What Is a Patent?

New technology patents are rapidly growing as technology develops. Patents are rights granted by the government that give a person sole usage rights for an invention, such as a procedure or material product. The patent prevents other people from being allowed to use the product or process for a period of time, unless the inventor gives permission or licenses it.

New Tech Patents

Google has recently been building up patents, getting 24 new ones in 2012. In July 2012, Google filed for a patent that relates to a digital display on a pair of glasses.

Microsoft remains skilled at accumulating patents, having gotten 45 in 2012. One big recent Microsoft patent is a calorimeter that projects likely caloric intake by monitoring weight and physical activity.

Another interesting Microsoft patent is a program that analyzes words to determine their language. Microsoft also received a patent that maps location based on wireless signal triangulation between different wireless service providers available at the time in the area.

IBM also continues to drive patent innovation, recently getting a patent for gestures in a virtual world. IBM received over 84 patents in 2012. Some of these included:

  • A patent that makes certain emails unforwardable
  • A patent that offers a process for managing access to medical data depending on situation
  • A patent that offers a way to track objects in a virtual universe
  • A patent that allows companies to manage their content delivery in a customizable system based on customer demands and network capacity

Facebook has also been receiving new innovative patents, such as a patent that studies data usage and how it reflects content sharing between users in 2012.

Top Patents Issued in 2015

Boeing created a procedure for collecting water using fuel cells. The fuel cell-based system uses a fuel cell that creates power, supplemented by a coolant system that turns excess into water vapor. The water vapor is then collected and transferred for use. This fuel cell system may prove essential in collecting water for both commercial and personal use in otherwise water-scarce areas.

Another interesting patent is from a group of inventors in Georgia who created a device that is able to disable devices when they are outside of the permitted physical area. The device uses signals to determine location and is seen as a potential boon to law enforcement and other authorities in trying to halt disruptive activities such as texting while driving.

Disney’s human-like robots were patented in 2015. Disney has created a method that allows robots to accurately mimic human actions. The robot system allows a machine to receive image information from a human action or movement. The machine then analyzes and translates the information to the robot, which attempts to mimic the action based on the sensory input.

IBM has been innovating in a lot of natural language-related procedures, such as Watson. They filed to patent a fact-checking system in 2015 that is an early attempt at advancing the natural language analysis to even more complex analytical matters.

The fact-checking system uses probability-based analysis to decompose natural language statements, determine the probability of truth for each part, and then combine it to determine the overall truth of a statement. Meant to try to supplement human fact checking and decrease human error, it could significantly disrupt newsroom operations.

Qualcomm also patented a wireless charging system in 2015. Specifically, Qualcomm has received a patent for a device and process that allows energy charging with only a wireless connection. The procedure will allow an antenna to send power wirelessly to a device with the connection made by various controlling authenticators.

Amid all of 2015’s fascinating patents, Intel also received a patent to create self-driving intelligence capable of adapting to more complex terrains, regulations, and transportation grids.

Patents provide a key economic incentive for research, as otherwise there would be little incentive to invest in creating new products if its finished designs could be immediately used by others. As technology continues to develop, patents will remain vital in promoting product development and innovation.

If you need help with filing your patent, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.