Posts Tagged: "Social Media"

The Four Biggest Tech Trends of 2016

Recently, we took a closer look at four of the largest trending stories playing out in the world of intellectual property and patents during 2016. Today we turn to the world of technology to see what trends have been developing in the technology sector over the past year. From an ever-widening scope of business activities being pursued by Silicon Valley’s largest firms to growing government authority over one sector of Internet services, there have been plenty of interesting stories playing out on the stage of America’s tech sector.

Sony invents journalist reputation system, could help with fake news phenomenon

In the days since the U.S. presidential election the scourge of fake news has been tearing at the soul of Internet media. An interview with a satire news website editor published by The Washington Post on November 17th discussed how shares of fake news stories on social media platforms may have had a real effect on the recent election. Fake news websites have been a lucrative business model, too… U.S. Patent Application No. 20160328453, titled Veracity Scale for Journalists, would protect a method programmed into a device’s memory which would acquire input from a user regarding an article or a journalist, collating and storing the input in a database, filtering the input to generate filtered data, applying a user-specific filter to that data to generate veracity information associated with the article or journalist and then displaying the veracity information.

#Infringement? Olympic Committee Attempts to Knock Out Competitors

The Olympic Games will draw the attention of the world under a banner of honest competition and camaraderie. However, many have accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) of conduct not in keeping with the open spirit of the Olympic Games. In the run-up to the Olympics, companies have reported receiving cease and desist letters from the USOC. These letters claim that use of the USOC’s trademarks in social media posts infringe on the USOC’s federal rights.

Facebook’s suicide prevention tools are a useful step towards protecting mental health

In an attempt to use the forces of social media for good, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) announced in the middle of June that it would be rolling out suicide prevention tools to users all over the world. The tools have been developed in partnership with the suicide prevention groups Forefront, and Lifeline. The tools allow Facebook users who see a disturbing post from another user to quickly flag that post for review by a global community operations team. When the user who posted the flagged content signs back into Facebook, he or she is presented with a menu of choices which include the option to talk to a friend, contact a hotline, receive suggestions for self-support or simply to skip directly to their Facebook feed.

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn brings social network analytics to Office software

On June 13th, the Redmond, WA-based multinational tech company Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that it had agree to acquire LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) in a $26.2 billion cash transaction which values LinkedIn stock at $196 per share. According to news reports, this is Microsoft’s largest corporate acquisition ever. It greatly outpaces the company’s $8.5 billion Skype acquisition and the $7.6 Nokia purchase, both of which happened prior to the tenure of current CEO Satya Nadella. With Microsoft’s acquiring LinkedIn at such a high premium, there has been talks that mergers and acquisitions may increase in the social network sector.

Questions linger on Twitter’s plans to incorporate SoundCloud after $70 million investment

The recent Twitter investment has much to do with the SoundCloud Go premium subscription service launched in late March of this year. The premium service, which costs $9.99 per month, gives users ad-free access to 125 million songs available from 12 million creators. The service also enables offline listening of tracks and access to the SoundCloud music database on mobile or personal computer platforms. There have been questions by analysts regarding how Twitter plans to incorporate SoundCloud profitably into its own social media platform. One major issue for the social media company is its current inability to increase the pace of users on its platform.

#UNDECIDED: Trademark Protection for Hashtags

Can a hashtag be a protectable trademark? And when does use of another’s trademark in hashtags constitute infringement? Disagreement has arisen among the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), the courts, and commentators about whether hashtags can be protected at all. A trademark, of course, is a source-identifier – a “word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof” used “to identify and distinguish … goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.” 15 U.S.C. § 1127(a).

Social media giants will have issues banning hate speech

Recently, some major American tech companies operating across the globe have publicly announced their agreement to a code of conduct developed by the European Commission and designed to “combat the illegal spread of hate speech online in Europe.” The code of conduct, to which these tech companies have promised the European Commission their online services will adhere, stipulates that the companies have to establish a couple of processes that target the elimination of hate speech.

Poor management at Facebook leads to allegations of de facto censorship for some conservatives

News that Facebook engaged in suppressing content from conservative groups was first reported by Gizmodo in early May. The online publication reported comments from former Facebook workers who said they were instructed to prevent stories on conservative figures and major conservative events like CPAC from appearing in the website’s Trending News section. Since that news hit, individual Facebook users and organizations alike have come out saying that they had posts banned for no better reason than the fact that they expressed a conservative point of view.

Facebook advertising revenue jumps on mobile advertising revenue surge

Facebook’s mobile advertising numbers were so good that its entire advertising revenue stream surged ahead 57 percent when compared with 2015’s first quarter, up from $3.31 billion to $5.2 billion. Advertising is the major chunk of Facebook’s revenues and the company’s $5.38 billion first quarter revenues were 50 percent greater than its revenues during 2015’s first quarter. It’s also interesting to note that Facebook has increased quarterly research and development expenditures to $1.34 billion in 2016’s first quarter, up from $1.06 billion during last year’s first quarter. Since the beginning of this year, Facebook has received 13 patent grants from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office related to advertising; the company has also had another 32 patent applications related to ads published so far this year. A look at the text cluster, made available through Innography’s patent portfolio analysis tools, shows readers that Facebook is designing ad services incorporating social graphs, targeting criteria and media content.

Social Media and the Rise of Opportunistic #Trademark Filings

Last June, Walter Palmer, an American dentist and recreational big game hunter, shot and killed Cecil, a southwest African lion who had been the subject of a study by Oxford University and a major attraction for Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. At first, Cecil’s killing drew international outrage and media attention, the hashtag #CecilTheLion spreading like wildfire on social media. Then it drew trademark applications. At least four different applicants currently have live trademark applications pending in the United States for CECIL THE LION, covering everything from the noble, including charitable fundraising services and information and news commentary relating to wildlife conservation, to the commercial, including dolls, trading cards, and charms.

Samsung patent totals top 2,000 in Q1 2016, invents foldable and rollable electronic display screens

In 2015, Samsung Electronics earned a total of 5,072 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a slight increase from the 4,936 U.S. patents which the company took home in 2014. Including design and utility patents, Samsung has already taken in 2,017 U.S. patents since the beginning of 2016, an incredible pace which would blow past the firm’s 2015 totals if it holds up all year. As the text cluster from Innography shows us here, much of this recent research and development has focused on semiconductor devices, memory devices and display panels.

President Obama continues technology focus in his final year

The administration of the 44th President of the United States will be remembered for many reasons, but one theme which has been playing out since the earliest days of Barack Obama’s presidency is a predilection towards using popular and developing technologies. In his first few months in office, President Obama created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer, an official adviser to the President on tech policy and a role currently served by Megan Smith, a former executive at Google. Obama’s techie status is cemented by media reports of his long-time adherence to BlackBerry phones as well as his warm attitude and close relationship with major Silicon Valley players.

Police surveillance innovations include facial recognition, social media analytics

Data mining and predictive analytics designed to enhance the decision making process for law enforcement officials have been utilized in Richmond, VA, for more than a decade now. These techniques can provide police officers with predictions of high crime areas that can be reviewed prior to starting a shift when used in conjunction with a geographic information system (GIS). Using this digital platform for predictive crime analytics, Richmond saw a greater than 20 percent reduction in major crimes between 2005 and 2006 while reducing its standing among the most dangerous cities in America. Similar data mining and analytics systems put in place by police in the city of Memphis, TN, have had a similar payoff, helping to reduce serious crime in that city by 31 percent in the four years between 2006 and 2010. That city’s Blue CRUSH predictive analytics system was developed in partnership with the University of Memphis’ criminal justice department using software developed by American tech giant IBM (NYSE:IBM).

eBay seeks patents on interactive fitting rooms and other brick-and-mortar tech

The patent filing activities of eBay are fairly active, the company placing 149th overall in 2014 in terms of patents earned from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with 236 patents in that year, an increase of 15.1 percent over the previous year. So far through 2015, eBay has only earned 106 U.S. patents… In one recently published patent application, eBay is seeking a patent on an interactive fitting room experience at physical retail establishment locations. It claims a system comprising an interface module that displays a user interface, a camera configured to produce an image feed of an individual wearing the garment, a polling module that selects a target audience to poll for feedback related to the image where the target audience is selected based on the use case information and an interface module that displays a feedback interface comprising the feedback data. This system operates through an interactive mirror installed in a fitting room and presents an image for polling to social network contacts or to an anonymous audience.