Monday, February 23, 2015

Oh, patents! USPTO Numbers from the Patent Librarian

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Do you know how many US patent were published in 2014, or “since the beginning of (US) time” as Google is fond of including as a history parameter?

You might find all of these answers on the Dashboards of the USPTO Visual Data Center, which literally change before your eyes!

But if you want the answers to your questions already culled and organized in a short and concise report, then you might consult The Patent Librarian, who has just posted a short summary of US Patent Statistics and Numbers for 2014.

The Patent Librarian estimates that sometime near the end of March 2015 the USPTO will be issuing patent No. 9,000,000, which means the USPTO has granted that many patents since provisions for a patenting system were included in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution in 1789 and the Patent Act of 1790, one year later.

With a staff of 10,000 at the USPTO in Alexandria, a total of 706,533 documents published in 2014, including applications and those patents granted, across all categories (utility, design and plant).

That’s a lot of inventive activity, not necessarily all happening in the US, since inventors from abroad also seek to patent their work in the US.

I am enclosing a copy of the USPTO Dashboard for Jan 2015 Backlogs, that is, all the unexamined patent applications (utility, design, plant and re-issue) waiting for action at the USPTO in Jan 2015, in the amount of 602265 applications.


References

USPTO Visual Data Center Dashboards
US constitution (archives.gov)
Patent Librarian’s Notebook
Patent Librarian's Notebook - US Patent Statistic and Numbers for 2014

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tonight, the OSCARS! In June, the EPO Inventor awards!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Ladies and Gentlemen… tonight is the 87th Academy Awards for cinematographic achievement, a night honoring the stars of cinema… the OSCARS, held each year in Los Angeles, since 1929! (Circa the invention of crepe rubber soles….)

Now, please scroll forward…

On June 11, 2015, the EPO Inventor Awards will be held in Paris this year. This event is the "OSCARS" of invention awards. The European Patent Organization Inventor Awards, since 2006, is even an event that is in many ways mapped onto tonight’s OSCAR celebrations.

Inventors are nominated in five major categories: Research, Industry, SME – Small to Medium-sized Enterprises, Life-time achievement and non-European countries.  The public (you and I) have an opportunity both nominate inventors, and to vote and select a sixth, popular inventor award.  

However, unlike the gold-plated OSCAR statuette of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, depicting an art-deco knight standing on reels of film, with five spokes symbolizing the five original branches of cinematic achievement for: actors, directors, producers, writers and technicians, the EPO Inventor Awards’ trophy is a beautifully crafted sail (perhaps further powered by an English pun...).

 To highlight the changing face of innovation, each year, the EPO Awards trophy is produced out of a different quintessential industrial material, in the country where the awards are held. For example, last year’s trophy was crafted from German porcelain, by the Royal Factory of Porcelain in Berlin. And this year in Paris the trophy will be produced with a different material – yet to be announced.

Images of the EPO Awards sail trophy and the Academy Awards Oscar are included above. And below, a short Youtube video explaining the crafting of the sail in 2011, when the EPO Inventor Awards were held in Budapest, Hungary.  

Indeed, in 2011, the trophy was crafted out of liquid wood or arboform, a biodegradable bioplastic that uses a wood byproduct called lignin, in combination with resins and other fibers to make plastic.



Stay tuned to participate and vote for the 2015 EPO inventor awards, and to discover all the 2015 EPO inventor nominations. These are usually some of the greatest inventions that have changed the hum of daily life, industrial life, medicine etc…

And, yes… in the interim, we will also spend a lot of time highlighting the controversial aspects of the patenting system. Indeed this system is deeply layered, and no examination of the patenting system is ever complete without understanding the controversies, or listening to the voices of dissent.

References
EPO – About the award
European Award Trophy 2011
European Inventor Award 2014  Trophy
http://youtu.be/YvYFpUjVCSg  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oh, patents! Inventors and artists: What's the difference?

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Inventors take creative leaps, called inventive steps! Artists also leap, and are creative by definition,  so what’s the difference?

Below, inventors as perceived by the inventors themselves, in a community of inventors at the occasion of the 2011 EPO (European Patent Organisation) awards in Budapest, Hungary:


And below, a link to a GoogleDoodle post by Mark Holmes, a Google, Inc.; in house artist explaining how he designed the February 18 2015, Google Doodle celebrating Alessandro Volta


Kinda different species, aren’t they!

We will be examining in great details what is involved in the disclosure of an invention, working backwards to what counts as an invention, so that these differences will become even more substantiated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh, Google Doodle! February 18, 2015

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Check out today's Google Doodle at www.google.com (and click on the Doodle)! Today's Google Doodle celebrates Alessandro Volta's 270th birthday on Feb. 18, 1745, the inventor of the voltaic pile (i.e.;battery)! 


Google Doodles are the delightful and beautifully crafted daily changes to the Google logo posted on the Google.com splash search page. For an archive of the Doodles, search for GoogleDoodles. Perhaps that one day there might be a Google Doodle exhibit to light up MOMAs worldwide! This is charming, whimsical, highly technical and amazingly participatory art!


Google’s Doodle is linked to a Wikipedia article about Alessandro Volta. In the article you will find out that Volta’s invention was reported to The Royal Society in 1880, and then to the Institut de France, two of the oldest learned societies on record, founded respectively in 1660 and 1795, where the invention was granted Letters patent.

In the Wikipedia article, you will also learn that Alessandro Volta’s invention concerned the production of electricity using a chemical reaction at a time when electricity was thought to be produced exclusively by living beings, according to Galvani’s “frog leg” experiments identifying animal electricity. Volta’s pile or battery placed two metals in contact with a liquid electrolyte (sulfuric acid mixed with water, or soaked saltwater brine paper), creating a voltaic cell where electricity flows as result of a series of electrochemical transfers and reactions.

You will also find out that Alessandro Volta is credited with the discovery of methane, and subsequently the study of electrical capacitance where his experiments resulted in Volta’s law of capacitance, and electrical potential became known as the “volt”. This work in experimental physics was carried out at the University of Pavia, in Italy where Alessandro Volta was chair and professor for 40 years.  

 Below, today's animated Google Doodle celebrating Alessandro Volta's sparks of genius 
(Copyright © Google Inc.)

Wikipedia - Letters Patent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_patent
Wikipedia - Alessandro Volta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Volta

Wikipedia - Luigi Galvani http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Galvani
Wikipedia - Capacitance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance 
Wikipedia - Voltaic pile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaic_pile 
The Royal Society https://royalsociety.org/
Institut de France http://www.institut-de-france.fr/
Google Doodles http://www.google.com/doodles/

Monday, February 16, 2015

Oh, patents! Bluetooth® lore

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Below a runic carving of King Harald 1 “Blåtand” (Bluetooth) Gormsøn, holding a laptop and cell phone!


And  the Bluetooth® logo consisting of the two letter symbols, or runes, of the runic alphabet representing ‘Hagall’ or “H” for “Harald”, and ‘Bjarkan’ or “B” for “Blåtand” (meaning Bluetooth in Old Norse), developed by a marketing design firm.


References
Introduction to Bluetooth Technology, its Working and its Applications
 http://www.edgefxkits.com/blog/bluetooth-technology-and-its-working/
Dundes, Alan. 1965. The Study of Folklore. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Dundes, Alan. 1980. "Who Are the Folk?" In Interpreting Folklore. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oh, patents! Bluetooth®

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Cables begone! Bluetooth® technology is electronic engineering at its best, and Viking history re-visited on a global level!

Bluetooth® wireless communication technology, assigned to the Swedish company Ericsson, enables your Bluetooth®-supported devices to communicate wirelessly and securely with each other at short distances (< 100 meters or 328 feet). 

For example, this is the technology that enables you to use a router (connected to a modem and the Internet) and all the Bluetooth®-enabled devices of your home for a wireless connection to the Internet (via Bluetooth® to the router), including any such Bluetooth© enabled devices as a computer, a printer, a TV, speakers, a sound system, a refrigerator, an alarm system, a thermostat and/or a mobile phone. 

Bluetooth® technology is also used for wireless communication of data (music, voice, photo, video) among billions of other paired Bluetooth® supported products (even toothbrushes or forks), including medical devices for robotic prostheses and surgery.

According to one of the inventors, Jaap Haartsen, the name Bluetooth® is a translated eponym that refers back to the Scandinavian Vikings, and King Harald I of Denmark whose epithet was “Blåtand” (blåtand meaning blue-tooth in Old Norse). King Harald I “Blåtand” Gormsøn was a Danish monarch with a reputation of resorting to diplomacy instead of the sword, having succeeded in uniting all the tribes of Denmark, and Norway for a while, during the tenth century AD.

This is also the reason why the Bluetooth® logo was selected as representing King Harald I “Blåtand”’s initials inscribed in runic letter symbols. Runic alphabets were used for Germanic languages, including Old Norse, before the advent of Latin letter symbols. 

Thus, it is in this Viking spirit of peaceful unity that Bluetooth® technology was named, itself for the purposes of connecting (i.e.; uniting) disparate devices at short distances, and consequently expanding the potential of existing means of communication while supplying connection to everyday objects.

Bluetooth® technology uses miniaturized radio transmitter technology to exchange data within the un-licensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency bandwidth at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz. The invention uses the principle of a “spread-spectrum, full-duplex, frequency-hopping signal” at the rate of 16,000 hops per second to avoid interference from static and non-hopping ISM networks such as WIFI in the vicinity of a piconet, dynamically created when Bluetooth® devices connect. Data is exchanged within a WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network) also called a piconet or “bubble” at distances shorter than 100 meters or 328 feet, comprising at least one master device and a maximum seven actively connected “slaves”.

The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patent that recites the Bluetooth® invention, WO9949593 titled A communication device and method for operation of long-range and short-range radio was awarded in 1999. The invention includes both hardware and software (i.e.; device and method), as it includes the radio transmitter and the connection protocol, the finer details of which are left to electronic engineers to appreciate.

Below, the Abstract for WO9949593 titled A communication device and method for operation of long-range and short-range radio, and an EPO YouTube video of the story of Bluetooth® told by Jaap Hartsen, one of the inventors, are both included.
A short-range radio transmitter of a communication device comprising a short-range radio and a long-range radio is controlled to delay packets which are scheduled to be transmitted at the same time as a long-range transmitter of the long-range radio commences or discontinues to transmit. A frequency synthesizer of the short-range radio is thereby not affected by a change in the power supply voltage which otherwise occurs at these moments due to transmission with high power by the long-range transmitter. Abstract WO9949593

References
- Ericsson 
- How Bluetooth® works (Nov. 5, 2007)
- Bluetooth® technology 101. A brief tutorial on Bluetooth® technology: http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Fast-Facts.aspx
- What is  Bluetooth® technology? Learn Bluetooth® basics: http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/what-is-bluetooth-technology.aspx

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy V-Day to all!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Today is V-Day 2015 – A global movement to end violence against women and girls, that is, a movement targeting rape, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery, arising out of Eve Ensler’s famous play The Vagina Monologues.

The V-Day non-profit organization was founded, in 1998, in NYC, following a benefit performance of the play that raised 250,000 USD in a single evening!

The rest is history! Every year, performances of the play are staged on February 14th, with proceeds benefitting shelters, and anti-violence programs, for women and girls, survivors of violence. The organization has raised more than 100 million USD, in 200 countries, in 48 languages, benefitting more than 13,000 organizations against violence –using the play (Royalty free) and other creative and artistic performances as a catalyst for action and organization.

In 2015, the VDay movement includes a dance, drum and rise movement launched in 2003: The One Billion Rising -- 4 Revolution, 4Justice, 4Women’s Rights, depending on location, in the bid to stop violence again women and girls, and through them, the harshest inequities of the world.  The One Billion number stands for a shocking statistic: one billion women will experience violence in the world during their life time, that is, 1 in 3 women worldwide.

Check out your local area for events to break the chain of violence, to Dance! Drum! and Rise!
Below, the official video of the One Billion Rising song and choreography performed worldwide that will perhaps inspire you!

Maldives (official) http://youtu.be/F2uTqLQVFko

And One Billion Rising around the world..… !!....
In Kinshasa (Congo) http://youtu.be/u4YJZ2NB4Vk

References
Ensler, E. (2014) O.P.C (Obsessive Political Correctness). Directed by Pesha Rudnick.
Ensler, E. (2011) Emotional Creature: The secret lives of girls around the world. New York, NY Villard Books.
Ensler, E. (2007) Insecure at last: A political memoir. New York, NY: Villard Books.
Ensler, E. (2005) The Good Body. New York, NY: Villard Books
Ensler, E. (2001) The Vagina Monologues. New York, NY: Villard Books.
Epstein, A. and V. Farrel (2003) V-Day: Until the violence stops. Lifetime Television. 73 minutes.
Vday : http://www.vday.org/
Onbillionrising: http://www.onebillionrising.org/
Breaking the male code: After Steubenville, a call to action: http://www.vday.org/node/3054.html#.VN-Y2PnF_ts

Friday, February 13, 2015

Oh, patents! Toy ball ice-cream maker!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Do your kids love ice-cream? Do they love playing ball? 

If they do… (on both counts), and would rather avoid cranking frozen desserts, then you will all delight in the toy ball ice-cream maker, marketed as the Play & Freeze

Just fill the central container of the ball with frozen dessert ingredients (in the right proportions), and the outer container with ice and rock salt. Then let your kids play with the ball for 20 minutes, during which the ice cream will freeze… Then…enjoy the dessert!

The principle of the toy ball ice cream maker restores the “old fashioned process” of making home-made ice-cream, lost to modern motor-driven appliances and refrigeration, without the tedium and labor of hand cranking. Indeed, this dessert is fun to make, from start to finish!

The patent US5857351 (A) titled Play ball ice-cream maker recites this invention in the most elegant patent style. Beyond process and play, the invention is presented with health and educational benefits. The health benefits recited include the possibility of making ice-cream with healthy low-fat ingredients, devoid of additives and preservatives. The educational benefits invoked are those of reflection on the scientific process of rock salt ice interactions with ingredients, and the details of healthy nutrition, in the fun-filled process of playing ball. 
  
The double compartment of the ball is described succinctly below, in the Abstract for US US5857351 (A), titled Play ball ice-cream maker. A patent drawing of the ball is also included, and above the image of the marketed Play & Freeze ice cream maker.
 A toy ice cream maker being a preferably aluminum can with a lid insertable into a larger container wherein the larger container is encased in a spherical foam jacket. The smaller can has a lid and the larger can has a lid providing that ingredients for a frozen dessert may be inserted into the inner container and a  mixture of rock salt and ice is insertable in the space between the inner and outer can. Another lid, formed integrally with the jacket seals the ice and rock salt in position. After the dessert ingredients have been sealed in the inner container and the rock-salt and ice have been sealed in the cooling container, the device, being a soft ball, is a toy that children delight in rolling around thereby hastening congealing the ingredients to form the dessert. Abstract US5857351 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oh, patents! The Squatchi

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The Squatchi Inc. patent, USD 704080 S1, titled Home shoe-sizer for children is a design patent. (You probably noticed the letter “D” in the patent reference number).  

A design patent protects the way an object “looks”, it’s visual and ornamental properties. In contrast, a utility patent protects the functionality of an object, how it works or how it is used. It follows that objects can be protected with both design and utility patents providing all conditions of patentability are fulfilled in each case -- even for a single object like several of Frank Ghery’s chairs (see this previous post on the differences between design and utility patents).

For the present case of a shoe-sizer, such an object may be protected for the way it looks, like the brightly colored Squatchi, designed for use at home to measure children’s shoe sizes. And a shoe-sizer may be patented for the functions it performs like the Shoe-sizer patent US1252920 A that was granted in 1918, for all the patentable improvements that it offered, in particular a sliding block to improve measurement accuracy.

There are many additional important differences between utility and design patents, outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations CFR 37, especially in terms of form.  For example, a design patent only contains figure drawings and a single claim, whereas utility patents contain a much more detailed and structured description of the invention, that may run several hundred pages.

 Below, to the left, you will find a Squatchi USD 704080 S1 patent drawing, and above an image of the real marketed product. The figure drawings of patent US1252920  titled  Shoe-sizer, granted 1918….with its block slide for more accurate measurements are included below to the right. The image of marketed block slide shoe sizer is also included above.


Just short of 100 years between the Squatchi and the block-slide shoe sizer!... 










Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oh, patents! GRUSH – A gaming toothbrush for kids!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

You are going to steal your kid’s GRUSH! This is a Bluetooth®--enabled (no pun intended), motion-sensing toothbrush, that enables kids to visualize the effectiveness of brushing their teeth using interactive games that coach them into brushing in all the right places, for the right amount of time, and at the right time, twice every day! Additionally, for very thorough parenting styles.. the GRUSH app also gives parents a full dashboard report of their children's teeth brushing activity using a GRUSH score of brushing consistency and technique…!

Kids can see how they brush on the small animated screen of a Bluetooth-connected device such as a tablette or smartphone, and are coached to brush “30 seconds for every quadrant, with proper brush angle towards the gumline” all within the context of an interactive game where “every stroke is counted and rewarded”! Monster Chase, Toothy Orchestra and Brush a Pet are the three games that provide the interactive coaching and feedback for brushing.

The patent application US 2003001787 titled Toothbrush with electronic game apparatus recites this invention in broken English. In addition to the standard Bluetooth®-, motion sensing, connected toothbrush (manual or electric) and the apps for the interactive game, there are provisions in the patent for communication among family member toothbrushes! So, at some point in the future, you may no longer have to steal your kid’s GRUSH for the GRUSH experience of interactive brushing feedback on screen!

A pediatric dentist on staff at GRUSH appears to have endorsed this invention, claiming that it is sure to motivate kids to brush their teeth. Although admittedly, your kid will be the judge!  Otherwise, in its manually-operated version, the GRUSH will certainly have to compete with all the electric toothbrushes for kids, already on the market. Equipped with highly patented pulsating, oscillating and/or rotating tufts (e.g.; US 20120227201) designed to remove plaque and clean teeth in ways that exceed what can be achieved with manual brushing, electric toothbrushes have already accumulated irrefutable data (e.g.; Klukowska et al. 2009; Bartizek and Biesbrock 2002). Additionally, the use of a rotary or rotary-oscillating electric toothbrush with proactive manual rotary or vertical strokes appears counterproductive (US2014230169, [0002]), so the GRUSH motion-sensing and coaching for manual brushing would have to be re-programmed for an electric version of the GRUSH to prevent the use of counterproductive manual techniques with an electric toothbrush.

Below you will find the stylistically wanting abstract for US 2003001787 titled Toothbrush with electronic game apparatus, and a patent figure. And above an image of the “soon to be ” marketed product! You can pre-order here (for 59$). The GRUSH will ship sometime during Q1 2015. The GRUSH is designed for kids as young as three.

“Toothbrush with electronic-game apparatus”, as its alias “gamebrush”, has an electronic-gamer combined and turns boring daily tooth-cleaning into charming electronic-games. The toothbrush can detect what time user brush his teeth and for how long, it requests user do tooth-cleaning upon a regular daily timetable, morning and evening, twice a day. A good oral-care habit is the key factor for user to win in the electronic-game. The game model can be vast of kinds. Thetoothbrush use charming games to “bind” user with a regular daily timetable of tooth-cleaning. It encourages those people without good oral-care habit, especially kids and youngster, brush their teeth regularly. At the meantime, tooth-cleaning history records can be stored in the electronic-game IC chip, so user can check this history record. An advanced model of this toothbrush can communicate with each other and invert its game into multi-player model, another advanced model of this invention allows these toothbrush can speak with each other by voice, for example in a family pack son's toothbrush can speak with dad's toothbrushby voice, just like conversations between real family members. To contact inventor for licensing or other opportunities, please send email to: bizants_jeff@hotmail.com

References

Friday, February 6, 2015

Oh, patents! The Petcube camera

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

So you have pets, and when you leave’m at home to go to work, Fluffy chews on your favorite shoes, Tiger gets anxious, and both become couch potatoes; the pet sitter only comes in for an hour, the TV and the radio are hardly interactive, and the webcam makes you nervous, and sends you rushing home every time you see trouble on the screen.

In comes the Petcube camera, connected to your mobile device, which also allows you to talk to your furry friends and to play with them, remotely!  Yes, there is a laser light pointer that you can drag on screen to give your pets some exercise, from a distance! The app also enables you to extract shots of your pets to send them to your friends!

The patent application that discloses the Petcub invention is US2014233906, titled Remote interaction device. The application discloses a device that includes “ a video recorder, an acoustic transducer, a microphone, an antenna for transmitting and receiving data, a processor, a photonic emission device and photonic emission aiming device, and a power supply.” The photonic emission component is a laser light pointer, which you can remotely control. The video camera includes a wide angle (138°) lens to capture the whole room, especially when the Petcube is positioned at a height.

Below, appears the abstract for US2014233906, titled Remote interaction device, with one of the patent figure drawings; and above there are two images of the marketed product with  satisfied furry customers.
  
Systems, devices, and methods are provided for remote interaction with a subject in an environment. The device has audio-visual recording and transmitting functionality to provide an operator at a remote location with an audio-visual feed of the environment near the device. The device also has a light emission component which the operator controls and which projects light onto a surface in the environment in the vicinity of the device. The systems, devices, and methods provide operators with the ability to interact with pets and provide exercise and stimulation to pets when their owners are away.

Hot, hot, hot! A second batch of this device is scheduled to roll out this month! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Oh, patents! Google AR (augmented reality) image recognition

Copyright©Françoise Herrmann

Just take a picture of a real world object with an AR app that superimposes virtual information in the form of text or graphics onto the real world object for real time interaction. Voila! This is Augmented Reality! The real world object acquires new properties and more depth in the virtual world, where conversely, the user can experience the virtual world as part of the real world, resulting in an augmented impression of the real world.

Easy said… but how does it work? How do you get the application to recognize an image (i.e.; bring information to the image)? How does the application differentiate among the multiple objects of an image (e.g.; a street with all of its different overlapping buildings)? How does the application provide you with information about the parts of an image that are hidden or actually non visible, and for what purposes?   

For example, how does the application provide information about the closest restaurant, or hair salon, or post-office when the actual shops or business are not visible on the image? And even if the objects are visible (e.g.; the TransAmerica or the Francis Ford Coppola  buildings in San Francisco), how does the application recognize them, and supply relevant information about the sites?

Google patent US 8810599, titled Image recognition in augmented reality discloses an invention that precisely addresses these issues. Specifically, the invention seeks to match position information attached to an acquired image with stored geo-coded images, in view of both characterizing the acquired image and matching it against the descriptive information known for the stored images, and finally superimposing Augmented Reality display data (graphic or text) on the captured image for querying by the user. 

The invention includes a number of additional aspects, including: means for adjusting position or location, when for example the image was acquired at a slightly different angle from the geo-coded stored image, or when the coordinates obtained for the position data are slightly different from what was previously stored virtually for that location; means for re-calibrating a compass tool on the computing device, and using the compass for determining aim and direction sensed when the image was taken; means for ordering the search and display of information according to popularity (e.g. coffee vs tobacco shop), among many additional aspects.

Below appears the abstract for US 8810599, titled Image recognition in augmented reality, and above Figure 1 of this patent depicting use of  GPS compass coordinates for determining location of the image objects, using a mobile device and front camera.
A computer-implemented augmented reality method includes obtaining an image acquired by a computing device running an augmented reality application, identifying image characterizing data in the obtained image, the data identifying characteristic points in the image, comparing the image characterizing data with image characterizing data for a plurality of geo-coded images stored by a computer server system, identifying locations of items in the obtained image using the comparison, and providing, for display on the computing device at the identified locations, data for textual or graphical annotations that correspond to each of the items in the obtained image, and formatted to be displayed with the obtained image or a subsequently acquired image.

Of course, when reading the above-cited abstract, you will have already noticed that in a world of patents where computer programs that transform everyone’s life cannot be patented, US 8810599 is a “computer-implemented augmented reality method…” where “an image is acquired by a computing device, running an augmented reality application…”. 

Consequently, and elsewhere in the specifications of the patent, since the coded instructions of a computer program cannot be patented, you will discover that this invention also includes "tangible non-transient recordable computer storage media” that “stores the instructions which once executed make it possible to acquire an image with a device, running an augmented reality program”. 

Finally, in addition to the media support for this method, the patent also covers the means for acquiring the image, means for sending the image data wirelessly to a server containing geo-coded image data; means for comparing and matching acquired data with stored data, means for extracting and displaying the virtual data for an augmented impression of reality..., plus much more, in terms of the scope of the invention and its variations: of input modes (voice, stylus, keyboard), of operating systems (Android, iOS, Rim Blackberry, Microsoft  Windows Mobile, Symbian…), of the means for determining location of user, and position of image; of the networks supporting transmission of information etc! (The patent runs 26 pages.)

Cheers, and thanks Google!