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Category Archives: Patent and Trademark

Computers have an unlikely origin story: the 1890 census

FastCompany – David Lindsay Roberts – “The inventor of punched cards, which led to the first computers and companies like IBM, was aiming to solve a gnarly problem at the time: data collection for the census…The U.S. Constitution requires that a population count be conducted at the beginning of every decade. This census has always been charged with political significance and continues to be. That’s clear from the controversy over the conduct of the upcoming 2020 census. But it’s less widely known how important the census has been in developing the U.S. computer industry, a story that I tell in my new book, Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans Through History.

On September 23, 1884, the U.S. Patent Office recorded a submission from the 24-year-old Hollerith, titled “Art of Compiling Statistics.” By progressively improving the ideas of this initial submission, Hollerith would decisively win an 1889 competition to improve the processing of the 1890 census. The technological solutions devised by Hollerith involved a suite of mechanical and electrical devices. The first crucial innovation was to translate data on handwritten census tally sheets to patterns of holes punched in cards. As Hollerith phrased it, in the 1889 revision of his patent application, “A hole is thus punched corresponding to person, then a hole according as person is a male or female, another recording whether native or foreign born, another either white or colored, &c.”…

Who Profits From AI? It’s Getting Harder to Find Out

Bloomberg: “As companies from IBM to Samsung Electronics Co. to Halliburton Co. scramble to find the next great invention using artificial intelligence, they may hit a roadblock when trying to patent their ideas. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is making it increasingly difficult to obtain legal protections for inventions related to AI, a field… Continue Reading

Facebook Filed A Patent To Calculate Your Future Location

BussFeedNews: The methods described in three Facebook patent applications use your historical location data — and others’ — to figure out where you’ll go next. “Facebook has filed several patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office for technology that uses your location data to predict where you’re going and when you’re going to… Continue Reading

The Story of the American Inventor Denied a Patent Because He Was a Slave

The Story of the American Inventor Denied a Patent Because He Was a Slave, Paleofuture (Aug. 28, 2018) Brian L. Frye “The world of invention is famous for its patent disputes. But what happens when your dispute wasn’t with another inventor but whether the Patent Office saw you as a person at all? In 1864, a… Continue Reading

Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing the Law

EFF – Win for Public Right to Know: Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing the Law – Industry Groups Want to Control Access to Legal Rules and Regulation: “San Francisco – A federal appeals court today ruled that industry groups cannot control publication of binding laws and standards. This decision protects the work of Public.Resource.org (PRO),… Continue Reading

OpenCorporates ingesting registered trademarks from multiple sources and reconciling them to companies

“Here at OpenCorporates, our core mission has always been about making official public data about companies more widely available, more usable and more useful. Much of this comes from one of the 120+ company registers we use as a primary source, but an increasing amount comes from other public sources, which now includes US and… Continue Reading

Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation

Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation, Alex Bell, Harvard University, Raj Chetty, Stanford University and NBER, Xavier Jaravel, London School of Economics, Neviana Petkova, Office of Tax Analysis, US Treasury, John Van Reenen, MIT and Centre for Economic Performance. December 2017. “We characterize the factors that determine who becomes… Continue Reading

Patent Law: A Primer and Overview of Emerging Issues

CRS report via FAS – Patent Law: A Primer and Overview of Emerging Issues, September 21, 2017 “In an increase over prior terms, the Supreme Court of the United States issued six opinions involving patent law during its October 2016 Term. These decisions addressed issues ranging from patent exhaustion, multi component products, and bio similar… Continue Reading

Apple employs former intel agents to squelch product and tech leaks

William Turton, The Outline – Leaked recording: Inside Apple’s global war on leakers – Former NSA agents, secrecy members on product teams, and a screening apparatus bigger than the TSA. “A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated June 2017

Via LLRX – Sabrina I. Pacifici has completely revised and updated her guide, which she first published in 2005 and has updated yearly since that time. A wide range of free sites with expertly sourced content specific to researchers focused on business, finance, government data, analysis and news from the US and around the world,… Continue Reading