Tom Ewing: Tech Patent Tuesday

Every Tuesday, the USPTO issues its latest patents — Tom Ewing monitors the tech output. Here are May 22 tech patents we think you’ll find … interesting.

Ten Tuesday Tech Patents

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 – The USPTO issues its 8,185,968 patent since 1790.

Here’s a rundown of some of the grooviest patents from the latest crop. The USPTO issues every Tuesday and I’m your patent correspondent.

1 – Until recently, Google didn’t have too many patents. Now Google is stamping them out like license plates. Google netted 24 new patents on Tuesday. Google’s ‘067 patent below was only filed last July 20th. The patent discloses a device configured to select an action that matches a power state transition on a head-mounted display (HMD) in the form of eyeglasses. For example, a tactile sensor on the device may detect inputs from the device’s user and select an appropriate action.

2-Microsoft continues its patent dominance, garnering 45 new patents on Tuesday. Here is “Diary-free calorimeter, ” US Patent 8,182,424. The ‘424 patent discloses an indirect calorimeter that estimates nutritional caloric intake by periodically monitoring weight and sensing physical exercise, which can then be used in a calorimetry model derived from regression analysis of a population. The patent also discloses a strap-on user device for tracking exercise can detect one or more of heart rate, body temperature, skin resistance, motion/acceleration sensing, velocity sensing, and an intelligent, integrated exercise machine.

3- Also from MS, “Identifying language origin of words,” US Patent 8,185,376. The language of origin of a word is determined by analyzing non-uniform letter sequence portions of the word. The patent’s primary use lies in proper pronunciation for text-to-speech systems.

4-Also from MS, “WiFi and GSM landmarks and neighborhoods for location based services,” US Patent No. 8,185,135. The patent discloses a system for capturing and delivering location-based information and services that captures wireless landmark information (e.g., a WiFi/Bluetooth access point) sent by mobile devices to build a map of locations based on the relationship between wireless landmarks that are visible to the mobile device at the same time.

5- IBM continues growing in to the virtual world with “Method and system for rating exchangeable gestures via communications in virtual world applications,” US Patent No. 8,185,829. The patent discloses a method for rating exchangeable gestures in a virtual world application. The method includes making a gesture owned by a first user of the virtual world application available to a second user of the virtual world application; in response to the second user providing a rating of the gesture, storing the rating in a repository of the first user, determining a rating metric of the gesture using at least the rating received from the second user, and communicating the rating metric to a third user of the virtual world application.

6- Among the 94 patents obtained Tuesday by IBM is “Method and program product for preventing distribution of an e-mail message,” US Patent 8,185,592. The patent discloses a method for sending e-mails that cannot be forwarded to unintended third parties. The could be the latest “must have” gadget for CEOs.

7- Also from IBM “Method, system, and apparatus for patient controlled access of medical records,” US Patent No. 8,185,411. The patent discloses a method of permitting controlled access to medical information in a variety of different scenarios.

8- Also from IBM, “Object based avatar tracking,” US Patent 8,184,116. The patent discloses a method for object-based avatar tracking. Once a range for an object in a virtual universe is identified, then avatars in the object’s viewable field may see it.

9- From AT&T, “Methods, systems, and computer program products for facilitating content-based selection of long-tail business models and billing,” US Patent No. 8,185,435. The patent discloses methods for delivering content to customers of a service provider in accordance with a content demand curve. This allows a business model to be associated with the requested content is selected, wherein the business model defines how the requested content is to be delivered to the customer and how the customer is to be billed for the requested content.

10- Facebook just received two patents this week. Here’s one: “Automatically generating nodes and edges in an integrated social graph,” US Patent 8,185,558. The patent discloses a method for maintaining a data store of nodes and edges and for each of one or more users, which are then used for determining if, how, and how much of a given user’s content are shared with other users.