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Every week, the Magic Number team connects intellectual property changes with market activity.

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Stats Perform Showing an Interesting Patent Strategy

Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

In an earlier sector insight, we highlighted some of the recent market activity of Stats Perform, noting how its continual commitment towards developing long term exclusivity deals seemed to outweigh their commitment to developing their IP portfolio. While they have continued to form exclusive deals with individual leagues and sportsbook groups, including recent partnership extensions formed with the Pro League and Matchroom, the most recent round of published applications from the USPTO gave a little insight into their patent strategy. In this round of publications, Stats Perform had six (6) separate applications publish in a wide breadth of categories within the Sports Analytics sector. These categories included Image & Video Analytics, Predictive Analytics, and the company's first-ever document belonging to the Data Applications category, in the Broadcast Enhancement subcategory. 

While this technique of filing multiple patent applications within the same day might seem odd, it is actually a pretty popular technique among large tech companies. While it is possible that this could just be a preference of the company patenting for organizational reasons, it could be a strategic decision to avoid disclosing too much information to their competitors before their developing tech is ready for commercialization. This could indicate new products and tech coming from Stats Perform in the near future, which will complement their extremely active market activity and spur even more growth.

Keep up with the patent trends of this company and many others in their space by subscribing to the Magic Number® Sports Analytics Patent Forecast®.

Snapshot of 2020 Sports Analytics Radian With Stats Perform Documents Highlighted

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Moderna's Race to a Vaccine

Pandemics/Epidemics (Free) Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

One of the leading narratives in the ongoing race for a COVID-19 vaccine is the competition between Moderna and Astrazeneca to first produce a workable vaccine. Recently, U.S. Patent Publication No. 2020/0282046 for a Betacoronavirus mRNA vaccine published for Moderna. While COVID-19 is classified as a betacoronavirus, it is worth noting that the specification never specifically identifies COVID-19. In fact, much of the specification and the initial set of filed claims (of which there were 135) are focused on vaccines for viral diseases other than those caused by coronaviruses, including Measles and Human Metapneumoviruses. 

Moderna has received a first non-final rejection for their application, which states that the application fails to enable Moderna's claim to "A method comprising administering to a subject a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) comprising an open reading frame encoding a betacoronavirus (BetaCoV) S protein or S protein subunit formulated in a lipid nanoparticle in an effective amount to induce in the subject an immune response to the BetaCoV S protein or S protein subunit." While Moderna has argued that the application includes support showing an effective response to treatment both in vitro and in vivo for a vaccine for MERS (a species of coronavirus), it remains to be seen whether Moderna may quickly win the race to a patent for a coronavirus vaccine with this application or if they have additional applications that have yet to be published.

For more news regarding the race for a cure to COVID-19, subscribe to the interactive visual Pandemics Patent Forecast® offered by Magic Number®.

Covid, Corona, Coronavirus, Virus, Covid-19, Disease

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Is there really any CBD in that drink?

Cannabis Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

Cannabis-infused drinks are not new. But are the cannabinoids really able to infuse into drinks? Can the cannabinoids mix into solution and provide the same therapeutic benefits? What about for the non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD; how can you tell then? 

One patent (U.S. Pat. No. 10,772,457) granted this week to Drive Foods Corp. states that of 10 tested cannabis-infused coffees claiming to contain between 5 mg of CBD to 65 mg CBD prior to the brewing process none contained detectable amounts of CBD in the tested brewed coffee. The tests were said to be conducted through Cannalysis Labs in California. 

It’s no secret that cannabis-based oils don’t mix well with water-based drinks. Some companies have explored improving biochemical properties of the cannabinoids to make them more soluble. For instance, Trait Biosciences Inc. has a patented (U.S. Pat. No. 10,378,020) system and method of making cannabinoids more water-soluble by glycosylation, since carbohydrates are easily dissolved in water. As for brewed coffee, patent ‘457 states that the applicants have concluded that the cannabinoids likely don’t pass through coffee filters. 

In view of this, patent ‘457 discloses a single-serve coffee container having within it coffee, cannabis matter, and a filter wherein the size of the filter pores are larger than the cannabis matter. In essence, this allows the cannabis matter to flow through the filter into the coffee beverage. It is known that if the cannabis matter has yet to be decarboxylated, then the hot water used needs to be at least 105° C (221° F) to decarboxylate and activate the cannabinoids for use. It is surely one way to get around the issue, but it doesn’t appear that the drink is in any way infused now. It seems more likely that the intention is to drink activated cannabis matter, which when digested could produce an effect. 

Infusing drinks with cannabis has caught the attention of many in the food and beverage industries including The Coca-Cola Company and Constellation Brands. Magic Number is following patent and market activity closely to see and document the development and integration of cannabis into the food and beverage industry. Don’t miss a beat and subscribe now to the interactive Cannabis Patent Forecast®

Cbd Oil, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoid, Hemp Oil, Thc Oil

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Oura Health Scores Numerous Pro Sports Partnerships

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

Finnish tech startup Oura Health has signed a number of partnerships in the last year to expand the visibility and use of its Oura Ring wearable, a biometric sleep and fitness tracker that is unique in its ability to monitor user temperature. Oura has sold over 150,000 rings to date and has 7 patent documents in the Consumer Sleep sector, with its most recently published application filed back in September of 2019.

In April of 2020, Oura partnered with (University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to distribute the Oura rings to frontline healthcare workers for a COVID-19 detection study. A few months later, the NBA and WNBA both partnered with Oura to provide the rings to their athletes, who are currently staying in an isolated "bubble" to allow league games to continue. To facilitate this, Oura developed a "risk score" that specifically assesses the likelihood that a player has COVID-19 based on the ring's readings in order to abstract and protect other metrics that players may not want to share. Oura also offered its risk score and wearable to NASCAR, signing a multiyear partnership in August of 2020. Just this week, Oura completed an agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which the league said was in the works even before the coronavirus pandemic. 

The partnerships show that Oura's technology is valuable in the fields of healthcare and professional sports, lending legitimacy to the company's products. Fitbit, a leader in the healthcare wearables sector, has a much larger patent portfolio (212 documents to Oura's 7) but has not worked with professional sports leagues. Apple has also recently announced health studies with multiple universities and the government of Singapore. As these partnerships continue, they may spur new innovation as well as appeal to everyday consumers. You can get an early view of these developments by following movement on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®. 

Basketball Court, Basketball, Sports, Sport, Basket

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Battelle - the Newest Entrant in the Neuromodulation Field?

AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

Battelle Memorial Institute is slowly building an IP portfolio in the AI Biotech/Diagnostic Sector. This past week, the Ohio-based nonprofit had its second application in the neurology sector publish. The application (U.S. Pat. No. 20200282223) teaches a method that utilizes a multichannel simulator and decoder to apply stimulation pulses to the brain. While some neuromodulation technology is used for treating disorders, this one appears to be more relevant to brain-computer interface (BCI). BCI technology is defined as the "direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device." Battelle's last application to publish (U.S. Pat. No. 20200206503) in the AI Biotech/Diagnostic sector also involved BCI technology, specifically for individuals who suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries. This suggests that Battelle is actively developing technology for injured or paralyzed patients to regain control of their bodies using BCI, and plans to develop technologies using neuromodulation.

Although neuromodulation is a relatively new field of science, there are plenty of other companies in the sector. The largest competitor is Halo Neuro, who has 12 patents and 15 applications. Other competitors such as Neuralink, Neurophet, and Elira Inc. have also recently had either patents or applications publish in the sector. While no one has built a portfolio the size of Halo Neuro's yet, it is likely that we will see the competitors in the sector begin to add more patents and applications to their portfolios in an effort to surpass each other. Make sure to subscribe to the Magic Number® AI Biotech/Diagnostic Patent Forecast® to follow Battelle's progression and stay up to date with the most recent neuromodulation patent activity.

Artificial Intelligence, Brain, Think, Control

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Square Launches Cryptocurrency Patent Alliance

Cryptocurrency: Networks and Computing Patent Forecast®

September 17, 2020

Mobile payment company Square announced recently that it was starting the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit that encourages companies to pool their cryptocurrency patents into an open-source, shared library. Joining the alliance requires a commitment to not "offensively assert... patents against others" except for defensive purposes, which would allow companies to share and use each other's patented technology. The cryptocurrency patent space is growing rapidly, with over 2500 applications being filed since 2018. The ambitious initiative hopes to foster innovation as well as deter patent aggressors or non-practicing entities from threatening other patent holders. 

Square has been using cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, on its platform since 2018. The company has 6 cryptocurrency patents and applications, which is certainly not as many as other payment structure companies such as Coinbase (32 documents) or nChain (67 documents). Other leaders in the sector include large, international corporations such as IBM, Alibaba, and Bank of America, all of which may be unwilling to enter into such an agreement. Square has already committed its patents to COPA but may stand to gain more than it gives up, depending on which other companies decide to join the alliance. You can keep an eye on companies and their patent portfolios as they react to the initiative by checking out the Magic Number® Cryptocurrency Patent Radian®. 

Block Chain, Personal, Shaking Hands, Handshake, Data

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Q-CTRL Can’t Do It Alone

Quantum Computing Patent Forecast®

September 10, 2020

One of the biggest problems in quantum computing is keeping qubits stable. Any amount of noise, from increases in temperature to disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field, can cause qubits to decohere. Most companies are attempting to fix decoherence by building shielded and stable hardware, but this becomes a steep expense. Other companies have taken a different approach and are using an algorithm called Quantum Error Correction which can spread the information in one qubit out into many to protect against decoherence by redundancy. However, it may take as many as 1000 qubits to function as a single error-corrected, or logical, qubit.

Q-CTRL, an Australian quantum computing startup, has decided on a third path. Q-CTRL develops quantum firmware that determines error-robust operations for manipulating physical hardware. The quantum firmware does not focus on shielding, or on error correction after the fact, but instead on suppressing errors during operations. Quantum firmware is an additional level of stabilization that may work alongside shielding or quantum error correction and may therefore be added into any quantum computer.

On September 9, Q-CTRL announced a non-exclusive partnership with Quantum Machines, an Israeli quantum computing startup with a focus on both hardware and software. The partnership itself, and the fact that it is non-exclusive, signal that the challenges of quantum computing are too much for any one company to solve alone. As of writing, neither Quantum Machines nor Q-CTRL has a significant US patent portfolio: Quantum Machines has four issued US patents, while Q-CTRL has only one. If developing quantum computers is going to require a lot of collaboration, Quantum Machines and Q-CTRL should make sure to get their IP rights in order.

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Cannabis Extraction, Oral Compositions, Devices, and Medication Grants

Cannabis Patent Forecast®

September 10, 2020

Magic Number’s Cannabis Patent Forecast® breaks down the cannabis IP landscape into 12 critical categories with “Medications”, “Compositions”, and “Processing” at the forefront of patent filings. The trend continues this week with eight new cannabis patents granted in the medications, compositions, processing and, catching on more recently, devices categories. 

Making no surprise appearance, GW Pharmaceuticals continues staking its claim in the cannabis pharmaceuticals space, receiving another patent (U.S. Pat. NO. 10,765,643) for a CBD treatment for epilepsy. GW Pharmaceuticals is the leading assignee in the cannabis sector, especially for medications based on cannabis products, and is a couple patent documents short from 200. As recently as the end of July, GW received approval to treat a third medical condition using its FDA-approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, which is the only FDA-approved CBD medication in the US.

Two patents (U.S. Pat. NOs 10,765,713 & 10,765,658) for oral cannabis compositions were also granted to KannaBliss and MastiX, respectively. Both patents disclose an oral cannabis formulation with general uses for treating a plethora of conditions such as pain with features such as being chewable or dissolvable. 

Processing cannabis has grown to be the third largest area of patent filings in the cannabis sector. Taking lead in this category is none other than GW Pharmaceuticals which is tied for first with Cure Pharmaceutical in patent document count. However, this week, two patents (U.S. Pat. NOs 10,765,966 & 10,765,965) for extracting cannabis oils from cannabis matter were assigned to Heinkel Filtering Systems and Loxley Systems, respectively. Notably, patent ‘965 teaches a solventless extraction process which is growing in popularity in the medical and recreational communities. 

Lastly, filings for cannabis devices have grown in popularity over the last few years. In fact, the second largest assignee in the cannabis sector, Lunatech, LLC, has focused its IP portfolio almost entirely on cannabis vape devices. No stranger to smoking devices, Altria Client received a patent (U.S. Pat. NO. 10,765,821) for a cannabis vape device having a stacked capsule configuration, each capsule containing smokable material. Another device gaining traction in patent filings has been containers for housing cannabis and cannabis products. Paper Tube received a patent (U.S. Pat. NO 10,766,674) for a tube container that can house cannabis and rolled cannabis products. 

To learn more about the vast cannabis IP landscape, subscribe to Magic Number’s Cannabis Patent Forecast®.  

Hemp, Plant, Cannabis, Nature, Hemp Field, Leaves, Mood

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Theator Joins the Surgical Intelligence Field with a Blast of Applications

AI Biotech/Diagnostics: Neurology Patent Forecast®

September 10, 2020

Prior to this week, Theator Inc. had only a single patent in the AI Biotech/Diagnostic Sector. However, this past week, the company had 7 fresh applications publish simultaneously. Theator is a biotech startup that very specifically focuses on creating surgical intelligence technologies. The company's website describes their technology as the "next generation of AI in surgery – built by surgeons for surgeons, and designed to raise their expertise to the highest possible level." 

Theator's primary product is a surgical intelligence platform that allows a surgeon to watch detailed, pre-recored footage of operative procedures to prepare for upcoming surgeries, as well as use their own recorded surgical footage to analyze and reflect on their own previous work. The idea is that by watching both successful and unsuccessful footage from previous procedures, the doctors can add another step of preparation into their pre-surgery routine, as well as determine what wrong during an unsuccessful procedure.

The surgical intelligence platform is more than just video recorded footage. Using AI, the software performs annotations and smart filtering of the footage from the procedure. This allows doctors to skip through the footage to find relevant parts of the procedure to watch. Additionally, since the software is annotating and tagging the footage, it can provide an analytical breakdown of time spent at each step to improve surgical performance. The motivation behind this software is to ensure that surgeons are able to continuously improve their ability for as long as they are a surgeon. All 7 of Theator's recent applications teach particular aspects of this software. Make sure to subscribe to the Magic Number® AI Biotech/Diagnostic Patent Forecast® to follow Theator's progression and stay up to date with the most recent patent activity across the sector!

 

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Casper Seeking Profits With Minimal Patent Investments

Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Forecast®

September 10, 2020

E-commerce mattress startup Casper Sleep was valued at $1.1B before its IPO in February of this year. Two months after going public, the company's stocks dropped to $4.12/share, or a market value of $163 million; as a result of further poor performance exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the online retailer shut down its Europe operations and laid off 20% of its employees. Casper has since been making moves to boost revenue and consumer/investor confidence, including hiring a new CFO and buying shares internally. Interestingly, Casper's CEO also recently filed to raise $300 million as the chairman of a separate special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focusing on digital media and marketing. 

Despite all this movement, Casper Sleep is lacking in one significant area: patented technology. The company grew largely because of its online marketing and 100-day trial period with free returns, which made mattress shopping more accessible but also may be preventing Casper from turning a profit. The retailer is not innovating significantly within the mattress space. Its two patent applications are for a temperature-regulating mattress which can pair with smart home IoT products for active heating and cooling, filed in 2019 but not yet available on the market, and for a motion and gesture-responsive bedside lamp, also filed in 2019 and commercialized later that year. Differentiating oneself in the mattress industry can be difficult, especially with larger companies already investing in smart mattress technologies such as environmental control and sleep monitoring. To keep up, Casper may have to siphon money into heavier technology development or acquire existing technologies. You can view potential partners and competitors in the mattress and sleep devices space on the Magic Number® Consumer Sleep Technology Patent Radian®. 

Bed, Room, Sleep, Relaxation, Hotel, Coverage

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