Keeping Score in the IP Game

Quantity and concentration of patents strengthen the case for legislative reform

5 min read
Keeping Score in the IP Game

A U.S. federal jury in February ordered Microsoft to pay Alcatel-Lucent US $1.52 billion in damages for infringing its intellectual property in MP3, the ubiquitous music-encoding software. Although in August an appeals judge reversed the decision in part and canceled the damages, the new ruling did not address Microsoft's main complaint, namely that U.S. patent law encouraged the jury to put excessive value on the IP in question. Microsoft may ultimately obtain a settlement it considers completely fair, but that could take so many years of costly litigation that even if the company wins, it will have lost.

The Microsoft-Alcatel MP3 case is just one of many that suggest to some that the patent system itself has lurched out of control, giving too much power to those laying claim to intellectual property and allowing too much leeway to patents of dubious quality or worth. Surely the case that has most captured the public imagination was the dispute over the technology of the BlackBerry personal communicator—which went on for years between Research in Motion, of Waterloo, Ont., Canada and NTP, a patent holding company in McLean, Va. Finally, last year RIM paid NTP upward of $600 million, complying with a court judgment.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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New AI Speeds Computer Graphics by Up to 5x

Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.

NVIDIA

On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

This impressive feat is currently limited to a few dozen 3D games, but it’s a hint at the gains neural rendering will soon deliver. The technique will unlock new potential in everyday consumer electronics.

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Learn How Global Configuration Management and IBM CLM Work Together

In this presentation we will build the case for component-based requirements management

2 min read

This is a sponsored article brought to you by 321 Gang.

To fully support Requirements Management (RM) best practices, a tool needs to support traceability, versioning, reuse, and Product Line Engineering (PLE). This is especially true when designing large complex systems or systems that follow standards and regulations. Most modern requirement tools do a decent job of capturing requirements and related metadata. Some tools also support rudimentary mechanisms for baselining and traceability capabilities (“linking” requirements). The earlier versions of IBM DOORS Next supported a rich configurable traceability and even a rudimentary form of reuse. DOORS Next became a complete solution for managing requirements a few years ago when IBM invented and implemented Global Configuration Management (GCM) as part of its Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM, formerly known as Collaborative Lifecycle Management or simply CLM) suite of integrated tools. On the surface, it seems that GCM just provides versioning capability, but it is so much more than that. GCM arms product/system development organizations with support for advanced requirement reuse, traceability that supports versioning, release management and variant management. It is also possible to manage collections of related Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Systems Engineering artifacts in a single configuration.

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