Niklaus Wirth, the creator of Pascal, died, and Samsung became the leader in the number of US patents: news digest
Samsung once again leads the way in the number of patents in the US, and Intel is trying in court to overturn changes in the procedure for challenging patents. Apple continues to master all areas of device applications, and we continue to talk about controversies around innovation and intellectual property in our digest.
American patent statistics: Asian companies are the leaders, electronic cigarettes are second only to self-driving cars in terms of dynamics
Korea’s Samsung Electronics for the second year in a row led top companies by the number of patents received in the USA.
In second place was the Californian chip manufacturer Qualcomm, in third place was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC). IBM, which led this ranking for three decades until 2022, is now in fourth place. Apparently, the once great corporation is slowly going into its sunset.
Samsung received 6,165 US patents (1% less than last year). Qualcomm – 3854, TSMC – 3687, IBM – 3658.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the number of patents issued in the country decreased again over the course of the year. In 2023, they were issued by 3.4% less than in 2022, and in 2022 by 1.3% less than in 2021. At the same time, the number of applications increased slightly. The queue of pending applications has also increased to 750,000.
Only half of the patents in the United States are issued to American companies. It is followed by Japan (12.5%), South Korea, China overtaken by Koreans, and Germany.
Among IT companies, the first place is Apple, which is in 7th place in the overall rating. She has 2,536 patents, Google has 1,837, Microsoft has 1,820, and Amazon has 1,591.
Persistence of trends is also observed in the areas of innovations that are growing in patents. For the second year in a row, the largest increase in the number of security documents is observed in the category of autonomous cars (38% over the year). The leader in the number of applications was Honda, in second place was Toyota, and third was Waymo from Alphabet (which we remember as Google).
The next category with the highest number of applications is e-cigarettes, with Philip Morris in the lead. Next among the industries are drilling, protective masks (a legacy of the Covid era), quantum computing, cigarettes, “washing and drying control systems”, nanotechnology, digital data processing and solid waste processing.
Intel and its peers are unfortunately unsuccessfully trying to change the procedure for challenging patents
US Supreme Court rejected filing by Intel and Edwards Lifesciences to reopen litigation against the US Patent and Trademark Office. The companies are protesting a new USPTO policy that reduces the number of patents that are evaluated by the Office’s special panel.
Within the USPTO is the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, where organizations challenge patents they are accused of infringing. In 2020, the USPTO adopted an internal rule that gave the Board greater discretion in denying petitions based on several factors, including whether the case is approaching trial.
Intel and Edwards challenged the rule along with Apple, Google and Cisco in California Federal Court. They argued that the policy violates federal law and undermines the role of the inter partes process in protecting a robust patent system. The plaintiffs were also supported by Tesla, Honda, Comcast and Dell.
The court rejected their appeal, and now (on January 8) the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Intel and Edwards (Apple, Google and Cisco did not participate).
Apple will know everything about the user’s eye movements, gaze direction and heartbeat
January 4 in the database of international patents appeared a new Apple patent for technology for smart glasses with gaze tracking, dual cameras and interchangeable components.
In the documentation, Apple reminds us that eye-tracking is tracking not only the direction of gaze, but also eye movements. Worn (on the head) devices improve the quality of eye-tracking by being close to the eyes, this reduces the number of errors due to head movements and other reasons. Such devices are usually bulky and expensive, with inconvenient camera locations that, among other things, block the user’s field of vision. The techno giant intends to solve these problems.
New gaze tracking technology for smart glasses captures and measures either the point where the gaze is directed or the movement of the eye relative to the head. It can also record a change in the condition of the eye itself, for example, dilation of the pupil. Among the areas of its practical use are not only games and applications of virtual and augmented reality, but also vision research, psychological research, realistic depiction of the eyes of virtual animated characters, military technology, telemedicine, visual and advertising communications and many others.
In the patent documentation, Apple lists various options for the location of eyetracking device components in smart glasses and helmets, their mutual connection and the possibility of replacing individual components from a personalized kit that comes with the device. Several interesting options for placing the camera or cameras on the bridge of the nose, pointing the cameras at different angles, and using different lens sizes are described. There are concepts that even involve an infrared camera.
And at the end of December, Apple received a patent for the technology of taking an electrocardiogram using a finger-to-smartwatch screen program. The patent describes the watch itself, or a “wrist-worn device,” or a gadget that somehow comes into contact with the wearer’s body. It has built-in electrodes that provide the necessary information. Some electrodes are located on the back surface of the device and are in contact with the body, others are on the front surface, where they are in contact with the finger during measurement. The data will be based on the difference in electrical potential between the two surfaces.
It is possible that this patent will help Apple in the consideration of AliveCor. In 2020, the latter sued the Cupertino corporation for patent infringement on a device capable of recording an ECG.
Google is suing for AI processor patents
In Boston started consideration of the case of violation of Google’s patent on processors for artificial intelligence. Specialized chips for data processing are one of the key elements of AI technologies. Singular Computing founder Joseph Bates accuses Google of copying his microchip manufacturing technology after a series of meetings to discuss solutions to AI challenges.
Discussions took place in 2010-2014. The inventor had hoped to license his technology, and now his lawyer claims that Google simply stole it for tensor processors. And now it is used in search, Gmail, translator and other services of the techno giant.
As evidence, internal correspondence from Google employees is cited, in which Bates’ ideas are called “very suitable for what the corporation is currently developing.” In turn, Google’s lawyer claims that the tech giant’s own processors were developed by employees who never talked to Bates and did not discuss his chips.
The same attorney claims that Bates is just a failed inventor who tried to pitch his development to “myriad companies,” including Microsoft, Amazon, OpenAI, and more. But he failed because the technology uses “approximate mathematics that can generate incorrect calculations.”
Initially, Singular was going to demand $7 billion for patent infringement, now the amount of compensation is stated as $1.67 billion.
“Pascal” lost Virta
Niklaus Wirth, the author of the Pascal programming language, died a few days before his 90th birthday. Back in 1984, he received the most prestigious award in the field of computer science – the Turing Prize. He was led to the development of “Pascal” by fundamental theoretical research in the field of programming languages. He created the languages Modula-2 (a Pascal development option) and Oberon (a high-level development language for the corresponding OS).
Wirth also participated in the development of a new standard for the Algol language, the creation of structured programming technology, described and substantiated the now classic software development methodology. On June 19, 2007, Virt was awarded the degree of honorary doctor of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Useful from Online Patent:
→ What is the Register of domestic software?
→ Free online search of Rospatent and Madrid System databases (available after registration).
→ Can a foreign company enter its program into the Register of domestic software?
→ How IT companies can maintain zero VAT and enter the Register of domestic software
→ How to patent a technology?