The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 16 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first patent report published this morning we covered many yet to be released iPod designs that included one focused on a nano phone and got to see that Apple is considering MagSafe for iOS devices. The second wave of patents today cover a crucial touch related patent covering capacitive sensing which could fend off rivals trying to challenge Apple in court. Others patents today cover the technology behind the original iPhone antenna, power management in Airport devices and much more.
Granted Patent: Capacitive Sensing Arrangement
Apple has been granted a very strategic touch related patent that will assist their ongoing patent battles with all of their cell phone rivals. Today's granted patent covers apparatus and methods for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.
Apple credits Wayne Carl Westerman and John Elias as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,764,274, originally filed in Q3 2006. For more details see the noted patent or review our November 2009 report which covers related subject matter.
Apple may have fluked out on the timing of their granted patent in light of Apple's new Magic Trackpad unveiled today. Some of the technology from this patent would have had to be implemented in the new Magic Trackpad. The new trackpad will have to distinguish between a palm resting on the trackpad and an actual user initiated gesture and so forth. In addition, Apple's patent would actually give us a peek into the other possibilities that the new Magic Trackpad could take on over time - such as the pen grip that this patent reveals. For simple signatures, the pen grip will allow to sign electronic documents without a stylus - even though the patent also supports a future stylus.
Granted Patent: The Original iPhone Broadband Antenna
Apple has been granted a patent for the iPhone's original broadband antenna and while it may not be the design that caused all the recent commotion lately relating to the iPhone 4, those interested in this field may still wish to review and/or judge Apple's technology presented in this patent.
Broadband antennas and handheld electronic devices with broadband antennas are provided. A handheld electronic device has integrated circuits, a display, and a battery mounted within its housing. The housing has a planar inner surface. A broadband antenna for the handheld electronic device has a ground element and a resonating element. The ground element and resonating element may have the same shape and may have the same size. The ground element and resonating element may lie in a common plane and be separated by a gap that lies in the common plane. The plane in which the ground element and resonating element lie may be parallel to the planar inner surface of the housing. Electronic components such as the integrated circuits, display, and battery can be mounted in the handheld device so that they do not overlap the gap between the ground element and the resonating element.
Apple's patent figure 1 is presenting a cell phone/iPhone. Yet the patent makes it clear that broadband antennas apply to all portable devices which may also be somewhat smaller devices. Examples of smaller portable devices include wrist-watch devices, pendant devices, headphone and earpiece devices, and other wearable and miniature devices.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of illustrative wireless circuitry for a handheld device such as the iPhone. In Apple's patent FIG. 5 we see a graph of their broadband antenna covering a potential frequency range of about 800 MHz to about 3000 MHz.
The patent's key graphic, according to the patent, is patent FIG. 22 which illustrates an overview of the antenna system. A battery (198 - which may include one or more individual battery cells), may be located so that it lies above resonating element 68 without extending beyond the edges of resonating element. An advantage of placing battery 188 in the location shown in FIG. 22 is that the FIG. 22 arrangement may allow the iPhone to be formed from a thinner case.
Apple credits Robert Hill and Rubenas Caballero the inventors of Granted Patent 7,764,236 originally filed in Q1 2007.
Granted Patent: Automatic Power Management for Airport Devices
Apple has been granted a patent relating to their Airport devices that is officially titled "Automatic power management of a network powered device."
Apple's patent abstract describes it this way: "A system delivers power to a powered device through a local area network using a power sourcing equipment to process data of an interconnected network and to receive power from a first power source coupled to the power sourcing equipment. The system may include a powered device coupled at a distance away from the power sourcing equipment through a local area network (LAN) to process the data of the interconnected network through the power sourcing equipment. The powered device may include a modular power over LAN circuit to enable power to the powered device through the LAN when the modular power over LAN circuit is coupled to the powered device. "
Apple credits Stephen Fenwick as the sole inventor of Granted Patent 7,765,421, originally filed in Q2 2008.
Other Granted Patents (GP) Published Today
GP - 7,764,289 - Methods and Systems for Processing Objects in Memory
Embodiments of Apple's invention relate to computer graphics. More particularly, embodiments of the invention relate to objects in a video memory.
Aspects of Apple's patent cover OpenGL in addition to methods and apparatuses for creating and managing volatile graphics objects in video memory. An object is created and marked as volatile. The volatile object is stored in a video memory of a graphics subsystem. A volatile marking indicates that data for an object is not to be paged out from the video memory to make room for other data. The video memory space occupied by the volatile object is indicated as a volatile storage, in a data structure. Another object is written into at least a portion of the video memory space, which is occupied by the volatile object, without paging out data for the volatile object. In one embodiment, at least a portion of the volatile object is referenced or used while another object is formed. The volatile object may be discarded after being referenced or used to form another object.
GP - 7,765,326 - Intelligent Interaction between Media Player and Host Computer
Apple's patent covers improved techniques for interaction between a host computer (e.g., personal computer) and a media player. According to one aspect, interaction between a host computer and a media player, such as automatic synchronization of media contents stored on a media player with media contents stored on a host computer, can be restricted. According to another aspect, management of media items residing on a media player can be performed at and by a host computer for the media player. According to still another aspect, media content can be played by a media player in accordance with quality settings established for the media content at the host computer.
GP - 7,764,493 - Systems and Methods for Cooling Electronic Devices using Airflow Dividers
Apple's patent relates to systems and methods for cooling an electronic device such as the MacBook using airflow dividers.
GP - 7,765,213 - Ordered index
GP - 7,765,263 - Method and Apparatus for Processing Electronic Messages
GP - 7,765,277 - Method and Apparatus for Dynamically Locating Resources
GP - 7,765,315 - Time Synchronization of Multiple Time-Based Data Streams with Independent Clocks
GP - 7,765,491 - User Interface Widget for Selecting a Point or Range
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, minus the "GP" suffix (if present) into this search engine. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.