Microsoft enters the marketplace with its futuristic mixed reality headset — HoloLens — which on a first glance looks like a Gadget straight out of a Bond movie. When most tech companies are focusing on developing a Virtual reality headset, Microsoft plans development of its augmented reality headset with holographic technology. Microsoft foresees future in controlling computing devices with different user interfaces such as gesture, eyes gaze, and voice. Letting the user bridge the screen and physical space and extend the reality around them is Microsoft’s answer to several business insufficiencies.
Microsoft argued that Corel willfully infringed the ’828, ’036, ’237, ’140, ’532, and ’865 patents. The asserted Microsoft patents are directed to graphic user interfaces used in Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office. Microsoft asserted that it has given its interfaces, including menus and toolbars, a distinctive look and feel, which Corel copied into the accused products, including WordPerfect X7. WordPerfect X7 even includes an option to use the product in the “Microsoft Word mode.” See Complaint para 3-5. Similarly, Quatro Pro X7 offers the option to use the product in the “Microsoft Excel mode.” See Complaint para. 6-8.
The licensing agreement, which covers patents directed at connected car technologies, is the latest partnership between these two companies seeking to increase entertainment and autonomous tech platforms within vehicles.,, In recent months, Microsoft has been ramping up licensing programs seeking to encourage the use of its patented technologies by auto manufacturers. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company announced the Microsoft Connected Car Platform, a development platform for connected car technologies using the Azure cloud.
Although the patent space surrounding VR headsets still looks very open, it’s interesting to note that Nintendo has an early lead over other top tech firms which have reportedly been working on their own virtual reality technologies. Fourth place in the VR headset space is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) which owns nine IP assets in the sector. This total seems low given Microsoft’s work on developing its HoloLens mixed reality platform. Trailing closely behind in fifth place is Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with seven IP assets in the sector. Again, given research and development conducted by Alphabet’s Google subsidiary for its Google Glass head-mounted device, it’s interesting to see that the company hasn’t invested heavily in the virtual reality headset space. Following further behind in seventh place is Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE). Tied in eleventh place are Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) of Santa Clara, CA, and the Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) of Burbank, CA.
In terms of sheer numbers, in the CB Insights study, which curiously did not include patent giant and American research juggernaut IBM, Microsoft ranks supreme among this collection of five major tech firms. The Redmond, WA-based hardware and software developer has applied for a total of 16,840 patents over the seven years of the study. In second place is Google with 14,596 patent applications over the same time period. Although exact numbers for the other three firms weren’t publicly released by CB Insights, these two firms are followed by Apple (13,420 patent applications), Amazon (5,186) and Facebook (2,508), respectively. Collectively, these five companies have been pushing towards a total of 10,000 patent applications filed per year. This trend marks a sharp rise in patent application filing activities among the Big 5, which filed 3,565 patent applications collectively in 2009.
Biometrics, or the measure of human physiological characteristics as expressed by data metrics, is becoming a much more valuable sector of high tech in recent months. By 2020, the global market for biometric systems should surpass $24.4 billion according to data released by Markets and Markets, with the sector growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 percent between 2015 and 2020. Biometrics has applications in a couple of growing tech sectors, including e-commerce, e-passports and smartphones. Computer software and hardware developer Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) of Redmond, WA, is looking to apply biometrics tech to its smartphone products.
Microsoft is often found soaring high atop the intellectual property world in terms of the patents it’s issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2014, the company was 5th overall in the world for U.S. patent grants with 2,983 patents that year, a 6 percent increase from the previous year’s totals. In the three months leading up to this writing, Microsoft has earned 597 U.S. patents, a slow quarterly pace compared to last year but still one that would likely put the company in the top 10 most innovative organizations this year.
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.
Microsoft pays a premium for R&D but its investment has paid off as the company currently holds one of the world’s strongest patent portfolios. Just recently the company decided to flex this patent muscle in a big way by filing a patent lawsuit against Kyocera; Microsoft is seeking an injunction. The company was 5th overall during 2014 in terms of patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with 2,829 U.S. patents last year. That’s a slight rise from Microsoft’s 2,814 U.S. patents in 2013, which was good for a 6th place finish in that year.
Software and method patents may appear to have fallen out of favor because of recent court decisions and legislation. However, recent trends indicate that they comprise surprisingly high portions of four US companies’ recent grants. Of the 2,599 US patents granted last year to Google, 1,522, or 59% were in the methods classes. Microsoft, with 2,847 patents received, had 1,575, or 55%, that fall under the heading of methods.
Today we focus on recently published patent applications with an emphasis on technologies and innovations relating to the Internet, social media and cloud computing. Microsoft’s recently published patent applications include a number of Internet-based products and services, such as a method for identifying elements of a web page that can support voice input commands. Another patent application discusses improved methods for accessing applications on a single computing storage while using multiple displays. We also shared a patent application disclosing an improved routing service which is optimized for bicyclists.
Microsoft’s Xbox, and the generations of consoles which followed, may not have conquered the market for the software giant based in Redmond, WA, but they have eked out a significant place for the company in the video game industry. In today’s brief history of the Xbox, we take a look at how and why this technology developed in the first place and what helped it to achieve success in a high tech field that was already dominated by other major technology firms… The Xbox and the innovations it incorporates are revolutionary and it’s impact on gaming and entertainment in the home is undeniable. The potential future uses for Kinect outside of the video game industry are exciting and extraordinarily promising, perhaps particularly the various robot implementations that could lead to things like remote surgeries.
How many patent applications has your company filed today? If you are a typical new economy small tech company with software and internet centric technology or products, the number of patent applications your company filed today is probably zero. Of course filing and prosecuting patent applications is not cheap and that’s part of the explanation. However it is worth noting that most of the successful companies with software-heavy products, including those in the list above, have been filing patent applications from their very early days.
Microsoft has one of the most powerful patent portfolios in the world and the past few weeks have not shown any signs of slow activity here. One patent protects a system enabling mobile device users to quickly share video and audio content across short-range networks, like Bluetooth. A couple of software solutions for business issues are included, such as one patent protecting a method of syncing data from a recovery machine more quickly in response to a network failure. The prevention of phishing scams and methods of tailoring web services to the preferences of a group are also explored below.
The featured patent application discusses a social networking method which tries to enhance the shared viewing of video content among a group of people in geographically diverse locations. The movie theater interface gives group members the opportunity to communicate thoughts and emotions with others watching the same content. More intelligent computing systems for task management and advertising video games for download are also described within recently filed patent applications. Microsoft is in the upper echelon of American companies where current patenting operations are concerned, and dozens have been issued to the company in just the past two weeks. Of these, we noticed an intriguing system of providing serious games to business employees which helps them find novel solutions to complex business problems. We also take a closer look at a system designed to protect a user’s private information when accessing online services as well as an intelligent brightness control system for digital screen displays worn near the eye.