The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 27 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second and final granted patent report of the day we cover the original iPhone acoustic testing device, an iPod touch industrial design with a twist and an interesting new iOS device unlock feature never seen before. To wrap up our report, we list eight other patents in our final wrap up section that covers such things as shared multiband antennas and secure device configuration profiles.
Apple's Wins a Second and Different Unlock Patent
Apple has received a Granted Patent that generally relates to user interfaces that employ touch-sensitive displays, and more particularly, to the unlocking of user interfaces on portable electronic devices. This patented feature was first covered in our October 25, 2011 patent report which stirred quite the hornet's nest in Taiwan. Four months later, Apple won a court battle with Motorola using their Unlock patent. In today's granted patent we see that Apple has added a secondary lock screen bar to the start screen.
New to this granted patent is Apple's patent figure illustrating the GUI display of a device at various points in the performance of an unlock action gesture corresponding to one of a plurality of unlock images. FIG. 11B shows a snapshot of the device during the pendency of the unlock action.
Apple states that in some embodiments, "the device may prioritize which unlock images to display. The device may display a subset of the corresponding unlock images on the touch screen at one time. The device may decide which subset to display based on one or more predefined criteria. For example, the device may display only unlock images corresponding to the most recent events and/or running applications. As another example, the device may display only unlock images corresponding to incoming events."
It would appear that a user will be able to set their first unlock screen to unlock only certain icons and apps. Super personal stuff or work related materials (for example) could be locked in a secondary screen un-lockable by a secondary unlock mechanism or unlock screen. One example is requiring a user to enter a second lock screen if they want to open an app like iTunes. This way it's doubly secure from the majority of hackers or even family members. That's pretty interesting. And considering the date of the filing, it could be considered an upcoming feature rather one that's been passed on already. Time will tell.
Apple's First Patent Claim Reads as Follows: A portable electronic device, comprising: a touch sensitive display; memory; one or more processors; one or more programs stored in the memory and configured for execution by the one or more processors, the one or more programs including instructions for: displaying a first unlock image and a second unlock image on the touch-sensitive display while the device is in a user-interface lock state; detecting a gesture on the touch-sensitive display; transitioning the device to a first application corresponding to the first unlock image if the detected gesture corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the first unlock image; and transitioning the device to a second application distinct from the first application if the detected gesture corresponds to a predefined gesture with respect to the second unlock image.
Apple's Unlock patent has forced their competitors to rethink their unlocking start screen mechanisms. And now that they have, Apple appears to be ready to build a new layer of security unto their initial patent.
Apple credits Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall and team members Imran Chaudhri Imran, Bas Ording, Freddy Anzures, Marcel Van Os and Greg Christie as the inventors of granted patent 8,209,637 which was originally filed in Q3 2011 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple Wins a Patent for an iPhone Acoustic Testing Device
Apple has received a Granted Patent that generally relates to a technique for checking or verifying the acoustic capability of a test fixture that is to be used for acoustics testing of a portable media device. With iOS devices covering music, video and telephony, it's important that Apple's design team is able to accurately verify exacting acoustic qualities and radio frequency functionalities when designing the next iOS device. The date of the patent tells us that this was specifically created to test out Apple's first iPhone.
Apple's invention more specifically relates to a device for checking an acoustic test fixture (also referred to as an acoustic test fixture calibrator or calibration device). The calibrator device fits into the test fixture in the same manner a unit-under-test would fit. An acoustic port is formed in the exterior surface of the calibrator device's body. The acoustic port is adapted to be coupled to an acoustic input or output port of a sound test tool. The body has an internal cavity that acoustically couples the acoustic port to an acoustic aperture in the exterior surface. The acoustic aperture is positioned and otherwise adapted to mimic a corresponding aperture (e.g., a receiver aperture) on a unit-under-test.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 shown above illustrates the fixture 500 in use, during an example, speaker test. Patent FIG. 7 illustrates a diagram of the calibrator device 400 in use, while testing the receiver acoustic pathway of the test fixture 500. Apple's patent FIG. 8 illustrates an elevation view of a calibrator device 400. In this case the device has two additional acoustic ports 419 and 417 on the exterior surface of its body, each being adapted to be connected to a respective sound test tool.
Apple credits Justin Gregg and Michael Lee as the inventors of granted patent 8,205,499 which was originally filed in Q4 2007 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Although it was filed in Q4, I'm sure that it was filed after being used as the tester for the original iPhone. But this is an opinion and not a verifiable fact.
Apple Granted Several Industrial Design Wins
Apple has been granted several design patents today covering the MacBook Air (again), a power adapter (again), earphones, docks (one, two) and two views of an iPod touch covering the camera in the left and/or right positions. The patent was originally filed in August 2010 and Apple's fourth generation iPod touch was released in September 2010. Obviously Apple reserves the right to switch the camera's positioning should it be required in the future.
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:
8,208,978 Small lanyard connector for low profile device
8,208,900 Secure device configuration profiles 21
8,208,867 Shared multiband antennas and antenna diversity circuitry for electronic devices
8,208,853 Accessory device authentication
8,208,789 Video program authoring systems and methods
8,208,565 Pre-processing method and system for data reduction of video sequences and bit rate reduction of compressed video sequences using temporal filtering
8,208,536 Method and apparatus for encoding using single pass rate controller
8,207,974 Switch for graphics processing units
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.
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