Haier develops an ice dispensing assembly that prevents clumping.

In this week’s featured patent applications, we cover the latest from Haier, Mastercard, Samsung, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Novartis, Roche, Abbott, Medtronic, Merck, and Boston Scientific.

Haier Pursues a Patent for an Ice Dispensing Assembly

U.S. patent application, US20210010734, discloses an ice dispensing assembly that prevents clumping. The assembly includes a container having an opening for passing ice, a rotatable drum positioned below the container and movable between a crusher position and an agitator position, a motor, an agitator bridge, and a rotatable blade housed within the rotatable drum. The figure below illustrates the container and the dispenser.

Mastercard Files a Patent for a Method of Controlling Access of Shared Spaces Through Blockchain

U.S. patent application, US20210012248, describes a method for reserving access to a shared space through the use of blockchain and smart contracts. The method includes storing a blockchain including a smart contract having an identifier for blockchain data, receiving a reservation request having the identifier, a reservation time, a public key, and a digital signature, validating the digital signature, executing the smart contract and the reservation time, and transmitting data values to an internet-enabled device.

Samsung Seeks a Patent for a Mobile Robot that Provides Service to Users

U.S. patent application, US20210008723, discloses a method of providing a service to a user by a mobile robotic device. The method includes obtaining information from the surrounding environment of the mobile robotic device, controlling the movement of the device based on a safety operation level and applying the information to a training model to update the safety operation level. The figure below illustrates the robotic device serving a user.

IBM Files Patent Application Relating to a Predictive Navigation System

U.S. patent application, US20210010821, discloses a method of providing a personalized anxiety-reducing navigation system. The method includes detecting a current location of the user, determining a stress state of the user in response to detecting that the location is beyond a comfort boundary threshold and activating an augmented reality (AR) system or a virtual reality (VR) system to present a less anxiety-triggering environment.

Apple Wants a Patent for Identifying a User’s Voice in Digital Assistant Systems

U.S. patent application, US20210012776, discusses a method for identifying the voice of a specific user in a digital assistant system. The method includes obtaining a natural language speech input, comparing the input to a plurality of speaker profiles and providing a personalized response for an identified user. The figure below illustrates the identification of the user based on his natural language input.

Microsoft Seeks a Patent for Semantically Tagged Virtual and Physical Objects

U.S. patent application, US20210012113, describes a head mounted display (HMD) device that is configured to receive a natural language input from a user, performs semantic processing to determine a user-specified operation, identifies semantic tags and displays a target virtual object at a physical location associated with a target physical object. The figure below illustrates a move operation performed on a plurality of target virtual objects.

Novartis Eyes a Patent for LAG-3 Antibody Molecules

U.S. patent application, US20210009687, discusses a method for treating cancerous or infectious disorders through the systemic administration of anti-Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 (LAG-3) antibodies in combination with another antibody molecule or therapeutic agent.

Roche Pursues a Patent for P2X3 and P2X2/3 Modulators

U.S. patent application, US20210008071, discusses a method for treating respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases through the oral administration of P2X.sub.3 and P2X.sub.2/3 receptor antagonist compounds. The structure below represents the compound.

Abbott Files a Patent for Suture Positioning Devices for Tissue Closure

U.S. patent application, US20210007732, discloses a closure device for closing a tissue opening. The device includes a needle actuation handle configured to selectively move a hollow needle, a suture anchor positioned within and selectively releasable from a needle’s slot, and coupled to a suture. The figure below illustrates a suture trimmer and knot replacement device.

Medtronic Wants a Patent for a Helical Push Wire Electrode

U.S. patent application, US20210007801, discloses an intravascular neuromodulation catheter with distal wires and an electrode on each wire. The wires form a set of intertwined helixes and are moveable between a low-profile delivery state and an expanded deployed state. The figures below illustrate the helical push wire electrodes during deployment.

Merck Seeks a Patent for Biomarkers for Cancer Therapeutics

U.S. patent application, US20210008135, relates to biomarkers useful for identifying a variety of cancers that can be treated with a combination therapy comprising pembrolizumab, a pembrolizumab variant, an antigen-binding fragment, and talimogene laherparepvec.

Boston Scientific Files a Patent Application for an Optical Stimulation System with Automated Monitoring

U.S. patent application, US20210008389, discloses an optical stimulation system with a control module. The control module is configured to automatically initiate the verification or measurement of a light output value and sends a warning or takes corrective action using a user interface when an expected light output value deviates more than a threshold amount. The figure below shows the optical stimulation system.