Facebook, Kites, and Drones
Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms worldwide. The social media giant has been extremely successful throughout the years due to a combination of many factors. One of those factors may be that Facebook has intellectual property protection for its assets. This includes patents, trademarks, and copyrights. There’s a good chance that Facebook has patent protection related to its assets concerning social media. But would you guess that Facebook also applied for a patent that may possibly concern a kite-drone vehicle?
What is this kite-drone vehicle?
Facebook has filed patent application 16/203397 (‘397 application), which is titled “Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle.” This patent is for a systems and method for a dual-kite aerial vehicle. It’s a rather interesting patent, so let’s explore it a little more detail.
More about this Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle and the ‘397 application
The abstract states that the application is for “a dual-kite aerial vehicle including a first kite apparatus and a second kite apparatus. The dual-kite aerial vehicle includes a tether extending between the first kite apparatus and the second kite apparatus. For example, while in flight, the first kite apparatus can maintain flight at a first altitude while the second kite apparatus maintains flight at a second altitude lower than the first altitude. In addition, the dual-kite aerial vehicle can include a flight control system including one or more flight controllers for controlling a flight path of the respective kite apparatuses.”
Click here to read the full patent application.
What are the claims of the ‘397 application?
The first claim of the ‘397 application reads as a “dual-kite aerial vehicle, comprising: a first kite apparatus; a second kite apparatus coupled to the first kite apparatus by a tether extending between the first kite apparatus and the second kite apparatus; and a flight control system comprising: a first flight controller coupled to one or more actuators of the first kite apparatus to control a flight path of the first kite apparatus; and a second flight controller coupled to one or more actuators of the second kite apparatus to control a flight path of the second kite apparatus; and wherein the flight control system maintains a gradient air movement between a first air movement at a first altitude of the first kite apparatus and a second air movement at a second altitude of the second kite apparatus, wherein the first altitude is higher than the second altitude. ”
As we can see, there is always something new that is invented each and every day. An inventor may have spent countless hours and a good deal of money to make an invention work. Getting a return on all that time and money that was invested would be extremely worthwhile. Patent protection can help facilitate getting a return on all those investments. More specifically, utility patents are the type of patents designed to protect inventions.
How would a patent help get a return on all those investments?
A patent gives the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing into the United States a a device covered by the patent. In other words, a patent may allow the patent owner to stop another person or party from making, using, or selling the patented invention.
Let’s Apply This To An Example.
So let’s use Facebook’s Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle as an example. Let’s pretend Facebook took years and spent millions to invent the Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle. They finally file a patent application for it and then unveil it to the world. After some time, the application matures into a patent. A few months after, Face-treatise (a made-up company) creates a similar invention and tries to sell it. Having more competitors in the market for the same product or invention may be lost profits for Facebook. This can be due to some consumers buying Face-treatises product when they could have bought Facebook’s Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle or some other reason. With a patent, Facebook can stop Face-treatise from making or selling the Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle duplicate. This may allow Facebook to better recoup losses.
What are your thoughts on Facebook’s new Dual Kite Aerial Vehicle? What about utility patents? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice and is meant to be for educational or entertainment purposes only. Please do not use the article or contents of the article without permission. For legal advice and questions, please contact registered Patent Attorney Vincent LoTempio.