Posts Tagged: "AT&T"

Rovi, AT&T and Microsoft have largest video on-demand patent portfolios

The navigation and guidance technologies protected by Rovi’s IP holdings have been incorporated into a wide array of electronics such as set-top boxes, digital video recorders, tablets and other mobile devices. As a result, the company is engaged in a range of licensing and litigation activities relative to its patent holdings. The corporation has brought suit against Netflix in recent years for alleged infringement of patents held by Rovi which protect interactive program guide (IPG) technologies. Recently, Rovi renewed a product and patent licensing agreement for many of those same IPG technologies with major Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp.

Top 10 Patents for 2014

Today, we’re picking the best inventions for which corporations from the Companies We Follow series have actually earned patent rights from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Alternative energies, drones, robots, seawater desalination and the Internet of Things all make an appearance in today’s profile of the best inventions from the past year.

AT&T Innovations Focus on Interactive TV and Biometric Screening

What we saw when putting together our most recent Companies We Follow feature on AT&T showed us a great collection of innovations regarding television services. Interactive television services were discussed by a trio of patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including one providing on-demand language translation services for locally broadcast content. Other patent applications describe mobile services for event-based advertising as well as location-based services for mobile gaming applications.

FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises

The Federal Trade Commission filed a federal court complaint against AT&T Mobility, LLC, charging that the company has misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent.

AT&T Seeks Patent for Creating and Implementing a Mobile Privacy Zone

We begin today by sharing our featured patent application with our readers, a technology designed to create a privacy zone to disable unauthorized functions in mobile devices which are within the zone. This would enable a meeting administrator to ensure that smartphone device owners cannot produce a recording of a meeting from within the privacy zone, for example. Other patent applications we explore discusses systems for transmitting calls and messages to the proper destination device for more effective communication between those who own multiple devices, as well as a system for better providing local advertisements to device owners who are on the go. Our exploration of AT&T’s recently issued patents features a couple of patents protecting technologies designed to improve calendar applications, including one system through which a professor or group administrator can update project deadlines so that all students or group members are aware of the change. Another patent is directed at a technology for parents who want to know when their children arrive at home from elsewhere. We also discuss a couple of patents featuring improvements to set top boxes for home media systems, including one method for freeing up space in video recording software by preventing against redundant media recordings.

AT&T Patents Personalized Information Services System

The featured application is a continuation of a patent application that matured into a patent for AT&T in December 2013, some 9 years after it was first filed. The file history shows that after being unable to convince the patent examiner after several final rejections AT&T appealed to the Board, which in May 2013, reversed the examiners rejections. Obviously, given that AT&T has fought so long and all the way to the Board they must believe this innovation to be of some importance. Indeed, this AT&T innovation offers a very practical service that can be applied to a variety of emergency situations. This technology involves a time-sensitive encoded artifact that is affixed to a person or object which can be scanned to communication important information in response to an emergency event.

AT&T Seeks Patent to Prevent Crime on Gaming Networks

Our featured patent application today describes a system of preventing illegal and criminal activities on gaming networks by preventing predatory users from being able to come into contact with others who are susceptible. Also, this patent application indicates that the same gaming environments could be adjusted based on local user information to resemble that player’s local terrain. Other patent applications of note include a system of targeting emergency messages to an exact geographic location for affected mobile device owners, as well as a method for transmitting high-grade video data across a cellular network. We’ve also noticed a wide range of intriguing additions to AT&T’s patent holdings in recent weeks. One issued patent protects a system of analyzing user voice activity to determine demographic data about that user, which could then be used for suggesting goods and services. Another issued patent protects a system of adding maps to address book entries, while another patent protects a method of creating a personalized television channel based on user preferences. Finally, we pulled up an issued patent that enables for closer law enforcement surveillance of mobile networks in response to criminal activity.

AT&T Seeks Patents on E-mail Self Destruct and 3D Media Content

Many of these documents that we look through today deal with mobile wireless technology and media presentations. One patent application describes a system of analyzing a person’s geographical location to create a map detailing wireless coverage in the area. Another patent application provides for a system of developing three dimensional media content for images or video. Also, one patent issued by the USPTO protects a system of enhancing phone calls between business acquaintances by providing local news and weather information. A few other patent applications covered here relate to law enforcement and security. One application would make it easier to track suspects using stolen or prepaid phones by searching for voiceprints. Finally, one last patent application would protect an e-mail system that provides for deletion of sensitive e-mails after a period of time has elapsed.

AT&T Trying to Protect Transferring Data Through Human Body

One patent application we look at in this column features a system of increasing wireless data transmission security by sending data signals through a user’s body. An issued patent protects AT&T’s rights regarding a system of matching an unknown person’s face to a known contact on an electronic device. We also feature another patent application about a protective covering for a device that extends the functionality of that device’s touchscreen. We’ve also picked a few other intriguing patent applications that fall outside of AT&T’s typical development focus. One patent application would protect a newly devised system of augmenting TV broadcasts with links to additional media content. Another application describes a sensor for detecting airborne respiratory triggers at hospitals.

Hey Apple, What Happened to Mac vs. PC?

Forever a PC family, IPWatchdog has slowly converted over to all Apple/Mac products. It started with iPhones, then an iPad, followed by 27″ iMacs, and now MacBook Airs. This conversion ultimately got me thinking, “What happened to the old Mac vs. PC Commercials?” Nearly two years ago I wrote an article Mac vs. PC: A Simplistic Yet Effective Marketing Strategy. You remember Mac vs. PC don’t you? The usually frazzled, often disheveled “PC” was played by John Hodgeman and the always hip, cool and technologically advanced Mac was played by Justin Long. The Get a Mac ads which started in May of 2006 and ended in October of 2009 seem to have virtually disappeared. In fact, the commercials are not even featured on the Apple Website. If you click on the “Commercials” link you are now taken to a “Why You’ll Love a Mac” page. Boring. Could it be that Apple thinks PC’s no longer have the issues that have always plagued them in the past? I doubt it. Why do you think we are moving over to “the Dark Side???” Maybe Hodgeman and Long got too big for their roles? Well no matter what the reason, I have one question, “Hey Apple, what happened to Mac vs. PC?”

Federal Circuit Orders Transfers Verizon out of Eastern Texas

With respect to Verizon et al, the petitioners moved to transfer the case to the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, which is approximately 150 miles away from the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. The motion was initially denied by a Magistrate Judge. In his decision, the Magistrate agreed with the petitioners that the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division would likely be more convenient for the parties and the witnesses, and he even noted that a number of party witnesses resided within 100 miles of Dallas and no witness resided within 100 miles of Marshall, Texas. Let’s let that sit for a moment, shall we? It was determined that the Northern District would be more convenient for the parties and witnesses and that not a single witness lived within 100 miles of the Eastern District of Texas, yet the motion to transfer was denied?

Patents in the Real World

But looking back, what strikes me is the surprisingly-variable role that patents played in the growth and success of the half-dozen trailblazing startup companies that I helped lead. For these startups, which collectively created more than 2,500 jobs, I raised approximately $1 billion from strategic and venture investors (who ended up with $3 billion in returns). And in the majority of cases, owning patents proved to be crucial to the funding and commercial success of my startup. But this wasn’t always the case. In several startups, patents were almost completely irrelevant to either the financing or the ultimate fate of the company. Understanding why this was so may offer some insights into both the value and the limitations of patenting.

Verizon Says NO to Hollywood

Recently Hollywood executives approached both AT&T and Verizon to seek their help in preventing piracy over their networks.  According to a New York Times article, AT&T is working with the entertainment industry to figure out how to identify illegally copied material that is being transmitted over its broadband network.  Verizon, on the other hand, said — NO — we are…


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