AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

Creative Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Rushes Aid to Haiti

Swedish Prize Selection  Committee Faces Critical Peer Review

Under the CES Radar:
Energy Harvesting Cell Phone Charger Is a Harbinger of Self Charging Consumer Devices

Heading to Court:
Microsoft Maps Its Way to Another Patent Lawsuit


Welcome to the AmiCOUR IP Blog.  We invite your comments.  Past Issues.

January 18, 2010 - Despite the economic downturn, Royal Caribbean has been delivering emergency supplies through its Haitian vacation port, Labadee.  It also donated its resort furniture to a makeshift hospital 15 miles away. The line employs 230 local residents, ready and waiting to offload and distribute the equivalent of 9 full sized trailer loads of supplies weekly. Royal Caribbean is inviting corporations to help its novel relief effort. Individuals may donate cash to help load up one of Royal Caribbean's voyages to Labadee.

January 14, 2010 - Public debate exploded over the award of the 2009 Nobel Prize for the discovery of charge coupled devices or "CCD" imaging technology widely used in electronic cameras. In the late 1970's RCA's Lancaster, Pennsylvania facility, then a leader in color studio camera vacuum imaging tubes, including vidicons, visticons, and light amplifiers for security and night vision applications, garnered attention by sending a cigarette sized CCD based "solid state" camera to the ocean depths. The Bell Telephone Laboratories Research facility in nearby Murray Hill, New Jersey had been the epicenter of the new technology, viewed as likely to serve a niche for small cameras facing harsh operating environments. Two Bell researchers, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, were recently named winners of the Nobel Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; ...  Read Entire Article

January 13, 2010 - RCA Airenergy cell phone chargers will "harvest" and store stray WiFi energy.  RCA introduced working prototypes at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Although the Tesla sounding claims seemed to remain under the mainstream media's radar, the first $40 commercial units are expected by summer. RCA claims it is developing a version integrated into cell phone batteries to make chargers a thing of the past. The technology may eventually power smart phones that charge themselves. Now that's a droid! RCA's representative claimed his device was able to provide a 30 percent charge to a visitor's cell phone in about 90 minutes. Energy harvesting is not a new concept. In the 1980's, rumors of technology capable of self-charging secret listening devices or "bugs" circulated. In recent years, engineers have applied newer piezoelectric materials to electro-mechanical energy harvesting systems. eHarvesting ideas have included capturing the energy from the boots of marching soldiers and even using piezoelectric layers in skis or snowboards to heat boots and gloves. Read Comments.

January 7, 2010 - Virginia based Skyline Software Systems has filed a complaint in Federal Court alleging patent infringement by Microsoft Corp, specifically stating, "Microsoft had actual notice of the '172 patent before this suit was filed, and has acted with the specific intent to induce, contribute to and/or aid and abet direct infringement by others." The complaint references Claim 72 of USPN 7,551,172 B2. Just last month, the Federal Circuit upheld a Texas jury award and injunction ordering Microsoft to remove certain XML related features from Word or stop selling the software by early January 2010. The Skyline complaint demands damages and an end to future infringement, naming Bing maps, a toolbar, and Surface Globe for Windows 7 as allegedly infringing on its patent. The 2007 complaint made by Skyline against Google Earth was for a different patent.  Read comments.