The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of eight newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's report mainly focuses in on two of these patents. The first one focuses in on one of Apple's original iPhone patents that relate to the user interface supporting application switching while still on a call. The second patent noted in our report covers a design win for Apple's second generation iPod shuffle which credits Steve Jobs as one of the designers. In our report's Final Round-Up section, you'll find patents relating to such topics as a developer computer for testing out iPhone apps and another one covering Apple's microperforated backlit display system which produces the illuminated Apple logo found on today's MacBook lineup.
Apple Wins iPhone Patent for GUI Supporting Application Switching
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to the iPhone allowing a user to start another application while the user is continuing a phone call.
In some embodiments, the phone call user interface (UI 600C, FIG. 6C) includes an application switch icon 616. The user could return to the original phone application menu by finger tapping (620) the application switch icon (616). This particular iPhone feature has likely been replaced with Apple's new multitasking bar capabilities that appear at the bottom of the iPhone when the user double taps the home button.
Apple's patent FIG. 10C, shown below, illustrates the switch icon 3080 appearing on the user interface during an ongoing phone call. This is juxtaposed to a current iPhone screenshot illustrating that same icon as the patent (shown in green). The switch application icon is a visual cue for the user. When a user activates this switch application icon by touching it with their finger, the iPhone replaces the menu of application icons with the controlling iPhone GUI.
Apple's patent FIG. 10D below illustrates an iPhone flowchart process for switching back and forth between a telephone service and a non-telephone service while maintaining an ongoing telephone call.
Apple's First Claim: A method, comprising: at a portable electronic device with a touch screen display: displaying on the touch screen display a first user interface for a phone application during a phone call; detecting activation of a menu icon or menu button during the phone call, in response to detecting activation of the menu icon or menu button, replacing the first user interface for the phone application with a menu of application icons including an icon for the phone application and an icon for a non-telephone application; maintaining the phone call while displaying the menu of application icons on the touch screen display; detecting a finger gesture on an application icon in the menu of application icons other than the phone application icon; in response to detecting the finger gesture on the application icon other than the phone application icon, displaying a corresponding application user interface on the touch screen display while continuing to maintain the phone call and modifying the corresponding application user interface to include a switch application icon that is not displayed in the corresponding application user interface when there is no ongoing phone call; detecting a finger gesture on the touch screen display on the switch application icon; and in response to detecting the finger gesture on the switch application icon, replacing display of the corresponding application user interface with the first user interface for the phone application while continuing to maintain the phone call.
To review Apple's other 20 patent claims and invention detailing, review Apple's granted patent titled "Portable electronic device with graphical user interface supporting application switching." Apple credits Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall and team members Greg Christie, Stephen Lemay, Marcel Van Os and Imran Chaudhri as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2008.
Apple Wins Design Patent for Second Generation iPod Shuffle
The US Patent and Trademark Office have officially granted Apple a design patent today for their second generation iPod Shuffle which lists Steve Jobs as one of the designers.
Apple credits the late CEO Steve Jobs, VP Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and team members Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Calvin Seid, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Patent D650,811, originally filed in Q2 2011.
The broken lines in the noted patent Figures show portions of the media device which form no part of the claimed design. Apple won a patent for their fourth generation iPod shuffle last month.
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:
Patent 8,082,376 - Communication between an accessory and a media player with multiple protocol versions; Patent 8,082,319 - Publishing and subscribing to digital image feeds; Patents 8,081,954 and 8,081,956 titled "System and method for determining mobile device capabilities," relate to iAd; Patent 8,081,430 entitled "Microperforated and backlit displays having alternative display capabilities, " relates to Apple's June Granted Patent entitled "Invisible, Light-Transmissive Display System; and finally, patent 8,081,930 entitled "Trace functionality in a mobile device," covers a developer computer for testing the response of a mobile device that is linked to and unlinked from another device.
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 Sites covering this Original Report: MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, MarketWatch, Techmeme, iClarified, SlashGear, and more.