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Patent

The USPTO's Green Technology Pilot Program will accelerate the examination of certain 'gre...

Recognizing there’s now a sense of urgency in saving the planet, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will pilot a program to accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications. According to the USPTO the move is designed to “accelerate development and deployment of green technology, create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness in this vital sector.”  Read More

Canon's patent application details the disabling of parts of the touchscreen (the shaded a...

Touchscreens have almost become standard on point and shoot digital compact cameras. The same can’t be said for more enthusiast/professional oriented DSLRs, mainly because of the different ways both types of cameras are used. Compacts are generally held out in front of the photographer who checks the framing via the camera’s LCD screen. DSLRs, on the other hand, are often still used with the photographer’s face mashed up against the rear of the camera to frame a shot using the optical viewfinder. This would wreak havoc with a touchscreen as the photographer’s nose goes about changing all those carefully nurtured manual settings. But a new patent application from Canon could solve the problem and see touchscreens appearing on DSLRs as well.  Read More

Those irked by pop-up ads will not be placated if a recent patent filed by Apple ever sees...

Anyone who has spent even a modicum of their time browsing the Internet over the last few years will be aware of how annoying pop-up and embedded ads can be, especially if they involve audio and video and particularly if it’s more difficult than it should be to find the ‘close’ button. Thankfully it doesn’t usually take too long to remove the offending source from our screens, but those who are particularly irked by this form of interruption will not be placated if a recent patent filed by Apple ever sees the light of day.  Read More

Michael Bennet-Levy discusses the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator

The second in our series of interviews with Michael Bennet-Levy looks at the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator – a clock produced in 1923 that its makers, J & D Meek, claimed was accurate to “better than a second a year.” If true this would have made it the most accurate timekeeper in the world prior to the invention of Caesium clocks in the mid 1950s. The essence of the Steuart regulator is that the electric motor drives the clock and the pendulum governs and corrects the speed of the motor. Neither is connected. Ideal for telescopes (because it doesn't tick), the clock was used as a stand-in for Big Ben during WWII and in the opinion of the Scientific American it marked “the most important development in clock-making which has taken place in modern times.”  Read More

A diagram depicting how the Microsoft multi touch keyboard may work

Up until now, touch screen keyboards have been problematic in that the user has had to look at the screen to navigate the location of the keys. That could all be set to change with news that Microsoft has filed a most interesting patent for a touch screen keyboard that uses multi touch capabilities to incorporate the user’s own hands as a physical point of reference.  Read More

The body board / Jet Ski hybrid design concept

With personal watercraft design evolving at what some may say is “a rate of knots”, a rather interesting concept has come to our attention. The brainchild of Spanish designer Miguel Angel, this cross between a Jet Ski and a body board is designed with speed and maneuverability in mind – but does the idea have what it takes when the going gets tough and the water gets rough?  Read More

Samsung's folding wing keyboard patent application

The ever-decreasing size of mobile devices might be a godsend for the pocket, but it poses problems for keyboard input. There have been a variety of solutions looking to solve the problem, from the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard to the Virtual Keyboard (VKB) that projects a keyboard onto any flat surface. One of the problems with these kinds of keyboards, however, is the lack of tactile feedback afforded by pressing actual buttons. Shrinking the keyboard down to fit on a mobile device of course presents its own problems and manufacturers must weigh size against usability by the chubby fingered. Samsung may have a solution with a folding wing design that would allow a reasonably sized keyboard to fold out from the rear of a mobile device.  Read More

Entrepreneur behind the Segway developing eco hybrid that will run on anything that burns

Dean Kamen – the multimillionaire inventor behind the Segway personal transporter – is well down the road in the development of a new bike that combines electric power and a radical generator which will allow it to burn almost any fuel. Although the majority of the work that goes on in Kamen's product development company, Deka, is shrouded in mystery, as it includes significant projects for the US military, details are emerging about Kamen's new two-wheeler, which is part of a project that also includes a car designed around the same technology.  Read More

The 100% Off prototype

Here’s a thought – the amount of time a domestic appliance like a television spends on standby over the course of a year actually costs more than the time it spends in use. To counteract this remarkable waste of money and energy comes a device called “100% Off” – a very switched on idea.  Read More

An illustration from the IBM Patent Application.

IBM has retained the Number One Plate Holder's title at the US Patent Office for 16 years straight, with 2008 issuances greater than Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google combined. On February 3 it astounded even seasoned patent watchers when it filed a patent for bionic body armor which not only recognizes a bullet has been fired, but delivers a shock to the target's appropriate muscles so they step out of the bullet's trajectory.  Read More

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