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 and 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 INTA 2022 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 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.
APRIL 30–MAY 4 | WASHINGTON, D.C.
IN-PERSON + VIRTUAL
Come away with new perspectives, fresh ideas, and a renewed connection with the trademark community, and embrace myriad opportunities to make lasting memories with colleagues and friends from around the world.
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.
Listen in to Two IPs in a Pod to find out how our IP search services benefits our clients worldwide.
Tim Parry is the Business and Finance Director for Patent Seekers.
Patent Seekers are experts in providing Patentability, Freedom To Operate (FTO), Patent Busting, State of the Art, Patent Landscape and Mapping searches. Covering all technology areas we work with clients to provide a flexible service that can be customised to the way you work, your exact research outcomes and your budgetary requirements. Our clients include patent, design and trade mark attorneys, corporate IP departments, entrepreneurs and inventors. Each use our services in different ways to maximise savings on time and money without compromising on quality.
The Dublin IP and R&D Summit 2022 returns this month after a two year break. As sponsors and exhibitors we’re looking forward to discussing our IP search services. In particular, how we can support companies with their research and development plans.
The 2 day summit kicks off on 23rd March 2022 with an IP Commercialisation Workshop delivered by Mathys & Squire Consulting Ltd. The workshop will go through all aspects of the IP lifecycle. Thereby, ensuring delegates leave with a greater sense of confidence in managing and obtaining value from their IP and intangible assets.
Day 2 is chaired by Joe Doyle of Enterprise Ireland. It continues with an interactive IP and R&D conference consisting of two streams of discussions. Both looking at the most contemporary trends in the world of innovation with heated panel discussions and standalone presentations from IP and R&D professionals at the top of their game. The streams share a common networking and exhibition space. Innovation professionals will interact and exchange experiences across these two interconnected verticals in the economy of innovation.
PatWorld® is a business intelligence software and searchable patent database. It allows you to quickly gather, filter, view and analyse worldwide patent information. Competitively priced the database includes many advanced features as standard. Speak to Tim about a free trial of PatWorld. If you’d like to sign up for a demo for you and your team click here.
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Would you like to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world as they create cutting edge technology?
Patent Seekers are seeking several highly motivated, high achieving individuals with:
Physics, Engineering and/or Computer Sciences/Software background capable of understanding complex technologies, to join our Physics/Mechanical Team.
Biological Science background to join our Biotech Team.
We are looking to recruit both trainee and experienced patent analysts to meet our expansion plans (Salary based on experience).
Benefits include: Remote working, Pension, Healthcare, Cinema and Gym passes.
This is a fast-paced industry, and we are looking to identify people who can support the search services we offer, these include:
Patent and design busting/invalidity
Freedom to operate/infringement
State of the art, patent landscaping/mapping and competitor monitoring
Our teams of analysts (the largest in Europe) specialize in their technical areas, covering physics, mechanical, electrical/electronic, software, chemical, biological, pharmaceutical, consumer products and medical subject matter.
To apply for this role you will fulfil the following criteria:
A Science, Engineering or Biotech background and capable of understanding complex technologies with an Engineering, Physics or Biotech degree.
Thorough and methodical approach to research, data analysis and documentation
Independent, and intuitive while enjoying teamwork and cooperation
Good communication skills including fluency in written and spoken English
Everyone’s heard the phrase “fashion is cyclical” but how much truth is there in this statement? In the run-up to 2022 Fashion Weeks in New York (11-16 Feb), London (18-22 Feb), Milan (22-28 Feb) and Paris (28 Feb – 8 Mar) we analyse the patent data to see if it translates over to intellectual property? And, by utilising patent data, we set about finding out “Is Fashion Cyclical”.
A fashion trend is typically when a style of clothing, type of fabric or colour scheme sees a rise in popularity, suddenly finding itself in the spotlight and featuring in the wardrobes of style icons everywhere. Over the years plenty of these trends have come and gone; see for example flared trousers, double denim, the mini skirt… there’s plenty of options to choose from.
And yet, no matter how embarrassing some of these may seem in hindsight, a lot of fashion fads find a resurgence in popularity after a period out of the public consciousness.
The idea of a Trend Cycle itself is nothing new and can be applied to everything from music, television and books to the broader concept of art itself.
There is a basic theory that suggests trends have a 20-year lifespan; the time it takes for something popular to lose public interest, before reaching a high level of popularity once again.
As is also known to people within the world of intellectual property; in most countries a granted patent has an enforceable term of 20 years.
By identifying and evaluating two fashion trends, we intended to see if this matching 20-year lifespan is purely coincidental, or if a trend cycle can be identified within the patent data.
Trend One: Shoulder Pads
The first trend we decided to look into is the 80’s staple, the shoulder pad.
Figure 1, below, shows the filing history of shoulder pads related patents from 1980 to 2020. This chart was generated by analysis of the CPC classification A41D27/26: Shoulder-pads; Hip-pads; Bustles. The special rules of this classification state that it includes only shaping pads, not protection pads; making it a good match for this trend.
Figure 1: Earliest Priority Year vs Number of Patent Families
The data set contains a relatively small number annual filings, indicating that this doesn’t seem to be a particularly technologically innovative area. The filings appear to follow a pattern, with a small peak witnessed towards the end of the 1980’s, before dipping slightly to rise to a defined peak in 2001. This peak in filings remains at a near consistent high until 2007, after which filings appear to decline once more.
Viewing this data through the lens of the 20-year Trend Cycle, we can see a near perfect symmetry. Taking 2017 to be the low point that marks the middle of a cycle, we can look back at the previous 20 years, whilst also making a prediction for the future.
Looking back half a cycle to 2007, we can see this year is marked by a significant peak in filings, signifying the end point of the near constant high level of filings starting in 2001. Following the Trend Cycle to its beginning we would expect to see 2007 as the corresponding dip in filings; this is not the case, however the nearby low of 1991 may be able to be seen as the partner to 2017’s lull in filings, making this a 26 rather than 20-year cycle.
Based on this apparent cycle, we could expect to see shoulder pads making their inevitable comeback around 2027.
Trend Two: Bejewelling
From rhinestones to diamonds, on trousers or jackets, the second trend we chose to analyse is the versatile treatment of fabrics with jewelled materials.
Figure 2, below, shows the filing history of the fixation of particulate material to fabrics from 1980 to 2020. This chart was generated by analysis of the CPC classification D06Q1/10, which relates to decorating textiles by fixation of particulate matter.
Figure 2: Earliest Priority Year vs Number of Patent Families
These filings also appear to follow a cyclical pattern, although prior to 2000 the number of filings appears nearly insignificant to contribute to analysis.
Working in a similar manner as for shoulder pads, we can attempt to view these results in the terms of the 20-year Trend Cycle. 2016 stands out as the defining peak, containing around twice as many filings as any other year. Following backwards 10 years to 2006 we can see that this year does represent a dip in the near continual growth the filings had seen previously, if only a minor one. This could be due to the consistently minimal number of applications prior to 2000, which doesn’t allow for a defined analysis of any trends before this point.
Assuming this perceived dip in 2006 is true, we should therefore be able to assume the current decline in filings should continue until 2026. Which means that, unfortunately for fans of rhinestones, we may not expect this trend to surface again until 2036.
Conclusion – Fashion, is it Cyclical?
Fashion is forever moving forward, with recent years seeing the industry take a more active role in seeking environmental solutions. How much of what the industry produces is patented, or even could be, is an interesting question that may pose no definitive answer. However, within this short analysis, we have attempted to highlight areas of the fashion industry that can be clearly seen within intellectual property.
Both shoulder pads and the fixing of particulate matter on fabrics appear to show cycles in the number of yearly filings they see. These peaks and troughs may look inconspicuous, however when viewed in light of the 20-year Trend Cycle, a clear pattern does start to emerge.
However, this apparent cycle may also be related to the patent cliff; where following a patents expiry the innovation enters the public domain. In relation to fashion, this may be a time when it becomes assessable for the public to adopt a fashion that was previously protected by its patents, leading to the increase in popularity that could then see another wave of patent applications in this particular area, capitalising on the popularity.
In conclusion it is clear to see that the highlighted fashion styles undergo oscillations in the amount of annual filings, yet it is difficult to be certain if this relates directly to the trend lifecycle itself, or another factor such as the patent cliff. Based on the observed data however, we can always keep an eye on 2027 to watch for the return of a new wave of shoulder pad inventions and hopefully find our answer!
Article by Daniel Di Francesco, a Senior Patent Analyst 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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(Wilson Gunn) Leading practice of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. Delivering a flexible first class service tailored to your needs.
I have worked with Patent Seekers for a number of years on patentability and freedom to operate (FTO) searches, and their searching expertise is second to none. They are also very client-focused and their quick turn-around times, in combination with user-friendly search reports, really helps to alleviate some of the burdens of completing searches.
Dehns, Founded in 1920 we have grown to become one of Europe's largest firms of patent and trade mark attorneys.
We have been using Patent Seekers for many years for patent searching, ranging from initial patentability assessments to invalidity searches. Tim and Dean are always highly responsive, providing quotes within a day and a detailed outline of their proposed strategy. I am consistently impressed by how quickly search results are returned. The team is happy to work with us to tailor a search to our needs and budget.
Ratner Prestia is an intellectual property law firm dedicated to patent, trademark, copyright and other international IP issues.
I am just dropping a line to let you know that I am impressed by your search firm. You consistently provide me with a large number of relevant references in a timely manner and in an organised fashion. I have used a large number of search firms in the past, and Patent Seekers is the best that I have come across to date. Keep up the good work.
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.
Beem Patent Law Firm is committed to helping inventors, companies, and referring attorneys get a good, strong, enduring patent.
Patent Seekers is our go-to firm for any search. Their results are thorough and well-targeted. Every aspect of their offerings, from their reports to their customer service, is highly professional.