Clare Gibson is a Senior Patent Analyst working for Patent Seekers and has a keen interest in climate change, empowering minorities, along with diversity, inclusion, and equality. On a technology level Clare’s passions are Femtech, optics, semi-conductors, and electronic instrumentation. She regularly publishes articles both in print and online (look out for her latest on Femtech in the next issue of the Women’s IP World) and has developed an expertise in patent search and analysis across multiple disciplines.
Working on the Physics and Mechanical team Clare undertakes Patentability/Novelty, Clearance/FTO requests, Invalidity, Mapping, State of the Art, and Monitoring cases for companies worldwide. With her interest in climate change Clare is regularly involved in searches around Green Technology including but not limited to electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, wind farms and offshore wind/water power stations.
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Patent Seekers are exhibiting at the IP Service World in Munich this week. We love meeting up with people face to face and having the opportunity to discuss how our services benefit companies worldwide. If you’re attending the IP Service World Conference pop by Stand 59 and ask Timothy Parry about patent busting, freedom to operate and prior art searches and request a free quote*.
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The final instalment of Climate Change from a Patent Perspective is out now in the Global IP Matrix.
Climate Change from a Patent Perspective is the final instalment of our 3-part series. Here we will round out the discussion by looking into small changes we can all make to reduce our environmental footprint and what the future of climate management may look like in the coming years.
Article by Daniel Di Francesco, an IP Manager at Patent Seekers and Clare Gibson Senior Analyst at Patent Seekers. Daniel and Clare are experts in undertaking FTO, Patentability and Invalidity searches, covering all types of subject matter with specialisms in the chemical field (Daniel) and Physics and Mechanics (Clare).
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New Green Technology Inventions Discount from Patent Seekers
In order to show Patent Seekers’ commitment to combating climate change we are launching a new ‘Green’ initiative today. The initiative will aim to help inventors and companies in this field carry out research to be able to apply for patents and launch their products into the marketplace.
This will take the form of a Green Technology 10% Discount. Any inventor or company can request this discount. It applies to any of our services from “Prior to Filing” searches to “Freedom To Operate” and yearly access to our patent search database “PatWorld” to carry out their own research.
The magic of movies is the escapism they can provide, transporting the viewer to different worlds that may seem impossible to comprehend existing outside of the silver screen.
As technology advances, concepts that were once viewed as science fiction are slowly becoming commonplace. The lines between fantasy and reality have become blurred, and although some ideas may never be possible to implement, we can look to intellectual property in hopes to find how close we can get to living out some of our cinematic fantasies.
Intellectual Property in Hollywood
Intellectual Property and the movie industry have a long history, driving innovation with its need for special effects and practical stunts. This relationship goes all the way back to the dawn of the major movie studios, contributing to them finding their home within Hollywood. During the 1890’s the majority of US patents relating to film making were owned by Thomas Edison. He negotiated a licensing agreement with major filmmakers of the time, creating the Motion Picture Patents Company, and thus establishing a monopoly on all areas of the filmmaking process. These regulations lead to a large section of independent filmmakers choosing to move their operations to Hollywood; a destination chosen due to its distance from Edison’s New Jersey base, where it would be difficult for the MPPC to enforce its patents by prosecuting for infringement.
Fig.1, G03B31/02 Projectors in which sound track is on moving film
In A Galaxy Not That Far Away Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises in cinematic history, with its characters and lore becoming common knowledge integrated in our daily lives. Arguably the most universally identifiable piece of the Star Wars universe is the lightsabre. There are various light up swords that mimic the aesthetic of a light sabre, but a recent patent application by Disney, who own the rights to Star Wars itself, may be the closest we can get to replicating a true lightsabre experience. The patent (US2018326317A1) discloses a retractable sword with an illuminated blade for “providing an energy sword effect”. This effect operates by utilising a flexible light source strip attached to a blade end cap. The blade may be provided on a spool and extended or retracted by a motor in the hilt, creating a realistic effect of a lightsabre powering on/off.
But Your Kids Are Gonna Love It Back to The Future represents another universally recognisable movie franchise, which contains predictions of numerous technological advances that were claimed to be achieved by 2015. The concept of time travel itself may be some way off still, however those looking to recreate Marty’s hoverboard chase from Back to The Future 2 could be in luck. There are various methods that could be employed to generate the lift to propel the board, such as high-pressured water (US2015360755A1) or providing a source of direct air pressure (US2005016783A1). However, the patent that most closely appears to replicate the look and intended use of that of the film appears to be US2015303768A1, by Akers Pakesilaibai Company. This application proposes an electromagnetic levitation vehicle which utilises magnetic fields to induce eddy currents for generating the desired lift and thrust.
Muggles Get In On The Act The final of our three innovations is also the final of the three Deathly Hallows; the invisibility cloak. The concept of an invisibility cloak has been utilised in plenty of film and literary works over the years, and although the Wizarding World has their own patent office, termed the “Ludicrous Patents Officed” in the Ministry of Magic, we can find this technology available a little closer to home. Canadian manufacturer Hyperstealth Corp have developed a light bending material known as “Quantum Stealth”, which can be utilised as a camouflaging agent. The material (US2021172709A1) comprises a lens sheet assembly which could bend light waves around an object by refraction or reflection, thus disguising it from an observer.
As illustrated by the above identified patent applications, what was once deemed pure fantasy is slowly becoming reality. And this is just a glimpse into what is possible with current technology, as we continue to push further into new fields it is possible one day movies such as Back to The Future 2 will need to be reclassified from science fiction to historical drama.
They say that life imitates art, and that certainly seems to be true of innovation.
Article by Daniel Di Francesco, an IP Manager at Patent Seekers. He is an expert in undertaking FTO, Patentability and Invalidity searches, covering all types of subject matter with specialism in the chemical field.
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If you’re attending in person pop by our Exhibition Space, alternatively if you’d like to book a meeting slot with Tim and Morgan click here.
As a founding partner of Patent Seekers Tim has expertise in providing and developing Intellectual Property search and analysis services to meet clients needs. This includes the development of innovative products that leverage patent data to provide strategic business insights.
Ask Tim and Morgan about our latest innovations including StartPoint and how they can work for you. In addition, for your in-house search needs ask about a free trial to PatWorld, your global patent database solution.
We look forward to seeing you at the 6th European Intellectual Property Forum in Munich and hope that you have a successful and productive conference.
In celebration of World IP Day 2022, IP and Youth and Innovating for a Better Future, Chelsey Edwards Patent Analyst at Patent Seekers shares her thoughts on the topic, entitled Youth in IP: Protecting the Future.
This year, social media usage has reached an all-time high with a double-digit increase in social media users predicted to spend 12.5 trillion hours online, according to the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report – published in partnership between We Are Social and Hootsuite. With more than two-thirds (67.1%) of the world’s population now using mobile phones and 92.1% of which using them to access the internet, time spent using connected tech continues to rise.
A recent survey of 1,500 British 16 to 25-year-olds commissioned by Samsung UK’s Solve for Tomorrow programme revealed that 89% of Gen Z say they would like to run their own business, with 70% looking to launch within the next 12 months. However, 39% revealed that they don’t know where to start and 22% believe they don’t have access to the support they need. Living in a world dominated by an online presence, it seems easier than ever to feel disconnected from others and the world around us. Despite this, 67% of young people aim to solve pressing global issues relating to education, sustainability, social isolation or diversity and inclusion, with their entrepreneurial endeavours. Embracing the ever-expanding presence of youth online may present a unique opportunity to merge the worlds of social media and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning. With a shortfall of over 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, it’s no secret that the UK is in the thick of a skills shortage.
A robust STEM education is fundamental to the economy as it allows students to work collaboratively; developing critical thinking, project management and problem-solving skills. Combining these skills with an understanding of the fundamentals of Intellectual Property (IP) could inspire the next generation of innovators. However, it is not enough to only teach students how to design, code and invent. They must be taught how to protect what they create or potentially face theft, misappropriation, and infringement. A way in which we can supplement a student’s IP knowledge is through incentivised innovation programmes. Programmes such as Solve for Tomorrow, Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Awards, British Inventor Show Awards and James Dyson Awards, aim to invest in young innovators along with providing them with valuable connections and mentorship in their respective industries. Winners can also bag themselves vital funding to help advance innovation and launch products to market.
One such individual is Penelope Roberts. The University of Essex PhD student received funding from Innovate UK Smart Grants for her company RoboNurse4NHS for their development of robotic companions for care homes and hospitals. Penelope hopes her innovation can help reduce the strain on current hospital and home care services by providing socially aware, semi-autonomous robotic companions as customisable and personalised assistants. As can be seen in figure 1, the development of technology utilising artificial life increased to an all-time high during 2019.
Fig. 1: A bar chart demonstrating the rapid increase in the number of patent applications under the classification encompassing Artificial life, i.e., computers simulating life since 2015 (created using data generated by PatWorld). Patent application data for application years 2021 and 2022 may not truly reflect actual activity due to delays during the 18-month patent publication cycle.
Another example of the success of such programmes is Seyed Nasrollah, graduate of Imperial College, the University of Cambridge and regional winner of the Young Innovators Programme in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. Seyed believes his company, Unifiq Games, can use machine learning to revolutionise the games industry and help address the STEM-skills crisis facing the UK, through developing a social video game rooted in “a digital playground based on the laws of physics down to the atom”. The advancement of modern technology by way of machine learning continues to drive innovative tech solutions, as is evident by the increase in patent applications within this sector in recent years (see figure 2 below).
Fig. 2: A bar chart demonstrating the rapid increase in the number of patent applications under the classification encompassing Machine learning since 2015 (created using data generated by PatWorld). Patent application data for application years 2021 and 2022 may not truly reflect actual activity due to delays during the 18-month patent publication cycle.
Growth in the number of patent families published under STEM related classifications such as Artificial life, i.e. computers simulating life and Machine learning, as demonstrated in figures 1 and 2 would seem contradictory to the reported shortfall of over 173,000 workers in the STEM sector. However, it may allude to the lack of support and access to research, development and IP knowledge experienced by today’s youth. Invention requires creativity, the ability to imagine the possibilities and wonders of the world, and of course excellent subject knowledge; particularly in the realm of STEM. While innovation and transforming novelty into a commercial product is essential in rapidly changing markets, without invention innovation is impossible. Lack of inventive step or novelty will render an idea unpatentable, highlighting the significance of invention. Despite numerous grants and awards available for young innovators, there appears to be a clear lack of incentivised programmes encouraging the creation of novel inventions and knowledge on how to appropriately protect them through the patenting process.
The European Patent Office (EPO) have now established the Young Inventors prize in a bid to acknowledge young, problem-solving inventors across all technical fields with a focus on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda recognizes that “ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests”. Programmes such as this could help provide Gen Z with STEM-skills and IP knowledge required to unlock their entrepreneurial potential. With its first ever winners’ ceremony being held on the 21st of June 2022, there will surely be corporations, charities and governing bodies looking to follow suit.
Chelsey Edwards is a patent analyst at Patent Seekers UK office. She is experienced in a broad range of biological research methods with an in depth knowledge of recent advancements within oncology. She has an MSc Cancer Biology and Therapeutics and BSc Hons Bioveterinary Science.
Are you attending INTA22 in Washington DC? We’re attending INTA this month and looking forward to the opportunity to network in person again. Christian Hartmann our Head of Business Development in North America will be there and representing Patent Seekers at the conference.
Christian Hartmann is the Head of Business Development for Patent Seekers Research Inc. He regularly advises clients on their Intellectual Property search and analysis needs and has overseen the development of innovative products that leverage patent data to provide strategic business insights.
Ask him about our latest innovations including StartPoint and IPAudit Assist and how they can work for you. In addition, for your in-house search needs ask about a free trial to PatWorld, your global patent database solution.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington DC and hope that you have a successful and fun trip.
IPAudit Assist and Management Effectiveness Review – Intangible assets and intellectual property (IP) are becoming ever more important in today’s economy. Every company in a technology space needs to take their IP issues seriously or risk being left behind by their competitors. Whether you manage your IP alone or in conjunction with your legal counsel, the IPAudit Assist and Management Effectiveness Review will determine the usefulness of your company’s IP management and make recommendations for improvements if any are needed.
Joining them for 2 days of interactive workshops is our Head of Business Development for North America Christian Hartmann. He will join the discussion with some of the most influential leaders at the intersection of innovation, capital and entrepreneurship.
Investors are taking risks on entrepreneurs like never before and high growth companies are emerging. Find out what’s driving these massive changes and learn how to get involved. Engage in meaningful conversations to enable new possibilities.
Patent Seekers recently launched an innovative analysis designed to help entrepreneurs and investors make key product, market and investment decisions.
Torrey Pines Law Group, PC is an intellectual property, regulatory services, reimbursement, and technology transactions law firm.
Torrey Pines Law Group has worked with a number of companies claiming to have expertise with patent and technical literature searching. However, in our experience over several years, Patent Seekers is the best. We’ve worked together on patentability, freedom-to-operate, invalidity, and infringement searches which has enabled our firm to draft meaningful legal opinions. Christian has also been an exemplary business partner, and Patent Seekers’ superior expertise, flexibility, and responsiveness really sets them apart. Most importantly, our clients are very satisfied with the results they receive — those results are highly trustworthy. Torrey Pines Law Group recommends Patent Seekers for all your patent and technical literature searching needs.
Ratner Prestia is an intellectual property law firm dedicated to patent, trademark, copyright and other international IP issues.
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