Items tagged with USPTO

In a Twitter post on Monday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed that Michelle K. Lee is the organization’s new director. Lee once worked as a legal counsel for Google and now goes down in history as the first woman to lead the USPTO, filling a seat that has technically been vacant since 2013 (Lee was already serving as acting director). According to Reuters, Lee won the position by an unrecorded voice vote in the full Senate a mere week after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination. As such, she now officially leads a federal agency with... Read more...
A big shout out goes to Amazon for forever changing the way we think about photography. You see, Amazon was recently granted a patent that, in short, describes taking photos of subjects and/or or objects against a white background. Brilliant! Wait, what's that? Photographers far and wide have long known about this technique and used it extensively in the past? Well, that changes things -- give a huge shout out to Amazon's legal team for somehow wording the patent application in such a way that the USPTO thought this was a brand new idea worthy of patent No. 8,676,045. "A subject can be photographed... Read more...
Apple has snagged a patent from the USPTO for what amounts to Siri, evolved. The “method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant” appears to be a situation where your whole home or office is littered with sensors that track where you are and what you’re doing while always being at the ready for voice commands and gestural input. The patented system would include message-passing between sensors as well as features such as language, activity, and time recognition with task automation, culled in part from events “collected from a user's environment”.... Read more...
Apple's just been granted a rather interesting patent for an "Electronic device display module," which is really a fancy way of describing a clever dual-sided laptop display with a solar panel on back. The front of the lid would house your typical LCD, though the backside would be constructed from electrochromic glass atop photovoltaic cells and touch sensors. In other words, it's a solar panel. The idea, of course, is that the lid would pull energy from the sun to charge the laptop and/or offer longer battery life. That's not all Apple has in mind, however. As described in the patent filing, the... Read more...
Google is apparently getting really serious about gesture control. In addition to acquiring Flutter, a San Francisco-based startup that develops gesture recognition technology, the sultan of search filed a patent application for using gestures in vehicles to perform a number of functions, such as changing the volume of music, raising or lowering the cabin temperature, and more. The patent describes using different gestures in different parts of the vehicle. Waving your hand in front of the radio, for example, would allow you to control the audio system. The obvious upshot is that once you learn... Read more...
Google has just been granted a patent for which it applied last year regarding the ability to launch programs via specific unlocking patterns. Android users can already unlock their phones with a special pattern to jump into the operating system, but in a future version of Android, it looks as though users will be able to leap into, say, Angry Birds or Netflix by inputting a custom launch pattern tied to each app. "This document describes a computing system that provides for alternative unlocking patterns. In general, a computing system may recognize multiple unlocking patterns," Google explains... Read more...
Apple may be looking to improve upon the stylus as we know it today. The Cupertino company filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for what it calls an "Active Stylus," which can be used on capacitive touch sensor panels like those found on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. "Conventional styluses are passive input devices in that they are incapable of actively transmitting stimulus signals or sensing a touch-induced capacitance change in a capacitive touch sensor panel...Unlike conventional styluses which work passively by blocking electric field lines... Read more...
Wielding a smartphone makes you a walking target. That's especially true of iPhone owners, and unfortunately, smartphone mugging has become the new trend in criminal circles. In fact, it was previously reported that half of all robberies in San Francisco so far in 2012 have been cell phone related, many of which took place in public places, like busy transit lines. Smartphone security is something that needs to improve, and it's the driving force behind a new patent application Apple filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent is for an acceleration-based theft... Read more...
Google has been granted a patent on a system for real-world object identification scanning that will allow the company to survey and tag images and videos. The abstract for patent 8,254,699 (hereafter referred to as the '699 patent) covers An object recognition system performs a number of rounds of dimensionality reduction and consistency learning on visual content items such as videos and still images, resulting in a set of feature vectors that accurately predict the presence of a visual object represented by a given object name within an visual content item. The feature vectors are stored in... Read more...
We're big fans of full contact Football and, up through the 1980s, Basketball could be considered a contact sport until the NBA decided that that league's multimillion dollar Basketball  stars shouldn't be so much as sneezed on when driving to the basket (seriously, is the NBA really more entertaining without these kind of hard fouls?). But full contact Bingo? That's a new one to us, though not to Electronic Arts, which apparently decided to file trademark applications for the term earlier this month. EA submitted two separate applications for Full Contact Bingo (serial numbers 85560267 and... Read more...