August 2013

August 28, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles - Google, Inc. has granted a glimpse into its plans for advertising in technology with its newly registered patent for a “Gaze Tracking System” on its innovative future product, Google Glass.

The product, Glass, is a set of eyeglasses with a computer embedded into the side arm and a small screen displayed on the glass piece above the right eye.  A beta version of the Google Glass was introduced to developers in February 2013.

Newly minted U.S. Patent number 8,510,166 suggests that Google plans to add cameras facing both inside toward the eyes to track the gaze of the user and outside to reconcile what the user is looking at.

According to the ‘166 patent, Google intends to utilize its new Google Glass invention to track how long users look at particular advertisements.  The method, known as “pay per gaze,” would store data on what people look at and for how long.

Google has discovered the moneymaking potential of this device and plans to track users’ interaction with advertisements.  Google would store this data on a macro level, wiping the information of any personal identifiers, and then charge advertisers based on the amount of time that users spent looking at their particular ad.

The ‘166 patent further describes that Google would analyze the emotional reaction of the user to what is in view.  Google would then report this information to the advertiser, at an extra cost.  This would provide useful information to advertisers on what users respond to and how to develop engaging ads.

“Pay per gaze” could revolutionize the way that advertising operates.  Under this system, advertising both online and in traditional print media would dramatically alter its pay structure.  Instead of paying per billboard or print ad, advertisers would be charged each time a Google Glass user interacted with an advertisement.

This patent does not specifically state that the “pay per gaze” system would apply to the Google Glass.  However, the description of the product that this system would utilize matches that of the Glass.

August 12, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles - A federal circuit court on Tuesday upheld the verdict in a case between two cheese manufacturers over patent infringement of cheese vat technology, deciding in favor of Tetra Pak Cheese and Powder Systems, Inc.

The ruling, made by a three-judge panel in U.S. Circuit Court in the 7th District, ended a three year battle between Cheese Systems, Inc. and Tetra Pak over elements of the design for large, churning vats to make cheese.

The patent at issue, granted to Tetra Pak in 1999, is U.S. Patent Number 5,985,347, titled “Cheese Processing Vat and Method.”  The vat is designed for large-scale cheese manufacturing, with two large, rotating panels inside which mix and slice the cheese.  While the agitator panels of other cheese vats rotate opposite each other, the ‘347 patent claimed the innovation of panels rotating in the same direction, which leads to a more efficient cheese-making process.

Tetra Pak argued that Cheese System’s vat design infringed on the central elements of its ‘347 patent, and demanded that the company stop use of its infringing product.

Cheese Systems originally brought a complaint against Tetra Pak in 2010 in Federal Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, asking for Tetra Pak’s patent to be invalidated.  Wisconsin-based Cheese Systems argued that Tetra Pak’s patent was obvious in light of prior disclosures.

The presiding judge in this case, Barbara R. Crabb, did not accept these arguments and instead found that Cheese Systems had infringed the patent held by Tetra Pak.  Cheese Systems appealed the decision to U.S. Circuit Court, which again ruled against Cheese Systems.

The Appeals Court also granted a permanent injunction for Cheese Systems’ use of its infringing cheese vat along with its decision to uphold the district court’s decision.

Swiss-based Tetra Pak is an international food packing and processing corporation.  Its founder, Ruben Rausing, was the first to develop a sterile packaging process for foods and liquids.  This process is still in use today, as seen in juice boxes and milk cartons.