This Tiny Website Is Google’s First Line of Defense within the Patent Wars | EUROtoday

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A trio of Google engineers lately got here up with a futuristic means to assist anybody who stumbles by means of shows on video calls. They suggest that when algorithms detect a speaker’s pulse racing or “umms” lengthening, a generative AI bot that mimics their voice might merely take over.

That cutting-edge concept wasn’t revealed at a giant firm occasion or in an instructional journal. Instead, it appeared in a 1,500-word put up on a little-known, free web site known as that Google has quietly owned and funded for 9 years. Until WIRED obtained a hyperlink to an concept on TDCommons final 12 months and bought curious, Google had by no means spoken with the media about its web site.

Scrolling by means of TDCommons, you may learn Google’s newest concepts for coordinating good residence devices for higher sleep, preserving privateness in cellular search outcomes, and utilizing AI to summarize an individual’s actions from their photograph archives. And the submissions aren’t unique to Google; about 150 organizations, together with HP, Cisco, and Visa, even have posted innovations to the web site.

The web site is a house for concepts that appear doubtlessly helpful however not value spending tens of hundreds of {dollars} in search of a patent for. By publishing the technical particulars and establishing “prior art,” Google and different firms can head off future disputes by blocking others from submitting patents for comparable ideas. Google provides workers a $1,000 bonus for every invention they put up to TDCommons—a tenth of what it awards its patent seekers—however additionally they get an instantly shareable hyperlink to brag about in any other case secretive work.

TDCommons provides to Google’s long-standing, and much more vocal, efforts to carve out better area for freewheeling innovation in an trade the place patents can be utilized to hobble or extract money from opponents. The web site could also be dowdy and obscure, but it surely does the trick. “The beauty of defensive publications is that this website can be pretty simple,” says Laura Sheridan, Google’s head of patent coverage. “It needs to establish a date. And it needs to have documents be accessible. There’s not much more we need to do.”

In actuality, the experiment has struggled to chop by means of authorities paperwork and overcome competitors from extra sturdy archives. Sheridan acknowledges it’s a piece in progress. TDCommons wants a much bigger stream of uploads to change into much less peculiar and extra important. It provides a singular hope of increasing public entry to the technical creativity occurring inside company partitions—and shifting extra assets towards that work.

Playing Defense

The technique underpinning TDCommons dates again a long time to the Nineteen Fifties, when invention powerhouses IBM and later Xerox started publishing journals stuffed with what they known as technical disclosures. They’d then ship the journals to patent workplaces, partly to function prior artwork, staking a declare on the concepts contained inside. About 84 p.c of patent functions denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office within the 12 months ending September 2023 had been scuppered a minimum of partly by prior artwork, based on the company.

During the early-2000s web growth, entrepreneurs noticed a possibility to carry these defensive publications, or dpubs, to databases on-line. is extensively thought-about the chief, with 215,000 innovations uploaded up to now and searchable entry to hundreds of thousands of further paperwork from retailers together with open-access analysis library Unlike TDCommons, posting to or accessing isn’t free. Uploading a dpub prices $395 for as much as 25 pages, whereas viewers pay $40 for particular person downloads or $49 month-to-month for limitless entry. The USPTO is certainly one of’s largest clients, based on the corporate, with subscriptions for many of the company’s 9,200 examiners and supervisors.