The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Besides winning 5 design patents covering the iPod Classic and iPod nano, the notables within this group include one that relates to the iPod being used as a remote control and another that relates to color correction information in a camera. The latter is perhaps the most interesting granted patent published today - due to the fact that Apple has just filed a patent infringement law suit against Kodak. Yet on a second note, Apple's aggressiveness against Kodak could also be a sign that Apple is planning yet a further push into cameras in the future that cover both digital still and video cameras. Apple's granted patent image noted above is not that of an iPod camera but rather a traditional stand alone camera which is in line with a patent application they filed in July 2009. While today's granted patent could have simply been covering a basic "conceptual camera" for illustration purposes only, one could never know what Apple has on their roadmap until they announce it. Stay tuned.
Granted Design Patents: iPod Classic & iPod nano Third Generation
Apple credits Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Calvin Seid, Vincent Keane Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Patent D614,163, D614,164 and D614,165 for the iPod Classic and granted patents D614,161 and D614,162 for the iPod nano third generation. All patent designs were filed in Q3 2007.
Granted Patent: Method and Apparatus for Color Correction
Apple's patent covers methods and apparatuses, such as a camera, for color correction using diffusers. At least one embodiment of the present invention seeks to perform color correction using color signals detected for the light passing through a diffuser. While typically software-based color correction methods rely on predetermined assumptions about the properties of an image, such as the averaged and/or profiled color information, at least one embodiment of the present invention utilizes the color signals for the light passing through a diffuser to determine the properties of the lightening environment. Instead of depending on the predetermined assumptions about the lightening environment or the image of the scene, at least one embodiment of the present invention performs the color correction according to the color information detected for the actual lightening environment.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 shows another example of a camera with a diffuser for detecting color correction information for a lightening environment. In FIG. 4, dome-shaped diffuser 403 is in the path of the light coming towards the image sensing device (415). The diffuser scatters the light from the scene target (420), as well as the light directly from light source 409 and the light (e.g., 425) from other sources (or light reflecting objects). The diffuser scatters the surrounding light towards the image sensing device to illuminate the image sensing device with the light of the color of the diffuser under the current lightening condition (provided by the surrounding light coming towards the diffuser). The color signals generated by the image sensing device for the light of the color of the diffuser under the current lightening condition can be compared to the color of the diffuser under the standard lightening condition (or a reference lightening condition) so that the color cast of the light source on the image of a scene can be corrected accordingly.
Apple credits Greg Christie and Michael Culbert as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,701,489, originally filed in Q2, 2003.
Granted Patent: Portable Media Player as a Low Power Remote Control and Method Thereof
A portable multimedia player, such as the iPod, is used to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit (such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital audio). In one embodiment, a method of using a portable multimedia player arranged to store digital media files to wirelessly access and/or control a media server configured to stream digital media data to a media unit is described. The method is performed by binding the portable multimedia player and the media server, wirelessly transmitting a signal from the multimedia player to the media server, and streaming the digital media data from the media server to a media unit by way of a wireless interface using the received signal.
Apple's patent FIG. 5B shows how the iPod could be used to remotely access the personal computer to effect any number of changes in the music being streamed to and played by the stereo.
Apple credits Steve Ko and Stephen Lemay as the inventors of granted patent 7,702,279, originally filed in Q4 2005.
Granted Patent: Method and Apparatus for Ensuring Compatibility on a High Performance Serial Bus
A data communications system is disclosed having at least one Legacy cloud coupled to at least one Beta cloud. The system further has at least one BOSS node and at least one border node. A method for ensuring compatibility is disclosed comprising determining when the BOSS node is idle, determining whether the last packet transmitted by any border node was an Alpha format packet if the BOSS node is idle, and unlocking the Legacy cloud if the last packet transmitted by the border node was not an Alpha format packet. Granted Patent: 7,701,966
Granted Patent: Two Levels of Voltage Regulation Supplied for Logic and Data Programming Voltage of a Memory Device
Various implementations may relate generally to non-volatile memory devices, and particular implementations may relate to systems and methods for operating multi-level flash cells. Granted Patent: 7,701,797
Granted Patent: Heat-Transfer Mechanism Including a Liquid-Metal Thermal Coupling
Apple's invention relates to heat-transfer techniques. More specifically, the present invention relates to a heat-transfer mechanism that includes a liquid-metal thermal coupling. Granted Patent: 7,701,716
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details. For additional information on any granted patent noted above that is not directly linked, simply feed the individual patent number(s) provided into this search engine. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.