The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day we covered a new microstrip cellular antenna for use in future Apple products. In our second granted patent report of the day we mainly cover Apple's wins relating to a light sensitive display, their "Slide to Unlock" iOS start screen feature and finally one that relates to Samsung's method for fabricating a semiconductor die package for Apple's iOS Devices.
Apple is Granted yet another Light Sensitive Display Patent
Apple has received their fourth Granted Patent relating to a light sensitive display in the last year. For a company that supposedly has no interest in smart pens and related displays, they sure have a lot of intellectual property covering this area of technology.
Apple's First Claim: A display comprising: a stack of layers configured to display an image; multiple elements included in the stack of layers, wherein each of the multiple elements is configured to sense light; and a pixel electrode matrix comprising a first set of pixel electrodes and a second set of pixel electrodes, wherein the pixel electrodes in the first set have a different size than the pixel electrodes in the second set, wherein the pixel electrode matrix and the multiple elements are arranged on a single layer in the stack, and the pixel electrodes in the first set have a smaller size than the pixel electrodes in the second set to accommodate readout lines associated with the multiple elements in the single layer, wherein the readout lines are arranged in a periodic manner more than one pixel apart in the single layer, and wherein the display is configured to modify frame data to be applied to the pixel electrode matrix to compensate for the difference in size between the pixel electrodes in the first set and the pixel electrodes in the second set.
To review Apple's other 15 patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,044,930. Apple credits Adiel Abileah, Willem den Boer and Patas Green the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q4 2007. Also see our Smart Pen Archives.
Apple is Granted a Second iOS "Slide to Unlock" Patent
Apple has received their second Granted Patent for the iOS "Slide to Unlock" opening screen feature as noted below. If a user doesn't use a security code for their iOS device, then this is the screen graphic that they'll be greeted with. The user simply slides the arrow to the extreme right side to unlock the screen and be presented with their home screen. Those choosing to lock their screen with a security code will be greeted with an alternative screen graphic that displays a numeric pad to enter a security password, which isn't covered in this patent.
Apple's First Claim: A method of unlocking a hand-held electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising: detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display at a first predefined location corresponding to an unlock image; continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the contact while continuous contact with the touch screen is maintained, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and unlocking the hand-held electronic device if the moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display.
To review Apple's other 14 patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,046,721. Apple credits Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall along with team members Imran Chaudhri, Bas Ording, Freddy Anzures, Marcel Van Os, Stephan Lemay and Greg Christie as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q2 2009. Apple's first granted patent on this front came in February of this year.
Update Oct 27, 2011: Apple's patent is certainly making waves around the world. It's now being reported by Focus Taiwan that Premier Wu Den-yih directed relevant government agencies on Thursday to assess the possible impact on local companies of Apple Inc.'s latest success in winning the "Slide to Unlock" patent." The Premier, Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting, stated that he was very concerned about the possible adverse effects of Apple's latest patent victory on Taiwanese companies, particularly those in the smartphone and tablet sectors.
Video: Steve Jobs Presenting the Unlock Feature
Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007 and was without a doubt one of the most important keynotes for Apple and Steve Jobs. At the 15: 30 mark of the YouTube video below, you'll see Steve introduce the iPhone's Slide to Unlock feature that has been granted a patent.
Samsung Wins a Patent Relating to a Method for Fabricating a Semiconductor Die Package for Apple's iOS Devices
Samsung has been granted patent 8,043,892 that relates to a method for fabricating a semiconductor die package for Apple's iOS Devices.
The patent states that "the described packages are the basis for realizing micro-sized and high performance electronic devices with small volume. That is, the above described semiconductor die package and integrated circuit package have been widely used for developing portable devices, e.g., mobile terminals, telephones, iPods, iPhones. iPod and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc, Cupertino, Calif., USA."
I guess that in 2007, when the original patent was filed, Samsung envisioned Apple having "small volume" for the iPhone. As they note in their patent. I guess if we wait long enough we may see a secondary patent describing a semiconductor die package for "Massive Volumes" for the iPhone and iPad. I jest of course. But I do wonder if Apple, mainly Steve Jobs, was aware of Samsung customizing and patenting this method. He wasn't one for losing control of any aspect of Apple's products and or processes. I wonder if this is keeping Apple's production of iOS chipsets with Samsung. An alternative supplier would have to have different design approach to Samsung's semiconductor die package. At the end of the day it's just trivia for those interested in all things concerning Apple's A-Series chipset.
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on today, we present you with links to all of the other granted patents in our Final Patent Round-Up as follows:
Apple's Granted Patent 8,046,397 titled "Computations of power functions using polynomial approximations" covers the computation of power functions for multimedia applications, and more particularly, to the Chebyshev minimax approximation technique that enables such functions to be computed in a fast and accurate manner.
Here are the remainder of today's granted patents in rapid fire mode: 8,046,689 Media presentation with supplementary media; 8,046,498 Data synchronization protocol; 8,046,369 Media asset rating system; 8,045,708 Discrete key generation method and apparatus; 8,045,472 Credit management when resource granularity is larger than credit granularity; 8,044,963 System for emulating graphics operations; 8,044,961 Automatic synthesis of font tables for character layout; 8,044,795 Event recorder for portable media device; and finally one on the iPod's clickwheel under 8,044,314.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Here are a Few Great Community Sites covering our Original Report
MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, UpgradeOSX, TechWatching, UltraSnow, C.Ta6 Montenegro, Planet Geek Spain, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, CBS MarketWatch, AppAdvice, iDownloadBlog, Version 2 Denmark, Redmond Pie, Apple Newz, MacKozer Poland, iPhones.Co Israel, Cydiahelp, Muy Computer Spanish, and more.