No longer is Amazon just looking to use drones for delivery. As of October 18, 2016, it has registered a new patent for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could aid law enforcement, but also be used in a number of other ways. The patent comes at a prime time as it proposes to solve problems much discussed in recent political debate about both the safety of police officers and the poor recordings of clashes between law enforcement and the public.
An important lesson to take away from Amazon's patent is that you don't have to limit the use of your intellectual property to just one industry.
How the UAVs could be used by law enforcement
In the patent application, Amazon describes how the UAVs will be useful to both law enforcement and suspects in a variety of ways. For example, the UAVs will be perched on the shoulders of police officers until commanded to fly to a suspect and scan the situation to determine if the officer can safely approach. The patent application lists other various ways the UAVs could be used like recording incidents from different angles, locating and retrieving items, and following suspects on the run.
Although this is a U.S. application, the lessons from looking at the intended purposes of the UAVs are fruitful for people seeking to register a patent in Australia. IP Australia states that, to gain a standard patent, the invention must be able to be made or used in an industry. Amazon's UAVs are clearly very targeted at the law enforcement industry, which explains why the application features a diagram of a police officer using the UAV:
Innovative for general public, too
Think outside the box for how your patent could be used.
Take note that Amazon's application makes it clear that these drones are not just made to be used by law enforcement. In the application, the company states that device could be used for more positive activities like recording cool stunts from many different angles, while being less restrictive than fixed cameras. Therefore, the application implies that the drone will be marketed to consumers of video production, too.
It's possible other applications of this technology will be thought up once the product is actually made. Amazon's patent serves as a reminder to innovators everywhere to always think outside the box for how your patent could be used. Alder IP can help you with your patent application. Your innovation could be used for numerous purposes, or even prove to be revolutionary for a particular industry like Amazon's drones are.