News Article | May 1, 2017
« Honda to supply power units to Sauber F1 Team from 2018 on | Main | Transphorm showcasing new automotive-grade AEC-Q101-qualified GaN FET for PHEVs and EVs » The US International Trade Commission (USITC) is instituting an investigation of certain thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors, their components, and products and vehicles containing them. The products at issue are different types of electric motors or parts of electric motors that are encapsulated in a heat-resistant plastic body or a body with heat-resistant characteristics. This includes motors (e.g., pumps in power steering units) used in various parts of automobiles (e.g., pumps in power steering units). The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Intellectual Ventures II LLC of Bellevue, WA alleging the importation into the United States and sale of certain thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors, components, and products and vehicles containing them that allegedly infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation: Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., of Aichi, Japan; Aisin Holdings of America, Inc., of Seymour, IN; Aisin Technical Center of America, Inc., of Northville, MI; Aisin World Corporation of America, of Northville, MI; Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, of Munich, Germany; BMW of North America, LLC, of Woodcliff Lake, NJ; BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, of Greer, SC; Denso Corporation of Aichi, Japan; Denso International America, Inc., of Southfield, MI; Honda Motor Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan; Honda North America, Inc., of Torrance, CA; American Honda Motor Co., Inc., of Torrance, CA; Honda of America Mfg., Inc., of Marysville, OH; Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, of Lincoln, AL; Honda R&D Americas, Inc., of Torrance, CA; Mitsuba Corporation of Gunma, Japan; American Mitsuba Corporation, of Mount Pleasant, MI; Nidec Corporation of Kyoto, Japan; Nidec Automotive Motor Americas, LLC, of Auburn Hills, MI; Toyota Motor Corporation, of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan; Toyota Motor North America, Inc., of New York, NY; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., of Torrance, CA; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., of Erlanger, KY; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc., of Princeton, IN; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., of Georgetown, KY. By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1052), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission. The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the US Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
News Article | May 1, 2017
While a single company might commit a patent violation, a new investigation to that end involves a handful of companies in the auto industry. The US International Trade Commission, which helps oversee intellectual property infringement cases, has opened an investigation against a number of automakers and suppliers over an alleged patent violation. The investigation began after Intellectual Ventures II, a patent holding firm, filed a complaint with the USITC. The complaint alleges that various automakers and suppliers -- including Honda, Toyota, BMW, Aisin and Denso -- utilize thermoplastic components that violate Intellectual Ventures II's patent. The parts are used in a variety of modern vehicles sold in the US, and can be found in a number of parts, including water pumps and power-steering units. Reuters reports that vehicles affected by this complaint include the 2016 Toyota Camry, 2016 BMW 2 Series and 2017 Honda Accord. BMW did not immediately return requests for comment, while Toyota and Honda declined to comment. While a complaint has been filed, it hasn't been determined whether it actually carries weight. The USITC will assign the case to a judge, who will hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether or not to proceed further. The USITC has 45 days to set a target date for the estimated completion of this investigation. It's doubtful that automakers would have to remove the vehicles in question from the road. If they're found to be in violation of Intellectual Ventures II's patent, odds are the companies will have to pay a relatively hefty fine.
News Article | May 16, 2017
Global Technology Transfer Group, Inc. (GTT Group), the world leader in strategic patent analysis and patent transaction services, today makes available the Q1 2017 Patent Market Index (PMI®) and Patent Licensing Index (PLI®) in the May 2017 Patent Transaction Market Report. The PMI® added another 3.33 points in Q1 2017, continuing both a traditional Q1 rise from Q4 results and an upward trend since Q3 of 2016. This steady rise brings the PMI in line with the range of results displayed over the last three years. Secondary patent assignments also maintained consistent gradual growth. The PLI® (Patent License Index) decreased by 5% from the Q4 2016 year end level. “GTT Group is predicting a continued incremental upward trajectory in the PMI as other acquirers enter the market driven by market adoption of breakthrough technologies (e.g. autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence) and various business necessities,” says Michael Lubitz, CEO and Chairman of GTT Group. “Recently announced buying programs are indicative of the current market environment, but likely won’t impact the PMI until the end of 2017 or start of 2018.” Intellectual Ventures was the Most Active Deal Maker in Q1 of 2017, followed by Google and Allied Security Trust. Dolby, RPX, and Stragent had an equal number of transactions to fill out the rest of the Deal Maker chart. The top Seller was Panasonic, followed by 3M, AT&T, and Samsung in a three-way tie. Obtain a complete copy of the Patent Transaction Market Report through a complimentary subscription to the Quarterly Patent Transaction Market Report and Patent Market Index. Immediate updates on specific patent deals are available using GTT Group’s Patent Deal Alert Service through subscription. GTT Group makes this information available as a courtesy to the community. About the PMI® and PLI® The Patent Market Index (PMI®) tracks patent transaction activity and patent marketplace trends, and is reported quarterly in the Patent Transaction Market Report (PTMR). The Patent Licensing Index (PLI®) tracks activity among publicly traded patent licensing companies to provide comparative performance indicators, and is also reported quarterly in the PTMR. Global Technology Transfer Group, Inc. is a patent transaction advisory & consultancy firm. GTT Group combines core competencies in patent analysis, valuation, and market knowledge to deliver unparalleled results. The company’s corporate headquarters are in Portland, Oregon.
News Article | February 16, 2017
Dominion Harbor Enterprises (DHE) today announced the acquisition of over 1,000 patent families from Kodak’s iconic portfolio of patented technologies. This extensive portfolio has been acquired from Intellectual Ventures (IV) and will be commercialized by DHE’s subsidiary Monument Peak Ventures. The Kodak portfolio has broad coverage across the United States, Europe and Asia. This patent deal follows on the heels of a series of recent commercialization deals between DHE and global intellectual property powerhouses like Hewlett-Packard and consumer giant Kimberly-Clark. “We see tremendous untapped value in these technologies, which are part of IV’s broad and diverse portfolio of high-quality IP assets,” said David Pridham, chairman and CEO of Dominion Harbor Enterprises, “and we have developed a comprehensive global plan to commercialize these innovations into ground-breaking new products and services. Besides our large global network of licensees and strategic partners, we have unique channels through which we can put the Kodak innovations to work — including our Monument IP Bank subsidiary, the world’s first IP bank for startups.” This portfolio covers a vast spectrum of image manipulation, online image management, and camera hardware technologies. Other portions of Kodak’s coveted portfolio have previously been licensed to global leaders in digital imaging, including smartphone makers, online image storage providers, and more recently, drone and autonomous vehicle makers. “Intellectual Ventures continues to transact with top-flight intellectual property commercialization firms like Dominion Harbor to ensure that our diverse portfolios of patented innovations reach the widest possible set of global customers,” noted Cory Van Arsdale, senior vice president of global licensing at IV. “This is our second deal with the Dominion team in recent months, DHE’s proprietary IPedia patent analysis engine provides actionable intelligence on the best markets, industry sectors, and companies to tap the commercial value of these IP assets.” About Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC: Dominion Harbor Enterprises (DHE) is one of the world’s premiere intellectual property transaction and advisory firms, with close to $1 billion in revenues generated for clients. It provides its clients with unmatched transactional expertise, a full spectrum of IP transaction and advisory services, and unrivaled access to highly targeted and credentialed licensees. DHE maintains its industry leadership with its IPedia patent intelligence solution and IPWire.com – The Patent Expert’s Resource. For more information, please contact: monica(at)dominionharbor(dot)com
News Article | February 15, 2017
It’s a sad fact—bee populations are in decline in many parts of the world. While the reasons bees are in trouble aren’t yet well understood, the problem has some technologists investigating whether drones could fly flower-spreading pollen instead. The latest effort comes from Japan, where investigators at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science, in Tsukuba, were looking for new uses for sticky substances called ionic liquid gels that have unusual physical properties. To make their pollinator, the team purchased $100 drones from Amazon and then added patches of horsehair to their undersides. After painting on the gels, which are moist and are about as sticky as a Post-It note, the drones were ready to grab and release pollen grains. As shown in the video above, the researchers flew the drones smack into the male and female parts of pink and white Japanese lilies. It’s the first time a drone has pollinated a flower, according to project leader Eijiro Miyako. The invention is still no replacement for the bumblebee. According to Joe Traynor, a “bee broker” in California, the almond industry in that state alone requires 1.8 million hives—containing around 35 billion bees—to pollinate 900,000 acres of almond trees that sprout three trillion flowers. “I don’t see any technology that could replace bees,” says Traynor. Nature’s pollination figures are staggering. Still, with fewer bees we may need alternatives, and fast. In some parts of China where bees have disappeared, fruit orchards are already being pollinated by hand by workers who climb trees with long brushes to touch every flower. The Japanese flower-swatting drone isn’t close to being as efficient as a person with a brush. For one thing, it’s flown using a remote control and “it’s impossible to replace bees with a manual drone,” Miyako notes. He says it was challenging to get a bull’s-eye even though a lily, with its extravagant, protruding sex organs, is the probably the easiest target in the whole plant kingdom. The Japanese team isn’t the only one looking at artificial bees. The invention firm Intellectual Ventures, run by former Microsoft CSO Nathan Myhrvold, filed a patent application in 2015 for flying pollinators guided across a farm using a computerized flight plan. A team of Polish scientists last year produced videos of a hovering drone able to tickle plastic flowers with a brush. Miyako thinks “it will be perfectly feasible” to pollinate plants in the open with a drone, but only with the addition of high-resolution cameras, GPS, and maybe artificial intelligence, features that could be challenging to add to an ultra-small airborne robot. Bees are in decline due to causes not yet fully understood, although disease and farmland pesticides play a role. In January, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the first time put a bumblebee on the endangered species list, saying the once abundant rusty patched bumblebee is now in a “race against extinction.”
News Article | February 28, 2017
SpaceX Plans to Fly Tourists Around the Moon Next Year Elon Musk could take you on the trip of a lifetime. His rocket company, SpaceX, saysthat two private individuals have paid a “significant deposit” to secure spots on a mission that will see them launched into space, looped around the Moon, then returned to Earth. The passengers will spend a week aboard an autonomous Dragon capsule, and Musk says more will follow—eventually going as far as Mars. But making it happen by 2018 will be tough: SpaceX hasn’t flown a crewed Dragon capsule yet, and the company has recently suffered with delays. Do you need The Download? Sign up here to get it for free in your inbox EPA Braces for Big Change The Environmental Protection Agency looks increasingly set for a big shake-up. Yesterday, Donald Trump sketched out his first federal budget plan and, while short on specifics, a $54 billion increase in military spending is expected to lead to “transformational” cuts at the EPA. It certainly looks like there will be fewer regulations to worry about: the agency’s chief, Scott Pruitt, has said that a number of rules “need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way," mentioning the Clean Power Plan, methane standards, and clean water rules. This is what's at stake. Have an Insect Invasion? Shine a Light Targeted bug killing can be achieved using beams of light. Intellectual Ventures, founded by ex-Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has developed a system that uses cameras and a laser beam to identify and shoot down insects, and it’s now being tested in the citrus farms of Florida against crop-ruining psyllids. Meanwhile, current Microsoft employees have developed a device for selectively catching mosquitoes, which uses an infrared beam to determine what kind of creature has flown into a trap, then closes a door only behind species deemed to be a nuisance. The right-wing propaganda machine’s big data psychological profiling tools may not be as smart as you think. What’s 6 feet tall, lifts 100 pounds, jumps 4 feet high, and has wheels at the end of its legs? A new Boston Dynamics robot called Handle, on its first official outing. A new breed of solar cells converts heat into focused beams of light and is more efficient than regular photovoltaic cells. If AI home assistants send and receive ultrasound as well as speech, they could detect human presence in a room to make sure people are safe. The future of motorsport as entertainment is here: these are the robotic race cars that will duke it out at 199 mph. With $5 million and the huge promise of CRISPR, a startup aims to find a “home run” cure for muscular dystrophy. As the planet gets warmer, snow will melt more slowly. Here’s why. How much does a Silicon Valley tech worker need to earn? According to those who claim to be scraping by on six figures, the answer is: more. The World Health Organization has published its first ever list of 12 potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs. As automakers and tech companies compete to build autonomous cars, how about a little frivolous future-gazing? This is how we could car-pool in 2027. "You’re in a race to build your product and get to market, and anything that doesn’t directly contribute to that … is low priority when you’re first starting up." — Magdalena Yesil, a tech investor, explains why HR is often overlooked in Silicon Valley startups.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Intellectual Ventures, cofounded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, believes that bleak outlook makes Florida’s entomological battlefield the perfect testing ground for an unusual and unproven approach to insect control. This summer the company plans to install a device that uses cameras and a laser beam to identify and shoot down psyllids on a U.S. Department of Agriculture site in the state. It will be the first real-world test of a device originally dreamed up as a way to control mosquitos that carry malaria in poor regions of the world—but that has been forced on a commercial diversion. “We have not given up on that goal,” says Jeremy Salesin, who leads commercialization efforts for the technology. “But to get to the price points we need for those scenarios you need a large number of units, and a device that’s not the first-generation product.” Intellectual Ventures is now on its third prototype of what it calls the Photonic Fence. Its kill zone extends 30 meters horizontally and 3 meters vertically. In the the device has notched up kills against mosquitos, Asian citrus psyllids, and fruit flies. Death by laser beam sounds messy. But Arty Makagon, technical lead on the project, says the device’s eye-safe, invisible, infrared laser makes clean kills, having been calibrated to deliver just enough heat to kill insects without wasting power. “When you look under microscope you can’t tell where it’s been shot,” he says of bugs downed by the device. “There are no singe marks, there is no gaping wound.” This summer in Florida, the Photonic Fence will initially be tested against psyllids released inside a screen house, an enclosure of fine mesh used to protect trees from pests. After that, and tests to prove it can avoid targeting bees, the device will be used to replace one wall of a screen house and get its first shot at wild psyllids. Makagon wants to then use several devices to make a perimeter around a block of citrus trees. Intellectual Ventures has also submitted a proposal to test its device in California, where psyllids are less established but advancing. Next year, the company hopes to have a version with a longer, 100-meter range, in testing with citrus growers. Makagon says that Pepsi and Coca Cola—which have lines of citrus juices and sodas and work closely with orchards around the world—have both expressed interest in the project. Barben, in Highlands County, says he’s intrigued by the technology. “It sounds a little Star Wars-y,” he says—the project in fact originated in a suggestion by astrophysicist Lowell Wood, who worked on the Strategic Defense Initiative—“but I’ll try anything.” The system’s purported ability to target only enemy bugs would be valuable during the two months of the year when citrus trees bloom, he says. Growers stop spraying insecticide to avoid harming bees needed to pollinate their trees. However, ultimately Intellectual Ventures will need to make the economic case for the system. “We’ve got a lot of technology that we could use but is cost prohibitive,” says Barben. Salesin says it’s too early to estimate the cost of a market-ready Photonic Fence, but gestures to the amount of money the industry is spending on insecticide and new trees as evidence it is ready to invest in something new. “It’s a global problem—no one has a solution to the psyllid,” he says.
Eckhoff P.,Intellectual Ventures
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012
Many questions remain about P. falciparum within-host dynamics, immunity, and transmission-issues that may affect public health campaign planning. These gaps in knowledge concern the distribution of durations of malaria infections, determination of peak parasitemia during acute infection, the relationships among gametocytes and immune responses and infectiousness to mosquitoes, and the effect of antigenic structure on reinfection outcomes. The present model of intra-host dynamics of P. falciparum implements detailed representations of parasite and immune dynamics, with structures based on minimal extrapolations from first-principles biology in its foundations. The model is designed to quickly and readily accommodate gains in mechanistic understanding and to evaluate effects of alternative biological hypothesis through in silico experiments. Simulations follow the parasite from the liver-stage through the detailed asexual cycle to clearance while tracking gametocyte populations. The modeled immune system includes innate inflammatory and specific antibody responses to a repertoire of antigens. The mechanistic focus provides clear explanations for the structure of the distribution of infection durations through the interaction of antigenic variation and innate and adaptive immunity. Infectiousness to mosquitoes appears to be determined not only by the density of gametocytes but also by the level of inflammatory cytokines, which harmonizes an extensive series of study results. Finally, pre-existing immunity can either decrease or increase the duration of infections upon reinfection, depending on the degree of overlap in antigenic repertoires and the strength of the pre-existing immunity. © 2012 Philip Eckhoff.
Myhrvold N.P.,Intellectual Ventures |
Caldeira K.,Stanford University
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2012
A transition from the global system of coal-based electricity generation to low-greenhouse-gas-emission energy technologies is required to mitigate climate change in the long term. The use of current infrastructure to build this new low-emission system necessitates additional emissions of greenhouse gases, and the coal-based infrastructure will continue to emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases as it is phased out. Furthermore, ocean thermal inertia delays the climate benefits of emissions reductions. By constructing a quantitative model of energy system transitions that includes life-cycle emissions and the central physics of greenhouse warming, we estimate the global warming expected to occur as a result of build-outs of new energy technologies ranging from 100GWe to 10TWe in size and 1100yr in duration. We show that rapid deployment of low-emission energy systems can do little to diminish the climate impacts in the first half of this century. Conservation, wind, solar, nuclear power, and possibly carbon capture and storage appear to be able to achieve substantial climate benefits in the second half of this century; however, natural gas cannot. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Myhrvold N.P.,Intellectual Ventures
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013
Previous growth-rate studies covering 14 dinosaur taxa, as represented by 31 data sets, are critically examined and reanalyzed by using improved statistical techniques. The examination reveals that some previously reported results cannot be replicated by using the methods originally reported; results from new methods are in many cases different, in both the quantitative rates and the qualitative nature of the growth, from results in the prior literature. Asymptotic growth curves, which have been hypothesized to be ubiquitous, are shown to provide best fits for only four of the 14 taxa. Possible reasons for non-asymptotic growth patterns are discussed; they include systematic errors in the age-estimation process and, more likely, a bias toward younger ages among the specimens analyzed. Analysis of the data sets finds that only three taxa include specimens that could be considered skeletally mature (i.e., having attained 90% of maximum body size predicted by asymptotic curve fits), and eleven taxa are quite immature, with the largest specimen having attained less than 62% of predicted asymptotic size. The three taxa that include skeletally mature specimens are included in the four taxa that are best fit by asymptotic curves. The totality of results presented here suggests that previous estimates of both maximum dinosaur growth rates and maximum dinosaur sizes have little statistical support. Suggestions for future research are presented. © 2013 Nathan P. Myhrvold.