The Obama Administration recently nominated former Google patent counsel lead Michelle Lee to be the new director of the Patent and Trademark Office. The position has been vacant for nearly two years and Lee who has been occupying her time as the current deputy director of the USPTO is now pending Senate approval. The government has been working to reform the US patent process, which has been flooded with firms known as “patent trolls” that milk the system by purchasing old patents and filing frivolous lawsuits against other businesses.
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Google’s former head of patents Michelle Lee has been named as the interim head of the USPTO, starting work there on 13th January, reports Yahoo! Finance.
Although technically Lee is deputy director, the agency hasn’t had a director since David Kappos left back in February, meaning that Lee will be running the show for the immediate future at least.
The appointment is an interesting choice given Google’s vocal criticism of patent trolls … expand full story
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USPTO Stories July 17, 2012
Although we have not seen that much about how Google’s augmented reality glasses will actually work (apart from a few photos and video at the Google I/O skydiver demo), the company plans to get the $1,500 Explorer Edition into hands of I/O attendees who preordered the device by next year. Google appears to already be thinking about security features for Project Glass with a patent published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (via Engadget) that details various ways of locking the device or sounding an alarm when detecting unnatural movements. It would also be capable of alerting authorities that the glasses have been stolen or unintentionally removed.
These features would have certainly been useful to University of Toronto professor Dr. Steve Mann (pictured above), who recently was physically assaulted for wearing his EyeTap Digital Eye Glass system. Mann described the experience of having his vision system, which he explained could only be removed with special tools, ripped off his head by a McDonalds employee:
USPTO Stories May 17, 2012
At this point, at the very least, we already know that Google’s augmented reality glasses are capable of snapping a photo. However, we do not have much of an idea of how the UI might work other than what is in the initial concept video. Our sources previously indicated that Google was using a “head tilting-to scroll and click” for navigation of the user interface. Today, we get a look out how the company is experimenting with alternative methods of input for the glasses from a patent recently granted by the United States Patent & Trademark Office and detailed by PatentBolt.
According to the report, the highlight of the patent is how Google’s glasses could work with hand gestures. The patent described various hand-wearable markers, such as a ring, invisible tattoo, or a woman’s fingernail, which could be detected by the glasses’ IR camera, to “track position and motion of the hand-wearable item within a FOV of the HMD.” In other words, the wearable marker, in whatever form factor, would allow the glasses to pick up hand gestures. The report also noted multiple markers could be used to perform complex gestures involving several fingers or both hands: expand full story
USPTO Stories August 29, 2011
Google has just filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office detailing a coding language related to computer applications called ‘Spot’. There isn’t much more known about Spot as of yet, but it looks like GOOG has also registered a few Spot related domains including spotlang.com, spotlanguage.net, spot-lang.com, and spot-lang.net.
Perhaps Spot is something being worked on by Google’s recent acquisition of Java guru James Gosling (who has voiced concerns with Android in the past). We’ll keep you posted as more becomes available.