Recent news stories (Techcrunch, Guardian) have highlighted some patents that have recently granted to Facebook. The three patents mentioned in the articles relate to “Automatic Photo Capture Based on Social Components and Identity Recognition“, “Preferred images from captured video sequence” & “Image selection from captured video sequence based on social components“.
IPcopy has a passing interest in social media related patents (see Twitter articles here) and so we thought we’d take a closer look.
The first thing we noticed is that an espacenet search for “Applicant = Facebook” returns over 500 hits so clearly Facebook has a much more developed patent portfolio than Twitter.
The second issue was the status of the three patents highlighted above (or more correctly the two patents and one patent application). Although “Preferred images from captured video sequence“& “Image selection from captured video sequence based on social components” have proceeded to grant (US8442265 and US8437500 respectively), the third patent case (“Automatic Photo Capture Based on Social Components and Identity Recognition“) is, according to the US PAIR system, currently pending and is apparently the subject of a Final Rejection (US20130104080). So, contrary to the Techcrunch article Facebook don’t appear to have granted patents yet to all three inventions.
Finally, we took the three patent numbers above for a quick spin on espacenet to look for foreign applications. There don’t appear to be any so these patents would seem to be US-only.
Mark Richardson 9 July 2013