Fuzz Tests & Flow Charts

The Latest Patents from the Federal Innovation Ecosphere for August 3, 2021

Good Afternoon from the FedInvent Team,

This week there are 145 newly granted taxpayer-funded patents. It’s a flowchart and box drawing kind of week in the federal innovation ecosphere. Interesting inventions boring drawings as you’ll see below. 

Take Me To The Data


WHAT IS IT? — READ THIS PATENT

This week there is one Design patent from the US Navy — D926662, "Marine vehicle with lens." This is one of the Navy’s Ocean Things.  This is a fascinating design patent drawing. If you want to learn more about the Navy’s Unmanned vehicles program, read this, it’s the Navy’s guide to their investments in and integration of unmanned platforms.



FUZZ TESTERS AND CYBERSECURITY

When Wayfinder Digital isn’t looking for and analyzing federal innovations, we work on information supply chain cybersecurity projects to protect digital intellectual property assets. This involves lots of FedRAMP, cybersecurity sidecars, FISMA, and threat vectors. When we find new patents or patent applications with novel cybersecurity solutions it’s a double win for us. 

This week there are six new cybersecurity patents. One that uses fuzz testers.  Two use genetic algorithms. One is for testing mobile apps and another is for preventing router attacks in the cloud. And one is for collecting forensics data.

The Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific in San Diego was granted US Patent 11080179, "Device, system, and method for automatically detecting and repairing a bug in a computer program using a genetic algorithm." The bug is repaired using a genetic algorithm to modify and select computer program candidates based on responses of the computer program candidates to the suite of test variables. In this way, the bug in the original computer program may be automatically detected and repaired, without requiring action by a development team.

In case you aren’t a cybersecurity pro, fuzz testing (or fuzzing) is an automated software testing technique that attempts to find hackable software bugs by randomly feeding invalid and unexpected inputs and data into an app. 

Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp. and Florida Institute of Technology, Inc. received a second patent on its software engine that uses a genetic algorithm to support cyber defense. This patent, 11082450, "User interface supporting an integrated decision engine for evolving defenses," provides a user interface that allows the operator to direct the genetic algorithm. The invention uses a genetic algorithm and an attack surface reasoning algorithm module to compute the security and cost tradeoffs of an attack surface associated with each candidate configuration.  It provides a user interface framework where users can interact and provide feedback on the direction of an evolution used in a genetic algorithm search. 

11080236, "High throughput embedding generation system for executable code and applications."  This patent is assigned to both Deepbits Technology, Inc. and the University of California. Deepbits utilizes artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning, and formal verification, to root out vulnerabilities, malware, and other threats in binary code. Deepbits have one of the best About Pages we’ve seen in a while:

"DeepBits was founded by a group of guys from academia with deep knowledge in binary code analysis techniques. Those guys have been conducting top-notch research on cybersecurity analytics for over ten years and published their work on top-tier cybersecurity conferences like CCS, Usenix Security, NDSS, etc... They are also a finalist of Cyber Grand Challenge." 

11080399, "System and method for vetting mobile phone software applications."  This patent, granted to MITRE, is for "a mobile application that can interface with an emulation environment that can be used to test whether the mobile application includes malware that can compromise the security and integrity of an enterprise's computing infrastructure." 

11082447, "Systems and methods for preventing router attacks"  This work was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the Navy and is the work of Indiana University.  

11080392, "Method for systematic collection and analysis of forensic data in a unified communications system deployed in a cloud environment."  The method invokes a cloud evidence collection process that collects footprint data structures continuously at runtime to enable effective real-time collection of cloud forensic evidence and a cloud evidence analyzing process which generates evidence data that can be consumed by standard forensics tools.  This patent is the work of Navy SPAWAR the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command — which has been renamed Naval Information Warfare Systems.


THE IC

This week there are three patents funded by the Intelligence Community.

11082347, "Techniques for reducing congestion in a computer network," funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and granted to Nvidia Corporation, Santa Clara, California. Artificial intelligence enabling technology.

11082412, "Sending secure communications using a local ephemeral key pool," funded by the CIA and granted to Wickr. Wickr has an impressive portfolio of patents for innovations in cryptography and communications. Wickr was acquired by Amazon and is now part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) team.  

11081609, "Solar cell structure and composition and method for forming the same." This work funded by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and granted to Boeing is a semiconductor invention for multiple junction or tandem solar cells.


BAYH-DOLE SCOFFLAWS

This week there are two patents from Raytheon Technologies in Farmington, CT that have no Bayh-Dole statutory data identifying who funded the work that led to the patent. The first is for tools to fix the gas turbine engines, 11077541, "Tool system for installation/removal of interference fit components." The second, 11078842, "Exhaust distribution manifold,"  Same weekly prognostication.  This work was funded by DOD.  A pretty safe conclusion.


WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE Y?

Climate Change Technology

This was a big week for patents that have a Y CPC symbol assigned to them. The Y CPC indicates inventions helpful in mitigating the impact of climate change.

This week there are ten patents. Five are patents related to technologies for adaption to climate change. These are health-related inventions that will help control illnesses exacerbated by climate change. One of the more interesting inventions was 11077056, "Residence structures and related methods," for an ingestible gastrointestinal drug delivery system. 

The Navy funded for 11077200, "Combined enteropathogen recombinant construct" which will deal with pathogens that are major causes of bacterial diarrhea worldwide. Not an easy subject to discuss but a healthcare area where new solutions are needed.

Why The Y? These are treatments for diseases identified as likely to occur more frequently due to climate change.

Delphi Technologies, the Michigan company that parks its intellectual property in Barbados, received a patent (11078867) for an improved engine, a Gasoline Direct Injection Compression Ignition (GDCI) that has demonstrated very high thermal efficiency and very low NO x and particulate matter (PM) emissions. NO x is a generic term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution. This work was funded by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Why The Y? Higher efficiency, lower emissions.

There are two solar-related inventions. 11077418, "Solar thermochemical processing system and method," and  11081609, "Solar cell structure and composition and method for forming the same." 

Why The Y? Inventions that classified as energy generation that reduces GHG — greenhouse gas emissions.

You can see the full list of the patents with Y symbols in the Emerging Technology section of the weekly FedInvent Patent Report.


THE BEST OF THE REST

There are two mechanical patents for a new hinge and a new fastener biasing system. There are four patents with additive manufacturing components including one from Made In Space, Inc. for an additive manufacturing device operable in microgravity, and synthetic biology enabling technology for precision manufacturing of tissue engineering scaffolds. The Department of Homeland Security has another patent on technology for "dispersing a residue of the explosive compound on the substrate to enable detection by explosive detection tools."

The DOD Space Missle Defense Command funded Raytheon’s work on 11079578, “High-Performance Telescope.”


THE INNOVATION AGENDA

What’s happening in the world of federal science and technology policy. 

A NEW DOE INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY VALIDATION PROJECT

Dick Tracey's original two-way radio watch came about when Dick Tracy's creator, cartoonist Chester Gould, met Al Gross, an inventor, and engineer who has many wireless devices to his credit. After that 1946 meeting, Dick Tracy started wearing his iconic two-way radio watch. 

In 1953, the U.S. Army Signal Corps developed and built a miniaturized wristwatch transistor radio. Cost-effective enabling technology was non-existent or in the case of the Army Signal Corps was only capable of supporting the wristwatch transistor radio in a 40-mile radius. It wasn’t until cellular and WiFi networks were ubiquitous that the modern smartwatch became a reality.  Inventions need enabling technology and the ability to scale to have success in the marketplace. Making sure that the new innovations work and be economically feasible is a big issue for federally funded R&D.

Last week DOE announced it was providing about $300,000 to each of five companies to see if emerging industrial water and wastewater technology is up to the challenges of today’s plant and manufacturing environment. All five companies are part of the DOE Better Plants program.

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) funds Industrial Technology Validation (ITV) projects to accelerate the adoption of cost-effective, emerging technologies that can help decarbonize the industrial sector. The Advanced Manufacturing Office is part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). ITV projects will help energy-intense industries better identify and evaluate innovative technologies by hosting field validation testbeds.

The five companies receiving the funding are:

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF: NYSE).  Cleveland-Cliffs produces a third of the nation’s automotive steel and is North America’s largest producer of flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellets. Cleveland-Cliffs will test two water technologies. One will evaluate electrochemical water treatment technology of cooling towers for increased water energy savings. The other focuses on using electrochemical reactions instead of traditional chemicals to treat wastewater. 

Ahlstrom-Munksjo, a leading company for sustainable and innovative fiber-based solutions for products like tea bags, coffee filters, food packaging, and face masks, will work with Via Separations. Via Separations, is an MIT spinout focused on is highly selective and robust membrane filter technology that replaces energy-inefficient heat-based separations in industrial processes. Via Separations is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation. It has several pending patent applications filed after the firm received its grants. These applications do not acknowledge funding from the government. (At least not yet.)

The other three participants include Schneider Electric in Seneca, SC makes motor control centers used in applications ranging from production lines to wastewater treatment plants. Motor control centers are used for operating water pumps for water and wastewater operations; Nissan North America in Canton, MS; and Toyota North America in Blue Spring, MS. The specific technology these three companies will be testing has not been disclosed.  

This announcement coincided with DOE is announcing a $42.3 million funding opportunity to support manufacturing innovations for high-performance clean energy technologies to drive economy-wide reductions in carbon emissions, including:

  • Next-generation manufacturing processes that improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of energy-intensive industries.

  • Development of novel materials that improve the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and resulting products.

  • Improving the systems and processes for how energy is stored, converted, and used, including manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to support electric vehicles.

On to this week’s numbers…


PATENTS BY THE NUMBERS

For Tuesday, August 3, 2021, FedInvent identified 145 newly granted taxpayer-funded patents. These patents have 163 references to federal agencies and departments that provided funding to the inventors. One hundred thirty-five (135) of these patents contained government interest statements. Thirty-nine (39) patents have the federal government as the assignee. or the applicant indicating government ownership of the inventions.  

Twenty-eight of the patents have federal government assignees including one held jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Defense retained the title to 18 patents this Tuesday.

These 145 patents are the work of 485 inventors. Four hundred seventy (470) of the inventors are American. The American inventors come from 37 states and the District of Columbia. There are 15 foreign inventors this Tuesday. These inventors are from Canada (4), Switzerland (3), China PRC (2), and Germany (2). Two inventors were from Australia and Italy. 


COUNT BY TECHNOLOGY CENTER


THE HEALTH COMPLEX

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was cited 56 times on new patents.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was cited 45 times.  The NIH institutes were referenced 66 times as the funding agency on Tuesday’s newly granted patents. The FDA was cited as a funding source once.

The Military Health Complex, new health-related patents from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, funded five patents on Tuesday.


THE HERD — Higher Education R&D Entities

Seventy-six (76) patents have one or more assignees that are universities or university-affiliated research entities, the HERD. 

Tuskegee University is a private, historically black land-grant university in Tuskegee, Alabama was granted 11078359, "Nanoengineered eggshell flexible biopolymer blend and methods of making biopolymer blend film and using such bioplastic blends for improved biodegradable applications."

FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

This week there were 14 patents assigned to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC).  


See you on Friday with our analysis of Thursday’s newly published pre-grant patent applications.  Thanks for reading the FedInvent Newsletter!  

The FedInvent Team

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About FedInvent — FedInvent is Wayfinder Digital's project to deliver fresh insight on the federal innovation ecosystem and the inventions and innovation it creates. We follow the money, too.

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