patent

Google patents sticky hoods for self-driving cars

Google patents sticky hoods for self-driving cars

Google has been hard at work on their self-driving cars, but people still have a lot of questions about them. Some of the biggest questions revolve around what happens when one of the cars inevitably hits a pedestrian. Even the best driver (or computer driver) can't always avoid hitting someone, if they walk or run out in front of a car. Knowing this, Google has been hard at work trying to find ways to help mitigate the damage to someone struck by one of their cars. And their latest patent shows a bizarre method for doing it.

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Samsung smartwatch concept uses your hand as a projection surface

Samsung smartwatch concept uses your hand as a projection surface

One of the biggest limitations smartwatches face when it comes to using apps or interacting with the UI is their small screen. Samsung has a concept that might offer a solution, a recent patent filing has revealed. To put it simply, the wearable features a small projector that displays an extended screen on the back of a wearer's hand.

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Apple patents Smart Covers with solar panel, sketchpad, and more

Apple patents Smart Covers with solar panel, sketchpad, and more

Apple may have devised a new Smart Connector for its iPad Pro line, but so far that has been utilized for one and one thing only: a keyboard Smart Cover. Of course, Apple had more in mind in the past, even if only one actually made it to production. At least for now. The company was just recently awarded a patent for a Smart Cover that clearly does more than the current incarnation, including one with solar panels, flexible displays, and even another display just for sketching.

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NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA has released a bunch of patents for its technologies so that anyone can use them. A total of 56 “formerly-patented” technologies developed by the government are now available in the public domain, meaning they can be used for commercial purposes in an unrestricted manner. To make it easier to find these technologies and others like them, NASA has also created a new searchable database that links the public to thousands of the agency’s now-expired patents.

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Apple Pencil patent hints next stylus to feature swappable tips, eraser

Apple Pencil patent hints next stylus to feature swappable tips, eraser

The latest news in Apple product patents comes in the form of an older filing for the stylus known as the Apple Pencil. While the patent was filed back in 2012, it includes details on several features that may make their way into the next generation of the iPad drawing accessory, including interchangeable tips to simulate different writing/drawing tools, as well as new sensors, and even Touch ID.

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Android in your eye: Google’s intra-ocular device

Android in your eye: Google’s intra-ocular device

This week inventor Andrew Jason Conrad and Google have found their patent for intra-ocular devices appearing in the public thanks to the USPTO. These devices were first registered by Google back in October of 2014, and have just been published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office this week. This "intra-ocular device" is what Google describes as "an electronic lens that can be controlled to control the overall optical power of the device."

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NVIDIA, Samsung lay down arms, settle all patent squabbles

NVIDIA, Samsung lay down arms, settle all patent squabbles

As the song goes, let there be peace on Earth. Or at least in the mobile graphics market. Happily, that seems to be the case at least between NVIDIA and Samsung, who have finally decided to settle their differences outside of court. After more than a year of back and forth mudslinging and suits and countersuits, the two have agreed to a settlement that, among other things, involve a small amount of cross-licensing. Money might have been involved, too, but of course they're not going to say that.

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Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

Sony patents a contact lens that houses a camera

OK, this is bound to raise some red flags among privacy advocates, even more than Google Glass ever did. It is also going to make sci-fi aficionados drool and wish they would still be alive, not to mention capable of wearing this smart contact lens, when it actually becomes a product. Smart contact lenses are nothing new to our ears, but what Sony has tried to patent is incredible in both senses of the word: a contact lens that crams enough camera hardware to make it both useful and dangerous.

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Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

Fitbit wins court favor in Jawbone patent case

In May 2015, Jawbone slapped Fitbit with a lawsuit over what it claimed was the latter company’s systematic ‘plundering’ of confidential company data by hiring now-former Jawbone employees. Such was the start of a long-running legal battle between Jawbone and Fitbit, one Jawbone has been given the go-ahead to pursue. Yesterday’s ruling wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Jawbone, though — Fitbit proved victorious in a spat that has resulted in some of Jawbone’s patents being invalidated, reducing the odds of Fitbit being hit with an import ban.

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Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

A recently discovered Apple patent reveals a significant possible change to the ultra-thin MacBook: replacing the physical keyboard with a touchpad similar to the existing Force Touch trackpad for mouse inputs. As usual with patents, this may not be indicative of what Apple has planned for future products, nor may this design ever see the light of day, but it's interesting to what could be possible if Apple takes its Force Touch technology to the next level.

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Supreme Court will hear Samsung v. Apple design patent case

Supreme Court will hear Samsung v. Apple design patent case

In what is probably a historic decision, the US Supreme Court has agreed to take on Samsung's appeal in a patent design squabble it has been involved in with Apple for years now. Although Samsung agreed to pay the hefty million dollar sum Apple was awarded in damages, it said it reserved the right to reimburse that amount should a higher court, like the SC, overturn it. But more than just the specifics of this particular case itself, the the very fact that the Supreme Court will be hearing it is, in itself, a legal landmark.

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US bans all hoverboard imports except Segway’s

US bans all hoverboard imports except Segway’s

The US, through its International Trade Commission or ITC, has formally banned all hoverboard imports coming into the country. But no, this has nothing to do with their safety. In fact, only Segway's hoverboards are except from that import ban. That's because the issue at hand is the consequence of a patent infringement case that surface last year. Practically declaring all other hoverboards to be infringing on Segway's patent, the ITC has decided to block their entry into the US, regardless of their safety.

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