The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one relating to Apple's QuickTime VR - which was originally filed eight years ago, Apple's iPhoto, a virtual Japanese Dictionary for OS X and an industrial design win for Apple's third generation iPod nano.
Apple Granted Patent: iPhoto
With traditional amateur film photography, the process often ended after a film roll has been developed and returned to the photographer. The photographer obtained the developed photographs in an envelope and reviewed the photographs with friends and family. Some energetic amateur photographers selected their favorite photographs and placed them into a photo album. However, most amateur photographs simply end up in a shoebox at the back of the closet. Occasionally, the shoebox was retrieved to review photos with friends and family.
Apple's introduced their solution to this problem via iPhoto in 2002. To better realize the great potential of amateur digital photography, Apple's iPhoto patent introduces an integrated system for the acquisition, organization, manipulation, and publication of digital images by amateur digital photography enthusiasts. The iPhoto system first acquires images from a number of different image sources. Images acquired in the same image importing session are marked as coming from the same conceptual film roll. Next, a user is empowered to organize and manipulate the acquired images. The images may be organized by tagging the images with informative keywords and grouping images together into conceptual photo albums. The images may be manipulated by rotating, cropping, and removing red-eye. Finally, the system of the present invention provides simple intuitive image publish systems. A selected group of images may be published in a photobook, published onto the World Wide Web, or published as individual image prints with minimal computer knowledge on the part of the user.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 illustrates a view of the main display screen with film roll dividers appearing between groups of images acquired into the image organization and publishing system at different times.
Apple's Image Manipulation & Publishing System Overview Covers the Following: Image Processing Flow; Image Processing Computer System; Digital Camera Image Acquisition; Other Image Acquisition Means; Image Set Grouping; Image Organization and Manipulation; Film Roll Concept; View Packing; Image Keyword Tagging; Photo Albums; Image Editing; Image Publication; Photobook Publication; Home Page Publication and Individual Print Publication.
An example of a photobook created in iPhoto – a Demolition Book.
Apple credits Glenn Reid, Aaron Disario, Tim Wasko (of Alberta Canada) and Daniel Waylonis as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,629,984, originally filed in Q4 2004. The patent does reference another related document dated Q1 2002. For more information on iPhoto print products click here.
Apple Granted Patent: QuickTime VR
Apple's patent generally relates to the field of application interfaces for supporting media objects. More specifically, the invention relates to a system and method for integrating media objects for viewing on and manipulation via a computing device such as a personal computer. Specifically, Apple's patent is about QuickTime.
Overview: Computers and other processor based devices handle many kinds of data. Various kinds of data may be accessed by computers, including two-dimensional (2D) objects and 2D virtual reality enhanced images having three-dimensional (3D) properties. Operating systems provide utilities which may be used by application programs for various purposes, including the low-level handling of media objects. Many operating systems do not provide more than rudimentary support for the handling of 2D media objects and do not generally support enhanced 2D media objects. Additional utilities may be provided via application program interfaces commonly referred to as APIs. Some extensions to operating systems may provide the facility to separately view various kinds of 2D media objects. One such operating system extension is the QuickTime System from Apple. The ability to integrate multiple 2D media objects and 3D enhanced 2D objects into a scene having 3D properties and to then manipulate the scene and the objects is not provided in current operating systems and operating systems extensions.
Apple credits Xiaochun Nie and Christopher L Flick for granted patent 7,631,277, originally filed in 2001. For more information about Apple's System and Method for Integrating Media Objects patent, view this temporary link. Read a short overview of QuickTime VR on Wikipedia.
Apple Granted Patent: Japanese Virtual Dictionary
Apple's patent generally relates to the field of electronic text entry, and more particularly to a method of entering Japanese hiragana characters and translating into appropriate Japanese words using a combination of hiragana, katakana and kanji characters.
Apple credits Yasuo Kida and Keisuke Hara as the inventors of granted patent 7,630,880, originally filed in Q4 2006. For more information, view this temporary link.
Industrial Design Win: iPod Nano – Third Generation
Apple credits CEO Steve Jobs, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Calvin Seid (legal representative), Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted patent D605, 627, originally filed in Q3 2009. A related Document is dated August 2007.
Apple has also been granted a design patent for a Dock Insert under patent number D605,633, originally filed in June 2009.
Techniques for Providing Audio for Synchronized Playback by Multiple Devices: Apple's patent relates to synchronizing audio with multiple devices and, more specifically, to handling the communication of audio information between applications and multiple devices. For more information on Granted patent 7,631,119, view this temporary link.
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