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Discussion of all things patent mapping and analytics.

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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.

AmberScope is an entirely new way of exploring the world of patent based on an interactive network of patents that are similar to a 'seed' patent. This seed patent could be a patent similar to a technology you are looking for, or a patent you are trying to invalidate, or a patent you are trying to license. 

A recent blog discussed 10 of the unique features of AmberScope. 

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AmberScope is our innovative patent searching tool that not only displays an interactive network of patents connected by forward or backward citations to your seed patent, but also provides a series of useful features to help you find the key patents you are looking for. 

So what are these features?  

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US patent 7479949, all 364! pages of it, is popularly referred to as 'the Steve Jobs patent". As discussed in an earlier blog on all of the patents of Steve Jobs, this patent covers 

one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items

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In 2011 the patent portfolio (more than 6,000 patents in total) for the bankrupt Nortel was sold for $4.5B to a syndicate of buyers that included Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Blackberry, helping to catalyse a patent buying frenzy that was thought to have catalysed Google paying $12.5B for Motorola just a few months later. 

More recently, now bankrupt Kodak put its patent portfolio of more than 20,000 patents for sale - and earned only $527 million for this portfolio, as explained in this excellent article from IEEE Spectrum.

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As reported in the World Intellectual Property Review, fashion icons Levi Strauss and Gap have been accussed in a Texan court of infringing a patent owned by Icon Laser Solutions, a limited liability company in Texas. The patent itself is US5567207, filed in 1994 for a Method for marking and fading textiles with lasers, and claiming in its first claim:

1. A method for color fading, dyed textile materials with a laser, comprising the steps of:
- placing under a laser beam a dyed textile material; and
- scanning the laser beam generated by the laser with a selected set of parameters to fade the dye of the textile material to replicate a uniformly faded textile or a stone washed, acid washed or acid ball washed textile.

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This is an update of a blog first published in August 2014. Since then our terminology has changed from Automated Search Reports to online Cluster Searching but the results below would still apply. 

 

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3D printing is regarded as an up and coming technology by many at the moment. So many be surprised that we are coming up to the 30th anniversary of what is widely regarded as the key 'godfather' patent of 3D printing, namely US4575330 Apparatus for production of three-dimensional objects by stereolithography.

The '330 patent was filed by Chuck Hull in 1984, allegedly after working on coatings for tables. One night he was experimenting and noticed that by shining a ultraviolet light into a vat of liquid photopolymers, it was possible to create a 3D solid model - so claimed to be the invention of 3D printing. Since then the preferred substrate for 3D printing has moved to powders, but the principle of using the photo beam to solidify the substrate. 

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Posted by on in Amberblog

Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has famously said "Software will eat the world", and this has led some to wonder if the same is being borne out in patent filing behavior, i.e. if the majority of patents filed are for software patents. But is this the case? What does the data say? 

Method

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Apple has been sued for infringement of a former Siemens patent, now assigned to patent assertion entity TLI Communications.  According to PatentlyApple.com, the inventor Dr Mattes while working at Siemens: 

recognized that mobile telephony and digital photography, each then in their infancy, would likely become more and more popular. Dr. Mattes recognized that mobile telephones could be integrated with digital cameras, resulting in a proliferation of the quantity of digital images that could and would be taken.

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Posted by on in Amberblog

Even among people that may not use Apple products, Steve Jobs will probably be regarded as one of the world's greatest innovators. While Apple did not invent all of the key elements of the Apple breakthrough products, Apple under the leadership of Jobs either introduced or were the first to successfully commercialise on a mass scale: 

  • The graphical user interface for PCs
  • Digital music players
  • Buying music and video over the internet (iTunes)
  • Touch screen based smartphones
  • Smart phones with built in GPS and accelerometer systems
  • App stores
  • Tablet computers - while to to some an oversized smart phone, Apple were smart enough to realise that the larger screen size could create an entirely new product category - And that being able to make phone calls on it was not important

Others have claimed Apple and Jobs also reinvented retailing with the Apple store, but premium retailing of technology was around before the Apples store, for example Bang & Olufson stores of the 1990s. 

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