Friday, May 29, 2009

Patent Faceoff: Canon vs. Xerox

"Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory" is the predecessor of Canon Inc. and was founded in Tokyo in 1937 by Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Toshida, Saburo Uchida and Takeo Maeda.


Xerox was founded eariler, in 1906 in Rochester, New York as "The Haloid Company," which originally manufactured photographic paper and equipment. The company subsequently changed its name to "Haloid Xerox" in 1958 and then simply "Xerox" in 1961.

Xerox (short URL to their patents is http://cli.gs/XeroxIP) has far fewer worldwide patents/patent apps than Canon (http://cli.gs/CanonIP)-- that may surprise you, given the legacy of Xerox inventing.

Xerox's most recent patent is in the "Green" arena.

It's ENERGY-AWARE PRINT JOB MANAGEMENT from 5/28/2009 (United States Patent Application 20090138878):

A printing system and method for processing print jobs in a network of printers are disclosed. The printers each have high and low operational states. A job ticket is associated with each print job. The job ticket designates one of the network printers as a target printer for printing the job and includes print job parameters related to redirection and delay for the print job. Where the target printer for the print job is in the low operational state, the print job related redirection and delay parameters for the job are identified. Based on the identified parameters, the print job may be scheduled for at least one of redirection and delay, where the parameters for redirection/delay permit, whereby the likelihood that the print job is printed sequentially with another print job on one of the network printers, without that one printer entering an intervening low operational state, is increased.

The inventors are from France--
  1. Christer Fernstrom
  2. Christophe Mitenne.

So there you have it, for this week's Patent Faceoff:

Canon: 331,096
versus
Xerox: 106,793.


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here, and here it is as a Clig if you want to send it around: http://cli.gs/TTT.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hairstylist/Inventor in Washington, D.C.


This weekend the Washington Post covered a Hairstylist/Inventor: Tamara Chapman Dolton, founder of Office Cuts.

Washington Post

Tamara has one patent app and one patent--

1. US20070022561-- PORTABLE HAIRSTYLISTS' STATION AND METHOD
A portable hair stylists' station includes a case and a vacuum cleaner, the vacuum cleaner including a canister associated with the case and a hose connected to a suction opening of the canister.


2. 7,472,455-- PORTABLE HAIRSTYLISTS' STATION AND METHOD
A portable hair stylists' station includes a case and a vacuum cleaner, the vacuum cleaner including a canister associated with the case and a hose connected to a suction opening of the canister. A method for conducting a hairstyling business is also disclosed.

From the Post article:

At first, Tamara, who incorporated Office Cuts in 2002, had clients sit in a wheeled conference chair that she would borrow on-site. But she considers herself "an inventor, a solution finder," and she kept looking for the right equipment to create a portable hairstyling studio. So she fashioned a rolling suitcase filled with everything she needs: a hydraulic chair base, a drop cloth for the floor, a drape for the client, sanitary neck strips, an apron, tools, sanitizers, hair products, front and back mirrors and a small industrial vacuum with a hose that fits through a hole in the suitcase. A boat seat folds over the handle of the case. Tamara says the salon takes five minutes to set up.

Tamara applied for a patent on the rolling studio in 2005; the process took 3 years and a visit to the patent office. "I'm a very positive thinker," she said, adding that she told her skeptical patent lawyer, "I want you to write it as if you think you're going to get it." In the meantime, the Alexandria resident has built up her customer base: Office Cuts now has regular hours and serves 40 to 50 clients a month at eight Northern Virginia office buildings housing companies such as Mitre and Booz Allen Hamilton. To help her keep up with the demand, Tamara has hired two part-time stylists. "Our target is anybody who needs a haircut, and they're short on time."


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Patent Faceoff: McKesson vs. Cardinal Health

San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation currently ranks 15th on the FORTUNE 500, and is a healthcare services and information technology company that has been in continuous operation for more than 175 years.

Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health is an $87 billion global manufacturer and distributor of medical and surgical supplies and technologies, with customers located on five continents.

McKesson (short URL to their patents is http://cli.gs/McKessonIP) has 81 more patents/patent apps than Cardinal Health (http://cli.gs/CardinalHealthIP).

But Cardinal has the most interesting invention of recent vintage.

It's System and Methods for Determining Locations of Medical Devices from 5/07/2009 (United States Patent Application 20090115663):

The location of a medical device is determined by receiving one or more signals at the medical device transmitted by one or more beacons, respectively, at known locations. The one or more signals received at the medical device are sent from the medical device to a processor, which determines the location of the medical device based on the received one or more signals. One of the beacons may be a portable patient beacon, the location of which is determined when its signal is received by a medical device, the location of which was previously determined.


The inventors are all from California--

  1. Houston Brown
  2. Robert Butterfield
  3. Daniel Brightwell.

So there you have it, for this week's Patent Faceoff:

McKesson: 181
versus
Cardinal Health: 100.


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here, and here it is as a Clig if you want to send it around: http://cli.gs/TTT.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Safety-Kleen: 50 Patents

Safety-Kleen was founded in Milwaukee in 1963 by Ben Palmer, and pioneered the practice of recycling the solvents used to clean auto parts.

The firm went public in 1979, and then enjoyed an astonishing streak of annual growth rates of 20% or more. Whenever significant competition popped up, Safety-Kleen acquired it.

By the end of the 1980s, it had 160 branches around the USA and owned 2,500 trucks and 350,000 cleaning machines, which handled dirty automobile parts, dry-cleaning solvents, flammable liquids, and other items requiring cleaning, recycling, or disposal.

By the early 1990s, Safety-Kleen employed nearly 7,000 people around the country and grossed nearly $800 million in annual sales. In 1991, the company opened a large oil-recycling plant in East Chicago, Indiana. The company's profits and rate of growth slowed sharply during the 1990s, partly because of environmental violations at one of its solvent-disposal plants in Puerto Rico. In 1998, it merged with Laidlaw, then slid into bankruptcy in 2000. Safety-Kleen emerged from Chapter 11 in 2003, and today is painting its positioning with a green brush:

"Safety-Kleen provides a broad set of environmentally-responsible products and services that keep North American businesses in balance with the environment."



Plano, Texas-based Safety-Kleen has 50 patents, see them here (and here's the short URL: http://cli.gs/Safety-KleenIP).

The first was in August of 1970, titled Washer for Parts and the Like, from inventor Gene Olson.

The latest was on Christmas Day last year, titled Movable Sink Parts Washer from five inventors--

The present disclosure relates generally to a movable aqueous- and solvent-based parts washer used to wash grease, oil, dirt, and other debris from mechanical parts using an cleaning solution, and more particularly, to a parts washer with a movable sink and movable lid pivotally connected to a hollow housing for facilitating the access within the housing for the replacement and maintenance of a cleaning solution reservoir. The third-generation washer is made of molded reinforced polymer in a shell configuration around a tilting reservoir. A pump is also pivotally connected below the sink to retract the pump during change operations of the cleaning solution reservoir. The device includes a molded sink with basin and reinforced pan with an interface to control the release of fumes between the sink and the pivoting lid. The parts washer also includes built-in light is placed in proximity to the work area on the underside of the lid for illumination during washing operations, a support frame for the sink for improved stability of the apparatus, and a latching mechanism equipped with a low fusible link for optimal fire protection response of the thermal fusible.


Today the firm has 4,400 employees and serves 330,000 customers in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Johns Hopkins: The U & APL

Johns Hopkins has a LOT of patents. But they emanate from two very distinct places, the school founded in 1876 in Baltimore and the Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland.

However, they're not easily divisible given how their inventions are recorded with the U.S. Patent Office. Here's the whole list of patents and applications, a total of 1,632.

Here is the Hopkins IP as a short URL-- http://cli.gs/HopkinsIP.

The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a not-for-profit center for engineering, research, and development. It's on a 399-acre campus, and home to 4,300 men and women. APL recruits the best and the brightest from top colleges, 68% of whom are engineers and scientists. The Lab works on more than 400 programs that protect our homeland and advance the nation's vision in research and space science, at an annual funding level of about $800 million. APL is also designated as a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC).


Johns Hopkins APL recently gave out some Invention awards. They recognized APL engineer Jack Roberts as a “Master Inventor,” joining 21 other past and current APL staff members who hold at least 10 patents. You can see Mr. Roberts' 10 patents here.

Roberts' latest invention (with two co-inventors) is United States Patent 7,413,809 issued on 08/19/2008 titled Impact resistant flexible body device--

An impact resistant device is provided comprising a flexible support matrix and a plurality of energy absorbing elements operatively connected to the support matrix, each element comprising at least one ceramic material and at least one strain rate sensitive material. The impact resistant device can be worn as body armor to protect the wearer from high velocity projectiles.

JHU APL has a superb Office of Technology Transfer, check it out on the web here.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here, and here it is as a Clig if you want to send it around: http://cli.gs/TTT.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

NASA and their 3,000+ Patents

NASA has patents-- 3,019 to be exact. Click here to see them all in the United States from the most recent, and here's the short URL if you want to pass it on: http://cli.gs/NASApatents.

On May 5, 2009, NASA earned U.S. Patent 7,529,633 titled Application of carbon nanotube hold-off voltage for determining gas composition:

Method and system for determining chemical composition of a single-component or multiple-component gas, using a discharge holdoff mechanism. A voltage difference V between two spaced apart electrodes is brought to a selected value and held, the holdoff time interval Δt(V;ho) required before gas discharge occurs is measured, and the associated electrical current or cumulative electrical charge is measured. As the voltage difference V increases, the time interval length Δt(V;ho) decreases monotonically. Particular voltage values, Vand V0, correspond to initial appearance of discharge (Δt≈∞) and prompt discharge (Δt≈0). The values Vand V0 and the rate of decrease of Δt(V;ho) and/or the rate of increase of current or cumulative charge with increasing V are characteristic of one or more gas components present.

It's a complex patent, but just two California inventors are behind it:
  • John Schipper
  • Jing Li.
NASA's first patent was in March of 1973, U.S. Patent 3,719,891 for an Intruder Detection System:

An intruder detection system in which a transmitter transmits a frequency modulated and amplitude modulated signal to a remote receiver in response to a transducer, such as a geophone detector, picking-up seismic impulse created by one or more intruders. In this manner, an operator listening to the receiver can identify the number of intruders, and also can identify the movements of the intruder or intruders, such as walking, running and the like.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here, and here's a Clig if you want to send it around: http://cli.gs/TTT.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Under Armour & Detachable Cleats

Under Armour came to be when founder Kevin Plank was a football player with the University of Maryland. He got tired of having to change out of the sweat-soaked T-shirts he wore under his jersey, so he developed a type of moisture-wicking fabric for athletic performance and started the company in 1996.

Baltimore-based Under Armour's last invention was United States Patent Application 20090077833 issued on 3/26/2009 (Inventor Mark Michael Kokavec) , for a Detachable Cleat Arrangement:

A cleat arrangement is configured for use with an article of footwear comprises a receptacle, a cleat, and a retaining ring. The receptacle is provided in the sole of the footwear. The cleat includes a projecting member and a retaining surface. The retaining surface is configured to fit within the receptacle with the projecting member extending from the receptacle. The retaining ring fits over the cleat and engages the retaining surface of the cleat positioned within the receptacle and the projecting member of the cleat extending through the retaining ring. The retaining ring releasably engages the receptacle such that the retaining ring holds the cleat within the receptacle.


Under Armour (about $750 million in annual revenue) has 12 U.S. patents as of this moment, here they are as a short URL: http://cli.gs/UnderArmourIP. For more on making short URLs, visit http://cli.gs/fpo.


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patent Portfolios with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Creating Your Company's Patent Microsite

It's easy.

First, go here on FPO: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/search.html.


Let's take PepsiCo as an example. In the big white searchbox we type: AN/"pepsico"

AN means Assignee Name-- the company that owns the patents.

Now we want US Patents and US Patent Applications, so we check the box next to US Patent Applications to get them, too. And we want a Sort Order of Chronological (that is, from most recent), so we click to fill that circle, and we click to turn Word Stemming off.

We then click SEARCH, and get (as of today) 304 patents, and the long URL is:

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/result.html?p=1&edit_alert=&srch=xprtsrch&query_txt=AN%2F%22pepsico%22&uspat=on&usapp=on&date_range=all&stemming=off&sort=chron&search=Search

Now, we go to http://cli.gs to create a short URL. If you become a registered user at Cligs [free], you can craft a "vanity URL"-- that is what we will do here.


At the top of the Cligs screen, you paste the long URL where it says Enter URL to shorten, and click Create Private Clig.

Then, if you're a registered user [free!], click on Edit this Clig.
Where it says Rename Clig to http://cli.gs/_____, pick a name. I chose to make the new, short URL-- http://cli.gs/PepsiPatents.



So there you have it: All the US patents/patents applications of PepsiCo =


As new inventions are earned by PepsiCo, this URL will automatically update. So if Pepsi wants to go to its website and proudly state:


... then it's one-click access to all the current inventions of their firm.

Better, with Cligs you can see how many people then visit this custom URL-- for registered users [Cligs is free, just like FreePatentsOnline], Cligs shows you audience analytics.



Want to share this blog entry? Here it is as a Clig: http://cli.gs/Microsite4Patents

Thursday, May 7, 2009

IBM: 39,062 Patents

Big Blue has 39,062 U.S. patents and patent applications as of this moment.

See them all, from the most recent, with our handy short URL here: http://cli.gs/IBMpatents.



This one is interesting given the need for rapid alerting these days, U.S. Patent 7,529,850 called Method and system for rapid dissemination of public announcements from 5/5/2009:

The present invention provides a method and system for disseminating urgent public announcements over an IP-based network. One or a plurality of Internet- or Intranet-connected servers receive and store data identifying particular geographic locations to current announcements. The servers identify IP addresses of users making URL requests or requests for target applications (an access point by which a network-connectable mobile device is connected to an Internet- or Intranet-connected server), determine a location for each user from the user's IP address (or access point), and determine whether an IP address (or access point) of a user corresponds to a location for which an announcement has been posted. If the user is identified to a location for which a current announcement is available, the announcement is displayed to the user.

The announcement may be displayed by redirecting the user to a web page containing the announcement. Alternatively, the announcement may be displayed in a pop-up window or in a banner on a web page requested by said user. A banner displaying such an announcement may incorporate a link to permit the user to click through to a web page containing a more detailed version of the announcement.


The inventors are the Vermas: Dinesh and Paridhi.

On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patents with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

McCormick Spice & Their IP

McCormick & Company was founded in 1889 in Baltimore, and moved to Sparks, Maryland in 1989. They're on the NYSE (MKC) logging about $3 billion in annual revenue.


The last invention for the leading spice company was United States Patent Application 20090104330 issued on 4/23/2009 (Inventor Dmitriy Zasypkin) , for a REDUCED SODIUM SALTY TASTE COMPOSITION, PROCESS FOR ITS PREPARATION AND FOOD SYSTEMS CONTAINING SUCH COMPOSITION:

A reduced sodium salty taste composition for reduction of sodium chloride in food contains sodium chloride, at least one of a food acid and a salt of a food acid, at least one of an amino acids and a salt of an amino acid, and can additionally contain potassium chloride, yeast extract, sweeteners, and flavors. A food containing the reduced sodium salty taste composition and a process for making the reduced sodium salty taste composition are disclosed.


The problem, of course, with small containers of spices is that folks keep them around for a l-o-n-g time. In 2007, the company started a new advertising campaign to encourage people to dispose of older packages of spices, by pointing out that any of their packages that list their address as "Baltimore, MD 21202" are over 15 years old.

McCormick has 46 worldwide patents as of this moment, here they are as a short URL: http://cli.gs/McCormickIP. For more on making short URLs, visit http://cli.gs/fpo.


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patents with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Scotts Fertilizer


Marysville, Ohio-based The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of lawn and garden care products in North America and the European Union. The company sells a line of granular lawn fertilizer and combination products, including fertilizer and crabgrass control, weed control, or pest control products; plant foods; and growing media products for indoor and outdoor uses, as well as grass seed products for the consumer and the professional users.


The firm has seven patents in the US, Europe and Japan, see them here.

The last was United States Patent Application 20080275115 issued in November 2008, for a Insecticidal Compositions Suitable for Use in Preparation of Insecticidal Granular Fertilizer and Insecticidal Formulations:

Insecticidal compositions suitable for use in preparation of insecticidal granular fertilizer and insecticidal formulations comprising a pyrethroid and a glycol present in a concentration of from 40.0% by weight to 99.0% by weight based upon the total weight of all components in the composition is disclosed.


Demand for fertilizer is down: consider Minnetonka, MN-based Cargill Inc., the largest privately held U.S. company, just said fiscal third-quarter profit plunged 68%. Net income dropped to $326 million in the three months through February from a record $1.03 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Cargill has 667 patents of their own, here they are as a short URL: http://cli.gs/CargillPatents. For more on making short URLs, visit http://cli.gs/fpo.


On Twitter, we're inventionsofman. And check out our links to University Patents with our partner Technology Transfer Tactics here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

University IP: Spotlight on MIT


With our partner Technology Transfer Tactics, we've rolled out a comprehensive list of U.S. universities and their as-current patent portfolios. You're one click away from seeing a given school's U.S. patents and patent applications from the most recent.




Founded in 1836, Cambridge, MA-based MIT admitted its first students in 1865, four years after the approval of its founding charter. The opening marked the culmination of an extended effort by William Barton Rogers, a distinguished natural scientist, to establish a new kind of independent educational institution relevant to an increasingly industrialized America.

MIT has one of the most august IP portfolios on the globe, with a total of 894 U.S. patents and patent applications as of this date-- see them here from the most recent.

Most recently MIT won United States Patent Application 20090111734 for COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR PROMOTING HEMOSTASIS AND OTHER PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES on 4/30/2009:

Compositions that include nanoscale structured materials or precursors thereof (e.g., self-assembling peptides) are described. The compositions can include other substances (e.g., a vasoconstrictor). Also described are methods for using the compositions to promote hemostasis, to protect the skin or wounds from contamination, to decontaiminate a site upon removal of previously applied compositions that provided a protective coating, and to inhibit the movement of bodily substances other than blood. The compositions are also useful in isolating tissue, removing tissue, preserving tissue (for, e.g., subsequent transplantation or reattachment), and as bulking, stabilizing or hydrating agents. Medical devices that include the compositions (e.g., a stent or catheter), bandages or other wound dressings, sutures, and kits that include the compositions are also described.

The six inventors are from Massachussets and Hong Kong--
  1. Ellis-behnke, Rutledge (Canton, MA)
  2. Zhang, Shuguang (Lexington, MA)
  3. Schneider, Gerald (Somerville, MA)
  4. So, Kwok-fai (Hong Kong)
  5. Tay, David (Hong Kong)
  6. Liang, Yu-xiang (Hong Kong).

MIT is a leader in robotics, too-- take a look at their "Humanoid Robotics Group" lab here.

See our blog from the last seven days, we highlighted the IP of America's colleges & universities.

Here are MIT's patents as a short URL, for our friends using Twitter: http://cli.gs/MITpatents

We're on Twitter: www.twitter.com/inventionsofman