The Internet of Things (IoT) is the idea that any object might be connected to the internet. Such objects could be elementary devices such sensors or actuators. Or they might be ‘smart’ versions of everyday devices, e.g. home appliances, electricity meters, or ‘wearables’. The internet connectivity allows all of these objects to interact either with each other or with servers. In some cases it provides improved functionality for the smart object. In other cases, benefits arise through the use of vast numbers of smart devices, feeding data to and from servers and other devices. Some commentators believe the IoT will totally revolutionise our lives, to the extent that it has been described as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Your engineers have been working on an exciting innovation. Their ideas have been developed in secret, and now they are ready for testing, which presents the issue of how to keep these new ideas secret. In the renewable energy sector, machines can be BIG. Consider GE’s Haliade X. This offshore wind turbine is 260 metres tall, and its rotor alone measures 220 metres. How do you test something like this in private?
On 24th June 2020 the UK Supreme Court handed down their judgement addressing the question of breadth of claim and sufficiency. Although the decision is well written, its background is in biotechnology which is likely to dissuade a lot of people from reading it and/or understanding its broader implications. So with this in mind, here’s my attempt to explain Regeneron v Kymab sufficiency using … TELEPORTATION.
Innovations in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are typically implemented in software and so can be challenging to patent at the European Patent Office. Firstly, patent protection for the invention must not be ruled out by the “software as such” exclusion of Article 52 EPC, and the invention must therefore solve a notional “technical problem”. Secondly, it must be possible to reduce an often complicated inventive concept to a single paragraph of text that can act as a patent claim. By way of illustration, this article looks at the patented smart home technology behind Nest Lab’s (“Nest”) learning thermostat, and explores how innovative start-ups can effectively protect their inventions.
One of the major problems that faces the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market is the range of electric vehicles. While, due to improvements in battery technology and car design and efficiency, some electric cars now have ranges well over 300 miles, a more comparable level with the range of their internal combustion (IC) cousins, they often come at the cost of, well, a much higher cost than petrol or diesel cars. However, advances recently published in the journal Nature are mapping the route towards a potential solution.
The Grantham Institute has released an interesting report highlighting 18 priority technological innovations with significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This report reveals that urgent research and development in particular areas will be needed if we are to have a chance of avoiding a climate breakdown.