Spawn

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A patent application filed by the Menlo Park-based company details a convoluted process to trigger users' devices to record the ambient audio surrounding them — be that your conversation or the sounds in your bedroom — and then send some form of data based on that recording back to the company.
Facebook, when reached for comment, claimed it has no intention of ever actually implementing the technology described in the application. Which, of course, makes one wonder why it bothered to apply for a patent on it in the first place.

Thankfully, Facebook VP and Deputy General Counsel Allen Lo is here to clear that up.

It is common practice to file patents to prevent aggression from other companies," Lo said in a statement to Mashable. "Because of this, patents tend to focus on future-looking technology that is often speculative in nature and could be commercialized by other companies."

Phew! Facebook is just doing this to protect us from other companies that may eventually want to record us through our phones' microphones.

That sounds... believable.
 

slash/

Level 6
@Spawn This is a slightly more controversial topic, so here is the counterclaim article.

Facebook did not apply for a patent on turning your phone microphone on when a hidden signal plays on a TV. I know this because I simply read the patent claims, which do not have the word “phone” or “microphone” in them at all. And the claims are the only part that truly matter.

A patent is composed of several parts. There’s the title, which is usually gibberish, the abstract, which broadly describes what’s in the patent, the specification, which explains how to build or use the invention being patented, and then there are the claims, which is the actual subject matter of the patent. If you are not a patent lawyer in patent litigation and you are reading anything but the claims, you are getting it wrong.

This is so fundamental to reading patents that law students are taught “the name of the game is the claim” in order to remember it.

THE PATENT CLAIMS DO NOT CONTAIN THE WORDS “PHONE” OR “MICROPHONE”

So what are the claims of Facebook’s patent application? You can open it here — it’s number 376,515 — and follow along. Let’s look at the first claim, which is typically the broadest and most important — the following claims tend to narrow the first claim in different ways.
Source: No, Facebook did not patent secretly turning your phone mics on when it hears your TV
 

upnorth

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The patent link in the quoted article was pretty poor IMO as it presented 1 page out of 19. To fully view the complete application one have to click on the left side button " Full Pages ". I found page 4 interesting.

Thanks for the share. (y)
 

slash/

Level 6
The patent link in the quoted article was pretty poor IMO as it presented 1 page out of 19. To fully view the complete application one have to click on the left side button " Full Pages ". I found page 4 interesting.

Thanks for the share. (y)
That's actually the official American .gov portal for trademarks and patents. I agree that it is poor quality of them to show a "preview" of one page only.
 

slash/

Level 6
They patented it? :confused: Oh joy I feel so much better now. I dont even use it :sneaky:
As the two opposing articles above have proven, it isn't enough to read a headline and draw your conclusion based on just that. It's best to read the contents of the articles and patent for yourself, and decide which side you believe. There is too much misinformation in the world, you need to form and trust your own opinions.