Happy Thanksgiving from FedInvent.
Here's this Tuesday's recap of what's going on in the federal innovation ecosphere. The Patent Office granted 6,814 new patents on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. One hundred thirty-four (134) benefitted from taxpayer funding. (After we published the newsletter a deeper analysis resulted in removing one patent that wasn’t a Bayh-Dole federally funded invention.)
The FedInvent team is getting ready for family, turkey, meatloaf for the turkey haters, and football. The side dishes still rule the day. We'll keep the newsletter simple this week with a shortlist of highlights.
The FedInvent Highlights
Two Blood Pressure Patents
A New Addition to the Medical Metaverse
Repurposed Grenade Launchers
Cybersecurity — APT and IoT
What’s Happening At the Y?
And Patents By the Numbers
There is an annoying new trend in patents. Inventors and their patent attorneys bloat up the description section of the patent for all things digital with lots of explanations on what "the cloud" is. It's an extension of the construction of claims in business methods patents. Each independent claim starts with an explanation of how the invention works on a computer connected to a network that has memory and electricity. The language proves that the new process described in the invention can't be accomplished using a pen and paper but must have a computer.
This week there is an actual cloud invention—the kind of clouds that are in the sky and cause weather. Dr. John Mecikalski, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville, invented a new way of forecasting weather using clouds. Patent 11181665, "Systems and Methods for Monitoring Updrafts in Clouds," notes that accurate weather forecasting remains an inherently difficult process, especially in the 0-6 hour timeframe (so-called "nowcasting"). Better forecasting techniques are desired to enhance accuracy and provide even earlier warnings in advance of significant weather events."
The new invention presents the weather forecasting logic of a weather forecasting system. It identifies clouds likely to produce strong storms in the future based on image data collected by a rapid-scan Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite (GOES) weather satellite orbiting the Earth. This technology enables users to identify potentially dangerous updrafts and send warnings via an air traffic control system. The Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) division at the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded this research.
Measuring Blood Pressure
There are two patents for measuring blood pressure from Michigan State University and the University of Maryland.
Patent 11179047 describes a cuff-less mobile blood pressure device that works using a fingertip sensor. Taking blood pressure using the finger with your smartphone is new. Michigan State University earned this patent. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) funded this research.
The second patent, 11179050, "Method for Determining Cuff Blood Pressure," is for a new patient-specific oscillometric method of measuring blood pressure. Michigan State University and the University of Maryland share ownership of this patent. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) at the National Science Foundation funded this research.
Anything that will replace the arm-amputating automatic blood pressure cuffs used in hospitals will be an improvement.
The Medical Metaverse and Beyond
Inventors from the University of Arizona and Augmented Vision patented a Compact Eye-Tracked Head-Mounted Display (11181746). The inventors sought to overcome the problems of heavy and uncomfortable augmented reality viewing devices while creating a device that tracks the user's eye movements to synchronize the augmented reality view and the real world view.
The patent notes that Head-Mounted Displays "are one of the enabling technologies for merging virtual views with physical scenes, which may enable a physician to see a 3D rendering of the anatomical structures or CT images of a patient superimposed onto the patient's anatomy such as the abdomen."
The inventors add that the new display creates a mobile display solution that offers much more attractive image quality and screen size than other popular mobile platforms such as smartphones and PDAs. In the foreseeable future, such mobile displays may appear as elegant as a pair of sunglasses. They may become an integral part of many people's daily activities to instantly retrieve information and connect with people. Look out, Mark Zuckerberg.
Repurpose Your Grenade Launchers
Repurposing and reusing is a critical element of being green. The Army Research Lab is making a contribution to the green movement with its grenade launched unmanned aerial system (GLUAS). Patent 11180251, "Compact Unmanned Aerial System, describes loading a GLUAS projectile into a grenade launcher, launching the GLUAS towards a target, transforming the GLUAS from a projectile to an unmanned aerial system. The user takes one of the grenade launchers, an M79, M203, or MK-1 launcher, inserts a tubular drone, and fires at a target. The drone pops out and can then operate for 30-90 minutes to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities. This grenade launcher drone technology can be used to inspect power lines and monitor natural disasters. This invention enables the Army to use existing hardware and minimal additional equipment. Very green.
And then there's the matter of sensitivity. Our automated editing software keeps reminding us that the word "unmanned" is outdated and non-inclusive to some readers. The new on-trend version of the "unmanned aerial system" is the "uncrewed aerial system." The spell checker keeps changing it to unscrewed. In the interest of clarity and accuracy, FedInvent will use the term the inventors use. So today, it's unmanned.
Two cybersecurity patents cover inventions at opposite ends of the security spectrum. The DARPA MARPLE Program funded research that led to IBM's newest US Patent 11184374, "Endpoint Inter-process Activity Extraction and Pattern Matching," This patent is for an automated method of cyberattack detection and prevention at an endpoint. The invention looks for patterns of known malicious and suspicious behavior in inter-process behavior and presents them in an activity graph. The bottom line is that endpoints are the door through which bad actors begin their advance into an enterprise system.
MARPLE (Mitigating APT damage by Reasoning with Provenance in Large Enterprise) is a collaborative research project between IBM Research, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), Stony Brook University (State University of New York at Stony Brook), and Northwestern University.
The second cybersecurity patent, 11184783, "Real-Time Channel-Resistant Optimization of Radio Fingerprinting," comes from Northeastern University. Despite its technically obfuscating title, this invention presents a method for radio fingerprinting IoT leveraging the unique hardware-level imperfections imposed on the received wireless signal by the transmitter's radio circuitry. The inventors note, "most existing authentication mechanisms are not well-suited to the IoT because they are heavily based on cryptography-based algorithms and protocols, which are often too computationally expensive to be run on smaller, energy-constrained IoT devices." (True.). The inventors present a less expensive way of securing IoT devices by creating a "fingerprint" of the wireless device obtained by estimating the RF impairments on the received waveform and associating them to a device.
This patent comes from a team of inventors who hold patents for Internet of Medically Implanted Things devices. DARPA and the Missile Defense Agency funded this work.
This Tuesday, our perennial favorite Bayh-Dole scofflaw, Raytheon Company, has two new patents. They failed to fulfill the statutory requirement to provide the source of the funding and the contract number that provided funding for the work that led to the patent granted on Tuesday. The two patents are:
11181004 — Confinement of a rope seal about a passage using a backing plate
11181607 — System and method for determining geolocation determination fidelity
What's Happening At The Y?
Three patents have Y CPC classifications indicating that USPTO believes the invention may be useful in helping to mitigate the impact of climate change. This week's Emerging Technology patents cover Reduction of Greenhouse Gas [GHG] Emissions, Related to Energy Generation, Transmission or Distribution. The patents covered a novel irrigation system (11178828), new diagnostic imaging technology (11183604), and a patent for new Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) lighting (11183670).
Patents By The Numbers
The Patent Office granted 6,814 new patents on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. One hundred thirty-four (134) benefitted from taxpayer funding. Here are the numbers updated at 12:13 PM EST on November 24th.
One hundred twenty-eight (128) patents have Government Interest Statements.
Twenty-one (21) have an applicant or an assignee that is a government agency.
The 134 new patents have 150 department-level funding citations.
These patents are the work of 464 inventors.
The 449 American inventors come from 35 states and the District of Columbia.
The Big Three States:
California has 20 first-named inventors and 76 total inventors.
New York has 16 first-named inventors and 51 total inventors.
Massachusetts has 13 first-named inventors and 51 total inventors.
Fifteen (15) foreign inventors come from seven (7) countries.
There are 87 patents (65%) where at least one assignee is a college or university, the HERD.
Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) received 11 patents.
A federal department is an assignee on 12 patents.
Patent Count By Department
Patents By Technology Center
The charts below show where the 134 patents were examined.
The Health Complex
The table below shows the funding citations for patents where the recipient cites the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the institutes at the National Institutes of Health, and other subagencies that are part of HHS, the Health Complex.
That’s this week's FedInvent Update.
Before We Go
There will be no newsletter on Thursday, November 25, 2021. We'll include the links to the FedInvent Application Report for published patent applications for November 25th with the December 2nd newsletter. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
As usual, there are many more taxpayer-funded patents than we can cover here. Please explore the FedInvent Patent Report. It's an important addition to your newsletter subscription.
If you'd like to catch up on earlier FedInvent Reports, you can access the newsletters here on Substack. In addition, the reports are available on the FedInvent Links page.
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We'll see you next week with the latest on the federal innovation ecosphere.
The FedInvent Team
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