Thursday, 10 August 2017

THAILAND JOINS THE MADRID SYSTEM

Thailand will become the 99th member of the Madrid System on November 7, 2017.  

On August 7, 2017, the Government of Thailand officially deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with WIPO. 

Starting November 7, local brand owners in Thailand can begin using the Madrid System to protect their marks in the 114 territories of the System’s other 98 members by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees. Foreign applicants from Madrid system countries will also be able to designate Thailand. 

What are the advantages of the Madrid system ?

With its straightforward designation process, foreign companies and trademark owners can, from this November, seek trademark protection through the Madrid System when selling their products and services in Thailand. Thai companies and Thai trademark owners will also be able to apply for trademarks internationally in 114 states through a single application and paying one set of fees.

Who can use the Madrid System ?

You can use the Madrid System if you have a personal or business connection to one of the System’s members. This means you must either: be domiciled, have an industrial or commercial establishment in, or be a citizen of one of the countries covered by the Madrid System. For a list of current countries please check the following link. 

How much does it cost ? 

The cost of an international trademark registration includes the basic fee (653 Swiss francs*), plus additional costs depending on the nature of your mark, where you want to protect it, and how many classes of goods and services will be covered by your registration. WIPO provides a fee calculator under the following link.

(Left to right) Ms. Sunanta Kangvalkulkij, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the World Trade Organization, Mr. Thosapone Dansuputra, Director General, Department of Intellectual Property, Ms. Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Francis Gurry (photo: WIPO/Berrod).


Source : Ananda Intellectual Property Limited 


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Apple Must Pay $506M For Infringing University’s Patent

University of Wisconsin may collect $4.35 apiece for millions of iPads and iPhones.

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation will be able to collect more than $500 million in royalties on Apple products that used the A7, A8, and A8X chips. That includes the iPad Air, pictured here in 2013.

A judge has ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the research arm of the University of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF, sued Apple in 2014, accusing its A7, A8, and A8X chips of infringing US Patent No. 5,781,752, which claims a type of "table based data speculation circuit." The following year after a trial, a Wisconsin jury found (PDF) that Apple had infringed the '752 patent and that it should pay $234 million in damages.

Yesterday's order (PDF), signed by US District Judge William Conley, more than doubles that amount. Conley awarded WARF $1.61 per unit for many of the iPad and iPhone devices that use the accused chips, up until the entry of judgment in October 2015. He also tacked on $2.74 per unit as a royalty payment covering the period from the date of judgment through December 26, 2016, which is when the '752 patent expired.

Since much of the argument over additional damages was redacted or sealed, it isn't clear exactly how many units the royalty was applied to. The total of $506 million also includes some court costs and post-judgment interest.

Apple has already filed papers to appeal the jury's verdict. A second WARF lawsuit against Apple, accusing a newer generation of products, is on hold while Apple appeals the first verdict.

WARF was one of the first university institutions to dive heavily into patent litigation. In a stream of lawsuits, WARF has demanded that it be paid royalties on a vast number of semiconductors.

Beginning around 2002, WARF sued Creative Technology, Sony, Toshiba, IBM, Samsung, and Infineon Technology. The research organization sued Siemens and AMD in 2006 and Intel in 2008. All of those cases resulted in settlements.

WARF also licensed with some companies without litigation, including Hitachi and Sanyo.

Spokespersons for both Apple and WARF declined to comment on the case.

Source : ARS Technica



Thursday, 27 July 2017

Nike Thinks That Rob Gronkowski’s Logo Looks Too Much Like The Jordan Jumpman Logo



Rob Gronkowski might be in trouble, and this time it’s for entirely business reasons. Nike is not happy that his logo looks a bit too much like a certain Michael Jordan logo you might recognize.

In April of last year, Gronkowski filed a trademark application for Gronk Nation L.L.C. The logo was to be used on clothing and exercise equipment.

But according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, last month the shoe monolith filed a formal comlpaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board claiming that the logo looked too similar to the Jumpman that Nike has used for its Jordan Brand merchandise for nearly two decades.

Here are the logos in question.


                                          Pic : Gronkowski's logo & Michael Jordan's logo

Indeed, both silhouettes feature humans with sports balls, and when you put them in monochrome it’s easy to see the similarities.

Bnd it’s not like Gronkowski is anti-Nike. He’s appeared in Nike commercials and wears Nike cleats on the field, and Nike also supplies jerseys for the NFL. He even had a signature shoe come out for the company last year. So it’s not like this will devolve into all-out war here.

Gronkowski’s lawyer doesn’t seem too concerned about this.



It’s good that this won’t spiral out of control, but I think Gronk’s lawyer would be hard-pressed to prove that the Gronkowski brand is one of “the most recognizable brands in sports today.” He’s definitely behind LaVar Ball and Big Baller Brand in that regard.

Source : UPROXX

APPLE FILES PATENTS THAT COULD TRANSFORM AIRPODS



WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Apple hasn't entered the world of fitness hearables, but it could soon. A recently discovered patent shows the AirPods with biometric scanners.

Apple may be looking to break in to the “hearable” game with the popular wireless earbuds it calls AirPods.

Patent tracking site Patently Apple, which is dedicated to — you guessed it — following and reporting on Apple’s patent applications, noted on Tuesday that the Cupertino, CA-based company had been granted 43 new patents, including patents related to iPhone 6 design, graphics rendering, and even systems related to golf scoring.

While many of the patent listings are vague, one in particular stands out: United States Patent 9,699,546, covering “earbuds with biometric sensing.” In a field saturated with great wearable earbuds — like Bragi’s Dash, Samsung’s Gear IconX, Jabra’s Elite Sport, and many more — it’s surprising that Apple hasn’t yet made many big moves. The issuance of this patent could signify that the AirPods (which feature Siri compatibility, beamforming microphones, and motion sensors, among other things) are bound for a smarter future.


Earphones like the Elite Sport use biometric scanners — located near the part of the monitor that touches your tragus — to track things like heart rate. According to Pocket Lint, Patently Apple also uncovered plans to outfit wireless earbuds with EKG sensors and impedance cardiography sensors (devices that measure electrical currents and conductivity), lending credence to the theory that Apple might have more fitness features in mind for the AirPods.

Wireless earbuds have grown in popularity of late, likely because they effectively reduce the number of gadgets necessary for engaging in “smart” exercise routines. Where once you needed a FitBit on your wrist, a phone in your pocket, and a pair of wired earphones hanging past your torso, knowledgeable gym-goers can simply carry a pair of tiny, wire-free earbuds without sacrificing functionality.

Among the litany of patents published on July 4th, Apple filed patents related to the HomePod speaker — specifically, spatial awareness technology to let the speaker adjust to its location within a room — and even to the technically-still-a-rumor-but-basically-guaranteed iPhone 8. Meanwhile, the company’s recent deal with Samsung means that, come 2018, top tier iPhone models will be equipped with high-contrast OLED displays.

Source : DIGITAL TRENDS

Ford Patent Shows Fully Integrated And Retractable Bike Rack


Aftermarket bicycle carriers from companies like Yakima and Thule are hugely popular with cyclists. Unless you have a large car or want to remove one or both wheels from your bike every time you take it somewhere, owning a bike rack is necessity. While aftermarket solutions work well, each style has drawbacks. It seems that Ford agrees, as a recent patent filing discovered by Reilly Brennan and FPO shows the automaker is at least investigating a build-in rack system.

There are three typical styles of bike racks, roof mounted, hitch mounted, and suction cup or vacuum mounted. Ford's patent is most like the rear hitch mounted systems. Like the tailgate step that's available on the F-150, the retractable bike rack is fully integrated into the vehicle. The patent images show a Mustang, which is great as traditional bike racks don't always work well with sports cars.

Sloping roofs make top-mounted racks awkward and uneven while the low body, rear suspension and exhaust make tow hitches difficult to mount properly. The big benefit is never having to mount or remove the rails while not in use. Just slide the pieces back into the body. Roof-mounted racks can cause issues with height restrictions. Any non-permanent system also invites thieves, as this author can thoroughly attest to.

If this makes it to production, we hope it receives less unnecessary flak from the competition than the tailgate step. It seems like a simple and elegant solution that's sure to appeal to cyclists everywhere.

Source : Autoblog

Amazon has a patent for an underwater storage facility that looks like something out of James Bond



Amazon has been awarded some interesting patents in recent months, including a storage facility that looks like a beehive. But this latest one may top them all.

The technology giant has obtained a patent, entitled “Aquatic Storage Facility,” which would let it store products in “a body of liquid.” The depth would be controlled by an attached cartridge and “ascend or descend within the liquid, as desired.” The cartridge could then be “retrieved upon demand,” the filing reads.


AMAZON SAYS ALEXA DEVICE COULD NOT CALL 911

The entire patent can be found here.

Amazon is likely to automate much of the process, the filing notes, with the cartridge connected to a network. It could “receive acoustic signals or other forms of instructions” as well as having the ability to send acoustic signals.

In the filing, Amazon states: “Because today’s online marketplace offers a wide variety of items to customers including – but not limited to, goods, services, products, media or information – fulfillment centers now include increasingly large and complex facilities with expansive capabilities and high technology accommodations for items and feature storage areas as large as one million square feet or more.”

The company added that in order to prepare and ship an order, “a staff member or robot may be required to walk several thousand feet or even miles within a fulfillment center in order to retrieve the items. Where a customer submits multiple orders for items, the arduous task of picking, packaging and shipping ordered items must often be repeated for each and every order.”

AMAZON’S PRIME AIR ‘DRONE TOWER’ WOULD LOOK AND SOUND LIKE A GIANT BEEHIVE

In addition to the underwater storage facility, Amazon has filed several other patents in recent months. These include the aforementioned a drone tower, parachute shipping labels and the ability to block price comparisons in its stores, among several others.

The patent, if approved, is likely designed to help cut shipping costs, a topic that is on the top of Amazon’s mind.

In the most recent quarter, it had fulfillment expenses of $4.7 billion, compared to $3.7 billion a year ago.

Source : BGR Media, LLC

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Singapore Creates S$1 Billion Innovation Fund to Drive Growth

Singapore is creating a S$1 billion ($718 million) fund to help innovative companies develop their businesses and expand overseas, part of the city state’s drive to boost economic growth.

The Makara Innovation Fund -- a collaboration between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and local private equity firm Makara Capital -- will invest S$30 to S$150 million each in 10 to 15 companies with globally competitive technologies over the next eight years, IPOS said in a briefing on Wednesday.

The measures are part of a strategy outlined in February by the Committee on the Future Economy, a government-led panel, that seeks to chart Singapore’s growth path over coming years. The committee recommended that IPOS take a stronger role in driving innovation.

“IPOS will build up from a regulator into an innovation agency,” said IPOS Chief Executive Officer Daren Tang. “This is a concrete and tangible way to show that Singapore can be a hub for intellectual property commercialization.” 

Singapore ranked sixth in Bloomberg’s 2017 innovation index, ahead of the U.S. and Israel. The city-state has the third-largest number of patents granted per one million inhabitants, trailing only South Korea and Japan, according to Bloomberg estimates





Singapore had 10,814 applications for patents in 2015, the last year for which there is available data, the largest number of any Southeast Asian nation, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

IPOS plans to double the number of intellectual property experts in Singapore to 1,000 over the next five years and will train 4,000 people a year, Tang said.

The agency will also assist companies in using intellectual property as collateral for financing. These initiatives, he said, should add about S$1.5 billion in value to the city-state’s economy over the next five years.


Source : Bloomberg

Friday, 21 April 2017

Google And Top Android Partners Agree To Share Software Patents

Google and a group of top Android phone makers have sealed a new agreement to collectively defend themselves against patent lawsuits.

The group, which also includes Samsung, LG, and HTC, have agreed to share patents covering “Android and Google Applications” on any device that meets Android’s compatibility requirements. The patents will be shared for free, and the group is supposed to be free and open for any company to join.

The agreement’s proper name is the “Android Networked Cross-License,” but the group is calling it PAX for short. “Pax” means “peace” in Latin, and Google says the agreement is about reaching a legal peace within the tech world.

“In the world of intellectual property, patent peace often coincides with innovation and healthy competition that benefit consumers,” writes Jamie Rosenberg, an Android business VP with Google. “It is with a hope for such benefits that we are announcing our newest patent licensing initiative focusing on patent peace, which we call PAX.”

It’s not entirely clear what types of patents will be shared through this agreement, or what threats these companies hope to defend against. But generally speaking, the agreement ought to help participants defend against patent trolls — companies that own patents make nothing, and only bring in money through lawsuits — and potentially even other large tech companies should they get into a standoff over intellectual property. The PAX group writes that they believe signing up “materially reduces patent risk.”

We’ve reached out to Google for more information on what the agreement covers.

The agreement could be a big win for Samsung and Google. Samsung makes and sells more Android devices than any other company on the list, and this pact makes it a harder target for patent trolls to hit. For Google, this agreement also helps to open the Android ecosystem up to smaller companies that may be interested in making a device but fear litigation.

While this agreement should help to defend Android manufacturers against some lawsuits on its own, its scope is fairly specific and seems to be limited to software. This isn’t the only licensing agreement of its kind, though. Google previously started a group that pledges to only use patents defensively, while another group it co-founded, the LOT Network, prevented companies from buying up patents just to sue others.

Source : The Verge

Microsoft Patents "Dual Display" Device With E-paper Display


Microsoft patents seem to be popping up more frequently lately, perhaps because everyone's paying more attention in the run up to the company's next mobile device, thought to be the Surface Phone.

In March, a patent emerged for a multi-layered screen made up of panels with curved edges sitting below a single upper layer, which hinted at a possible design for the phone.

But this week, a patent has been spotted (via) for a "dual display device," which is likely to be a new tablet design rather than anything Surface Phone-related.

The patent details a device that features a regular screen on one side and a detachable e-paper display on the other.

According to the information in the filing, the regular screen would display visually dynamic user input controls, while the e-paper screen would be used for visually static user input controls.


That basically means, should this product ever actually materialise, the e-paper section would show various different input controls such as a keyboard, depending on what was required.

As the patent explains: "Although many of the examples described herein relate to textual input by the user, the user controls need not relate to textual input.

"For example, the visually static user controls may comprise controls for a music / video player and the visually dynamic user controls may show thumbnails of album art (e.g. for the particular song or album or related / similar songs) or related videos."W
As the e-paper section is said to be touch sensitive, removable, and a cover, it seems Microsoft could be working on a new e-paper Surface or Surface Pro cover.

Of course, there's absolutely no guarantee we'll ever see this product arrive, as a patent is simply a way for companies to protect an idea, rather than an indication of what's to come.

Source : Trusted Reviews
Link : http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/microsoft-patents-dual-display-device-with-e-paper-display

Mazda's Electric Car Gets Patents For Rotary Range-extender Engine



Mazda Demio EV test-fleet electric car in Japan 

Recent patent filings suggest Mazda’s next Wankel engine will equip a battery-powered car, not a rear-wheel drive heir to emblematic sports coupes like its RX-7 and RX-8.

Mazda has invested more time and money into the rotary engine than any other automaker, so executives are reluctant to let it fade away into history. While the RX-8 has been out of production for five years, the rotary remains a significant part of the company’s heritage.

The patent highlights how a brand-new rotary engine could play a role in accelerating the shift towards electric mobility by helping alleviate range anxiety.

It serves the same purpose as the two-cylinder engine available as an option on the BMW i3, according to Autoblog.

Instead of spinning the wheels via a transmission, it increases driving range by powering a generator that feeds electricity directly to the battery pack.

The first generation Chevrolet Volt used a similar technology, although unlike the "series hybrid" BMW i3 and Fisker Karma, it had the ability to clutch the engine directly into the drivetrain under circumstances when it would be the most energy-efficient way to power the car.


Patent drawing : Mazda rotary-engine range extender for electric car

Interestingly, a second Mazda patent shows a start-stop system developed specifically for Wankel engines, which use ports for intake and exhaust instead of valves.

Improving fuel economy represents one of the biggest challenges Mazda needs to overcome to resurrect the Wankel.

Even though it’s relatively thirsty, the rotary engine may be better suited to range-extender duty than a comparable four-cylinder.

It’s highly compact, which frees up more space for the battery pack, passengers, and cargo.

It’s also less intrusive when it turns on because it’s quieter and smoother than an engine with pistons.

Mazda hasn’t publicly spoken about what the future holds for the Wankel, so the patent images ultimately ask more questions than they answer.

Patent drawing : Mazda rotary-engine range extender for electric car

The Mazda2 RE concept shown in 2013 used a similar drivetrain.

It never made it beyond the prototype stage because it was a rolling laboratory used to test new technology, not a serious candidate for the showroom floor.

Mazda remains committed to introducing its first mass-produced electric car in 2019.

Other companies have experimented with using the unconventional rotary engine as a range extender.

Notably, in 2010 Audi introduced an experimental, A1-based prototype powered by roughly the same drivetrain Mazda engineers are apparently working on.

It was canned due to a lack of viability as a production model, and no one at Audi has openly spoken the word “Wankel” since.

—Ronan Glon

Source : Green Car Reports
Link : http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109760_mazdas-electric-car-gets-patents-for-rotary-range-extender-engine