Patent Speak

Way Better Patent's alphabetical list of patentspeak and patent vocabulary arcania.

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definition list


Article Holding Figurine
Article holding figurine image
A decorative item holding an object.
Autonomous vehicle
A vehicle that drives itself. A motor vehicle that uses artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates to drive itself without the active intervention of a human operator.



Coffee Cup Insulator from patent 5,205,473Cardboard Coffee Cup Insulator
A recyclable, insulating beverage container holder, comprising a corrugated tubular member comprising cellulosic material and at least a first opening therein for receiving and retaining a beverage container — This definition is brought to you by GAO in its August 22, 2013 report on patents. To the rest of us this is known as the holder thingy that you put on your Starbucks Venti Skim Two Splenda Latte to keep your fingers from burning off.
Reduced to minute particles or fragments
A Thing. More particularly — a thing that is created skillfully and inventively to serve a particular purpose. The word contrivance appears in patents when the inventor doesn't want to tie the invention to a particular device or class of object.

As in 'A roller contrivance intended for at least one foot": roller blade image
A vehicle used for transportation.


Device independent message distribution platform
TWITTER — A system (and method) for device-independent point to multipoint communication is disclosed. The system is configured to receive a message addressed to one or more destination users, the message type being, for example, Short Message Service (SMS), Instant Messaging (IM), E-mail, web form input, or Application Program Interface (API) function call. The system also is configured to determine information about the destination users, the information comprising preferred devices and interfaces for receiving messages, the information further comprising message receiving preferences. See US Patent 8,401,009
Digital Bazaar
An electronic marketplace for used digital objects like ebooks purchased from Amazon or music purchased on the iTunes Store. See US8364595 B1. image of digital marketplace design


Excercise Escalator

Exercise Escalator

Think Stairmaster™ — "An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject "in situ" in a simulated stair climbing activity, comprising a structure including a flight of steps movable in a closed loop, each step having a closed riser affixed thereto, and means operatively connected to said apparatus for measuring the effort of a subject in the act of simulated climbing of said movable steps." The exercise escalator was invented by Walter Harrison and Samuel Talbot from Johns Hopkins University as a way to access cardiovascular health. According to their patent, The Exercise Escalator is especially suited for multi-lead electrocardiography during the exercise of patients with coronary heart disease...presenting minimal danger to the weak and unsteady; one which exercises the muscles habitually used by nonathletic people... See US Patent 3,497,215


Felt Tip Marker
See Porous Tip Liquid Applicator



Hook and Loop Fasting Systems


Information Recording Medium
An information recording medium is also USB drive, a thumbdrive. A USB flash drive consists of a flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) 1.1 or 2.0 interface.

image of a USB flash drive




Linear Television
Watching television according to the schedule and on the channel prescribed by the content provider.


Multi-media Object
Multimedia object images, videos, live motion digital files, audio files combinations. Also in place advertising placement and creating dynamically personalized media. Picture of multimedia object inserted into a digital ad




Personal mobility business models
Zipcar executives talk about their sophisticated computer implemented "personal mobility" proprietary business models when announcing Zipcar's merger with Avis. Note to patent prosecution language architects — renting a car (or maybe a bike share) is now a personal mobility business method when it uses a sophisticated computer implemented method — the reservation system. "A computer assisted method of using the Avis cars that sit unrented on the weekend to fill the personal mobility access requests from personal mobility orderers when there is higher than normal requests for personal mobility on Saturdays".
Bigger than a smartphone, smaller than a tablet. First patent appearance in January 2013 in Patent Application 13/54041.
Porous Tip Liquid Applicator
Felt tip marker. "Porous tip liquid applicators such as the highly popular "felt tip marker" have enjoyed great popularity through the years." See US Patent 2,643,409 Fountain Marker, an early design of a porous tip writing instrument.
Portable Wagering Media (Medium)
Tokens, chips, cashless gaming tickets; wagering chip for use at a table game. Think color chips for use while playing roulette, blackjack, or poker. Basically you can pick up the chips and move to a new game so they are portable wagering media.




Single Action Ordering System
Amazon One click shopping or ordering a pay-per-view movie with your cable system remote control where your personal and credit card information is already stored at the server so all you have to do is "execute a single action" before WWE Raw or the latest On-Demand movie can be seen on the TV. See US Patent 5,960,411.
Apple's Note Pad app that looks like...a notepad. iBooks which presents documents in an interface that looks like a bookcase. Skeumorphism is a design style where applications mimic the real world.
Social Expression Card
What Hallmark Cards, Incorporated and others market as a greeting card is called a social expression card in patent speak. See US 6,493,970
A method of paying a second party. See US Patent Application 13/605,489Drawings of the Square Device from the patent application.





Writing Appliances, also writing implement, marking device, marking pen, writing instrument with refillable reservoir.
A Pen, pencil, felt tip marker.

Just in case you don't know what a writing appliance is consider this definition: "An implement having a longitudinal axis, comprising an essentially tubular body, a retractable nib mounted at an open end of this body, an actuator located at the opposite end of this body, a retractor means for retracting said nib and connecting the nib to the actuator through said body and transferring a movement applied to the actuator into a displacement of said nib along the longitudinal axis between a retracted position and an extended position, a guard member of said open end comprising a plurality of guard petals, each mounted so as to be able to move between an open position and a closed position about a pivot axis tangent to a circle concentric with the longitudinal axis, and a movement transfer means integral with said body, synchronized by said retractor means, and connected to said guard petals to transfer the movement applied to the actuator into a pivoting movement of said guard petals; in which implement said retractor means consists of a cylindrical cam comprising a first helix read by a first cam feeler integral with the body, and a second helix read by a second cam feeler integral with said nib."




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