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API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Scott Allen, Liz McMillan

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MONKEYmedia Wins New User Interface Patents

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued two additional patents to MONKEYmedia® in its "Relativity Controller" family of patents, which benefit from a 1992 priority date and pertain to methods of navigating video and other media by de-emphasizing the display of non-salient content. In addition to the 72 claims in these newly issued patents, the USPTO has confirmed that 153 additional claims across three pending patent applications in this patent family will issue in the near future. The Relativity Controller patent family is one of two families of patents that are the subject of ongoing patent infringement litigation between MONKEYmedia and Apple, Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Universal Studios and Warner.

Inventor Eric Gould Bear at the TV of Tomorrow Show (10 December 2012). Image (c) Jessica Brandi Lif ...

Inventor Eric Gould Bear at the TV of Tomorrow Show (10 December 2012). Image (c) Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Eric Gould Bear, a user interface designer who enjoys testifying as an expert witness in patent litigation, invented the techniques over twenty years ago while exploring methods for representing and displaying divergent personal perspectives on a variety of media types. The first prototypes were called Relativity Controllers because each viewer benefited from seeing content in accordance with their own unique point of view.

U.S. Patents 8,370,745 and 8,370,746 (and soon to issue application 11/978,964) cover techniques commonly used today on DVD and Blu-ray to deliver multiple versions of the same movie (such as a director's cut and theatrical release) on a single disc. Long videos are shortened by skipping over undesired scenes or sequences.

U.S. Patent application 09/947,196 (scheduled to issue as Patent No. 8,381,126 on 2/19) covers document auto-summarization techniques used in popular word processor applications and online research tools, including Thomson Reuters' WestlawNext, which Bear helped design. Long documents and/or search results are shortened by contracting non-salient content based on user preference and displaying only salient portions.

U.S. Patent application 12/248,931 (allowed and pending issuance) covers calendar auto-summarization, as experienced on the iPhone and other mobile devices. The techniques enable users to seamlessly switch back and forth between a day view (with evenly metered time units) and a list view (displaying only scheduled activity in chosen categories).

About MONKEYmedia, Inc.

Austin-based MONKEYmedia is a privately held user interface design studio, founded in 1994 by Janna Buckmaster Bear and Eric Gould Bear, an Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo! alumnus. Its portfolio of patented inventions includes claims directed towards telescopic advertising and other enhanced viewing experiences. Technology licenses are available through the SeamlessTV® Partner Program. For additional information, visit http://monkey.com.

About Eric Gould Bear

Eric Gould Bear is first-named inventor on over 100 software and hardware interaction patents and patent applications. He is an enthusiastic and inspirational leader, and has established user experience strategies for many well-known corporations. A former university professor, Bear is recognized for his collaborative approaches to creating easy-to-use technology and engaging digital media. Communication Arts described him as "one of the most thoughtful and provocative interface and interaction designers working in the field."

MONKEYmedia and SeamlessTV are registered trademarks of MONKEYmedia, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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