Technology IP Patents

Facebook patents news feeds in a social network context

The method covered in the patent includes “generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network environment and attaching an informational link associated with at least one of the activities, to at least one of the news items, as well as limiting access to the news items to a predetermined set of viewers and assigning an order to the news items.” — PC World

Apple sues HTC for violations on 20 patents

Here’s the actual filing that includes the titles of each of the patents including:

  • Object oriented graphic system – granted 1995
  • List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display – granted 2008
  • Object oriented event notification system with listener registration of both interests and methods – granted 2002

What kinds of Inventions can be Protected?

An invention must, in general, fulfill the following conditions to be protected by a patent. It must be of practical use; it must show an element of novelty, that is, some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge in its technical field. This body of existing knowledge is called ” prior art“. The invention must show an inventive step which could not be deduced by a person with average knowledge of the technical field. Finally, its subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under law. In many countries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods, or methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) are generally not patentable. — World Intellectual Property Organization