Microsoft Files Application on Digital Art Program

Recently, we took a look at some recent Microsoft Xbox patents over at IPWatchdog as a part of our “Companies We Follow” series. In doing our research, we noticed an interesting innovation related to Microsoft’s digital art programs, which is included in most versions of its computer operating systems, such as Windows. This digital paint program includes more dynamic functions for the artist’s palette, such as a more realistic experience involving oil paints and worn-out brushes.

The application is U.S. Patent Application No. 20130326381, which is titled Digital Art Program Interaction and Mechanisms.

Digital applications for creating art have long been found on computing devices. From basic programs that offer the ability to draw straight lines with a mouse, to applications for mobile devices that respond to user touch through a touchscreen, digital art programs on consumer devices have greatly increased in capability during recent years. Today, graphic designers and artists are capable of using computer software to create intricate images that achieve many of the same aesthetic effects of actual paints or other materials.


Patenting Self-Destructing E-mail Messages

att-logoAT&T is seeking another patent on self-destructing e-mail messages. AT&T originally filed a patent application in January 2002 on this technology, which ripened into U.S. Patent No. 7,356,564. The latest patent application to publish in this family tree published on June 20, 2013 as U.S. Patent Application No. 20130159436. We profiled this back in August on See AT&T Seeks Patents on E-mail Self Destruct and 3D Media ContentShortly thereafter, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a Non-Final Rejection of the application.

This application relates to e-mail, which virtually everyone reading will know is a messaging system used across the world to communicate information to other people. Indeed, so ubiquitous has e-mail become that it is hard to remember when electronic communications via e-mail did not exist. E-mail is so incredibly useful because it’s efficient and practically instantaneous. However, a sender has almost no way to protect confidential information once it has been sent across the Internet, and we have probably all sent one or more messages without thinking things through before clicking “send.” Many have also no doubt sent an e-mail by accident to someone who was not the intended recipient, which can range from a nuisance to embarrassing to completely catastrophic depending on the content.


A Google Glass Patent Application Publishes at USPTO

Over the past several years, Google has pursued the idea of a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display, known generally as Google Glass. With this in mind, it was not surprising to recently see a patent application publish relating to a wearable computer system. Google Glass is set for full release by Google in 2014 and incorporates computer elements, sensors and other components into a system that can be worn like a pair of glasses. One goal of this system is to allow media capture of images, video and sound that replicate the Glass owner’s individual point of view.

The above referenced patent application — U.S. Patent Application No. 20130222638 — has been filed to protect a system of capturing pictures through a wearable device by analyzing a user’s gaze. A user looks through the viewfinder, which can detect the field of vision of a user based on the direction of that user’s gaze. This gaze information can be processed to determine the exact field of view for a user, and this data can be used to adjust the image being captured by the device.


Apple Tackles Heteronym Translations in Patent Application

By: Gene Quinn (

On February 14, 2013, an interesting Apple patent application published. The title of the patent application is “Method for disambiguating multiple readings in language conversion,” and deals with the difficulties associated with proper automatic translation when the word being translated has a different meaning based on the usage context. An interesting invention in its own right perhaps, but the disclosure specifically relates to addressing this problem with respect to translating from Chinese into English.


Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. If there are any patent blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out.

1) Patent Docs: Tomato Genome Determined – The recent news that the “entire genomic DNA sequence of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has been deciphered” inspired this post. It takes an in depth look at the “interesting relationships between tomatoes and closely-related species.” No discussion of whether there will be a push to patent the tomato genetic sequence.

2) IP Watchdog: Mobile App Developers Gain Ally to Fight Patent Infringement – This post highlights the attempt to promote innovation within the mobile app industry. The world’s largest patent research community announced the formation of a partnership with a global trade organization for mobile software developers, which this post argues could in fact impact the mobile app industry in a positive way by benefiting the small businesses and individual entrepreneurs behind the technology. (more…)