Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oh, patents! 2015 EPO Awards - Vote here!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

 You may cast your vote --every day, for as many inventors as you like-- to determine the winner of the Popular prize, in an extension of the European Inventor Awards competition, to be held in Paris on June 11, in the magnificent setting of the Palais Brongniart.  Just vote here!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh, patents! 2015 EPO Awards - The Finalists!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The list of finalists for the EPO Inventor awards 2015 Is published at the EPO!! 
And what a spectacular line-up! 

The competition includes five categories (industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, research, non-European countries and life-time achievement), and in each category three finalists. The selected finalists have all contributed inventions to make life easier, to enhance economic development, to promote the creation of jobs, and in many instances to save human lives. The awards ceremony will take place in Paris this year, on June 11, at the magnificent and historical landmark Palais Brongniart.

Below, see the list of these distinguished scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs with links to two of those inventions already presented here at Patents on the Soles of your shoes and within the context of the NYU Spring 2015 Patents translation class. Sample patents are also included.

In the Non-European countries category
- Elizabeth Holmes (USA)– Founder of Theranos and Inventor of micro-sample blood testing
(see Herrmann, 2014a)
Sample patents:· EP2205968EP1662987,EP2018188
- Ian Frazer (Australia) and Jian Zhout (China)– Inventors of the HPV vaccine
Sample patentsEP0750669, 
- Sumio Iijima, Akira Koshio and Masako Yudasaka (Japan) – Inventors of the carbon nanotube
Sample patents: 

In the small and medium enterprise category
- Michel Lescanne (France) – Inventor of Plumpy’nut therapeutic food against child malnutrition
(see Herrmann, 2014b)
Sample patents: EP1032280, EP1328169, FR2541870
- Laura Johana Van de Veer and team (Netherlands) – Inventor of a gene-based breast cancer test
Sample patents
EP1410011EP1590433 US7171311
- John Elvesjö and Mårten Skogö (Sweden) – Inventors of an eye-tracking device
Sample patents EP1562469EP2237237

In the Reaserch category
- Luke Alphey (United Kingdom) – Inventor of genetically modified mosquitoes to control dengue fever
Sample patents: EP1246927EP1649027
- Hendrik Marius Jonkers (The Netherlands) – Inventor of self-hearing cement containing bacteria
Sample patents: EP2247551, EP2082999, WO2014185781
- Ludwik Leibler (France) – Inventor of Vitrimers (a new category of supramolecular polymers)
Sample patents: EP1465930, EP2794668, EP2857350

In the Industry category
- Jean-Christophe Giron and Saint-Gobain Vitrage, Est. since 1665 (France) – Inventor of electronically tintable glass
Sample patents: EP0831360, EP2691933
- Gunnar Asplund (Sweden) – Inventor of high voltage power grid connection
Sample patents: EP867998 EP2569842, EP2241003
- Franz Amtmann, et al. (Austria) and Philippe Maugars, et al. (France) – Inventors of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology
Sample patents: EP1488375, EP1247410,EP1272973, EP1081630, EP2002376,EP1851865

In the Life-time acheivement category
- Ivars Kalvins & team (Latvia)– Inventor of Mldronate heart medication and others
Sample patents: EP1328510, EP1009732, EP1778632
- Kornelis A. Schouhamer Immink (Netherlands) - Coding method for CD, DVD and Blu-Ray
Sample patents: EP0653631, EP0544969, EP0497077
- Andreas Manz (Switzerland) - Microchip-sized blood analysis system
Sample patents: EP0084913, EP1000467, EP0702827
Herrmann, F. (2014a) Oh, Patents! Oh, patents! Theranos micro-sample lab testing (Feb. 28, ,2014) at Patents in the soles of your shoe
Herrmann, F. (2014b)  Oh, patents! Oh, patents! Plumpy’Nut° Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (Jan. 19, 2014) at Patents in the soles of your shoe

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Oh, patents! L’arbre à vent® (the wind tree) in action

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

           The following is a video of one of the wind tre prototypes installed in the north-west of France, in Brittany.            

And here is a close-up on the energy-generating and very patented turbine leaves.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oh, patents! L'arbre à vent® (the wind tree)

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

So, you love clean, green and renewable energy; Pantone 7737 energy, such as wind energy! Yet, you have heard all these disconcerting reports of birds colliding with wind turbines and the associated transmission lines. 140,000 to 328,000 bird deaths per year are reported according to The Smithsonian.com, while The American Bird Conservatory calls for careful bird-smart planning and implementation of wind farms and wind turbines, to minimize bird harm and loss of bird habitat. 

Even if some folks dismiss 300,000 bird deaths per year from wind farms and turbines as a lesser evil compared to other forms of energy and considering the higher rates of bird death from bigger bird killers, such as cats, building windows and cars, that’s still plenty of blood on the wind turbine tracks….

In comes L’Arbre à vent® (the wind tree), researched and developed by NewWind®, with a radically new design. Indeed, instead of long rotating blades mounted on a shaft, way up in the sky, where it is most dangerous for the birds, and reminiscent of the old fashioned wind-mill, L’Arbre à vent® looks like a tree, with lots of green leaves (80 to 150 leaves generating about 3 kW of power). 

Only, on the NewWind® tree, each leaf is specifically designed to function as a small vertical turbine, with its own generator! And each leaf has a patented position on a branch, so that it does not obstruct the wind coming in as a source of energy for another leaf, and a patented contact surface with the wind, ranging from 8 to 64 cm.

All of the wiring is hidden within the branches and trunk of the tree, and the combination of shape, contact surface and position of the many vertical turbines, as leaves on the tree, thus take advantage of even the slightest amount of wind for transformation to electricity. The result is both esthetically pleasing, and a very functional source of clean, green and renewable energy --without the associated carnage for birds…!

The tree and leaf designs of these wind turbines are termed bio-mimetic, that is, “in imitation of nature”. Indeed, L’Arbre à vent® looks like a stylized chestnut tree or oak tree… depending on specification, and perhaps on which continent you reside… And each turbine looks like a leaf attached to a branch of the power generating tree. And it is because of these bio-mimetic properties that the L’Arbre à vent® blends equally well both in urban settings, like street furniture or street art, and the countryside.

The patent application corresponding to this invention is EP2825770, filed January 21, 2015 with the EPO, and titled Aerogenerator comprising a trunk and a plurality of branches extending from this trunk. An aerogenerator is a power generator that uses wind as its source of power. The patent discloses the patented design of several vertical, leaf-shaped turbines, their specific position and methods of attachment on the branches of the aerogenerating tree, and calculation of the maximum amount of power extractable from the wind, considering all the various design variables. The patent also discloses specifics for the generators and tubing connecting all the hardware.

Below appear the patent Abstract and one of the figure drawings from EP2825770 titled Aerogenerator comprising a trunk and a plurality of branches extending from this trunk, and above, images of the aerogenerating trees and leaves!

The invention relates to an aerogenerator (100) comprising a trunk (10) and a plurality of branches (20, 21, 22, 23) extending from this trunk (10), characterized in that it comprises: - a plurality of turbines (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 31') distributed over the various branches, each turbine having a vertical axis of rotation (40, 40'); and - an electric generator (50, 50') mounted inside each turbine on the axis of rotation of said turbine. [Abstract EP2825770] 

Just in case you would like to install one of these beautiful wind trees in your backyard, or several on your street, you will have to wait for 2016 when they are scheduled for release to the public!

The American Bird Conservatory –The American Bird Conservancy’s Policy Statement on Wind Energy and Bird-Smart Wind Guidelines
The Smithsonian – How many birds do wind turbines kill?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

UN/WHO - World Health Day 2015

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Today is world health day 2015!

Recognizing widespread food-borne diseases, the UN World Health Organization celebrates food safety this year with the theme: From farm to plate, make food safe.

According to WHO, there are 200 diseases that are caused by unsafe food containing bacteria, chemicals, parasites or viruses (WHO [1a]). And there are an estimated 2 million death per year arising from the consumption of unsafe food or water (WHO [1b])

To combat unsafe food WHO implemented a Five Keys programme for food safety, available in 87 languages: 1. Keep clean to avoid contamination from hands or utensils, 2. Separate raw from cooked food to avoid cross-contamination, 3. Cook thoroughly, 4. Keep food at safe temperatures (no longer than 2 hours at room temperature, store below 5°C or above 60°C before serving), 5. Use safe water and raw materials (WHO [2]).

Food safety standards (Codex Alimentarius) have been developed jointly by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WHO, covering 186 member states. The Codex endeavors to create harmonized international food safety standards for the protection of consumers. WHO provides scientific information on microbiological and chemical hazards (Codex [1]).

The Codex Alimentarius includes 341 records in its list of standards, including such items as: Guidelines for food labeling, Guidelines for formulated complementary foods for older infants and young children, Standards for canned baby food or Standards for the prevention and reduction of lead contamination in food. (Codex [2]).

Take the WHO Quizz on Food safety to test your IQ! You will receive immediate feedback! 

For more information, see the UN WHO Fact sheet on food safety (WHO [3]).
Good health to you all on World Health day 2015!

WHO [1a] World health day 2015 – Food safety – The gobal view
WHO [1b] World health day 2015 – From farm to plate, make food safe.
WHO [2] Five keys programme for food safety
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/consumer/en/5keys_en.pdf?ua=1 [English 5 keys flyer]
WHO [3] Fact sheet on food safety
WHO [4] Food safety Quizz
Codex [1] Codex Alimentarius -  Food Safety Standards
Codex [2] Codex Alimentarius – List of standards