Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Automatic Censorship

Microsoft was granted a patent for 'Automatic Censorship of Audio Data for Broadcast'. The patent describes a method to censor preselected speech (audio). Our search for the patent reveals the following abstract:

An input audio data stream comprising speech is processed by an automatic censoring filter in either a real-time mode, or a batch mode, producing censored speech that has been altered so that undesired words or phrases are either unintelligible or inaudible. The automatic censoring filter employs a lattice comprising either phonemes and/or words derived from phonemes for comparison against corresponding phonemes or words included in undesired speech data. If the probability that a phoneme or word in the input audio data stream matches a corresponding phoneme or word in the undesired speech data is greater than a probability threshold, the input audio data stream is altered so that the undesired word or a phrase comprising a plurality of such words is unintelligible or inaudible. The censored speech can either be stored or made available to an audience in real-time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Computer Implemented Invention

There are various stand on patent software. EPO has implemented patent protection for computer implemented invention.

Computer implemented invention refers to an invention whose implementation involves a computer, computer network or other programmable apparatus. A computer program is featured wholly or partly to realize the invention.

Computer implemented invention needs to produce a technical effect to qualify for patent protection according to EPO, such as:
o control of a brake in a car
o faster communication between mobile phones
o secure data transmission
o resource allocation in an operating system

Subject matter which does not solve any technical problem is not patentable, such as:
x calculation of a pension
x new rules of an auction
x selling and booking sailing package
x aesthetic effects of a music or video

Malaysia has adopted EPO's approach towards computer software. The patent must be written by skilled patent drafter to cover technical means and effect to qualify for patent protection. Computer program per se is not patentable.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Create a Relationship of Trust - Lewre

After 10 years in the international market as an original equipment manufacturer, Lewre International established the Lewre brand in 1997.

Currently, the company has over 100 outlets in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

The company has been spending a lot of time and capital in brand building and today it is reaping the harvest.

“Our target markets are middle to higher-end customers and our core competency is our niche design and good quality,” Lew said.

He said the company worked closely with global designers in the US, Japan, Italy, Spain as well as locally to ensure Lewre’s position as a global brand.

“We (also) want to focus more on producing fashion accessories and handbags in future to vary our product offerings instead of only footwear,” Lew said.

The key objective of branding was to create a relationship of trust, he said, explaining why customers were loyal to a particular brand.

“Branding is important in any industry, especially when you are facing bad times,” he said.

Lew, who is also the president of the Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM), advised market players to be clear on their position before creating a brand.

“You need to know what your business direction is and what kind of market segments you are targeting,” he explained. “Players have to create value in the eyes of consumers and use the brand value to convince consumers to pay for the goods.”

The brand building process also needed to be supported by product designs, images, marketing and customer services, he added.

“We have to be caring while serving our customers,” he said, adding that consumers bought on the basis of product packaging and concept “so the market players have to be creative in their designs.”

Lew observed that some local market players lacked confidence in their own ability.

“A lot of Malaysians think that they are second-class, (but) in fact they are not,” he said. “They need to have a strong mindset and make their ideas come true.”

Lew said branding was a long-term investment “so the returns would not be seen immediately, it’s like a baby, you have to take time to nurture, guide, and educate it.” - The Star

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

YHS withstands test of Time

Historically, it was a tradition for many Chinese families to use their family name for a shop, a company or a brand. That was how founder Yeo Keng Lian came to brand his product Yeo’s over 100 years ago.

“Yeo’s has come a long way. Like any other brand, Yeo’s has withstood the test of time and the brand has been astonishing,” Ow told StarBiz recently at its head office in Petaling Jaya.

“The brand is well positioned to compete with other names like NestlĂ© ’s Nescafe. Yeo’s is a ‘healthy’ Asian beverage. I would say the brand has become trustworthy,” he said.

Going forward, Ow said the group would focus on things that it was good at, and spend more time and money on innovation and research and development (R&D) to improve its manufacturing capability.

The YHS group is involved principally in the production, marketing and sale of food, sauces and beverages not only under the Yeo’s brand, but also Fizzi, Goodtase, Cintan and SoyRich as well.

Tracing YHS’ history, Ow said Keng Lian started making soy sauce at his home in Fujian, China, in 1900. Later, he set up his first factory and named it Yeo Hiap Seng, meaning “working together for success” in Hokkien. “The younger generation might not have heard of or seen our soy sauce product. We plan next year to reintroduce Yeo’s soy sauce in Malaysia. It is time to continue globalising our soy sauce again,” he said. - The Star