Photonic quantum computers—the kind that startup PsiQuantum Corp. has been developing—have always been thought of as a moonshot technology, even in the quantum computing business. But now, Microsoft and others are investing $215 million into the company, hoping that this ugly duckling will turn into a profitable swan.
In contrast to Honeywell’s trapped ion technology, which computes slowly, and Google’s superconducting technology, which requires conditions near absolute zero, PsiQuantum’s photonic technology has none of these disadvantages because photons are fast and do not feel heat. In fact, PsiQuantum has the advantage of scalability—they promise that a complete 1 million-qubit system would be the size of a conference room, and they think that they can get it built in only a few years. Such a quantum computer would be able to perform useful operations and would take quantum computing from costly R&D to profitable applications.
There is exciting news in the security tokenization sector. Social Equity, a new company to the sector, has just achieved publication of its patent application for a method and platform to tokenize real estate. This publication comes over a month after our article observing how despite tokenizing real estate being one of the fastest-growing sectors in tokenization, the patent space was all but barren.
Social Equity's patent application 20200211134 is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the application is important in its own right. In teaching a full platform for the tokenization and trade of real estate, Social Equity is doing what no other company has yet done for real estate tokenization, opening a door for new opportunities, and bringing some much-needed development to the real estate space. Moreover, application 20200211134 signals there may be an interest in following the overall sector trend of developing tokenization platforms instead of just developing better ways to record the transfer of title and verify ownership as the first applications within the space have taught. This new angle for patentability could promote more interest in the space going forward. Finally, we are seeing signs of patent activity to match the success tokenizing real estate is having on the market.
A second key reason application 20200211134 is so big stems from the fact that it does follow the overall sector trend. The hotbed for development within the sector is financial platform development, and the physical asset space has seen its most attention in platform development as well. These platforms, while usually having some focus, tend to describe their scope in as broad of terms as possible to be catch-alls for any type of tokenization. Social Equity is attempting to build a platform for real estate tokenization signals a belief that they can build such a platform. In different terms, Social Equity is betting that existing platforms either cannot do what they do or as described in their disclosures do not conflict with what Social Equity's platform does. While only time will tell whether this gamble will pay off, it means there may be a real opportunity for not just the real estate space but any space within the sector. It may be possible to develop platforms tailored to a specific space, like Social Equity and real estate, blowing open the door for patent opportunities within the sector. Again, only time will tell, but it makes Social Equity's application one to watch in the coming years.
Finally, application 20200211134 is the crowning jewel to cap off a month of explosive development for the real estate space, at least by its own standards.
The past month has seen the addition of four new applications to the real estate space, a 200% increase since June. While granted that the real estate space only had two publications before, on the whole publications for tokenizing physical assets did not begin rolling out until 2019. With the exception of the non-practicing entity Strong Force blitzing the energy space, development within the physical assets space has been incredibly slow since 2019, making the past month not just an explosive development for the real estate space, but the physical asset space as a whole.
Steve Rhyne, a nuclear engineer, attorney, and veteran, and his company NuGen have recently been granted new patents for his innovative NuGen Engine™ nuclear reactor design. By integrating a fission reactor into what is essentially a jet engine, Mr. Rhyne has developed a method to directly produce electricity without the losses associated with typical steam generating nuclear power plants and associated balance of plant systems. Mr. Rhyne was awarded Patent Nos. 6,877,209 B1 and 7,073,319 in the early 2000s, and was also awarded two more patents, 10,685,756 and 10,685,755 in June of 2020. The most recent patents are for a simpler, more efficient, and modular design that can be rapidly deployed in many environments including space. While yet to receive NRC approval, Mr. Rhyne's innovative reactor designs show great potential for the future of the nuclear power industry.
This past week, Elwha LLC was granted a patent that teaches a method of using neuromodulation to enhance learning. Sound familiar? That's because the idea of using neuromodulation to enhance learning isn't exactly a novel idea, and we've written about it before. Other startup companies such as Halo Neuroscience have also been busy patenting their neuromodulation technology.
However, while companies such as Halo Inc. are actively manufacturing and selling products, Elwha LLC is just a shell corporation for the infamous non-practicing entity Intellectual Ventures. This means that the Elwha LLC has no plans to actually produce a product for sale, but rather plans to capitalize on the intellectual property through licensing or litigation via a process known as "patent-trolling."
Currently, the leading assignee's in the AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology sector includes IBM, Boston Scientific, Psomagen Inc., and Halo Neuro. Patents owned by Intellectual Ventures have previously been used as the basis for litigation against large name companies such as Facebook, Youtube, Samsung, and Kodak, so it would be no surprise if the company began pursuing litigation against the top assignees in the AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology sector next. Make sure to subscribe to Magic Number® AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology Patent Forecast® to stay up to date with the latest patent activity!
With a market size value projected to near $1.1 billion in 2020 and continuing to grow at a projected CAGR of 31.2% from now to 2025, it is no secret that the sports analytics market is booming. And as with every booming market, everyone wants a piece of the pie. Frankly, some of the big-name tech conglomerates were not as early to the party as they might have wished as small, private businesses hold most of the IP in the sector. Now, we are starting to see those same big-name companies try to strategically in a way to allow them to profit from the rapidly growing market. A prime example of this trend lies in Intel. Upon analysis of the sector, they have clearly been trying desperately to get their cleats on the turf for a while, filing five applications dating back to late 2015. However, they have continued to strike out with none of these five applications being granted patents.
That is until earlier this week when Intel was granted a patent for a swing tracking technology that uses inertial sensors to capture analytics of a user's swing. To those of you familiar with the sector and past insights written, this technology may sound quite similar to that of the fifth-largest assignee in the space, Blast Motion. Although, upon analysis of the patent, it becomes clear that while the technology sounds similar, the applications are not. The claims of Intel's most recent patent relate specifically to a cricket bat. This along with slight variations in the measurements taken that would give their invention an advantage in cricket over Blast Motion's tech may have been key to finally gaining a patent in the sector. To learn more about the specifics of Intel's most recent patent, analyze its claims with Patent Matrix®
While this move is definitely interesting on Intel's part, it may portray an emerging trend in the sector. As big-name tech companies begin to realize just how late they are to the game for analytical innovation applying to popular world-wide sports such as soccer, basketball, and baseball, they might just start focusing their attention on smaller more local sports that have not yet been through the so-called analytics revolution. While it is too early to say this for certain, the patent data is starting to predict a movement in this direction. Keep up with this trend and many others in the Sports Analytics Sector by following the Magic Number® Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®
The cannabis industry has steadily seen strides in automation from systems to roll cannabis into smokables (US Pub. No. 20200068947) to automated harvesting tumblers (US Pat. No. 10,602,679) - and now an automated cannabis plant trimmer (US Pat. No. 10,687,476) by Bloom Automation. Patent ‘476 issued June 23, 2020 is for a cannabis-trimming robot that can be seen in action here!
Talk to any grower and they will tell you that the single most tedious and time-consuming task to complete is trimming cannabis buds for drying and curing. Automating this chore could potentially assist the industry with issues meeting demands and help fill those least-desired positions.
Bloom Automation seeks to provide “the precision of a human, but [with] the efficiency of a machine.” Their robots are not yet available but a pre-production program has been commenced.
This past week, EpilepsyCo. Inc. was granted six separate patent applications in the AI Biotech/Diagnostics Sector. All six of the applications teach various aspects of a wearable Epilepsy Control Device. The device monitors brain activity via a small implanted detector. Using AI, the system can predict and detect seizure activity in a person affected by Epilepsy. The implanted detector also has the ability to deliver a lower power ultrasound wave within the brain. When the system detects abnormal activity in the brain associated with an upcoming seizure, it can quickly and autonomously apply a low power ultrasound wave to correct the activity, thereby preventing the seizure before it begins. This system is designed for continuous use, and can even be connected to smartphones or smart watches to provide detailed feedback reports.
Prior to these six applications, EpilepsyCo. Inc only had one other application granted in December of 2019, suggesting the company has been operating in stealth mode until just recently. However, a quick look at their website shows that the company is actually a subsidiary of 4Catalyzer, a medical device incubator company with over 300 scientists, and $600 million in funding. EpilepsyCo. is joining the already crowded AI Biotech/Diagnostic: Neurology sector, and will need to quickly establish its niche if it wants to survive among the other top competitors such as IBM, Facense, and Boston Scientific. However, having access to $600 million and over 300 top scientists certainly helps their chances! Make sure to never miss an update like this by subscribing to Magic Number® AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology Patent Forecast®.
Three (3) patent documents regarding compositions for the treatment regarding coronavirus were recently published: US Patent Application Nos. 20200165630 from Voyager Therapeutics, Inc and 20200179367 from Mymd Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and US Patent No. 10695361 from Gilead Sciences.
Gilead Sciences is by far the biggest assignee and seeing the most success in the market place in the Pharma & Biopharma subcategory on the Pandemics patent radian. Notably, on July 1st, the United States bought almost the entire worldwide stock of the antiviral drug Remdesivir.
Remdesivir does not cure coronavirus but does speed up recovery from a COVID-19 infection and is currently the best treatment against the virus. With other companies issuing patent applications for coronavirus treatments like Voyager Therapeutics and Mymd Pharmaceuticals, there might be new emerging competitors and potential cures at any moment.
Below is a Magic Number® Patent Radian® diagram highlighting the patent documents assigned to Gilead Sciences, Voyager Therapeutics, and Mymd Pharmaceuticals regarding pharmaceutical treatments from 2019-2020. Explore the pandemic sector through the Magic Number® Pandemic Patent Forecast®.
After our three-part series reviewing current trends in the sector concluded, it is understandable to have been wary of platform development's longevity. It has been said before, but it bears repeating, platform development is not dead! The space is still highly fertile, as exemplified by patent 10692161, which teaches a solution to the problems distributed energy resources (DERs) pose to conventional power grids like the duck curve.
Publicly acknowledged in 2013, the duck curve was initially the name given to an energy demand versus time graph of a California power grid in the spring. Due to the prolific use of solar energy by grid users, energy demand from the grid was low during the day, reaching its trough in midday, then sharply rising at night after sunshine had faded. Grid operators had to ramp up power production in the morning before sunshine was strong, then sharply ramp down power production during the day, only to have to more drastically ramp production up again at night when personal solar panels could no longer meet their owner's needs.
The duck curve is not exclusive to California, and the challenges it poses to power grids are not exclusive to solar energy. The variability of microgrids and DERs, like personal wind, solar, or geothermal energy generators have plagued grid operators since their inception. This variability causes grid operators to have to sharply ramp up and ramp down power production for the grid. Not only are these up and down-regulations costly and wasteful, but power plants can also only produce energy so fast. Addressing these issues has been the motivation behind many of the developments within the sector within the past several years.
Patent 10692161 teaches a method of controlling reactive power generation through sending supply curve information to DERs, determining a price to pay DERs for putting power into the grid instead of having to ramp up central plant production and utilize the DERs as a sink for excess grid power. The end result of these practices is to control grid voltage and keep up with varying and unpredictable demand. This development of a new platform runs counter to the new focus many of the major companies within the sector have shifted to, and the way companies have traditionally approached solving issues like the duck curve; the regulation of personal power use through pricing. What is even more exciting is that the patent assignee, Station A, Inc., is a startup founded in 2018 with no other documents in the sector, meaning new companies are still finding opportunists to invent and invest, within the sector, particularly within platform development.
Be sure to analyze the claims at Patent Matrix® to see the whole host of new ideas taught in the patent.
In a past week's insight, we explored how Nike and Adidas were both attempting to use innovation within sports analytics to gain an edge within their market. Well, just last week another big-name in sports equipment company entered the scene with their first patent application in the Sports Analytics sector. Riddell, one of the top providers of American football gear, has decided to spread its extensive patent portfolio in football equipment design to include a "smart" helmet. While the idea of a "smart" helmet that communicates possible concussion data to the sidelines is not exactly cutting-edge and has been implemented in Riddell's helmets since 2014, their most recent patent includes a technology that goes the extra yard.
Their most recent application (U.S. App. No. 20200188733), teaches a system able to provide the user training opportunities after the most recent bout of physical activity/sport to alter how the person engages in the physical activity in order to increase safety and efficiency. Also, the scope of the invention goes well beyond Riddell's typical football market, listing possible applications in other forms of competitive and non-competitive forms of physical activity. If granted, this patent could put Riddell in a position to take over the protective helmet in not only football but other contact sports as well.
While this may be Riddell's first entrance into the Sports Analytics patent sector, this is not their first sign of interest in the space. In April 2020, Riddell formed a partnership with Catapult, an Australian based sports analytics company founded in 2005 with multiple patents in the sector, in order to combine Riddell's pre-existing smart helmet technology, known as InSite, with the patented football video analytics technology of Catapult. Together, their goal was to provide insight to coaches and players to aid in the advancement of football team performance and player protection. It is clear that Riddell is beginning to see the potential that might be available for them in the sector, so do not be surprised if you see more activity in analytics development incorporated in their emerging technologies.