The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Several notables within this group include a couple of MacBook Air design patents, a couple of iMac related patents and even a patent for the touch controls that Apple first released with their now defunct "Cube" desktop. Lastly, Apple has won an interesting patent related to Magnetic Detents which could be found in several current products.
Granted Patent: Touch Controls on Apple's Cube Computer
Apple has been granted a patent for touch controls that were first introduced with their now defunct Cube desktop system back in 2000. The Cube's unique touch controls were located on the Cube itself as well as on the accompanying display.
Apple's Summary: The present invention discloses methods and apparatuses for using control indicators for data processing system. A control indication assembly of one of the embodiments of the present invention includes a first control mounted on a surface of a computer. The first control is coupled to a first sensor and to a first sensing circuit to send an electrical signal to the first control when a user-touch occurs to the first sensor. The first control is also coupled to a first indicator to indicate an occurrence of said user-touch. The control indication assembly also includes a second control mounted on a surface of a display and the display is coupled to the computer. The second control is coupled to a second sensor and to a second sensing circuit to send an electrical signal to said second control when said user-touch occurs to the display. The second control is also coupled to a second indicator to indicate an occurrence of the user-touch. The first control and the second control are configured such that the first indicator and the second indicator are synchronized to exhibit identical behaviors when the user-touch occurs to at least to either the first control or the second control.
Apple credits Andrew Gong, Brian Huppi, Christoph Krah, Richard Cappels, Duncan Kerr and Michael Culbert as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,936,348 which was originally filed in Q1 2006.
Granted Patents: iMac's Magnetic Release Latch Mechanism & Stand Hinge
Most of the critical components found in Apple's iMac such as the motherboard, memory, etc., are enclosed within a small interior space. Modification, upgrading and repairs of such a computer require access to the components within this interior space, which is enclosed on all sides. In the case of the iMac computer, for example, the interior components are accessed by means of case screws.
Accordingly, what is needed is a method and system for opening a device easily and quickly, without the possibility of damage to the computer, display, or device. The method and system should be easily implemented, adaptable and cost-effective.
Apple's invention addresses such a need. The one or more latches within the iMac could be released from the one or more protruding members through the use of a magnet. Apple has won a second iMac related patent relating to the iMac's Stand Hinge which is illustrated below.
Apple credits Michael McBroom, Brian Sudderth, Daniel McBroom and John Ternus as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,934,780 which was originally filed in Q1 2006. John Ternus was also a part of the team behind Apple's hinge patent which also included Brett Degner and Andy Lauder.
Granted Patent: Multi-Position Magnetic Detents
Apple has won a patent for multi-position magnetic detents that are used in Apple's MacBook and iPod dock as illustrated below.
Two examples of Apple devices utilizing this technology are presented patent FIGS. 8 and 9. Apple's patent FIG. 8 shows a MacBook (800) with hinge (802) that employs magnetic detents. In one specific embodiment, the detent hinge may be customized to provide for a predetermined set of angles at which the MacBook screen could be most ergonomically displayed. In another specific embodiment, the detent hinge may also be customized to provide for a dominant detent position corresponding to a recommended viewing angle of the MacBook's screen.
In Apple's patent FIG. 9 we see an illustration of an iPod docking station that employs a magnetic detent. According to this embodiment, the docking station may include connector (904) that receives the iPod. The connector may be affixed to a board inside the body of the docking station by a hinge assembly that includes magnetic detent (906). The detent hinge may be customized to provide for a predetermined set of angles relative to the base at which the iPod's interface could be most ergonomically displayed and used.
Granted Design Patents: MacBook Air Batter and Solid State Drive + Magic Mouse Retail Packaging
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. Patents shouldn't be digested as rumors or fast-tracked according to rumor time tables. Apple patents represent true research that could lead to future products and should be understood in that light. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.