The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office too often grants patents that are overly broad or cover well-established common practices–thwarting innovation and imposing high costs on would-be competitors. So says Dan Ravicher, founder of the New York City-based Public Patent Foundation, who challenges patents by asking the patent office to narrow claims. Here’s where three of his highest-profile fights of 2006 stand.
Embryonic stem cells
Wisconsin Alumni Research
Foundation (WARF), Madison, WI
WARF charges high royalties to biomedical companies.
In October, the patent office agreed to reëxamine the patents.
Data compression method
Forgent Networks, Austin, TX
Forgent is suing major software companies for substantial royalties for using the JPEG photo standard.
In May, the patent office rejected 19 of the patent’s 46 claims.
File sharing between different operating systems
Microsoft, Redmond, WA
The patent makes it difficult for alternative operating systems to work with Windows.
In January, the patent office let an altered version of the patent stand.
A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.
A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate
Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway
Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.
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