Even the Sound of Darth Vader Breathing Is Trademarked

Darth Vader's caped getup and face mask is spooky and all, but there's nothing like the grisly, mechanical sound of his breath. Which is why Lucasfilm keeps a close eye on who uses it—even going so far as to trademark 234 seconds of it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. » 10/06/14 10:49am 10/06/14 10:49am

Apple Now Has a Design Patent for Its Giant Glass Cube

Apple's been on a tear to protect the look of its retail experiences, trademarking the design of its stores and patenting its proprietary see-through staircases. Now its glass cube flagship store in Manhattan is officially a patented design in the U.S., with "Steve P. Jobs" listed as one of the inventors. » 8/28/14 11:23am 8/28/14 11:23am

The NSA Patented Tech That Will Catch You Swapping Sim Cards

Now that it's been over a year since the Snowden leaks, you might've thought that all of the insane NSA revelations had been revealed. Not so! Foreign Policy just published a fascinating and exhaustive list of every patent ever awarded to the spy agency. And one of its latest inventions is all about your SIM card. » 7/30/14 1:45pm 7/30/14 1:45pm

Posters of Famous Patents Put Other People's Great Ideas On Your Wall

The design process is a many splendored thing full of trial and error, prototypes and practice runs. When your genius is ready to make its debut, filing a patent is a bureaucratic way to project your concept from idea-stealers—but it turns out the diagrammatical drawings are artworks in themselves. » 7/28/14 5:57pm 7/28/14 5:57pm

iTime: Smartwatch Patent Shows Apple's Broad Ambitions

This morning the folks over at AppleInsider discovered that Apple was granted a patent today for the iTime, which can only be described as a device-connected smartwatch that offers advanced functionality like arm and wrist gestures, as well as advanced proximity sensing, through a sensor-laden smart strap. » 7/22/14 8:36am 7/22/14 8:36am

Airbus: Eh, Pilots Don't Really Need Windows

As a kid (or, let's be honest, even as an a adult), nothing is more thrilling than getting to venture into an airline pilot's coveted cockpit throne. But if Arbus' new cockpit-less patents ever become a reality, those days are behind us. Because let's face it—a "tour of the baggage locker" just doesn't have quite the… » 7/03/14 4:00pm 7/03/14 4:00pm