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Mike Lloyd

Mike Lloyd


Mike first developed an interest in patent data when working as a research scientist, and deepened this interest when working as an IP manager which led to his role at Griffith Hack. Mike has published in the areas of chemical engineering, patent management, the value of patents and the use of patent data in in a wide range of publications and forums, including the international journals Les Nouvelles, and Managing Intellectual Property.

Nest Labs are a great example of a company that is helping to develop the ‘internet of things’. Founded by two former Apple engineers in 2010, the company was attracting major venture capital funding within months. Google Ventures invested in the company in 2011, with parent company Google buying out the whole company for $3.2 billion in January 2014. 

Nest have to date developed two types of products, being a home thermostat and fire alarm. Both are interesting choices in that home thermostats and fire alarms have both been around decades, and are commonly available at very low price points. However in both cases Nest have added value by incorporating smart features often based on internet access and control, and also through producing some of the most attractive home appliances I have personally seen for many years.

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Apple has just been ordered to pay $530 million for infringement of a trio of patents owned by Smarflash LLC that refer to ecommerce of media items from a central resource, in this case alleged to be infringed by Apple's iTunes, and Smartflash are also litigating against Samsung, Google and Amazon.

In a previous blog we looked at the citation based relationship between these patents and patents filed by Apple and other companies.

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NPE patent owner Smartflash LLC has just won a $532 million judgement against Apple , on the back of three patents filed for Data storage and access systems being:

Which Smartflash alleged were infringed by Apple's iTunes's system, and which the jury confirmed.

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One of the most economically important reasons for patent searching is to help invalidate patents. In recent years crowdsourcing platforms such as Article One, BluePatent and Patexia run competitiors in which prior art searchers compete to find the best prior art to patents and inventions in return for prizes. Prizes on offer have ranged up to $50,000 or higher, but the prizes on offer by Article One at the date of this blog were US$4500, while Patexia were offering $5000 prizes. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_crowd_20150223-044836_1.jpg

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Arstechnica has today reported that Intellectual Ventures has just successfully asserted two of its patents in litigation against Symantec. These two patents were part of a trio of patents asserted in the same litigation, namely: 

  • US5987610Computer virus screening methods and systems, filed in 1998. This has an AmberScore value (predicted patent importance) of 18.0, which is excellent and much higher than the average AmberScore value of 1.0 for granted US patents. The AmberScope network for this patent can be found here, and this shows how it fits in the centre of a large network.
  • US6073142Automated post office based rule analysis of e-mail messages and other data objects for controlled distribution in network environments, filed in 1997. AmberScore value of 29.6.
  • US646050Distributed content identification system, filed 1999. AmberScore value of 21.1.

While the '050 patent was not found to be infringed, it was found to be valid.

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Summary

Smart door locks controlled by smartphones may be the next big thing - but are they the next new thing? We explore this question using our newly developed technique of Cluster Searching, which was able to automatically identify the most similar patents to a shortlist of patents for smart door locks found in a preliminary search - and so augmenting and strengthening this search set. 

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In a very recent white paper, Ambercite and Griffith Hack reported on the patent landscape of fracking using our unique Network Patent Analysis landscaping method. But almost at exactly the same time, the oil services industry was shaken up by the acquisition of industry major Baker Hughes by Halliburton, one of the two leading companies in the industry.

So how does this change the patent landscape?

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While preparing a recent analysis of leading Microsoft (and Google and Apple) patents we came across US patent 8077153, for Precise selection techniques for multi-touch screens.

According to our analysis, this was one of the most important Microsoft patents with an AmberScore value of 8.3, or 8.3 times the average value for US patents filed in the last 20 years. This patents sits in the middle of a crowded network, with 76 forward citation patents, as shown below (please click on this image to see an interactive version of this network).

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Posted by on in Amberscope

The Apple Watch has created a lot of interest since its recent announcement. It appears to comprise several different innovations, with perhaps the most important feature being that it is designed to work in close cooperation with an iPhone. This is a quite a change to say what many people had earlier imagined as a smartwatch, such as the Samsung’s 2009 phone watch. However this does provide more design options as it reduces the requirement for the watch to be all inclusive

But did Apple invent this concept? Did they, in the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook, "invent their own stuff"?

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Fracking has had an enormous impact on energy production in the US, and could potentially do the same in the rest of the world. Production of shale gas from fracking has increased ten-fold from 0.45 trillion cubic feet [12.6 billion cubic metres] in 2005 up to 7.1 tcf [200 bcm] in 2012, and this is expected to double to around 16.7 tcf [470 bcm] in 2040. 

Not surprisingly, this has been mirrored by an increase in patent filings that has matched this increase. 

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