The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a whopping 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Earlier we covered a Key Swipe Gestures Patent for Virtual Keyboards, another covering a Telephonic MacBook with a Rotatable Display along with an Industrial Design Patent for Apple's Upper West Side NY Apple Store that credited Steve Jobs as one of the designers. In our last report of the day, we cover an eclectic mix of interesting patent wins ranging from a first NFC patent win to one covering location technologies including Infrared beacons. Additionally we cover conductive paints and foils used in the iPhone and another design win for Steve Jobs on the Magic Mouse. All in all it was a huge patent day for Apple and fun for Macites who love to hear the sound of Android-Heads exploding at the mere mention of Apple gaining yet more "e-v-i-l" patents – Ha!
Apple Wins their first NFC Patent Related to Retail Transactions
Apple has received their first NFC related granted patent that relates to workflows that may be performed on electronic devices and, more particularly to shared execution of workflows on multiple electronic devices. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone, or a derivative thereof provided for sales transactions, available from Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.
While Apple is rolling out a new fast check-out system in their retails stores, Apple's NFC patents covering retail store transactions are many and could be found in our NFC Archives. Two specific NFC patent relating to retail beyond today's granted patent would be: Apple Reveals their e-Wallet Companion App Called Shopping and Apple Gearing Up for the Coming NFC- iPhone Revolution. The current Apple retail system could be borrowing from their recently granted patent covering a point of sale transaction system. For more information see granted patent 8,060,627.
Granted Patent Number Two: Transmission line with a cross-hatched ground plane that is either filled with conductive paint or covered by a conductive foil
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to transmission lines, and more particularly, to microstrip and stripline transmission lines for electronic devices. The transmission lines may be used as part of wireless communications circuitry in handheld electronic devices – such as the iPhone.
Transmission lines for electronic devices such as microstrip and stripline transmission lines may be provided that include patterned conductive lines and a conductive paint in the patterned conductive lines. The transmission lines may include one or more planar ground conductors. The ground conductors may include conductive lines arranged in a crosshatch pattern with spaces between the conductive lines. The ground conductors may also include conductive paint in spaces within the crosshatched pattern. The ground conductors may form one or more ground planes for the transmission lines. For more information, see Granted Patent 8,058,954.
Granted Patent Number Three: A Location Information System Utilizing GPS and a Distributed Network
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to obtaining information relating to a specific location using a positioning system. More particularly, the invention relates to a system and method for obtaining location specific information about a particular location using a distributed network in combination with the positioning system.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the location information system using bar code labels as the information source; Apple's patent FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of the location information system using infrared beacons
Although this patent was refilled in Sept 2010 and granted today, it actually dates all the way back to 1998 as its original filing date. It would appear that Apple sought out to acquire this heavy weight patent as none of the engineers listed appear to be known Apple engineers. Though it's interesting to note that Mark Weiser, who's known to be the father of ubiquitous computing, is listed on the patent. Mr. Weiser is associated with Xerox PARC. For more information, see (reexamined) granted patent RE42,927.
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on today, we present you with links to a few of other 31 granted patents in our Final Patent Round-Up as follows:
Granted Patent 8,060,229 titled Portable media device with workout support, covers Apple's iPod + Nike; granted patent 8,060,821 titled Enhanced visual feedback of interactions with user interface – relates to iTunes access for Individuals with disabilities. It sounds like it relates to VoiceOver and other tools for the disabled; and finally, granted patent 8,060,830 covering Apple's RSS news feed browser.
On the industrial design side of the ledger, Apple has been granted a number of wins. Apple first won a design patent for their Magic Mouse in Europe back in January 2010 and today Apple has finally been granted a design patent for the Magic Mouse in the US. Apple was also granted design patents for iOS icons for "Settings" and the "Address Book." And finally, Apple has won a design patent for their iPad Keyboard-Dock which happens to also credit Steve Jobs as one of Jony Ive's team designers. I'm sure that's not how Steve would have worded it - Ha!
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.
Humor: Isn't our cover graphic really about a Gigantic MacBook Spaceship attacking Google's headquarters? Nnnnoo. But the idea isn't that bad - ha! Cheers.
Here are a Few Great Community Sites covering our Original Report
MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, TechWatching, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, MacDailyNews, Techmeme, Appolicious, N-TV Germany, iPhones Russia, Netbooknews Germany, Blamablum Russia, and more.