Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending October 26, 2018

Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending October 26, 2018

Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending October 26, 2018.

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Amazon Files New Patent to Detect Emotions   

Amazon has filed a new patent entitled “Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users” to cover technology that works on the premise that “a current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may facilitate the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or prompts, to the user.” Essentially, the invention would allow virtual assistants like Alexa to detect emotions of its users.

Amazon says that the technology covered by the patent is designed to not only detect emotions of users, but will be able to adapt to learn users’ emotions. Amazon believes that this technology and patent will also cover Alexa’s ability to recognize accents, which will allow the virtual assistant to predict if a specific user may want to access information or products from abroad. 

As technology advances, technology and data counsel should monitor patent filings, such as the aforementioned invention geared to detect emotions, to stay abreast of new technology that will require companies to take additional measures for handling private information when they collect such sensitive data.

Find the full article here.

How Much Does Your Virtual Assistant Know About You?

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Amazon recently had to answer to the U.S. Senate after it was confirmed that a product in their virtual assistant line, the Amazon Echo, recorded and then forwarded a private, household conversation to a third party.

While there are technical disagreements between the household and Amazon over whether the recording and forwarding of the conversation was unauthorized, Amazon has now had to answer to Congress regarding privacy concerns that have arisen over the incident.

“Alexa” is not the only assistant accused of spying on us. In 2017, a reporter caught a Google Home Mini virtual assistant not only recording happenings in his household but sending that information back to Google. Google, in response, issued a firmware update to their virtual assistant devices to address the issue.

Read more here.

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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.

Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk’s law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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