The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 12 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The two patents that stood out from the pack this morning related to the original 2007 iPhone. In fact the patents were complementary to one another in that one covers portrait-landscape rotation heuristics and the other covers screen rotation gestures. I guess that's a double whammy for Apple and just more headaches for the likes of Google's Android.
Granted Patent: Portrait-Landscape Rotation Heuristics for a Portable Multifunction Device
Apple has been granted another original iPhone related patent. This particular granted patent generally relates to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portrait-landscape rotation heuristics for touch based portable devices.
Apple's Initial Claim: A computer-implemented method, comprising: at a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display and one or more accelerometers, displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait view or a landscape view based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers; detecting a predetermined finger gesture on or near the touch screen display while the information is displayed in a first view, wherein the first view is one of the portrait view and the landscape view; in response to detecting the predetermined finger gesture, displaying the information in a second view and locking the display of information in the second view, wherein the second view is the other of the portrait view and the landscape view; and unlocking the display of information in the second view in response to a determination that the device is placed in an orientation where the second view matches an orientation of the display based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers.
To review the remaining 23 patent claims and full details of this patent, see granted patent 7,978,176 which was originally filed in Q4 2007 by inventors Scott Forstall Senior VP of iPhone Software and team member Chris Blumenberg. Other recent 2007 iPhone patent wins could be found here: One, Two and Three.
Granted Patent: Screen Rotation Gestures on a Portable Multifunction Device
Apple has been granted yet another original iPhone related patent that actually supports the initial granted patent presented in our report. This particular granted patent generally relates to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portable devices that implement screen rotation gestures.
Apple's initial Patent Claim: A method, comprising: at a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display: displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait orientation; detecting simultaneous rotation of two thumbs in a first sense of rotation on the touch screen display; in response to detecting the simultaneous rotation of the two thumbs in the first sense of rotation, displaying the information in a landscape orientation; detecting simultaneous rotation of the two thumbs in a second sense of rotation that is opposite the first sense of rotation; and in response to detecting the simultaneous rotation of the two thumbs in the second sense of rotation, displaying the information in a portrait orientation.
To review the remaining 30 patent claims and full details of this patent, see granted patent 7,978,182 which was originally filed in Q4 2007 by inventors Scott Forstall, Senior VP of iPhone Software, and team member Chris Blumenberg. Update July 13, 2011: Interestingly we've recieved a fair number of hits on this report from an Internal Intel blog titled: "planetblue.ith.intel.com/employee blogs." I wonder what that's about.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Apple Granted Patent 7,978,181: "Keystroke Tactility Arrangement on a Smooth Touch Surface." This is Apple's second granted patent on this subject. See the first granted patent that was just granted in April 2011 for details.
Apple Granted Patent 7,977,998: "Apparatus and Method for Testing Level Shifter Voltage Thresholds on an Integrated Circuit." Apple's invention relates to integrated circuits and, more particularly, to level shifter circuits.
Apple Granted Patent 7,978,925: "Smoothing and/or Locking operations in video editing." Apple's invention allows a video editor to remove unwanted camera motion from a sequence of video images (e.g., video frames) and unwanted camera motion from the intended underlying motion of a camera (e.g., panning and zooming) and/or motion of objects within the video sequence. Apple's patent relates to their defunct "Shake" video editing application. It's unknown by this author as to what portions of this program, if any, have been salvaged and integrated into Apple's current Final Cut Pro X application.
Apple Granted Patent 7,979,269: Universal Container for Audio Data
Apple Granted Patent 7,977,976: "Self-Gating Synchronizer." Apple's invention relates to the field of signal synchronization, more specifically to preventing propagation of metastable signals.
Apple Granted Patent 7,978,474: Liquid-Cooled Portable Computer
Apple Granted Patent 7,979,462: "Head-to-head comparisons." Apple's patent states that "In some embodiments, a "head-to-head comparison" includes a comparison and/or review of a plurality of similar items or products. Such a head-to-head comparison may be useful, for example, to someone interested in purchasing a particular type of item but uncertain about which specific product to purchase. A head-to-head comparison can aid in making a decision about which item in a set of like items is the best or the best for a particular purpose or value." This was to be integrated into the Apple Store.
Apple's 2006 granted patent has never seen the light of day and probably never will. Considering that the head-to-head pricing comparisons between rival products were to be generated by "community members," I don't think that this would ever fly. The rivalries between Apple and competing communities would turn this comparison chart concept into a circus. I mean, would you seriously trust it? I didn't think so.
On the other hand, Apple likely circumvented one circus for another: their famous I'm a Mac and I'm a PC series of comparisons. Apple fans got a barrel of laughs while the PC community got to rip the flesh from their face in spitting anger. Now that's a fair trade-off isn't it? Ha!
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted 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.
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