too widespread in the recent times. Technological progress has taken the risk to new levels, with newer techniques to exploit vulnerable organizations, corporations and governments being discovered every day… A considerable number of organizational respondents to the survey, approximately 32%, reported being affected by cyber crime. Nearly 34% felt that they would be affected within the next 2 years. While 61% of the top executives feared cyber attacks, only 37% of organizations claimed to have a cyber incident response plan in place. Obviously, this represents a significant disconnect between the level of fear and the level of preparedness in the industry.

Will Yahoo Feed the Patent Trolls?

Yahoo’s proposed auction of the Excalibur portfolio is likely to be the largest sale of computer-related patents since the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l ruling in June of 2014. Alice may reduce the number of overly-broad patents in existence in the long run, but (ironically) in the short term the decision may have skewed patent value calculations in a way that encourages the kinds of behaviors it was supposed to negate. A sale of the Excalibur patents will provide an important test of Alice’s effects in the short term.

Billion-dollar-plus valuation of Yahoo’s Excalibur patent portfolio could be optimistic in current market

It’s this environment of malaise within which Yahoo is trying to bolster its fortunes with the sale of an intellectual property portfolio involving about 3,000 patents and patent applications which the company recently reassigned to a subsidiary known as Excalibur IP. Some of the patents in this portfolio date back to the company’s initial public offering in 1996 and news reports from The Wall Street Journal indicate that some expect the portfolio to fetch a price in excess of $1 billion… “If this sale had happened before Alice, the valuations would be multiples higher,” said Michael Gulliford of Soryn IP Group. Another factor mentioned by Kent Richardson (ROL Group) was the fact that the so-called smartphone patent wars have largely ended so the patents in related sectors are not as important from a defensive standpoint.

The Yahoo Patent Portfolio: What is the market price today?

Business Insider reports that Yahoo’s patent portfolio could generate up to $3B. We disagree and we use data to show why. With an estimated street price of $772M (high of $1.15B, a low of $393M), Yahoo has a valuable asset, just not a $3B asset. We often see patent prices stated without any data to back up the analysis. We think this needs to change. Below, we show how a quick analysis of Yahoo’s portfolio and the patent market leads to some bounds on the street price of the patents.

American consumers increasingly happy with social media but not search engines

The big winner among social media e-businesses in the 2015 consumer index is Pinterest, the personal web cataloguing service headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Its consumer satisfaction index score rose by about 3 percent since last year to a score of 78, tied for the best 2015 index score of any e-business. Most people think of Pinterest as a fun website for getting party ideas or tips on how to style a home, but there have been some interesting aspects of Pinterest’s business developing. Recently, the Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) announced that Pinterest, which manages about 1.3 billion pins related to money management, is driving about 30 percent of the company’s social media traffic. A police department in Dover, DE, recently became one of a small but growing contingent of departments who have launched Pinterest accounts to advertise a public lost & found service. Pinterest users who have ever found themselves frustrated at an inability to purchase imaginative items they find on the site may be happy to note that the site is rolling out buyable pins.

Core Yahoo! patent focus on search engines, social networks and fantasy sports

Between July 2011 and July 2014, Yahoo! had expenditures of 17.8 as a percent of sales on R&D while experiencing a stock growth of 85 percent over the same time period. Areas of research focus at Yahoo! Labs include computational advertising, machine learning and web mining innovations. Our research using the Innography patent analytics search tools shows a total of 303 U.S. patent grants during 2014; the text cluster diagram (shown right) gives us a quick glimpse into those patents, not surprisingly showing that much of Yahoo!’s patent activity was focused on search engine services, especially in selected searches and search result pages. User devices, user interfaces and social networking also represented an important focus for Yahoo! in 2014.

The Right of Publicity: Cashing in on Being Famous

In part 2 of my interview with Kristina Dinerman we discuss how aggressive celebrities are becoming with respect to protecting their right of publicity in the age of social media, whether the Supreme Court may interject itself at some point and decide whether tweeting constitutes commercial speech, and the growing phenomenon of people becoming celebrities as the result of being famous for, well… being famous.

The Right of Publicity in a Social Media World: An Interview with Yahoo! Executive Kristina Dinerman

Kristina Dinerman is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Yahoo! Inc. Dinerman handles business and legal affairs for media, marketing and the Yahoo Studio, which means that dealing with the many thorny issues associated with rights of publicity are on her daily radar. In this interview we discuss how the Internet generally, and social media more specifically, has changed the landscape with respect to rights of publicity, raising a number of interesting questions about what is, and what is not, commercial speech.

Yahoo! Focuses on Social Platform for Achieving Personal Goals

We were very intrigued to see a large number of patent applications related to goal achievement technologies, and we closely examined three of these which we felt were worth sharing. Methods for creating an impetus to achieve a goal, whether for money or for social benefit, would be protected by U.S. Patent Application No. 20140272849, entitled System and Method Providing Positive Social and Economic Motivators for Goal Achievement. The filing discloses a method of defining a list of goals through a computing device, each goal comprised of a progression plan with a set of milestones, and assigning goals to a group of users. For progressing towards goals and hitting milestones, users may be rewarded with a monetary award from an advertiser, or may win a social bet with terms set among friends.

Yahoo Seeks Patent on Method of Recommending Advertising Services

We start today’s check into Yahoo!’s innovations with an in-depth look at one patent application describing an online marketplace for advertising services which can be bought for business purposes. This marketplace enables advertising services to bid for rates and can analyze consumer interactions with a business website to suggest effecting online marketing tools. Other patent applications describe various other software tools for business purposes, including one system for providing advertisements which are optimized for mobile device screens. Yahoo!’s recently patented technologies cover a wide variety of novel Internet technologies. One patent we discuss establishes a new method of ranking search engine results based on how interesting some content may be for a user. A sidebar for community updates within online networks comprising many members, and a method for recommending e-mails for others to read, are also discussed below.