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Patents Stats 2014 (Infographic)

If you are thinking about filing for a patent in the new year, it is important to take a look back at patent stats from 2014 to better understand certain aspects such as how long you might be waiting for a patent, and to what industries the most patents going. After gathering data from the USPTO, we have constructed an infographic to enable you to quickly understand everything that is happening in the world of patents.

In 2014, the largest player in the patent industry was, by no surprise, the tech giant IBM with 6,737 issued patents, closely followed by fellow tech companies, Samsung, Canon, Sony, and Microsoft. In terms of a waiting period, the average time it took for a patent to reach completion was 27.4 months, however, this number varied by industry due to the complex nature of the patents. The shortest waiting time was seen within the biotech industry at 26.2 months, and the longest was software and information security at 31.7 months.

Among the 329,000 total patents issued, plant patents experienced the greatest surge with a 20% increase from the previous year. Utility patents closely followed with a 14% increase from 2013, and design patents experienced a 7% increase. Of the total issued, the majority went to large entities while the remainder (~20%) went to small entity and micro entity companies. Within the US, the states granted the most patents were also states that boast large technology sectors and startup communities. These states included California with 44,147 patents, which was by far the highest amount, followed by Texas, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts.

Through the data gathered, it is easy to see that more and more people are seeking patents to protect their intellectual property. Legal security is no longer reserved solely for the IBMs of the world. There are now affordable ways for small companies and even independent inventors to protect their innovative ideas.

For the full infographic visit Entrepreneur.com/article/232903

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If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Combination Pillow and Crash Helmet – Interesting Patents

After stuffing your face with every type of dip imaginable and screaming at the TV for 4 hours, the Monday after the Super Bowl can be a rather grueling day at work. Although originally #patented for airplane use in 1968, the ‘Pillow Crash Helmet’ is a super convenient way to grab some quick Z’s right at your desk. I’m sure your boss won’t notice this subtle contraption.

pillow-helmet-patent

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Nest Patent – Occupancy Pattern Detection, Estimation and Prediction

OCCUPANCY PATTERN DETECTION, ESTIMATION AND PREDICTION

 

Inventors:FADELL; Anthony Michael(Portola Valley, CA) ; ROGERS; Matthew Lee(Los Gatos, CA) ; ROGERS; Kipp Avery(Chicago, IL) ; ISHIHARA; Abraham K.(Palo Alto, CA) ; BEN-MENAHEM; Shahar(Mountain View, CA) ; SHARAN; Rangoli(Sunnyvale, CA)

 

Applicant:
NameCityStateCountryType

NEST LABS, INC.
Palo AltoCAUS
Assignee:NEST LABS, INC.
Palo Alto
CA
Family ID:45807659
Appl. No.:14/322724
Filed:July 2, 2014

 

Overview

 

This patent application discloses systems and methods for predicting and/or detecting occupancy of an enclosure, such as a dwelling or other building. Using an occupancy prediction engine in conjunction with data received from at least occupancy sensor installed in a dwelling, the present invention is able to perform a number of applications.

For example, applications that can benefit from accurate occupancy prediction include heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting management, hot water heating and management, security, emergency response, and the management and charging of rechargeable batteries (e.g. for electric vehicles).

In general, applications that greatly benefit from occupancy prediction are those that particularly benefit from knowing or accurately estimating, in advance, when the structure will be occupied. The lead-time of the prediction will especially aid applications that have an inherent lag-time to reach a certain state. For example, heating and cooling a structure to an acceptable level has an associated lag time of several minutes to more than one hour.

Therefore it is beneficial to accurately predict ahead of time, when an occupant or occupants will be entering and/or leaving structure. Additionally, energy savings can be obtained due to predicting and/or detecting occupancy for both short term, such as intraday periods and long term, such as multi-day vacation periods, when the structure can remain unconditioned or more economically conditioned.

What is Claimed to be the Invention

 

Note: this application is still pending, and the scope of the patent protection granted, if any, may change during patent examination.

A system for predicting occupancy of an enclosure comprising:

  1. a model of occupancy patterns based in part on information regarding the enclosure and/or the expected occupants of the enclosure;
  2. a sensor configured to detect occupancy within the enclosure; and
  3. an occupancy predictor configured to predict future occupancy of the enclosure based at least in part on the model and the occupancy detected by the sensor.

A method for predicting occupancy of an enclosure comprising:

receiving a model of occupancy patterns based in part on information regarding the enclosure and/or the expected occupants of the enclosure;

receiving occupancy data from a sensor configured to detect occupancy within the enclosure, the occupancy data being indicative of the occupancy detected by the sensor; and

predicting, by a computing device, future occupancy of the enclosure based at least in part on the model and the occupancy data.

 

How it Works

 

The systems can include a prior (a priori) stochastic model of human occupancy, thermal comfort and activity patterns, based in part on information pertaining to the type, dimensions, layout and/or the expected average number of occupants of the structure (whether a home or other type of structure) and on the calendar (time of year, day of week, time of day), and also based on prevailing and forecast local weather conditions.

Such a stochastic model can have multiple parameters, which can be initially estimated from a questionnaire filled by residents and/or from accumulated statistical data for structures of type and usage, and occupant characteristics (i.e. according to household type) similar to the structure in question.

Over time, the parameters of the a priori stochastic occupancy, comfort, activity model, can be further trained using cumulative logs of sensor data acquired within the actual structure in question. For example, if the a priori model predicts the absence of occupants on Wednesdays during daytime, but occupancy sensors sense human presence on Wednesdays consistently for several weeks, the a priori behavior model can be corrected for this information.

As used herein the term “sensor” refers generally to a device or system that measures and/or registers a substance, physical phenomenon and/or physical quantity. The sensor may convert a measurement into a signal, which can be interpreted by an observer, instrument and/or system. A sensor can be implemented as a special purpose device and/or can be implemented as software running on a general-purpose computer system.

Known methods for electronic occupancy detection include acoustical detection and optical detection (including infrared light, visible, laser and radar technology). Motion detectors can process motion-sensor data, or employ cameras connected to a computer which stores and manages captured images to be viewed and analyzed later or viewed over a computer network. Examples of motion detection and sensing applications are (a) detection of unauthorized entry, (b) detection of cessation of occupancy of an area to extinguish lighting and (c) detection of a moving object which triggers a camera to record subsequent events. A motion sensor/detector is thus important for electronic security systems, as well as preventing the wasteful illumination of unoccupied space.

The occupancy prediction can be used in the actuation and/or control of an HVAC system for the enclosure or various other applications such as: home automation, home security, lighting control, and/or the charging of rechargeable batteries.

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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Winter Must-Have: Sled Pants

Anyone who has ever thought of sledding as an activity reserved only for children has clearly never seen this trendy winter accessory. The sled pants patented in 1996, are a quick and easy way to sled anytime, anywhere. The convenient apparatus straps to your waist much like wearing a belt, and contours comfortably to your body with contractible leg extensions to make walking in them bearable. As soon as you are ready to hit the slopes, you can conveniently pop down the hinged legs and be on your merry way. It’s time to ditch the heavy garbage bin lids and inflatable tubes for this mature alternative. Who wants to ski anyways? (Patent Information: http://bit.ly/1xEvX3Y)

sled-design-patent

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Elon Musk’s Early Patents before Tesla

Elon Musk, the brains behind Tesla Motors, PayPal, and SpaceX, seems to have always been quite the innovative thinker. In the early 90s and 2000s, he submitted a series of different patents relating to the way we use the internet in terms of search and communication. As originally covered in qz, his ideas predate many of the apps we are so familiar with today.

In 1997, Musk filed for a patent that is comparable to various communication applications such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype. The patent describes giving computers the ability to place calls online as users came across various phone numbers. The user could click on a company contact and get connected via a call center, similar to what happens when you tap on a phone number from your smart phone today.

calling-from-the-web

In 1998, Musk submitted another patent in which the main purpose was to increase the speed of geographic searches. The goal was to create an automatic search process that would widen the area of your search until the appropriate amount of results were found. This would allow you to find the closest businesses in your area, without having to do multiple searches. This is exactly the process that Google currently uses for location-specific searches.

In 1999, Musk filed two patents (1)(2), for a directory service that would consist of a single database that would hold information about a particular business, as well as directions and contact information for its location(s). This idea is reminiscent of what Yelp and Google Places provide. The applications also suggest the functionality of the tool could be extended to various other categories.

directory

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Four Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

The success of a business can largely depend on the protection of its intellectual property. With the overwhelming amount of protection options, it can be hard to know what method is the best for your specific need. This infographic illustrates the four ways you can protect your intellectual property as well as the benefits for each.

The first method of coverage is a patent which is categorized into three types:  utility, design, and plant. Each type of patent varies in terms of the type of intellectual property it protects, and the amount of time the patent protection lasts. The next method is a trademark. Trademarks provide protection for a word, phrase, symbol, design, color, and even the layout of a store. The third method is a copyright which delivers coverage for works that are fixed in a palpable medium. This usually includes music, video, books, and other similar material. The final available method is a trade secret which protects information with independent economic value. This includes works such as blueprints, chemical formulas, research and development, and marketing strategies.

Each form of intellectual property is unique, and it is important to analyze the benefits of each form of security to make the best decision for your needs. It can also be helpful to consult a patent attorney to make sure you have considered all of your options.

four-ways-to-protect-your-intellectual-property

You can find our other infographic on Entrepreneur.com

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Airbus Files Patent for New Commercial Aircraft

Airbus, formerly known as the European aerospace and defense group, has filed a patent for a revolutionary commercial aircraft design. With its doughnut-like shape, the design is reminiscent of old science fiction space crafts, with a circular passenger cabin located behind the plane’s nose, and between its wings. The patent is meant to address an overarching issue among aircraft designers. The current cylindrical shape of airplanes is effective at handling the pressurized cabin, but strong reinforcements are needed at the front and rear ends of the plane to counter the stresses. This design will force other considerations including the alteration of in-flight trolleys to handle the curved isles, and redesigning the boarding/departure process. Airbus hopes to provide a simple and efficient solution that will reduce emissions, improve flight times, and better preserve energy. (Details for patent application)

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Creepiest Thanksgiving Patent

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Move over paper hand turkey! The search is finally over for the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece. With the Gourd Head, you can fill your cornucopia with some familiar faces.

This strange invention patented in 1987, gives at-home gardeners the opportunity to add a dimension of uniqueness to their yield. The apparatus/method described, would allow gardeners to mold their product into a variety of interesting shapes. According to the inventor, these include “the image of a particular person; in the shape of a different type of produce (e.g., a summer squash grown in the shape of an ear of corn); a fanciful shape such as a heart, or a bottle of pop; or other simple or even quite detailed shapes.” The inventor also mentions how the natural texture/designs of the produce can add to the artistic design of the final product.

The method is quite simple. The gardener places a mostly transparent mold over the growing fruit or vegetable to enable sunlight to still reach it. A key component is the yieldable nature of the mold, allowing it to stretch and expand with the growing produce, and a larger opening to avoid constricting the plant as it grows. For best results, the time the plant is in the mold should be minimized, meaning the reshaping should begin when the plant it just big enough to fit in the mold without being restricted by it. Usually, it will take 10-20 days for the plant to fill the mold and be ready for harvest. http://bit.ly/1yBsbEM

image_0

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Andrei Tsygankov is the Co-Founder and COO of SmartUp® and a partner at Founders Legal (Bekiares Eliezer LLP). As an attorney, Andrei specializes in corporate, commercial, trademark, and international business matters.

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Patent on Newly Discovered Material

How would an entrepreneur go about patenting a newly discovered material? Say if they were to discover a room temperature superconductor, a discovery that would affect life as we know it.

The first question you must ask is whether this superconductor exists in nature, or whether you had to create a special environment to foster its existence. If you simply dug a hole into the earth and found a new superconductive material, that may not be patentable. However, if you combined known elements x, y, and z to create this superconductor, then nearly everything may be patentable.

For example, there may be some process that you went through to make this discovery – that process may be patentable. There may be some process you went through to have isolated this superconductor from other naturally occurring elements that naturally accompany this semiconductor – that process may be patentable. There may be some environment you have created to foster the discovery of this superconductor – that environment may be patentable.  Essentially, any man-made procedure, device, or system that led up to this discovery may be patentable – and any procedure, device, or system that results from this discovery may be patentable. If by combining elements x, y, and z, you discovered this superconductor, it may even been that you are entitled to a patent on the superconductor itself!

When dealing with matters so interesting, its always best to consult a patent attorney.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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Apple’s Latest Patent – Docking Station

Our mission at SmartUp is to enable startups and entrepreneurs to grow and develop their patent portfolios.  That’s why we want to keep our members up-to-date on the most recent patent-filings by tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft and Google – who better to learn from than the best?  These innovators have the resources behind them to develop huge patent portfolios, even if they don’t intend on bringing all of their ideas to market – so don’t expect to see everything they patent to be coming to a store near you.

usd0680544-20130423-d00000Apple’s new Design Patent D680544, entitled “Docking Station,” looks to be focusing on a new docking station for their IPad and IPhone devices.  Based on the claimed figures, it will be a hard shell with a keyboard attached to it.  The accessory does not seem to be fold-able in any way which will probably limit its portability.   It has a power connector in the back to keep your device charged while you are docked.  There is also another connection point in the back that could possibly be used to connect to a monitor.

This design patent indicates that Apple may be trying to capture a market in need of utilizing their apple devices for their personal computing needs.  We saw this earlier when Motorola made a  laptop dock for its Atrix phone.

As our cellphones and tablets have their functionality migrate closer to the power of a personal computer, we are sure to see more products such as these.

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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Amazon’s New Patent Enhances E-books

E-books are about to be fully loaded with Amazon’s new Patent #8478662 entitled “Customized electronic books with supplemental content”, originally covered by Wired.

fig-5-227x300Their intent is to turn content from an e-book from being fixed for every reader into a system that has individualized supplemental content by using a match making system between readers and contributors.  Sort of like the extra features on a DVD, but, those features will be dependent on your preferences.

They will have both publisher and contributor supplemental content that will be distributed to the user.  The content that the user receives depends on the relationship between the user and the contributors.  Since by definition this means that different users will receive different content, will this take control of the content away from the author?

The threshold where the reader gets fed content from a contributor is based on a couple of factors:

  • Is the contributor considered an expert related to e-books (how this is determined is vague)
  • Is the contributor connected to the reader through social networking
  • Is the reputation of the contributor higher than the competing contributors
  • Does the interests and preferences of the reader match what the contributor has outlined in their profile
  • Ratings of previous content by the contributor
  • Previous consumption of the contributors writing from both the reader and members in the readers social network

The type of content we plan on seeing these contributors produce are alternative storylines, reference materials and annotations. This is going to be a great tool for fan fiction writers, however, it will force them to really take control of their social presence.

While the matchmaking system will make finding relevant content easier they are still leaps behind what some companies are doing to make reading more interactive.   For instance, Wasabi Productions is making a whole slew of interactive children’s books where the reader actually controls the content and not just gets fed something extra.

Coming up we will probably see an ecosystem of contributing writers in a similar fashion to what Amazon does with their third party sellers’ platform.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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Apple’s New Patents and What It Means For Travel

Apple was granted 37 patents recently according to a report from Patently Apple.  Out of the series of granted patents, Patently focuses specifically on the IWallet patents.  Upon examination, we discovered that most of the patents granted today focused more on communication between one mobile device and others.  This includes patents on peer to peer communication and making a single mobile device a hub to send information to the different spokes.  What interested us the most was US patent No. 8,463,286 entitled “Systems and methods for accessing travel services on a portable device” and how it will affect new marketing strategies.

The most important claims in this patent were:

  • A method where the device recognizes when you are leaving and arriving on your trip by pulling data from your calendar.
  • A method for sending notifications when the user arrives either through email, text, voice mail or push notification.
  • A method for determining when the user is travelling by analyzing both the calendar data and when the user turns on and off their phone.
  • A method for a third party or travel service provider to push offers as the user arrives  or departs.

Based on the claims, this patent was likely filed to cover air travel.  Essentially, this will allow for your phone to automatically send a message or notification to your family (or whoever you decide) when you arrive.  While this will save a phone call to your parents when you travel, it also has a marketing play.

Apple specifically points out methods for your travel service provider to send offers or upgrades during your traveling process.  Examples of this could be an upgrade during departure or cab coupons when you land.  This is a natural fit to Passbook which can leverage your travel information. 

Google and Uber have already started building a partnership taking advantage of events marketing.  Released at Google’s I/O conference was information on how they are leveraging your flight information from emails and connecting it with Uber to push discounts pre and post flight.

Just look at the different plays Apple envisions for  in the diagram on the right taken straight from the patent application. Travel providers, restaurants and third parties who target a person getting off and on a plane should start preparing to take advantage of pushing their product on this platform.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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USPTO Issues 700,000th Design Patent

The USPTO recently did a press release about the issuance of the 700,000th design patent.  The patent for the ornamental design for a “Hand-Held Learning Apparatus” was issued to Jason Avery of Berkeley, California and is currently assigned to Emeryville, California-based LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LF).

In case you did not already know a design patent protects the physical appearance of a product, including software graphics such as user interfaces and icons.  To determine what is protected in a design patent, you would look at the drawings.  The drawings will contain three types of lines: solid lines, dashed lines, and shading lines.  The solid lines indicate the part of the design that is protected by the patent, the dashed lines indicate ‘optional’ parts of the design that aren’t protected by the design patent, and the shading lines indicate the surface and its texture.

You can find all this information by using the USPTO patent search tool.  Just type “US D700000 S1” in the search field, this will lead you to a plethora of information including drawings and patent claims and methods.

This milestone is significant because it shows the size to which our patent office has grown.  Our Intellectual property system is a catalyst grow growth in innovation. “The design area has increased from twenty five and a half thousand applications in 2009 to just over thirty five thousand filings in 2013” said Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee .

 TLDR

Leapfrog got issued the 700,000th design patent.  Rate of growth for patent issuance has increased by over 30% in the past 5 years.

About Design Patent Number 700,000
The LeapsterGS™, delivers more than 40 different learning and play experiences for children ages four to nine, and features a hi-res finger-touch screen, and Flash and 3D graphics. The device is ergonomically designed with small children in mind, yet is simple, with bold and fun design features. It stores information about a child’s progress and adjusts game and activity challenges in real-time, for learning adventures that keep kids going on their own path, at their own pace. And select titles also let players customize the curriculum, selecting their own spelling words or mathematics skill sets to load into games, effectively “doing their homework” as they play.

 

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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Automobile Patents Are Growing

Since 2010, the number of patents filed from the automobile industry has nearly doubled as car manufacturers look to make greener, more autonomous cars affordable for the average consumer.  This infographic provides some deeper insight into this evolving, technology-driven landscape.

 

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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