It’s Time For Startups To Use AI To Battle Tech Giants In Patent Wars

Technology giants such as Alibaba and IBM are eating startup innovators’ lunch. These behemoths are seeking to devour even more market share by publishing patents at unprecedented speed in emerging technologies such as blockchain.

As some of the richest companies on the planet, the corporations have the resources to manage the laborious search of existing patents and to overcome the outdated administrative hurdles so that they can file for intellectual property rights.

Patents are definitely old school. Patent laws started with the rise of the nation-state, so they began in the 18th century and were then fully developed in the 19th century. Some changes may have been made to reflect new technologies, but the basic patent laws haven’t evolved to meet the needs of the 21st century.

We’re patenting ideas based on today’s high-tech of artificial intelligence and blockchain with laws that were established centuries ago.

All this puts early-growth companies with game-changing inventions at a huge disadvantage.

Getting a patent is one of the most important strategic decisions a business can take. A patent not only protects a business idea from copycats, but it can also increase the value of the young company.

One of the reasons value increases is because a patent can block others from a market. Once a startup has it, they can make sure nobody else will enter that particular segment.

In a recent study, conducted by KISSPatent on patents in the specific field of blockchain, results showed an arms race between Alibaba and IBM. The Chinese e-commerce giant has published 10 times more blockchain-related patents than IBM in 2020, a year when blockchain patent numbers are generally skyrocketing. More blockchain-related patents were published in the first half of 2020 than in all of 2019, a year that had already seen three times more blockchain

Star Wars: Squadrons is seeing significant VR play

EA released an infographic on Twitter that shows 15% of Star Wars: Squadrons players are experiencing the game in VR. That’s actually quite a lot, considering it’s available on PS4, PC, and Xbox One and is fully playable with or without VR.

After playing and reviewing Star Wars: Squadrons (I loved it by the way). Playing in VR with a HOTAS control stick is the best and most immersive way to enjoy this game. The implied stat here, if you read between the numbers, is that 85% of players haven’t gotten the full experience.

It’s also worth noting that when they ran the numbers to get this data, the total player count includes Xbox One users who don’t even have a VR option on their console. That means, of the total potential VR userbase, more than 15% have played in VR. For a game that’s only a week old, it’s a good number.

Let’s also consider that most HOTAS setups are sold out, lots of headsets are back-ordered, and it’s a busy time of year so a lot of people may be holding off on buying the game until they can get all the gear they need to experience it fully. Or, maybe some people have opted to get a VR headset and it hasn’t arrived yet, so they played it without VR.

All of this is speculation, but I think it’s safe to assume that over time, more people will experience it in VR, which is an exciting prospect. The full infographic has lots of interesting details on it, such as that the X-wing and TIE Interceptor (not the standard TIE) are the two most popular ships. Nearly 600 million starfighters have already been destroyed in the first week.

Here is the full infographic from Twitter:

Spotify is leaning on influencers to win the podcasting wars

Spotify has made its intentions clear: It wants to be the largest audio platform in the world—not just music, audio.

Exclusive podcast partnerships have been a significant part of that effort, and while deals with the likes of the Obamas and Joe Rogan have received most of the attention (and controversy), less celebrated but no less important are Spotify’s wooing of influencers to podcast and to do so using Spotify’s tools and distribution.

“In order for us to continue our growth and our trajectory, we knew we wanted to broaden out what being an audio network really means,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, at Fast Company’s 6th annual Innovation Festival. “And podcasting, which is the fastest growing medium right now particularly among young people, was the natural next step.”

Over the past several months, Spotify has struck deals with influencers, including Rickey Thompson, Denzel Dion, Addison Rae, and Lele Pons. For Spotify and its podcast listeners (median age: 26 years old), leaning on the massive audiences of influencers is a way to tap directly into the Gen Z market and cut their entertainment clutter.

“It’s hard to capture the attention of this youth generation,” Ostroff said. “Everything is on demand, so they can get everything anytime they want. And being able to stand out in that crowd and have an audience and have people want to either see or hear any particular person is a Herculean task these days.”

And for the influencers, signing deals with Spotify gives them the backing of a major platform to find new ways to connect with their audiences.

“[I wanted people to] get a glimpse into the other side of my life that people don’t hear about or see,” says Rae, who hosts the Spotify podcast Mama Knows Best with her mother.