TCS Reports Current Patent Laws Are Inadequate for AI-related IP

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has recently reported that despite the evolution of Patent Laws in India and abroad, the increasing proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the world requires new policies for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) enforcement.

The report found that the current patent laws treat AI software-based inventions as logical algorithms implemented in the computer systems. Although patent eligibility of algorithms is valid, there is not enough about how to handle inventions with heuristic nature.

What is Heuristic?

In AI, heuristic refers to a technique to solve problems faster than the classical methods. The report cited that AI software is no longer bound to traditional rule-based systems, and in fact, has increasingly turned heuristic, thus showing higher intelligence over classical systems.

The report explained that as per the current patent laws – someone, typically a natural person (in legal terms – an individual instead of one associated with a public or private body) who only applies the logic to make anything workable cannot be an inventor.

It also clarified that machines are frequently deriving solutions to problems autonomously or in conjunction with a natural person, thus bringing the definition of a ‘natural person’ in question. Besides, it emphasized that this issue needs to be addressed by state laws and enterprises. Moreover, data-privacy and data-ownership issues, which would have severe legal implications, are other aspects that require fresh debates.

The report further noted that in the global ecosystem involving multiple players, data is not just accessed but also moved across jurisdictions many times. The data ownership holder or the data owner or the AI scientist who owns the IP rights on an invention is at the forefront of the debate.

It then revealed that AI is helping to develop new mechanisms and doctrines for future IP ecosystems. As the study recommended – the present administrators of Intellectual Property Right in India and outside have to address the IP management at three levels.

  • At the data level: In the form of access to accurate and high-quality data
  • At the IP system level: For enabling the IP systems with AI-based solutions
  • At the people level: To empower people to realize the merits of AI in the IP domain.

At last, the report informed that IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung, and NEC were the top five patent applicants. Nonetheless, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), dealing in deep learning (DL) with 235 patent families, held the largest patent portfolio worldwide – the report found. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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China to Reinforce Protection for Intellectual Property Rights

The Chinese government, through the medium of a document it issued earlier this week, has revealed its desire to improve the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), an issue reflecting at the center of trade matters with the United States (US).

The document launched recently is a joint directive by the General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Chinese State Council, aimed at strengthening the protection of Chinese IPRs between accusations from the US stating that China has stolen the American IP.  The directive laid out China’s goal of reinforcing IPRs protection over the next two years by raising the upper limits for compensation related to the infringement of such rights.

According to the excerpts provided by the Chinese State Council, the directive reads that increasing IPRs protection is one of the most significant ways to improve the IPR system and to boost up the economic competitiveness of China. The new guidelines also revealed that China would multiply its efforts to enhance international cooperation on the protection of IPR, promote communication between foreign and domestic rights holders, and provide support in overseas IPR disputes.

The document also discussed China’s plan to increase the protection of trade secrets, confidential business data, and source codes and speed up the procedure to introduce a punitive compensation system for violation of patents, copyrights, or other IPRs.

The measures came after considering that the disputes over the theft of Intellectual Property (IP) have roiled the trade negotiations amid the world’s two largest economies, i.e., the U.S. and China scramble to reach phase-one of a trade deal.  The development came as investors have been scaling back their hopes for a phase-one agreement amid Beijing and Washington before the end of this year, i.e., 2019. This sort of deal was expected to provide the stage for dealing with chief concerns like a complaint made by the U.S against China, alleging that China steals intellectual property.

In an investigation made by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last year, it was found that the intellectual-property theft by China compels the U.S to face a loss between $225 billion and $600 billion a year.

Ultimately, the document claimed that by 2022, China would be making progress in matters that have affected IPRs enforcement, like high costs, low compensation, and the difficulty of proof. And also that by 2025, the nation would have implemented an upgraded system of IPR protection. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Apple’s Patent for Wraparound Display Hints Possibility for New iPhone

Apple, an American multinational technology company, has revived its interest in an old patent that details a mysterious wraparound display. In March 2013, Apple had filed a Patent Application that features an ambiguous device having a glass body and a display looping around the body. Since then, the company has filed thirteen patent applications revolving around the design of this device. The recent patent that details some changes in the design of the device is a continuation of the previous ones.

As far as display and body are concerned, Apple has always had a glass display and a metal body. Undoubtedly, some plastic derivatives at the middle and lower-end were also used for the rear panel, and there have been smartphones’ models with the display on, but a complete wrap-around is something no one has seen so far. Although the concept of wraparound display technology has been available with Samsung and Xiaomi also, no commercial model with such design is accessible in the market.

The changes in the latest patent showcase virtual volume keys, rather than the traditional physical buttons. They also show that the device includes a top bezel that further consists of an earpiece and many other essential sensors in addition to a narrow bottom bezel. The device doesn’t hold the notch, which most of the recent iPhones do.

The wraparound display described in the patent application indicates that the expected device will be an all-glass affair having the display on both sides of the phone. It even suggests that this could be Apple’s answer to a foldable phone. That may appear a little far-fetched as a foldable smartphone when unfolded converts it into a tablet.

Nonetheless, it is noticeable that the sketches in the patent application detail the original 2013’s design so that the company can update it for a future release to keep up with the prevailing design trends. However, with Apple too, it is highly unlikely that the firm will unveil an iPhone with a wraparound display or the iPhone 12 (to be launched next fall) will have this updated design.

We should consider that this is just a patent, which may exist as it is for several years. It is also possible that Apple may never come up with this device as the company files multiple patent applications each month, and it’s a continuous process. Indeed, various concepts and designs for which it gets the patents don’t see the light of the day. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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A brief about Geographical Indications and Designation of Origin

Having a wide range of applications in Intellectual Property (IP) regimes of several countries worldwide, Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign, symbol, or name used on products to indicate that they have originated from a specific geographical locality and possess qualities, characteristics, and reputation attributable to their origin. GI not just functions as quality marks that improve export markets and revenues but also provides a precise source of origin. In this way, it prevents unauthorized users or manufacturers from manufacturing and selling fake products, i.e., products that don’t meet the applicable standards in regards to that origin. For instance, as Darjeeling tea holds a GI tag, its producers have a complete right to prevent the use of the term Darjeeling for the tea products, which are either not produced as per the standards set by the GI law or not grown in their jurisdictions. Though geographical indication protection doesn’t provide the right to prevent others from using the same technique or procedure to manufacture products similar to those that have been granted GI tags, yet it is beneficial in protecting unauthorized use of sign, symbol, or a name that constitutes indication.

Now, if we talk about the designation of origin, it refers to a special kind of protection and implies exclusive or essential natural and human factors of the geographical environment leading to specific characteristics and quality of products and services. It grants protection to the names or signs indicating that a product or service originates from a specific geographical region.

Why Should Geographical Indications and Designation of Origin be protected?

Protection of GIs and designation of origin under the Intellectual Property Law is crucial to evade unauthorized use and infringement. Prevention of such unlawful use will ultimately contribute to increasing the commercial value and reputation of the products and services. Moreover, it also benefits the general public and consumers. For instance, by promoting good business practices and fair market competition, protected GIs will help the customers to buy the precise products. Furthermore, by retaining the active workforce and stimulating family farms, especially in rural areas for developing specific and traditional products and services, the protection of these signs is favorable to economic development as well.

How Should the Protection of Geographical Indications be granted?

The protection of GIs under IP should be granted through a relevant registration procedure. GIs are often protected under national laws and following a wide range of concepts, like laws for the protection of certification marks, laws against unfair competition, consumer protection laws, or special laws for the protection of geographical indications or designations of origin. The Geographical Indication Protection provides the owner with the right to prevent third parties from using the authorized indication on or for the products or services that do not conform to the applicable standards and can be obtained by acquiring right over the sign or name that constitutes the indication. Once registered, the GI and designation of origin may be used collectively by any of the producers (who meet the requirements) from the specific locality.

Contrary to other sorts of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) like a trademark, patent, Industrial Design, and more, the legal systems taking care of this field may differ from state to state. One other considerable fact about geographical indication or designation of origin is that these are often used with producers’ sign or logo that can be protected under trademark with a perspective to focus on the individual character and common characteristics of products’ origin.

Protection of GI tags and designation of origin not just prohibits infringement issues but also builds a remarkable reputation worldwide. It then motivates the consumers to buy the GI products, along with visiting the regions where these commodities are being produced or made, and that ultimately benefit both the producers and nations by enhancing the tourism of those areas. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act): Everything You Need to Know

Since the internet began, people have uploaded and published over a trillion gigabytes of digital content that includes music, games, movies, and much more. The rapid advancements in the digital age and the internet have undoubtedly served content creators and publishers with lots of opportunities to make profits and revenue but along with challenges such as violation of their data online. Indeed, Copyright Infringement is one of the biggest challenges that the digital world faces in the present era. To stop the continuous increase in widespread unlawful access to copyrighted materials observed in the 1990s, the US government put a step and came up with a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Abbreviated as DMCA, this law is a result of the teamwork of legislators, media firms, and consumer lawyers, and enacted by the US Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. The law was made on request of many organizations requested for a legal process by which holder of Copyright Website, content, or image could assert their rights to prevent the illegal use of their media. Apart from providing the copyright holders with these facilities, DMCA aims to maintain a balance between the interests of original owners and those who want to purchase the copyrighted materials. It also takes care of penalties to be put on offenders who intentionally violate any Intellectual Property (IP).

DMCA Takedown Notice

Resting as the main component of DMCA law, DMCA takedown notice is an official notification to inform the firm, search engine, web host, or internet service provider (ISP) that they are using copyrighted material. As, in the legal sense, such use is unlawful and leads to copyright infringement, the site or company who receives this notice should immediately take down the specific material. In case they avoid doing so, the ISP could forcefully remove the copyrighted content. You can send the DMCA notice or request for the following types of copyright content:

  • Videos,
  • Digital software,
  • Artwork, images, photos,
  • Posts on your official websites,
  • Songs, music, and almost every kind of audio files,
  • Written texts, including books, poetry, articles, blogs, etc.

Registration of Work Isn’t Necessary

When it comes to write or send a DMCA notice, it is not mandatory to register your work. Any unique content becomes its owner’s IP as soon as he/she creates it. And, as the original owner holds the copyright to it from the moment of its creation, he/she can send a DMCA notice in regards to it without bothering about Copyright Registration. DMCA takedown request is one of the politest ways to prevent infringement of any unregistered material, but don’t forget that if you want to go for a copyright infringement lawsuit, then it is essential to register your content with the copyright office.

Procedure to Create DMCA Notice

As per the law, there is no official DMCA takedown notice form or template that copyright owners are needed to use. However, to make the requests valid, each plaintiff (sender of the notice) must consider including certain specifications. Besides providing info that showcases the copyright infringement, the notice should include:

  • All the details related to the content that’s being infringed
  • A statement that the sender has a good faith that the party on the receiving end has infringed his/her content
  • A statement that under penalty of perjury, every detail provided in the takedown notice is precise
  • Sender’s contact information
  • Sender’s physical or electronic signature

Don’t Worry If You Receive a DMCA Takedown Notice

Considering the legal standing, receiving a DMCA takedown notice undoubtedly sounds a bit scary, but being worried or scared is not at all a solution. What you should do in such cases is first of all calm down and be honest to yourself. After that, think whether or not you infringed the copyrighted material intentionally. Usually, there are high possibilities that you didn’t steal or post the content intentionally. Nevertheless, if you find yourself guilty of infringing the material, then rectifying your mistake will be the best solution. Be quick to locate and take down the violated content as soon as you could. In some cases where you host multiple websites with various people posting and sharing content, there are probabilities that you receive the notice as the next logical person to contact while the infringement was committed by any of those people. Other likelihoods could be that you are using the copyrighted content cautiously within the boundaries of Fair Use. If that’s so, then contact the sender of the notice and share the details of how you used his/her content. It will help you in sorting the issue with ease.

Conclusion

Nowadays, when powerful tools like DMCA are here to help you fight back the infringers, there is no need to stand like helpless in situations when they steal or use your copyrighted content. When these tools have been designed to serve you, then why not utilize them and extract the benefits that you deserve. From today onwards, be active and understand the rights you hold over your copyrighted content and ways to utilize them in the best possible manner. In the case of any query, feel free to contact an experienced IP Attorney. You can also contact an Intellectual Property Law Firm with good experience in rendering services related to the IP industry. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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DPIIT Announces Launch of App for IPRs to Benefit SMEs and Startups

Recently, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) announced that it had developed a mobile application and website on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

Launched by the Modi government on 14th October 2019, the dedicated website and app are aiming at making Indian startups and SMEs learn to protect and maximize their innovations.

According to a government press release, these dedicated tools have been developed by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), DPIIT along with Qualcomm and National Law University (NLU), Delhi. By playing a remarkable role in enhancing the competitiveness of the businesses and opportunities to take technology products to market, Intellectual Property (IP) can be a road directing startups and SMEs to a successful destination.     

Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary DPIIT, explained that as both the app and website will be useful to communities that hold a considerable promise for the country and its economy, this project appears very significant. Startups and SMEs are more harmonized into investment and risk-taking due to lack of legal knowledge, and today, when the nation is on the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution, the interface between law and technology is growing and therefore, it is crucial to be available with a specialized app and website to help enterprises with the IP processes.  

The press release also mentioned that the e-learning platforms – L2Pro India IP e-learning Website and the L2Pro India Mobile App are expected to help not just startups but even entrepreneurs, innovators, and small and medium industries to understand IPRs for their protection, integrate IP into their business models, and obtain value for their R&D (research and development) efforts.

The L2Pro has been successfully implemented in various nations, like Italy, UK (United Kingdom), Germany, and France benefiting from close collaboration with IP Firms and public research institutions. The learning app has been customized for India to ensure that innovations are protected, managed, and commercialized.

The L2Pro India IP e-learning platforms will be available with 11 modules for three different levels, covering Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each module would comprise e-text for understanding concepts, links to additional resources on the subject, short animated videos of the ideas, and quizzes for grading the learner’s knowledge and insight into the subject.

People can access these e-learning platforms through their desktop, laptop, mobile browser, and mobile app (on Android and iOS), and on successful completion of their e-learning modules, they will receive e-certificates by CIPAM-DPIIT, NLU, and Qualcomm. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Facebook Faces Trademark Infringement Lawsuit over Calibra’s Logo

A mobile banking firm – Current has picked a Trademark Infringement battle against Facebook Inc. over the logo for its new digital wallet Calibra, with which the social media giant’s cryptocurrency project Libra has to deal with yet another issue.

Facebook introduced Calibra as the subsidiary that will oversee its cryptocurrency plans, including the development of a digital wallet.

According to the plaint submitted by Current in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on 10th October 2019, Calibra’s logo is confusingly similar and virtually identical to the mark that the plaintiff began using in August 2016.

Now, where the case turns more interesting is the fact that the designer of both logos is San Francisco branding firm – Character, named as a defendant in the current lawsuit. The complaint revealed ‘the logo designing company hadn’t informed Calibra that the logo it was providing to them appears identical to the logo it had designed for Current to use for banking services.’

It is still unclear how all that happened, but Current has filed an application relating to its logo on June 26th, some days after Facebook unveiled Calibra.

Current’s CEO Stuart Sopp said that the similarities in both logos are since Facebook introduced Calibra. He added that his company had worked with Character for around six months to get the logo. Facebook has all resources and money in the world, and if it has truly wanted to turn banking services more inclusive and fair, it should have come up with its ideas and branding, like his team. 

In its application for an injunction, Current said that all efforts like conversations through emails or over phone calls relating to a mutually acceptable resolution of the infringement matter had been unsuccessful. The plaintiff added that Facebook hadn’t responded to its letters objecting Calibra to use the infringing mark, thus compelling it to knock the door of the court to get preliminary and permanent injunctive and monetary reliefs. Appearing confusingly identical and virtually similar to Current’s logo, Calibra’s mark is resulting in irreparable damages to its reputation, goodwill, and market. Moreover, as the marketing channels that both companies use to advertise, market, and promote their services are the same, the infringed logo is likely to generate remarkable confusion and deception, Current explained. 

Concerning such news, Facebook’s Libra Association, the non-profit foundation formed to oversee the cryptocurrency, has been losing founding members. Following PayPal’s exit earlier this month, Stripe and eBay have decided not to support the Libra project anymore. Visa and Mastercard have also pulled their support out of the project before their first meeting in Geneva on 14th October 2019.

Observing stern resistance from regulators and others, the head of Facebook’s Calibra – David Marcus stressed that the social media giant would not proffer the Libra cryptocurrency until it has fully obtained appropriate approvals and addressed regulatory concerns. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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An Overview on Protection of Industrial Design in India

“A thing of beauty” – the poem that gives a message that beauty of a thing is a joy forever and never turns into nothingness has a great significance in today’s world where the appearance of a product counts more than its quality and utility. In the present age, most people select products, which attract them with the beauty of their designs. Besides, the liberalization and globalization have flooded the Indian markets with a wide variety of products, thus providing the consumers with numerous alternatives for whatever commodity they want. It has ultimately made consumers more selective. Therefore, the producers have to not only prove the reliability of their products but also satisfy the consumers’ aesthetic appetite. That’s why creators nowadays spend large capital on designs that enhance their products’ appearance, which then catches the attention of viewers/consumers. In other words, outer appearance/design plays an imperative role in the market by increasing the competitiveness of the product’s owner and enhancing societal life. Hence, the Industrial Product Design protection is essential to reward the owners’/designers’ creativity, encourage their future contributions, and prevent others from making earnings on their creations.  

Industrial Design Protection: Indian Law Perspective

As per the Intellectual Property Law in India, industrial design protection under Design Act 2000 refers to a type of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that gives the exclusive rights to make, use, and sell products embodying the protected design to the selected people only. In general, these protection rights have a life span of 10 years, but if needed, the owner can get them renewed for an additional time slot of five (5) years. Industrial design protection is for the shape, color, line, configuration, and surface pattern that either improves the visual appearance or increases the aesthetics of the design.

Requirements to be met for Obtaining Design Protection

To attain the protection under Indian law, a design must:

  • Be non-obvious,
  • Associate with shape, pattern, ornamentation, or configuration of any product
  • Suffice the novelty and originality, that is, before the date of applying for the registration, the design should not be published or used anywhere
  • Be non-contrary, i.e., doesn’t hurt the feelings of anyone.

Procedure to Obtain Industrial Design Protection

In India, almost every design application is filed before the Design registry. It is advisable to proceed to the application filing after recognizing the class/category of the design to be protected. Once identified the class, you can go for either paper filing or online filing. After the application has been filed, it will be examined by the concerned office, which can issue objections following the examination report. You have to respond to the objections within three months. The office, if finds the response satisfactory, will grant the protection, which will rest with you for ten years. 

Designs that Can’t Get Protection

The Industrial Design Protection in India doesn’t protect the designs:

  • Opposing to others moral values
  • Describing the process of construction of an object
  • Related to the appearance of books, calendars, jackets, certificates, forms, dressmaking patterns, greeting cards, leaflets, maps, plan cards, postcards, stamps, and medals.
  • Associated with flags, emblems, or national symbols/signs of any country
  • Of integrated circuits.

Importance of Industrial Design Protection

The industrial design used to be the most overlooked pillar of the Intellectual Property Protection, including patents, industrial designs, copyrights, trademarks, etc.  But now, as the present era is the age of creativity, aesthetics, and design, where the visual appeal of products is very significant, industrial design protection has become a crucial need for designers, manufacturers, and vendors. The rapidly turning competitive marketplace, objectives of copycats or infringers, and requisite to maintain a brand’s integrity are some aspects that will help you in understanding the importance of design protection. For instance, the visual appearance of a product is a vital thing that not just attracts the viewers but also helps them in distinguishing one brand from others. Once protected under deign law, the appearance/design will communicate the message that the product is genuine, and thus, attract more and more buyers. In other words, it will create a reputation that makes customers buy from you without hesitating. Besides, protecting the design of any product or packaging gives legal powers to stop the counterfeit products from destroying the relevant brand’s reputation and defaulting on the brand’s promise of efficacy and safety. It can provide many other significant benefits, including ownership of exclusive rights to make, use, and sell the design. Hopefully, you have understood the importance of securing your design under industrial design protection. If yes, then what are you waiting for? File the application now! For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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How Can Intellectual Property Protection Benefit Virtual Businesses?

Due to the continuous technological advancements, virtual businesses have stepped onto the path of tremendous growth. Nowadays, it is common to see people working in a coffee cafe or restaurant; instead of an office as earlier. Well, it is the concept of virtual businesses that makes this happen and lets the people work as freelancers, thus serving them with a new sense of freedom while working. Besides, it enables organizations to get their work done even by the people working in other cities. It is also about letting the employees work remotely. All these facts have made virtual businesses one of the best commerce of the present world.

Undoubtedly, virtual businesses are beneficial in almost every sense, but as the virtual data can be copied, altered, and distributed easily in just a couple of minutes, ensuring the protection of the work associated with the virtual world appears a bit complicated. In these instances, Intellectual Property Protection comes up as the most effective shield to prevent the unlawful copying and use of any material accessible over the internet without seeking the permission of the original creator.

Why Is Intellectual Property Protection Vital for Virtual Businesses?

Virtual businesses often operate on working models focused on their online presence. Hence, the assets like website, app, or other that influence one’s online presence are of great importance. Unfortunately, the Internet and rapidly advancing technology have made the theft and imitation of such online assets just a matter of some clicks, thus generating a crucial need for a robust shield to safeguard them. No doubt that there are several ways to keep the online data secure, but what could be more effective than intellectual property protection. It bestows you with the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) that are beneficial in not just preventing replication or misuse of your IP but also making the infringer pay for the damages to your business due to the infringement.

Who Can Own the IPRs on a Website?

A website, which acts as a foremost tool to promote the business for sales generation, is the biggest asset of any company. As this imperative tool generally includes several elements provided by different people like designers, content developers, etc., it is not necessary that a site owner owns exclusive rights on every component. Therefore, it is essential to determine what rights a site owner can own, along with how to protect them.

In general, the right to enjoy the exclusivity remains with the employer instead of the employees who are employed to develop the website. However, as the Intellectual Property Law varies from nation to nation, this right may also change as per the country. So whenever you decide to obtain legal ownership over your website, it will be in your best interest to consult an IP Attorney.

What Elements of Your Website Can You Protect?

The intellectual property industry has multiple heads to ensure the protection of various elements of your website. Technical tools and software can be protected by Patent Registration. However, the website’s design, which is the expression behind the idea of creating a site, can be secured under Copyright Protection. Copyrights are applicable also for the security of the website’s content, including images, blog posts, and more. Software that includes text-based HTML codes can obtain the protection under Patent Law or Copyright Act, depending upon the nation where the website is functioning. Trademark Law protects the website’s name, logo, products, and other unique signs visible to the viewer. Computer-generated graphic symbols, user interfaces, displays, & even webpages need to be protected under Industrial Design Law. Trade Secrets Law, as the name depicts, is available to safeguard the site’s hidden or confidential aspects, whose disclosure may lead to secrecy violation of the particular firm.

Wrapping Up

As mentioned earlier, the virtual business industry is one of the most rapidly growing sectors. While dealing in such a continually advancing and competitive industry, it is not uncommon for you to find your work violated by someone. Besides, there are possibilities that you may unknowingly infringe others’ IP. IP protection helps you in not just evading such issues but also ensuring safer online transactions in your business. So, if you are planning to come up with a website, make sure to secure it with suitable IPRs. Hopefully, the aforementioned information will prove helpful to you. However, if you are looking for additional information related to the IP industry and virtual businesses, it is better to consult an experienced IP Lawyer or IP Law Firm. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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Microsoft Files Patent for a Possible Virtual Reality Vibrating Mat

A new Patent Application filed by Microsoft with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hints that the company might be working on vibrating mat to prevent the Virtual Reality (VR) gamers from getting hit by a table, chair, or other devices while being blinded by a VR headset. 

In the application filed recently, the company described that it is planning to come up with a VR-enabled vibrating floor mat that would deal with the real-world issue faced by several VR gamers. Microsoft’s floor mat would house a bevy of tech features capable of influencing users’ VR experience while keeping them away from the risks posed by surrounding walls, tables, or other furniture. Built-in “spatially distributed pressure sensors” and “fiducial markers” would communicate with the VR console to determine the gamers’ physical location on the mat. The data collected could then be utilized to shape the virtual world around players.

The patent also mentions the plausibility of providing the mat with “vibration devices” to make it vibrate. It further uncovers various configurations in the possible VR mats, encompassing one that would list a few customization options so the players can personalize their play space. Besides, one of the images provided in the patent application shows the intended VR mat in the living room, where a spitting-image of a Kinect is visible on top of the TV.

More interestingly, the patent even mentions the mat’s potential that would help the VR players in having a sound gaming experience. The company explained that in some cases, the VR-enabled vibrating floor mat could become a gaming console, while the HMD and peripheral control devices may perform as peripheral to the gaming console.

Furthermore, the application showcases multiple feasible VR computing devices like personal computers, server computers, home-entertainment computers, tablet computers, network computing devices, and more. It even puts light on wearable gadgets and smartphones that reveal that the brand may have been casting a precautionary wide net.  Another point in the application describes that Microsoft could come up with interlocking floor tiles, which would help the users to increase the mat’s square footage if they find the playing space insufficient by adding some additional surrounding tiles.

However, Microsoft’s new vibrating floor mat is predicted to take the users one step ahead as it would tackle a common real-world VR concern ruining the gaming experience of many players; but only if it sees the light of the day. According to several past reports, just applying for a patent isn’t a confirmation that the company will bring the expected floor mat as it is common for the firms to file such patents and then forget to turn them into reality. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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