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Discussion of all things patent mapping and analytics.

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Recent blog posts

In this post we review a patent claiming the rotating screens used on the smartphones or tablets we almost all carry - and consider the most cost effective means of finding the key patent that invalidated this patent when it was asserted against Rackspace.

 

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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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The US based National Security Agency (NSA) has been in the news a lot recently due to its activities, which include the collection and analysis of telephone and internet records. While the exact nature of this analysis is both confidential and controversial, it is thought to include analysis of websites visited, and links between people as expressed via email and message traffic, and calls made. This type of analysis is often referred to as 'metadata' analysis, where metadata can be defined as 'data about data'. 

But is not only the NSA that understands the value of metadata. As discussed by Maria Konnikova's excellent article on MIT's human dynamics scientist Dr Alex Pentland, the likes of Google and Apple are also interested in metadata. Pentland's work began with counting Canadian beavers from outer space back in 1973. Since beavers were small, and satelites crude back in 1973, Pentland started counting beaver ponds instead. This is a great example of the use of indirect measures to try to find data that would otherwise be impractical to gather. Since then Pentland has been working on wearble technology like Google glasses, as well as on metadata in general:

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In an earlier and much read blog we reviewed the patent portfolio of Tesla, and concluded that their highest ranked patent was US7698078 for an Electric vehicle communication interface. This patent was filed on 18 July 2014, has a priority date of 15 June 2007, and has as its first claim: 

1. A method of communicating with an electric vehicle, said method including the steps of:

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Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk recently announced that "all of our patents belong to you', for reasons described below:  

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

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