Another busy week in the world of intellectual property is coming to a close. The PCT Network is here for you with a roundup of this week’s most interesting IP news!
Fake Science Patents in the Healthcare Industry
When it comes to healthcare innovations, fake science and “crunchy” patents happen. A new case this week definitely made us shake our head. ThermoLife, a dietary supplements company, is suing their competitor over green tea. The lawsuit accuses Compound Solutions of creating a patent for an invention that is nothing more than simple green tea extract! With the rise in popularity of macha flavoring, we can see why having a patent on green tea extract would be a valuable patent. If only it were legal…
Cannabis Had a Great Week
Proponents of cannabis legalization can celebrate this week. JC Pharma in Colorado received a US patent for a new cannabis-based seizure cessation formula. The intranasal medicine is designed to stop seizures among people with epilepsy or forms of autism.
In Oregon, another state that has legalized marijuana usage, a local distiller applied for a trademark for a new CBD-infused drink. Eastside Distilling Inc saw its stocks go up after applying with the USPTO for the trademark “OUTLANDISH”, the name of a hemp-based beverage.
Reality is Getting Augmented
Microsoft and Apple both filed new patents relating to mixed reality.
Microsoft’s new HoloLens headset is likely to have a steep price that will cut it out of the consumer market. Their new patent could bring mixed reality to smartphone users. The new design could provide users with a “life-like, convincing feeling of occupying the experience.” It appears smartphones will act as a controller for a set of goggles the user would wear.
Apple’s new patent takes a different tack, with a focus on chroma keying, or green screening. Chroma keying, often used in film production, could become a tool for mixed or virtual reality. The patent shows a headset that superimposes digital images over green screens. Users would be able to interact with the virtual scenery using real items and their own hands.
The New Screen Race is On
In our last roundup, we discussed the competition to create a foldable phone. It seems there is plenty more innovation happening in the field of screens than foldable phones.
Apple is possibly working on a new feature for the iPhone, filing a patent with the USPTO for a sound emitting display. This new patent shows a new speaker design, but one of the drawings happens to look like an iPhone. A feature of the speaker is waterproofing, another possible clue that this is for the iPhone.
LG, who already has a sound-emitting screen, is developing a stretchable display. They recently received a patent for a “mobile terminal” with an expandable screen. Users will be able to magnify the screen and change the settings to work with any screen size.
Meanwhile, Huawei is working to save space with a hidden front-facing camera, and Samsung is creating a wireless television.
Tech Goes to Court
Samsung is going to court to defend its smartwatches. Swatch, a producer of watches, is suing Samsung for copyright infringement. Samsung’s smartwatches allow users to upload backgrounds and customize their phones. Unfortunately for Samsung, some users have been selling copies of famous Swatch backgrounds.
Apple and Qualcomm are battling it out over technology used in iPhone chips. Qualcomm claims Apple did not have permission to use the technology that allows iPhones to quickly boot and access the internet. Apple is claiming that a Qualcomm engineer involved in the patent was one of their employees first, invalidating their patent.
In other tech news, Hanwha Q Cells, a large producer of solar panels, is bringing two of its rivals to court over patent infringement. An inventor is going for broke as he sells his own home to take on Huawei. The Portuguese inventor is claiming that the smartphone producer stole his camera patent. Can he take on such a huge company, or will they simply have to wait it out?
China to Strengthen IP Protection
A report delivered by the Chinese Premier stated they will seek to strengthen laws protecting intellectual property. Enforcement of intellectual property laws, alongside new legislation, will help protect creators.
By protecting intellectual property, the hope is to encourage innovation and economic growth. It is also hoped that this will increase international cooperation.
Yet, trust in Chinese companies might still be at risk. Recent rumors has it that Chinese companies are forging the signatures of Canadian and American patent lawyers.
US Supreme Court Rules Copyright Registration Must be Registered First
The United States Supreme Court ruled that a copyright must first be registered by the USPTO to be considered registered. Who would have thought? Simply applying is no longer enough. Companies will have to wait for their copyright application to be processed before claiming it as registered.