Interesting Patents | May 3, 2022

Interesting USPTO Patents

Interesting Patents
TUESDAY, May 3, 2022

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing the most exciting developments in technology and innovation.

In this article, we highlight several interesting US patents recently issued by the USPTO.

Looking for more information on patents? Visit our Patents Page here. We also recommend that you check out our Intellectual Property Resources page for guides, videos, and insight on patents and inventorship. We also provide Tips on Choosing a Patent Lawyer.

Cognitive scribe and meeting moderator assistant

INVENTION OVERVIEW:

IBM has been issued a patent that analyzes a meeting agenda and monitors the effectiveness of the meeting. For example, the system might use natural language processing, facial expression recognition, and other inputs to determine the topics discussed during the meeting and the overall engagement of the meeting parties. When the system detects a deviation from the meeting the system can provide an alert to redirect the meeting. One interesting aspect of this application is the use of the system to take notes on the different topics that were discussed and transform the topics into action items for the members of the meeting.

PATENT ABSTRACT:

“Disclosed embodiments provide a computer-implemented technique for monitoring deviation from a meeting agenda. A meeting moderator and meeting agenda are obtained. Meeting dialog, along with facial expressions and/or body language of attendees is monitored. Natural language processing, using entity detection, disambiguation, and other language processing techniques, determines a level of deviation in the meeting dialog from the meeting agenda. Computer-implemented image analysis techniques ascertain participant engagement from facial expressions and/or gestures of participants. A deviation alert is presented to the moderator and/or meeting participants when a deviation is detected, allowing the moderator to steer the meeting conversation back to the planned agenda.”

PATENT DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

“Business meetings can veer off course as the participants touch on peripheral topics and deep dive into other areas. This creates inefficiencies and wastes time. Furthermore, the objectives of the meeting are not completely achieved. An additional problem is that at the conclusion of the meeting, most summaries or “meeting minutes” do not fully capture the key items identified/discussed that are needed to document thorough understandings reached, as well as a listing of unresolved issues or points for further discussion at a future meeting, as well as follow-up actions and who owns those actions. The meeting moderator that facilitates the discussion is faced with the challenges of running out of time and/or managing time.”

05032022 IBM Patent Cognitive scribe and meeting moderator assistant
05032022 IBM Patent Cognitive scribe and meeting moderator assistant 2
05032022 IBM Patent Cognitive scribe and meeting moderator assistant 3
SOOUNDBAR

INVENTION OVERVIEW:

Bose has been issued a patent for a soundbar that adjusts how it emits sound based on the location of a listener. Rather than moving the speakers themselves to target a listener, the soundbar utilizes the reflection of sound waves to emit sound tailored for the user’s location. Soundbars have become a popular way to incorporate left, right, and center channel speakers into a single form factor. What bose has done is configured the reflection of the emitted sound from the soundbar to create a more precise system that sounds like the speakers are mounted higher up than the location of the soundbar, something traditionally present from the soundbar.

PATENT ABSTRACT:

“Providing an infinite or seemingly infinite canvas as a workspace is disclosed. In some embodiments, an ability to add to a displayed canvas and view simultaneously one or more table objects, each of which has associated with it an ability to define the content of a first cell by reference to one or more other cells such that the content of the first cell is updated automatically and without further human intervention if the content of one or more of the one or more other cells is changed, is provided.”

PATENT BACKGROUND:

“The workspace of a sheet of a spreadsheet application typically comprises an infinite (or seemingly infinite) grid or table that includes an unlimited (or very large) number of rows and columns of cells. Each of the cells typically has associated with it standard spreadsheet functionalities, such as the ability to enter data, formulas, controls, etc., and may include references to values in other cells on the same sheet or on different sheets. FIG. 1 illustrates an example of the workspace 100 of a sheet of a typical spreadsheet application. The cells of such a workspace may be organized into one or more tables. Other types of objects, such as charts and graphs, that use data or information contained in one or more cells may be included in the workspace of a sheet. Moreover, objects, such as images, photographs, animations, multimedia content, etc., that do not necessarily depend on information contained in one or more cells and/or may not be associated with any spreadsheet functionality may be included in the workspace of a sheet. However, typically all such tables or other objects are associated with corresponding cells of the infinite (or seemingly infinite) grid comprising the sheet.

Although a subset of the rows and columns of cells in a workspace may be organized into a table, the cells that comprise the table are not encapsulated into a single table object. Thus, a table defined in a typical spreadsheet application lacks flexibility as a single, independent object that can, for example, be formatted, moved around in a workspace, resized, scaled, etc., as a single object. It would be useful to have a workspace in which all content is encapsulated in individual objects, each of which provides with respect to its own content corresponding spreadsheet functionalities, if any and as applicable.

Thus, there is a need for an improved spreadsheet paradigm.”

05032022 Bose Patent Soundbar
05032022 Bose Patent Soundbar 2
INFINITE CANVAS

INVENTION OVERVIEW:

Apple has been granted a patent on an infinite digital canvas. While the original application dates back to 2006, Apple has only received allowances in their continuation applications in 2019 and 2022. The infinite canvas may act as a spreadsheet interface or a blank canvas that users can interact with. The system can handle media from external systems or other applications as well.

PATENT ABSTRACT:

“Providing an infinite or seemingly infinite canvas as a workspace is disclosed. In some embodiments, an ability to add to a displayed canvas and view simultaneously one or more table objects, each of which has associated with it an ability to define the content of a first cell by reference to one or more other cells such that the content of the first cell is updated automatically and without further human intervention if the content of one or more of the one or more other cells is changed, is provided.”

PATENT BACKGROUND:

“The workspace of a sheet of a spreadsheet application typically comprises an infinite (or seemingly infinite) grid or table that includes an unlimited (or very large) number of rows and columns of cells. Each of the cells typically has associated with it standard spreadsheet functionalities, such as the ability to enter data, formulas, controls, etc., and may include references to values in other cells on the same sheet or on different sheets. FIG. 1 illustrates an example of the workspace 100 of a sheet of a typical spreadsheet application. The cells of such a workspace may be organized into one or more tables. Other types of objects, such as charts and graphs, that use data or information contained in one or more cells may be included in the workspace of a sheet. Moreover, objects, such as images, photographs, animations, multimedia content, etc., that do not necessarily depend on information contained in one or more cells and/or may not be associated with any spreadsheet functionality may be included in the workspace of a sheet. However, typically all such tables or other objects are associated with corresponding cells of the infinite (or seemingly infinite) grid comprising the sheet.

Although a subset of the rows and columns of cells in a workspace may be organized into a table, the cells that comprise the table are not encapsulated into a single table object. Thus, a table defined in a typical spreadsheet application lacks flexibility as a single, independent object that can, for example, be formatted, moved around in a workspace, resized, scaled, etc., as a single object. It would be useful to have a workspace in which all content is encapsulated in individual objects, each of which provides with respect to its own content corresponding spreadsheet functionalities, if any and as applicable.

Thus, there is a need for an improved spreadsheet paradigm.”

Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor

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