Patent SIG

Special Interest Group on Patents in the area of Emotion-Related Technology

The group

Objectives of this SIG

  1. Become a central knowledge base of Patents based on emotion related technologies
  2. Enable users to see how and where patents are being applied for, and by whom (which industries)
  3. Enable users to track growth and trends (if enough patents are available)
  4. Enable users to avoid patent infringement in their own work
  5. Encourage members to find and reference any "prior art" that applies to patent claims; this will have the following effects:
    1. Discourage "frivolous" patents
    2. Promote members as subject matter experts with the ability to assist patent examiners
    3. Ensure valid patents are truly novel and unique
    4. Educate members on what can and cannot be patented in their own work (or spin outs)
    5. Help those in research and industry under threat of litigation by "patent trolls"

Content and Events

Central Knowledge Base

This serves as a way to easily access relevant patents or patent applications. Currently perhaps the single most difficult element of the patent process is actually finding relevant patents. Due to terminology differences (where wording is intentionally vague), language differences, and the overwhelming number of patents to search, finding relevant patents is almost impossible. By collectively filling a database with relevant patents we can save users tremendous amounts of time and empower the community with a reasonably complete set of knowledge of the current state of the patent landscape.

The Who, What, Where and When

The community can be empowered by understanding who (individuals and corporations) is actively pursuing patent applications in this area. In addition they can see what types of patent are being applied for (i.e. software, core neuroscience, hardware related, HCI), which countries are most active and at what point in time where the applications made.


Armed with the data from the database the community as a whole can track and see possible trends in the commercialization of emotion technology. Are patent applications increasing? Are there specific countries that are more active than others? Are there specific corporations or industries in which emotion technology is being more widely applied? Is the industry growing?

Avoiding Infringement

Many of the community will want to start or grow commercial enterprises and many Universities will want to spin out research groups into commercial enterprises. One of the key elements of any technology/innovation based venture is to avoid infringing on existing patents. Of course the key element of this is to actually know about existing patents and the knowledge base can be an invaluable resource to enable this.

Prior Art References

This is the core of the endeavor. Much like Wikipedia can use the wisdom of a crowd of experts to shine a light of truth on a subject, community experts can collectively show patent claims to be valid or invalid by using their own knowledge of "prior art". This effort becomes a collective defense for the whole community in case anyone or group finds themselves subject to litigation by patent "trolls" which is becoming increasingly problematic and stifling innovation.