Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Daily Highlights

    • General Electric (GE) has already announced a push into using additive manufacturing processes whether 3D printing or something else. At the recent Farnborough Air Show the company announced the making of parts for the LEAP engine by using the SLM 250HL additive manufacturing machine. What is to stop this manufacturing giant from building machines as well?
    • Naturally building a competing technology or product might not be simple, but assuming Stratasys and 3D Systems have this market as a duopoly might be disastrous to an investment thesis
    • Amazon has hired executive recruiting firm Argos Search to help the company hire an intellectual property "Acquisition and Investment Leader" to "identify and evaluate strategic IP acquisition and licensing opportunities," according to a job description obtained this week by Reuters.
    • The search suggests that Amazon is trying to amass more patents, either through acquisitions of patent-rich companies, purchases of patent portfolios or licensing, according to intellectual property experts. It is also a sign that the world's largest Internet retailer is serious about being a long-term player in mobile devices and digital content, they say.

      Amazon is known for developing its own patents, but mostly in the e-commerce area. An expansion into mobile devices and the delivery of digital content to those devices will require a lot of different patents, intellectual property experts say.

      "As they get into wireless devices and digital media, they realize the best way to handle this is to get more proactive in IP," said David Pridham of IPNav, which helps companies make money from their patents.
    • Square will process credit and debit card transactions at U.S. stores. Also, Starbucks customers will be able to make purchases with Pay with Square -- Square's payer app -- at Starbucks locations later this fall.
    • The service, founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is being positioned as an alternative to the much-touted but still emerging near-field communication (NFC) technology. Square's system still lets you pay for goods and services using your mobile phone without the need for cash or a credit card. But instead of having users tap their phone against an NFC-enabled register or terminal, Square's system also lets users "check into" a store through phone, pick up items, and pay for them through Square account.
    • Near field communication is basically a contactless, wireless means of transferring data between two objects. It is activated when two antennae communicate with each other through a magnetic field, for example an NFC-enabled smartphone and an NFC enabled point of sale payment terminal," explains Philip Robinson, head of payments at Lloyds Banking Group
    • When NFC technology is included in a mobile phone, it can be embedded within the SIM card in something called a secure element.

      This is similar to using the gold chip on a debit or credit card to store user information such as your credit card number and expiry number
    • When you put your debit or credit card into a terminal, that is what it reads and then it verifies your PIN number and you make your payment. That same information gets embedded in the SIM card in the secure element, which is as secure as that chip on a card

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