Elizabeth Holmes, like Benjamin Franklin and Edith Clarke, challenged a basic assumption. Why, she wondered, do doctors and researchers need to take so much blood from a person when running tests? She’s proven that they don’t. Her innovation—which she has patented—requires the patient to surrender a mere drop of blood, and that small sample is then used for numerous experiments. It’s no surprise that the company she founded on this technology is thriving. -USPTO Director Michelle Lee, May 25, 2015 When Patent Office Director Michelle Lee gave that speech, Theranos appeared to be one of the most impressive companies in Silicon Valley. But later that year, the public learned that Holmes hadn’t “proven” anything. Whistleblowers told the Wall Street Journal that Theranos wasn’t even using its own devices for most of its blood testing. Holmes had apparently spent more than a decade building a company based on unrealistic or outright … [Read more...] about Theranos: How a broken patent system sustained its decade-long deception
Filing provisional patent
FILE PHOTO - A sign to the campus offices of chip maker Broadcom Ltd, who announced on Monday an unsolicited bid to buy peer Qualcomm Inc for $103 billion, is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. semiconductor supplier Broadcom (AVGO.O) has made a patent claim for more than $1 billion against Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and is threatening to seek a judicial ban on the production of several car models, German magazine Der Spiegel said on Friday. A Volkswagen spokesman on Friday told Reuters that a legal action had been filed by Broadcom against the German carmaker over a patent issue without confirming the size of the claim. “Volkswagen has examined the claim and taken necessary action to protect its legal interests,” the spokesman added. Spiegel magazine, which first reported the conflict on Friday, said it concerned the use of 18 patents on Broadcom semiconductors which Volkswagen uses for navigation and … [Read more...] about Broadcom makes $1 billion patent claim against Volkswagen: Der Spiegel
Recent Crystal Lake South graduate Caroline Rausch has the distinction of helping design and build prototypes for two patented products. The ideas: A survival kit to help someone trapped in a car during a flood escape, and a machine to sort tennis balls and check their pressure. Hundreds of thousands of utility and design patent applications are filed yearly, with half being approved, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The process can be arduous, requiring multiple revisions and typically taking years.Rausch began working on her first product in eighth grade with six other girls on a robotics team named Fruit Salad, for a contest. The team developed the survival kit and applied for a provisional patent.Within a year, the girls finalized their design and filed for a utility patent, which took two years to gain approval with the help of patent lawyer Stephen Scherrer of Crystal Lake."We didn't expect it to be that fast," said Rausch, 18.She and her robotics teammates … [Read more...] about It’s hard to get a patent. This Crystal Lake South grad already holds two.
Scientists at the research consortium CaloriCool are closer than ever to the materials needed for a new type of refrigeration technology that is markedly more energy efficient than current gas compression systems. Currently, residential and commercial cooling consumes about one out of every five kilowatt-hours of electricity generated in the U.S., but a caloric refrigeration system could save as much as 30 percent in energy usage. Consortium members have filed a pair of provisional patent applications on two caloric materials, which are compounds that generate strong cooling effects when acted upon by magnetic, electric, or mechanical forces. One of the materials has a magnetocaloric effect 50 percent better than any material of this class known before. The second patentable discovery corrects a flaw in an already known material, which was formerly thought to be too brittle to use outside of the laboratory setting. “Both of these materials are composed of common elements, … [Read more...] about A Pair of Patents Filed on Breakthrough Materials for Next-Gen Refrigerators
The promise of a global electric vehicle transformation has a looming problem.The cathodes in the lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicles, or EVs, are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the globe’s more precarious countries.But an assistant professor at the University of California San Diego says he has developed a way to recycle used cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries and restore them to the point that they work as good as new.“Yes, it can work effectively,” said Zheng Chen, a 31-year-old who works as a nano-engineer at the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering.The method also works on lithium cobalt oxide, which is widely used in electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops.“In my house I have about six cellphones,” Chen said. “I have probably about five laptops. They all have lithium batteries. I thought, there is no … [Read more...] about UCSD professor devises way to recycle lithium-ion batteries