INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION (Armonk, NY)
The idea of a virtual world (also called a virtual universe or a metaverse) is rapidly becoming a part of our culture. In general, a virtual universe (VU) is a digital world (e.g., a three-dimensional computer-generatedlandscape) in which a user controls an avatar (e.g., a graphical representation of the user in the VU) to interact with objects and other avatars within the VU. Some of the most popular VUs are SECOND LIFE.RTM. (a trademark registered by LindenResearch, Inc. in the United States, other countries, or both) and ACTIVEWORLDS.RTM. (a registered trademark of Activeworlds, Inc. in the United States, other countries or both).
A host computing system generally stores data about the VU’s users, objects, and landscape. Every computer running the VU runs a client program. Client software communicates with the hostsystem (e.g. via the network connection) and displays an image (sometimes audible) of the VU on every user’s computer. When a user moves their avatar throughout the VU, the visual representation displayed on the computer changes based on the location of the avatar in the VU. This lets a user allow their avatar to interact with others avatars. For example, one avatar may approach and communicate with another avatar via VOIP (voice over IP) and/or text-basedcommunication through the network.
In certain VUs the virtual currency can be purchased with real money. For example, a user might permit an VU host to charge his or her credit card to purchase virtual currency. The user can then exchange this virtual money withother members of the virtual world for various items and/or services, like, for instance objects (e.g. clothing, for an avatar) or access to private areas of the VU, etc.
Additionally, in some VUs users could even own virtual property. For instance, a user could be able to pay the VU host, or some other third party, real cash to purchase a piece of virtual real estate in the VU. It is then possible to make objects using this real estate. For instance the nightclub, where music is played and other avatars are welcome to socialize (e.g. chat, dance, etc.). ).
Moreover, real estate within the VU comes with a cost, both in terms of money as well as computing resources. Each real estate area within the VU currently are built using a static grid. When a location is built and is in existence, it remains there at all times, whether it is utilized or not. They are unproductive and expensive for marketing.
In a first aspect of the invention, there is a method for managing at least one ephemeral area in the virtual universe (VU). This method is based on causing the computer infrastructure within the VU to: render an epimeral place when triggered by the VU; teleport a VU avatar to its epimeral position; allow the avatar to engage at that place; then teleport it out of the ephemeral region and then de-render the epimeral location.
In a different aspect of the invention it is possible to create a system for advertising in a virtual world (VU). This technique involves building a computer infrastructure that can identify the trigger of a user for a VU-ad in the VU Grid; rendering anephemeral places in the VU Grid; transferring a user avatar to the ephemeral place while presenting the advertisement to the user’s location; returning the avatar to the VU Grid, and then, un-rendering the ephemeral position.
In a further aspect of the invention the computer program product includes an electronic medium that can be used by computers, having a computer readable program embodied in the medium, the computer-readable program when executed on a computing device causes the computing device to detect a trigger of a VU-ad by the user within the VU grid and render an ephemeral spot in a VU; present the VU-ad to the user at the ephemeral location and then remove the ephemeral area.
Another feature of the invention is the system that integrates both software and hardware. It is possible to render an epileptic spot after triggering the VU; transport a VU avatar to an epileptic area and allow the avatar to interact in the ephemeral area; teleport the avatar from the epileptical location; and finally, un-render the epileptical location.Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.
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Granted by the government to safeguard an invention, a patent provides the inventor with exclusive rights to develop, utilize the invention, market and promote the invention? society benefits when a new technology is brought to the market. These benefits may be directly realized as people are able to perform feats previously thought impossible, or indirectly through the opportunities which innovation can bring (business growth, employment).
Patent protection is sought by many universities and pharmaceutical companies to protect their research and development. Patents can be granted for the creation of a product, process or method of making new materials. To be granted patent protection, an invention must be valuable or novel, as well as not obvious to other people within the same area.
Patents recognize and honor inventors who have commercially successful inventions. They provide a motivation for inventors to come up with new ideas. Patents allow entrepreneurs and small companies to be confident that there’s the possibility that they’ll get a profit for their time, effort and money spent on the development of technology. They could earn a decent income by their work.
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Patents transform the knowledge of inventors into an asset that can be sold, which creates new opportunities for job creation by licensing joint ventures and joint ventures.
Small companies that have patent protection are more appealing to investors who are involved in the development and commercialization of technology.
Patents can result in innovative ideas and inventions. This information could encourage the development of new ideas and may be eligible for protection under patents.
Patents can be used to stop untrustworthy third-party companies from earning from the invention’s efforts.
Revenues from patent-protected technology that are commercially successful can be used to finance technological research and development (R&D) and increase the chance of better technology in the future.
Intellectual property ownership can be used to convince investors and lenders that there are real opportunities to market your product. One patent that is powerful could open the door for numerous financing options. You can utilize patents and other IP assets as collateral or security financing. You can also show investors the patents you own to increase the value of your company. Forbes and other publications have noted that each patent could increase the value of your company by as much as $500,000 to $1 Million.
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It is important to keep an invention secret until you file to protect it with patents. The public divulging an invention could be detrimental to its originality and render it invalid. Pre-filing disclosures, such as for investors, test marketing, or any other business partners, is best done following the signing of a confidentiality agreement.
There are a variety of patents, and understanding them is essential to protecting your invention. Patents on utility cover the development of new methods and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the most effective to protect the proprietor from copies and competitors. Patents for utility are usually granted to improve or alter existing inventions. They can also be used to enhance or alter existing inventions. For instance, a procedure patent covers acts or methods of doing a specific act, whereas chemical compositions are the combination of components.
How long does a patent last? While utility patents are valid for 20 years from the date of their initial filing, they can be extended by delays at the patent office.
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When you’re writing a patent application, you should do an internet search for patents, since it will provide you with some insight into other people’s concepts. You’ll be able to narrow down the nature of your idea. Also, you can find out about the current state of the art within the field you’re inventing. This will assist you in know the extent of your invention as well as prepare you to file your patent application.
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The first step in getting your patent is to perform the patent search. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending refers to the product protected by the patent application. It is possible to search for the public pair to locate the patent application. When the patent office has endorsed the application, you can do a patent number search to locate the patent that was issued which means that your product is now patented. You can also use the USPTO search engine. See below for details. You can get help from an attorney for patents or a patent attorney. Patents granted in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office as well as the United States patent office. This office also reviews trademark applications.
Are you looking for similar patents? These are the steps to follow:
1. Brainstorm terms that describe your invention based on the purpose, composition and application.
Begin by writing down a brief and precise description of your idea. Be sure to avoid using terms that are generic such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Consider synonyms for the terms you chose initially. Next, note important technical terms as well as keywords.
Utilize the following questions to help you find the keywords or concepts.
- What is the objective of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
- Is inventing a method to make something or carry out an action? Is it a product or procedure?
- What is the structure of the invention? What is the physical structure of the invention?
- What’s the purpose of the invention?
- What are technical words and terms that describe the essence of an invention? To assist you in finding the right terms, refer to the technical dictionary.
2. Use these terms to search for relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Text Search Tool. To determine the most suitable classification for your invention, scan the classification’s class Schemes (class schedules). If you don’t see any results using the Classification Text Search, you might want to think about substituting the words that describe your invention using synonyms.
3. Examine 3. Check the CPC Classification Definition for confirmation of the CPC classification you have found. The link to a CPC classification definition will be available in the event that the title of the classification contains a blue box with “D” on its left. CPC classification definitions will assist you in determining the classification’s range so that you can pick the one that is the one that is most appropriate. The definitions could also contain some search tips or other recommendations that could be helpful for further investigation.
4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to find patent documents that are accompanied by the CPC classification. By focusing your search on abstracts and representative drawings, you can narrow down your search to the relevant patent documents.
5. This list of patent publication is the most appropriate to look at for any connections to your idea. Be sure to read the specification and claims. Refer to the applicant and patent examiner to obtain additional patents.
6. Retrieve published patent applications with the CPC classification you selected in Step 3 in the Applications Full-Text and Image Database. You may also employ the same method of search that you utilized in step 4 to limit down your results to just the most relevant patent applications by looking over the abstracts and drawings for every page. Then, you must carefully review the patent applications published and pay particular attention to the claims and additional drawings.
7. You can search for other US patent publications by keyword searching in AppFT or PatFT databases, as well as search for patents classified as not issued in the United States as per below. Also, you can utilize web search engines to search for non-patent-related literature disclosures about inventions. Here are some examples:
- Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
- Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
- European Patent Office (EPO) provides esp@cenet to access a network of Europe’s patent databases with access to machine translation of European patents.
- Japan Patent Office (JPO) – with access to machine translations of Japanese patents.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offers PATENTSCOPE with a full-text search of published international patent applications and machine translations for some documents, as well as a list of international patent databases.
- Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
- State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) with machine translation of Chinese patents.
- Other International Intellectual Property Offices with online patent databases include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
- Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.
To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.