Blog: AI and Patents

Posted on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

AI patent systems may be faster, but are you willing to bet your patent rights on them?

It didn’t seem that long ago that people were talking about Artificial intelligence or AI, as something futuristic, or another generation away. Not anymore. AI is rapidly infiltrating many aspects of our lives with automated assistants, smart devices, driverless cars, toys, and more.

While there are seemingly limitless benefits of AI, there is high-level concern about AI’s impact on people and jobs. Research group Gartner predicted that by as early as next year more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a “robo-boss.” There is no denial that this technology is creating such unprecedented disruption that governments, companies and societies around the world are racing to manage and control AI before AI controls us.

Even the IP industry isn’t immune. And it’s not just the filing of patents for AI technologies that’s of concern.  AI raises intriguing questions such as who the inventor is where the machine invented or contributed to inventing the technology. From an IP industry perspective, questions are being raised about stated initiatives from IP firms and patent offices such as the EPO to conduct patent searching, examine patents and even write patent specifications using AI.

We gained some interesting insights into the affects of Artificial Intelligence on the IP industry when writing this blog for our client, CreateIP. Read the full blog here.

Connexionz wins contract to connect multiple transit agencies across three States

Posted on Monday, November 20th, 2017

Press release, Santa Clarita US / Christchurch NZ, 20 Nov, 2017:  Connexionz, a leading provider of smart transit innovations, has been awarded a unique contract to deliver a multi-agency regional passenger information system.

The new “iTransitNW” portal and smartphone app will connect several transport networks across three US States to enable passengers convenient access to real-time information on all rural and intercity transit and transfer connections.

Connexionz will initially manage and support seven partner agency fleets, with potential to scale and link up to 18 separate transport operators across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Read the press release.

Read the coverage in NZ Export and Trade, NZ ManufacturerITS International, Traffic Technology Today, and Mass Transit Magazine.

HealthPost focus on natural health and environment attracts rare PM visit

Posted on Friday, August 11th, 2017

HealthPost focus on natural health and environment attracts rare PM visit

Local environment benefits from collective Golden Bay effort

Press Release, HealthPost, Collingwood, NZ, 11 August 2017:  HealthPost, established online natural health and wellness retailer, today received a rare visit from the Prime Minister of New Zealand the Right Honourable Bill English.

HealthPost is proof that location is no barrier to success in the highly competitive world of online retail. With increasing demand for its products and 30% year-on-year growth in the last decade, the company last year invested in a major expansion of its Collingwood facility with a modern warehouse extension and new offices.

Read the press release.
Read the coverage in Stuff, the Nelson Mail, and Scoop. The release also interested the National Business Review to do an awesome video profile of the company.

Connexionz Strengthens US Presence – Opens California Office

Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2017

Connexionz Strengthens US Presence – Opens California Office

Press release, Connexionz, NZ. 7 Aug, 2017: Connexionz, a leading provider of intelligent transit solutions, has opened a US office in California.

Based in the Highridge Business Park in the Valencia suburb of Santa Clarita, the spacious office facilities provides the essential services needed to run a critical technology business.

The move is a major step in the company’s US expansion strategy which focuses on growth and customer proximity through strengthened local sales and support capabilities.

Read the press release.

Read the coverage: MassTransitMagIT Brief, Scoop

Connexionz wins contract to manage New York ferry service

Posted on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Press release: Connexionz, NZ/US, 10-Apr-17:  New York commuters eagerly anticipating the launch of the new NYC Ferry operated by Hornblower starting service next month, will be boarding a new transport service integrated with technology developed by Connexionz.

Hornblower’s New York Citywide Ferry service

The contract, awarded to Connexionz in a competitive international procurement process, commenced roll out in February and will be completed next month, with on-going service and support until 2022.

Read the press release

Read the coverage in ITS Australia, IT Brief, The Press, Scoop, Exporter Magazine, Computerworld, TourismTicker, Infrastructure Build, Export and Trade, and NZ Manufacturer.

Hivemind crowdfunds affordable bee surveillance for hive health

Posted on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Smart hive minder helps beekeepers #savebees and maintain #healthyhives

  • Hive Strength Monitor with WiFi alerts beekeepers of early signs of trouble
  • Tracks and reports changes in bee activity, hive temperature and humidity
  • Enables proactive just-in-time beehive protection
  • Helps reduce bee and honey loss from pests, disease, hunger, and swarming

Hive vets aren’t real. Good tools help.

New Zealand’s smart hive innovation company, Hivemind, is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help beekeepers check their hives remotely, and take proactive action to keep their bees safe and happy.

The “Hive Strength Monitor with WiFi” campaign aims to develop and commercialise an affordable and accessible WiFi version of Hivemind’s flagship satellite-based Hive Strength Monitor for all beekeepers.

It is targeted at responsible beekeepers, commercial pollinators, and honey lovers alike around the world who are committed to keeping all bee colonies happy and strong.

Read the press release

Read the coverage in The Press, National Business Review, Australasian Beekeeper, AgriHQNZ ManufacturerScoop, Idealog and ManukaHoneyUSA, and shared on beekeeping forums around the world.

Christchurch can become a transport city of excellence

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2016

Lots of people have opinions, but very few actually bother to put pen to paper. We secured the opportunity with the Sunday Star Times and polished an opinion article for Connexionz about Smart Cities and Intelligent Transport Systems, and it’s already stimulating conversation. The business editor said she wished more people did the same.

Christchurch can become a transport city of excellence

Recently, Rod Oram criticised Christchurch for “failing to use its $50 billion investment to build a very distinctive, 21st century city” and said one of the great gaps between achievement and potential was that “Christchurch has no plans to be a leader in integrated urban transport, or being a data-driven smart city.”

To put this into perspective, Christchurch public transport was not only affected in a major way by earthquake damage to the infrastructure, it also had the challenge of re-routing services, while navigating roadworks and diversions to meet the changing needs of city residents. Considering the recovery and rebuild has dumped so much on their plates, is being a “smart city” a priority for city planners to be focussing on? Yes, it is.

Being a smart city means readying for the growth challenges ahead through technology, creativity, and collaboration.   Read the full article here.


Kiwi entrepreneur raises over NZ$1.2m seed funding to launch Plattar augmented reality platform

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2016

News Corp Australia lead investor – first ever seed investment

Steve(GM)Rupert(CEOFounder) Option 2 - webRupert Deans, Founder of Christchurch mixed reality agency, One Fat Sheep, has raised over NZ$1.2m in seed funding for his new startup Plattar (

Plattar will offer a world first augmented reality (AR) platform that will enable brands, publishers and agencies to create, manage and distribute augmented reality content in a simple, cost-effective way. It is a cloud-based platform that consists of two parts: an app builder that comes with customisable templates, and a content management system for AR content.

Read the press release.

Read the NZ coverage in StopPress, NBR (for NBR subscribers only)Christchurch Press, Stuff, Herald, Idealog, Geekzone, iStart

Medicinal power of NZ’s Kolorex Horopito extract in big demand

Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Natural health product innovation company, Forest Herbs Research, is experiencing growing demand for its clinically proven anti-fungal products made from a single variety of New Zealand’s ancient Horopito plant.

The company owns the world’s only sustainably managed commercial plantation of 30,000 native Horopito plants on the edge of the Kahurangi National Park in Golden Bay, and is preparing a third piece of land with the aim to quadruple the number of mature plants by 2020.

Read the Forest Herbs Research press release.

Read the coverage in the National Business Review, Nelson Mail, Morning Report, Radio NZ, Pharmacy Today, Scoop, and the New Zealand Listener.

Mango advises on the new laws governing workplace health and safety

Posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

From 4 April, 2016 new laws governing workplace health and safety will come into effect in New Zealand.  Glenn Baker, Editor of NZ Business, interviewed our client Mango on what business owners must do to be safe and compliant. Below is an excerpt from NZ Business’s March 2016 article “New Lines of Responsibility“:

NZ Business Mar16Another company in a good position to help business owners comply with the new legislation is Christchurch-based Mango, which markets a proven cloud-based Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental (QHSE) Management solution.

Mango’s chief marketing officer Craig Thornton agrees that business owners will no longer be able to gamble with employee’s safety as the regulators have more powers to apply a financial penalty to the employee, management and owners. He says the Mango solution provides an overview of what’s going on and delivers all due diligence information on one system.

His advice for business owners right now is to first engage with staff on health and safety. “With their staff they should be doing a gap analysis on their systems with the new legislation. Gaps should be looked at closely and action plans put in place to fill those gaps.”

Business owners should also attend briefing sessions with industry associations, Institute of Directors or Chambers of Commerce, he adds. And if they need technical advice, they should engage a suitable consultant.

“The first agenda items on board or management meetings should be on health and safety performance,” he says. “Business owners need to be visible and repeat the same H&S message to their staff; they need to show employees this is important. Don’t look at H&S as a problem or an overhead/compliance cost. Accept it and see how you can get value from it.”

Thornton believes business owners must take authority and responsibility for H&S and not outsource to a consultant ‘because that’s easier’. Going forward, the biggest challenge will be the engagement and participation with staff and building a safety culture, he says.

“Having a safety culture is key to having a workable, sustainable and manageable health and safety system. Constantly talking about health and safety with staff will, over time, help make H&S just business as usual. It’ll become ‘this is what we do around here’ and standards will be set that everyone will comply to.”

Read the full article here.