Weekly IP Buzz for week ending in September 14, 2018
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending September 14, 2018.
Walmart Delves Into Blockchain Technology Patents
Retail giant Walmart has made waves in the intellectual property field recently by filing for a group of patents to protect new blockchain technology that they intend to use to keep pace with main competitor and online retail giant, Amazon.
While blockchain technology is not that new, having long been the cornerstone for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, only recently have retailers, banks, and other fields of industry began to delve into utilizing the technology in their respective fields.
The appeal of blockchain technology comes from its ability to provide a secure, self-validating ledger of records that can record transactions between parties in an open, efficient, verifiable, and permanent manner. From inception, a blockchain is innately resistant to hacking or modification because it must adhere to specific protocols to validate new “blocks” or records. Once a block is produced, the data within that block cannot be altered retroactively unless all subsequent blocks are edited as well. Such massive alteration would require consensus from the network itself. Read more about blockchain technology patents.
Tough Time Flying? There May be a Patented, Digital Pill For That Soon
If you ever have a tough time flying, struggle with how to combat potential jet leg, or just wish that the flight attendant would bring you water or snacks when you need them, British Airways may be developing the digital pill for you. In March 2014, British Airways filed a patent application entitled “Travel Environmental Control” with the intent to personalize the travel environment to the individual passenger. So how would this work?
A flight passenger ingests a digital pill or is otherwise connected to one or more sensors. Through the digital pill and/or sensors, data about the passenger can be collected. This data could include, among other things, information about body movements, sleep phases, heart rate, eye movements, body temperature, and even stomach acidity. Using this data, the system may determine an event timeline for the passenger’s optimal wellness and then dynamically adjust the timeline in response to passenger and environment data collected from the sensors. Accordingly, if a passenger needs a specific sequence of events to assist with overcoming the effects of jet lag at a destination, predefined events may be established including when to sleep, wake, stretch, exercise, eat, drink, engage in in-flight entertainment, etc. And the timeline can be adjusted in response to data received from the digital pill and/or sensors, such as indications that the passenger is awake, asleep, hungry, hot, cold, or even nervous. Read more about this patent-pending digital pill technology.
For more posts, see more at our intellectual property law blog.
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.