The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. this week. This particular report covers three interesting iOS patents covering the creation of music playlists and application windowing. Additionally, we cover one of the key advancements in MacBook Pro's keyboard and several industrial designs including the iPhone face cover and the "Hi-Drive" icon. And lastly we cover twelve utility patents that relate to such things as the assembly of the iPad's display and an editor for program files.
Apple Granted 3 Interesting iOS Patents
Apple has received three new shiny iOS patents for their legal team. Admittedly, it's all but impossible to pre-gauge which of Apple's granted patents will hold the power to stop of a copycat competitor in their tracks and yet certain patents seem to scream out a little louder than others. In today's case, we know of at least one competitor that is contemplating a run at the iPod touch or Apple's music app in general. This makes this week's granted patent covering the creation of music playlists all the more important to take note of.
A third patent in this group covers interfaces that accommodate the use of multiple windows. One aspect covers Apple's Virtual Keyboard and how it works with several layers of keyboard functionality. Another aspect deals with how the iPhone makes use of hidden windows like the example below which has a bar at the bottom that keeps track of webpages that a user is storing to read at a later date.
The three patents that Apple was granted this week are: 1) Systems and methods for prioritizing mobile media player files (8,214,315); 2) Song flow methodology in random playback (8,214,740); and 3) "Method, system, and graphical user interface for viewing multiple application windows," (8,214,768).
Apple Granted Patent for MacBook Pro Keyboard Keys with Double-Diving-Boards Spring Mechanism
Apple has received a Granted Patent relating to their MacBook Pro keyboard. One of the unique aspects to this keyboard is that it employs a double-diving-board spring mechanism mounted under each key cap. A dome switch may be mounted below each spring mechanism. When a user presses downwards on a key cap, the double-diving-board spring mechanism pressed downwards on a corresponding dome switch.
Each spring mechanism has first and second diving-board structures that flex about respective parallel flex axes. The top plate may have edge portions surrounding each key opening that form upstop structures. The upstop structures for each key are designed to prevent the key cap and spring mechanism for that key from tilting when the dome switch for that key is compressed.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 shows an exploded perspective view of an illustrative key. Apple's patent FIG. 6 illustrates an additional groove structures such as groove opening 110 may be formed in the metal sheet to help provide the diving-board hinges formed from the metal sheet with a desired amount of flexibility.
Apple credits Mi Zhou as the sole inventor of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2010 and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday July 3, 2012.
Granted Design Patents Issued to Apple
Earlier this week Apple was granted industrial design patents covering their wired keyboard, the iPhone's front cover, retail packaging for the iPad, an Apple Store tabletop iPad stand and an odd one for a "HI-Drive" icon that was designed by Thorsten Quandt of Hamburg Germany. Perhaps the associated technology behind the icon was rolled into Apple's defunct MobileMe (Note the URL of that link).
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:
8,214,822 Editor for program files
8,214,669 Method and apparatus for managing power in computer systems
8,214,648 Secure configuration of a computing device
8,213,946 Method and system for managing delivery of communications
8,213,766 Embedded access information for digital versatile disc (DVD) independent of DVD player software
8,213,389 Location determination using formula
8,213,177 Device foot
8,213,168 Assembly of a display module (iPad display)
8,212,859 Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays
8,212,843 Error metric associated with backlight adaptation
8,210,422 Solder containment brackets
8,210,032 Water detection arrangement
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.