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Apple's Latest Patent Allows for Voicemail Screening

March 18, 2014,

iphone.jpgCalifornia - Apple was recently assigned a patent, numbered 8,666,034 , which will allow users to listen to a message as it is being left by a caller and then pick up mid-message, if desired. In a time known as "the age of texting" where voicemail is increasingly viewed as outdated, Apple is attempting to modernize this older phone feature by adding it to its next lineup of mobile phones. As many of us recall, with land-line based voice mail machines, one could let an incoming call go to voicemail, listen to the caller leave a message, and depending how important the call was, pick up during the message.

Apple's new patent will allow iPhone users to do exactly this, enabling remote voice message systems to relay the information instantaneously to users. Apple customers will still have the option to have an incoming call sent directly to voicemail, without screening it, but several commentators have already pointed out the irony of Apple's attempt to update voicemail by adding a technology that is widely considered a thing of the past.

Officially termed "Audio call screening for hosted voicemail systems", the patent comes as part of a huge collection of intellectual property originally held by Nortel Networks, until the struggling telecom firm struck a deal with its rivals. Back in 2012, Apple was part of a group of big name tech companies (including Microsoft, Research in Motion, Sony, and Ericsson), dubbed the Rockstar Consortium, that closed a deal to buy Nortel's $4.5 billion patent portfolio. Part of the spoils Apple enjoyed as part of the acquisition, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially recorded the assignment of the voicemail screening patent to reflect Apple, Inc. as its owner earlier this month.

Currently, iPhones allow users to see their voicemails in list form through "visual voicemail," a technology that was added by Apple in 2011 and which was the subject of the much talked about U.S. Patent Number 7,996,792. With visual voicemail, users do not have to call a voicemail line to access voicemails by audio, but can simply press play on the touch screen display to hear a message. With the new addition of the technology set forth in the '034 patent, visual voicemail will be taken one step further as a message will play automatically in real time as it is being left, giving users the option to answer right then, rather than having to wait until the voicemail is complete to listen to it and then return the call.

Patent Filings Point to "Hot Corners" as Part of New Samsung Smartphone Interface

February 6, 2014,

samsung.jpgCalifornia - A series of recently unveiled patents give a glimpse into what we might see as part of the next line of Samsung smartphones. With the new Samsung Galaxy S5 set to be released in March, all eyes are on the Korean based company for what's to come for the new generation of devices. After doing some digging, Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KPRIS) was able to uncover patent documents that offer some fresh details about the new phones.

Among the new developments showcased in the filings is a new feature called "Hot Corners," which comes as part of Samsung's efforts to make its larger screens easier to navigate. With the overall size of smartphones growing (Samsung's Galaxy Mega has one of the biggest screens on the market, at 6.3 inches), the company has been looking for new ways improve ease of use.

The new "Hot Corners" concept will be featured in the revamped TouchWiz interface and will make it so that one-handed operation is more manageable on the large phones. The "Hot Corners" platform of the new TouchWiz features four semi circles in each corner of the display. Each corner has a few shortcuts to commonly accessed applications and phone functions, such as weather, maps, and favorite calls.

In addition to the more accessible "Hot Corners" home display, the patent filings describe some other features to be included in the updated interface, including a more socially focused music and media application. Specifically, the patents describe ways in which users will be able to see which of their friends have listened to a song that they are listening to and what ranking that friend gave the song. Beyond that, the new TouchWiz music app will allow Samsung users to comment back and forth on songs and videos, similar to Spotify or YouTube.

With the new Touchwiz patents coming out so close to the release of Samsung's 2014 flagship device, it is almost certain that these new features will be included as part of the S5 package. The new device is said to be packed full of new technology, including an improved camera, updated operating system and a faster processor. With all of the added features, the S5 is set to sell for a cool $650.

Samsung Patent Reveals Plans for a Futuristic Foldable Smartphone Display

January 6, 2014,

samsung.jpgCalifornia - The next generation of Samsung smartphones will likely feature a game changing foldable dual screen, as revealed by a patent filed in Korea. The Seoul-headquartered company confirmed its plans to make the foldable screens a reality, with its CEO, Kwon Oh-hyeon, stating at an analyst's conference last month that it "would lead innovation by introducing the 'foldable' display in 2015." Given that the patent was recently found to have been filed back in 2012, experts have expressed concern over whether the new technology could actually hit the worldwide market by 2015.

Regardless of the timing of the foldable screen's introduction to the mainstream market, the newly surfaced patent filing has people excited. The very detailed patent application notes that the screen may fold by means of a hinge, or possibly just by bending. In addition, it provides a real life glimpse at the many possible applications of the display by including several artistic configurations of the new device in action.

Among those that stand out the most are a rendering of a "clipboard" on one half of the screen and a message display in the other, whereby the user can find and drag files or pictures into the message half of the display. There is also an example of an e-book type of display, which makes the folding smartphone look very much like a traditional book, with pages on both sides that the user may flip through. The filing also suggests the potential for expanded video conferencing capability with the folding screen as well as an embodiment of the way that the screen could fold backwards to stand up on a desk or table and then connect to other nearby devices for interactive gaming.

Samsung has previously filed patent applications for smartphones with flexible concave screen displays, which are set to materialize in the company's unveiling of its Galaxy Round phone, rumored to hit shelves next year. Samsung is not the first to jump on to the bendable screen trend. Electronics rivals including LG, Sony, and Microsoft have already filed similar patent applications for their own variations on the flexible display. But despite the brewing competition, Samsung appears to be ahead of the pack as it seems that this application is the first to showcase a display that can actually fold in half.

New Google Patent Filing Claims Heart Hand Gesture for Snapping Pictures

October 17, 2013,

Glass-google.jpgCalifornia - Google, Inc. was granted a patent on October 15th which will let users of its upcoming Google Glass take pictures simply by making hand gestures. The patent, which lists two Northern California Google employees as inventors, is aptly titled "Hand gestures to signify what is important." It describes a method compatible with its soon-to-be released Google Glass device, by which users can put their hands together to create a heart shape over a certain real life object, thereby "liking" it and creating a heart shaped picture. It goes on to detail how customers can make an L shape over an object in order to take a more traditional rectangular photo.

The method set forth in the recent patent, numbered 8,558,759 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), seems to build upon the current internet application trend of "liking" photos and posts. This feature is included in some of the world's most popular web-based applications, including Facebook and Instagram. By allowing Glass users to perform a physical action in relation to a real object in the world to take a picture, it seems that Google has found a way to take "liking" to the next level.

The wearable computer developed by Google is currently in the final stages of development by Google X, the secretive branch of the company known for its production of ultramodern technologies and devices. The much anticipated product features an optical head-mounted display that looks much like a pair of futuristic eyeglasses. Glass has a screen, camera, touchpad and lenses that work in conjunction on an Android operating system.

While it is uncertain if the features described in the new patent will actually come to fruition as part of the Google Glass product, it adds to the certainty that Google is doing all it can to reserve its right to protect all technological advancements related to Glass. Currently, there is no exact consumer release date for Glass and analysts have been left to speculate about the price point. However, for those who truly cannot wait to get their hands on it, a quick eBay search shows a few listings for Glass at a cool $6,000.

MasterCard Sued in Virtual Payment Patent Infringement Case

May 1, 2013,

creditcard.jpgCalifornia - An inventor by the name of John D'Agostino filed a complaint in a Delaware U.S. District Court accusing MasterCard, Inc. of infringing on his patent for a "System and method for performing secure credit card transactions". D'Agostino's patents, No. 7,840,486 issued in 2010 and No. 8,036,988 issued in 2011, involve a payment method whereby a third party has "custodial control" of the consumer's information to secure purchases made online or by other means in order to avoid having to provide the actual credit card number.

MasterCard uses a similar technology called "inControl." D'Agostino believes MasterCard, Discover, Citigroup and possibly others have known about his patent for over 10 years and are now infringing. The complaint alleges that MasterCard is willfully infringing in a complete disregard for D'Agostino's rights.

MasterCard was formed in 1966, and was originally called "Master Charge" until 1979. It is no stranger to litigation. Both it and Visa lost a class-action lawsuit filed in January 1996, paying over $2.5 billion in damages for price fixing on debit card interchange fees and card swiping fees. In 2010, another anti-trust lawsuit came to a head with a settlement reached between it and the U.S. Justice Department. And, in 2012, a judge decided to grant approval of a settlement agreement reached between all the major credit card companies and merchants and trade associations who felt Visa and MasterCard's interchange fees were unreasonably high and had been conspiratorially fixed.

MasterCard previously tried to have D'Agostino's patents re-examined believing some of the patent claims were invalid, but the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office denied the request. According to D'Agostino, MasterCard has also made threats to challenge the patents if he didn't accept its licensing agreement offer, which he claims was for an unreasonably low amount of money.

The complaint alleges Discover's "Secure Online Account Numbers" and Citigroup's "Virtual Account Numbers" use the same technology and tools because each uses a confidential transaction code. D'Agostino's patents feature this same concept.

To date, none of the credit card companies have made a comment on the case.

OxyContin Manufacturer Sues Generics Makers for Patent Infringement

February 6, 2013,

pills.jpgCalifornia - Purdue Pharma LP and Grunenthal GmbH filed a lawsuit against two generic drug makers, claiming their planned generic versions of OxyContin will infringe two patents that cover the "abuse-proof" version of the painkiller.

According to the complaints filed in New York on Friday, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., now owned by Actavis Inc., and Impax Laboratories Inc. filed abbreviated new drug applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a generic form of oxycodone hydrochloride extended-release tablets for seven different dosage strengths. Purdue and Grunenthal claim the planned generic forms will infringe at least one of two patents relating to the controlled-release version of OxyContin.

According to the FDA, OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid and a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high risk of addiction.

The patents-in-suit, both titled "Abuse-proofed dosage form" are owned by German-based Grunenthal, which licenses the patents to Connecticut-based Purdue. The patents protect a specific version of OxyContin that is coated in a plastic-like polymer to help prevent tampering and abuse of the drug. The polymer prevents the pill from being ground into a fine powder and becomes unusable if added to water, but it can still dissolve normally in the stomach.

Watson and Impax both sent a letter to Purdue in December 2012 informing the company of their plans to file ANDAs for a generic version of the painkiller and stating that the patents for the drug are not valid, unenforceable or are not infringed by their planned generics.

Purdue and Grunenthal claim the patents are valid and that the companies cannot reasonably conclude that the generic forms of the drug are not covered by the terms of the patents or that the generic versions would not infringe the patents.

OxyContin is a very profitable painkiller, making Purdue nearly $2.8 billion in U.S. sales in 2011. Purdue claimed that the infringement by the companies "will cause plaintiffs irreparable harm for which they have no adequate remedy at law and will continue unless enjoined by this court."

Purdue requested a declaratory judgment that the planned generics will infringe the patents, an injunction prohibiting the companies from releasing generic versions of OxyContin until the patents expire in November 2023, costs and attorney fees.

Apple Seeks To Patent Detachable Wireless Headphones

October 5, 2012,

headphones2.jpgCalifornia - A new patent application unveiled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday shows Apple Inc. is hoping to obtain patent protection for a listening device for a media player that could instantly and seamlessly switch from being plugged in to operating wirelessly.

The patent application, titled "Detachable Wireless Listening Device" and filed in March 2011 by Jorge S. Fino, describes a media apparatus that can be used in conjunction with a host device to provide a user a pleasurable listening experience, especially during periods of physical activity.

In the described embodiments, the host device can take the form of a portable media player, and the media apparatus can include a listening device.

The media apparatus in one embodiment includes at least one listening device, a corded portion in communication with a host device arranged to provide an audio signal, and a detachable connector having a first part and a second part. The detachable connector would be arranged to couple the listening device at the first part to the corded portion at the second part.

When the listening device is attached to the corded portion by way of the connector, the listening device receives the audio signal from the host device by way of the corded portion. When the listening device is detached from the cord, a wireless signal that includes the audio signal is transmitted from the second part of the corded portion for reception at the first part of the listening device.

The listening device could contain a set of rechargeable batteries that would store energy when the cord is attached to the media player. When detached, stereo audio could potentially be provided by giving a unique wireless address to each of the left and right speakers in the listening device, according to the patent description.

Consumers are looking for improved techniques for listening to audio provided by a personal media player during physical activity, according to Apple.

"As simple and efficient as the cord may be in transmitting the audio signal, the cord is susceptible to becoming entangled while the end user is participating in physical activity," the patent description says.

"This is particularly nettlesome since the cord connected to the personal media player used while exercising or worn on the body requires frequent adjustment to avoid entanglement which can prove distracting or in some cases present a hazard to the end user," it says.

The patent could pave the way for upgrades to Apple's earbud products on the market, especially now that the company offers Bluetooth 4.0 functionality across all of its devices.

Federal Circuit Breathes New Life Into Abbott Glucose Monitor Patents

September 29, 2012,

glucose.jpgCalifornia - The Federal Circuit on Friday resurrected two Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. patents for a diabetes-related glucose monitoring system, ruling that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's rejection of the patents was based on unreasonable claim constructions.

Abbott had appealed from ex parte reexamination proceedings in which the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences rejected numerous claims of U.S. Patent Numbers 6,175,752 and 6,565,509.

"The board's construction of 'electrochemical sensor' and its modified construction of 'substantially fixed' are unreasonable and inconsistent with the specification," the Federal Circuit ruled.

The appeals court vacated the board's decisions as to the patentability of Abbott's independent claims at issue and remanded the case for the board to apply the correct claim constructions.

Both the '752 patent and the '509 patent share a common specification that describes methods and devices "for the in vivo monitoring of an analyte using an electrochemical sensor to provide information to a patient about the level of the analyte" in the bloodstream. In particular, the patent specification describes methods and devices for monitoring glucose levels for diabetics.

The specification describes the claimed "electrochemical sensor" at issue as "a device configured to detect the presence and/or measure the level of an analyte in a sample via electrochemical oxidation and reduction reactions on the sensor."
The PTO granted third-party requests for ex parte reexamination of Abbott's patents in March 2006, in relation to consolidated infringement litigation involving Abbott and DexCom Inc., which remains pending.

During reexamination, the examiner finally rejected all of the claims subject to the reexamination as being indefinite, anticipated, or obvious over several combinations of prior art references.

In reviewing the examiner's rejections, the board first had to determine the correct construction of "electrochemical sensor," namely, whether "the transcutaneous electrochemical sensor recited in the claims includes wires and cables," according to the Federal Circuit. The board ultimately concluded that the sensor did have to include wires and cables.

The board also construed the proper construction of the term "substantially fixed" to allow some movement of the sensor relative to the position of the sensor control unit.
Relying on those claim constructions, the board ruled that Abbott's claimed invention was not patentable. Abbott filed requests for rehearing, which the board denied, and from there appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Apple Nets Patents For Multi-Touch Screen, Carbon Fiber Housing, More

September 4, 2012,

iPad.jpgCalifornia - Apple Inc. secured over two dozen new patents on Tuesday covering technology that includes a liquid crystal display capable of multi-touch functionality and a process for molding carbon fiber that could lead to future MacBook casings made of the material.

U.S. Patent Number 8,259,078, titled "Touch screen liquid crystal display," discloses LCD touch screens that integrate the touch sensing elements with the display circuitry.

Touch sensing elements can be completely implemented within the LCD stackup but not between the color filter plate and the array plate, under the patent. Alternatively, some touch sensing elements can be between the color filter and array plates with other touch sensing elements not between the plates.

In another alternative, all touch sensing elements can be between the color filter and array plates, which can encompass both conventional and "in-plane-switching" LCDs. In some forms, one or more display structures can also have a touch sensing function.

Techniques for manufacturing and operating such displays, as well as various devices embodying such displays are also covered by the patent.

The invention is credited to Steve Porter Hotelling of Los Gatos, California, Wei Chen of Palo Alto, California, Christoph Horst Krah of Los Altos, California, John Greer Elias of Townsend, Delaware, Wei Hsin Yao of Fremont, California, John Z. Zhong of Cupertino, California, Andrew Bert Hodge of Palto Alto, California, Brian Richards Land of Redwood City, California and Willem den Boer of Brighton, Michigan. The application for the invention was filed in June 2007.

U.S. Patent Number 8,257,075, meanwhile, titled "Carbon composite mold design," covers a mold assembly or system that includes a moldbase that holds mold inserts and has embedded fluid lines to facilitate cooling during part formation. The carbon molding technology could be applied to build sturdier housings for Apple's MacBooks and other computers.

"While many designs and methods of manufacture for providing composite molded parts and components have generally worked well in the past, there is always a desire to provide new and improved designs and processes that result in functional and aesthetically pleasing composite parts that can be mass produced," the patent description says. "In particular, it is desirable to provide a carbon composite molding apparatus and process that allows for a more automated mass production of consistent carbon composite parts, such as for computer housings and the like."

Paul Choiniere of Livermore, California, Glenn Aune of Bellingham, Washington, John DiFonzo of Emerald Hills, California, Daniel Hong of Cupertino, California and Kevin Kenney of San Jose, California filed the application for the carbon molding patent in November 2009.

Google Patent For Computing By Touch Revealed

August 27, 2012,

google.jpgCalifornia - A recently-published patent granted to Google last year for methods of conveying and gathering digital information with a user's hand could form the basis for a computerized glove counterpart to the company's Google Glasses currently en route to the marketplace.

U.S. Patent Number 8,009,141, aptly titled "Seeing with your hand," covers methods like using a detector to record a series of images of an environment and detecting a predetermined motion by comparing two or more images in the series.

The patented methods may also include selecting a function based on the predetermined motion and triggering the function, using a first detector to record a first series of images of an environment and using a second detector to record a second series of images of an environment.

The method of detecting a predetermined relative motion by comparing one or more images from the first series with one or more images from the second series, and selecting or triggering a function based on the predetermined relative motion, is also covered by the patent.

The central claim of the patent is a glove, comprising a detector positioned on a fingertip which is configured to record a series of images of an environment, coupled with a a processor configured to stabilize the series of images to produce a stabilized series of images, and an output interface configured to trigger at least one function.

The processor also determines at least one predetermined motion of the detector by comparing at least two images in the stabilized series of images and, based on the predetermined motion, selects at least one function from a plurality of functions.

In one example cited in the patent summary, to allow a user to "see" an inaccessible environment, a user may wear a device equipped with one or more detectors on one of his or her hands, or on other areas of the user's body.

The detectors may record a series of images of the environment, and a display may display the series of images to the user. In this manner, the user may "see" the inaccessible environment as if the user's eyes were located on the user's hand or finger, or on the other area of the user's body, the patent summary says.

Inventors Liang-Yu Chi of San Francisco, California, Robert Allen Ryskamp of Zurich, Switzerland, Luis Ricardo Prada Gomez of Hayward, California, Harvey Ho of Mountain View, California and Google top dog Sergey Brin of Palo Alto, California filed their application for the patent in March 2011, and had it granted in August 2011.

Apple Applies For Patent On iPad Smart Cover

August 13, 2012,

iPad.jpgCalifornia - Apple announced last week that it has applied for a patent to protect its slick new iPad cover. The application lists the patent as "Cover Attachment with Flexible Display". The new technology offers such useful additions as a keyboard, an extra row of apps, and the option of having special notifications appear on the cover space.

Undoubtedly, iPad users have reason to be excited at the possibility of a new Apple issued accessory for the iPad. Some of the cool new features possibly offered will be an ambient power collector, a keyboard and touch screen integrated into the cover flap, a rear display with controls in the back of the iPad, and additional alerts that could be displayed on the cover such as calendar notifications. Many iPad users end up purchasing separate keyboards for use with their iPad, so the keyboard option could prove to be a useful addition when the user folds the cover back. In addition, ambient power has become a popular new option for consumers who would prefer to use solar power to boost displays, particularly when using the iPad outdoors. The cover alert portion of the patent would allow users to display calendar events, notifications and alerts on the cover. The rear display function seems like the least likely of the options to actually come to pass. Industry experts say that locating controls on the back of the product would be impractical since the user would constantly have to turn the product around to see what buttons they were pushing.

The timing of the patent is interesting considering the recently unveiled Microsoft Surface tablet which will be sold with a cover that includes a kick stand and keyboard. The Apple patent could result in a single cover for the iPad, or several smart covers with different feature options. The new iPad smart cover should come out in time for the 2012 Christmas shopping season. The manager of product design at Apple, Fletcher Rothkopf, is listed as the inventor.

California Based Apple Granted Patent Dubbed "The Mother of All Smartphone Patents"

July 26, 2012,

iphone.jpgCalifornia - Apple had a busy week recently with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in which it was issued a whopping 25 patents for various new inventions. Within the last several months, Apple has been on somewhat of a patent spree with filings for everything from hardware, to software, to accessories.

Some would argue that the most important of these newly granted patents is one that applies to a "portable electronic device, method and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents". In particular, patent number 8,223,134 covers the graphical interface that Apple designed for use with telephones, email, cameras, video players, calendars and numerous other multi-touch applications. Filed in March 2012, experts are calling the patent extremely important and have dubbed it "the mother of all smartphone software patents". Additionally, Apple's newest smartphone patent is expected to provide significant competition for its main adversary Google Android.

In the years since the smartphone burst into the cell phone market, mobile phone technology has increased at such a rapid rate that consumers can hardly keep up. But savvy smartphone users have likely noticed a variety of similarities between the top products.

Before iPhone hit the market, smartphones used actual physical buttons and keys that had to be pushed to direct actions. However, the iPhone ushered in a period of new technology that advanced multi-touch graphical user interfaces that are a trademark of the iPhone today. Smartphone manufacturers have not hesitated to copy that design to the extent possible with new products in the marketplace today. Historically, Apple has taken drastic steps to protect its intellectual property, including extensive patent applications and numerous patent infringement lawsuits. Undoubtedly, the newest patent granted to Apple will play a part in ongoing litigation with companies such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC, who have chosen to battle it out in court with Apple over patent infringement.

California Gets U.S. Patent & Trademark Regional Office

July 18, 2012,

USPTO Image.jpgCalifornia - The U.S. Commerce Department made the announcement earlier this month that it has decided to open four regional United States Patent & Trademark Offices. The new offices will be located in Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colorado and Silicon Valley, California. These offices join the previously announced satellite office in Detroit, Michigan that is scheduled to open on July 13, 2012. According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office ("USPTO") website, the locations selected were based on significant studies that analyzed geographical diversity, regional economic impact, ability to recruit and retain employees, and the ability to engage the intellectual property community.

In September 2011, President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), which requires the USPTO to select regions for its satellite locations. This Act will also change the U.S. rights for filing patent applications from as it stands today which is a "first-to-invent" system to a "first inventor-to-file" system. The changes regarding the "first inventor-to-file" will take effect on March 16, 2013.

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank stated regarding the USPTO changes, "Intellectual property protection and innovation are engines of economic growth and the bedrock of America's private sector. The Obama administration is committed to making certain that our businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally. These new offices are an historic step toward further advancing our world's best IP system, and reinforcing the United States as the number one destination for innovation capital, and research and development around the world."

The USPTO's office in Silicon Valley will not only create jobs here in California but it is also expected to positively change the economy as well. The satellite office in Silicon Valley will be located among many of its Applicant's who hold enormous intellectual property portfolios. Among the top 100 companies listed on the 2012 Fortune 500 list include companies in Silicon Valley such as Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard (HP), Santa Clara-based Apple, and San Jose-based Cisco Systems.

David Kappos, Director of the USPTO states, "By expanding our operation outside of the Washington metropolitan area for the first time in our agency's 200-plus year history, we are taking unprecedented steps to recruit a diverse range of talented technical experts, creating new opportunities across the American workforce. These efforts, in conjunction with our ongoing implementation of the America Invents Act, are improving the effectiveness of our IP system, and breathing new life into the innovation ecosystem."

With changes such as these that aim to boost the economy, things are looking a bit brighter here in the Golden State.

California Based Apple Awarded Patent For Head-Mounted Display Device

July 12, 2012,

apple-store.jpgCalifornia - Head-mounted wearable computers are the hottest new trend electronics. Consequently, industry experts anticipate mainstream use of such devices will explode within the next five years.

In an effort to capitalize on this new trend and compete with Google's recently released similar device, Apple announced this week that it was awarded a patent for its own head-mounted display device. Patent number 8,212,859 covers technology that projects an image in front of the viewer's eyes and is designed to enhance a user's viewing experience. The user then has an augmented view of reality with a see-through image imposed on top of the real-world image. According to the patent description, Apple's device could have several small CRT, LCD or OLED displays embedded in a wearable headset incorporated into a helmet, pair of glasses, or a visor.

To capture an even larger market share for head-mounted display devices, Apple is planning on adding sophisticated app development, a possible second display, processor memory and advanced user interfaces. Originally filed back in 2006, the patent for the new technology could also possibly be utilized by heath-care professionals in day-to-day procedures. Developers claim that surgeons could use the product to display information while they operate, such as MRI imaging, CAT scans or other radiographic data. Additionally, Apple anticipates potential use for military, police and firefighters, who could use the new product to display tactical information. The headset could provide an invaluable tool for viewing maps and thermal imaging information, as well as for traditional uses like gaming or internet entertainment applications.

Much like the Apple device, Google recently developed Google Glass, a highly anticipated product utilizing computerized glasses technology. The Android-based glasses have a GPS sensor, cameras, speakers, a microphone and a processor memory. However, unlike the new Apple product, the Google Glass sits slightly above the viewer's eyes, so as to not interfere with vision. Gamers and technology experts anxiously await the introduction of both products into stores and will likely provide multiple reviews within the coming months. Samples of the products are set to be released in 2013 with mass production scheduled for 2014.

California Pharmaceutical Company Receives European Patent Related to Multiple Sclerosis

June 15, 2012,

dna-strand.jpgCalifornia - Mountain View Pharmaceuticals (also known as 'MVP') announced that it was granted a European Patent titled "Polyethylene Glycol Conjugates of Interferon-beta-1b with Enhanced in vitro Biological Potency." This patent aims to aid in the reduction of cases in which patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from a relapse.

European Patent No. 1,667,708 B1 is just one of the 170 worldwide patents that MVP has been issued. MVP's Vice-President and Scientific Director Dr. Mark G.P. Saifer made a statement regarding the newly assigned patent stating, "In contrast with other patents and publications relating to PEG conjugates of interferon-beta, MVP's new European patent claims polymer conjugates of interferon-beta-1b that have increased in vitro potency, measured with human cancer cells in culture, and methods of synthesis of these novel conjugates. If our preclinical results are predictive of the performance of the PEG conjugates in humans, conversion of interferon-beta-1b to a long-acting form with higher potency could enhance the utility of this drug in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, viral infections and other conditions."

MVP, a privately owned Corporation, uses the polyethylene glycol (PEG) process in multiple of its patents. On its website, MVP uses the following phrase as its motto, "Better PEGs in Better Places for Better Products" and among its many registered trademarks, the pharmaceutical company is the owner of the U.S. trademark 'PharmaPEG' for multiple goods and services. MVP has also recently announced that it will publicize a scientific report that has been titled, "Next-Generation PEGylation Enables Reduced Immunoreactivity of PEG-Protein Conjugates," which will be published in the Drug Development & Delivery's June 2012 issue.

Dr. Merry R. Sherman, Chief Executive Officer and President of MVP stated of its research and newly announced publication, "MVP's technology related to long-acting forms of drugs based on therapeutic enzymes or cytokines is the product of more than a decade of research and represents a major advance directed toward the multi-billion-dollar market for PEGylated proteins," and "Our recent publications illustrating the advantages of PharmaPEG-protein conjugates, compared with conventional mPEG-protein conjugates, are expected to reach a wide audience of pharmaceutical professionals, including those attending the Biotechnology International Organization Conference ("BIO 2012") in Boston." Based on its history, it seems as though MVP has many more ground breaking ideas for the future.