Earlier this month, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller took the stand in their ongoing case with Samsung. During his testimony, he revealed that before exploring a smartphone, Apple actually considered inventing a car. While that seemed like an off-the-wall piece of testimony at the time, a newly granted patent revealed today by the U.S. Patent Office confirms that Apple was indeed working on a car and an inter-mesh communications system that would work with vehicles in general back in 2003. Our report points you to that granted patent and another one relating to iPhone interactive gaming.
Apple Granted a Patent for an Inter-Mesh Communication System for Vehicles
Apple has received a Granted Patent relating to a method and apparatus for providing mobile inter-mesh communication points in a multi-level wireless mesh network. Apple's patent points to the inter-mesh communication system being designed to work with cars, trucks, and motorcycles, public transportation vehicles such as busses, trains, and aircraft, emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances, and many other types of vehicles.
Noteworthy is Apple's patent claim number 23 which specifically covers a vehicle as part of the invention: "a vehicle comprising a mechanical system including a motor and vehicle controls to selectively enable the vehicle to move …"
Apple's patent FIG. 11 is a functional block diagram of an embodiment of a vehicle that may house one or more wireless access points which Patently Apple has pointed out in yellow for your convenience.
Apple's patent states that the power could be provided to the inter-mesh relay point by connecting the inter-mesh communication point to the vehicle's power supply, e.g. battery and electrical system, or by providing a separate battery or fuel cell to power the inter-mesh communication point. Where a separate battery is provided, the inter-mesh communication point may still be connected to the vehicles electrical system to enable recharging of the inter-mesh communication point's battery. Providing a separate battery enables the inter-mesh communication point to operate when the vehicle is not in use without depleting the charge in the vehicle's battery, which will be required to start the vehicle the next time the vehicle is to be used.
Apple credits Handforth; Martin Ridgway (Kanata, CA), Kwong; Herman (Kanata, CA), Duxbury; Guy (Nepean, CA), Wyrzykowska; Aneta (Dunrobin, CA), Marcanti; Larry (Allen, TX), Stark; Ryan M. (Ottawa, CA) as the inventors of this patent.
To review all of the finer points of this patent, see granted patent 8,248, 968 which was originally filed in Q3 2003 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Wikipedia provides a decent overview of Wireless Mesh Networks.
Apple Granted Patent Related to iPhone Interactive Gaming
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to interactive gaming on an iPhone.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrates a calibration protocol for interactive game devices 102, 104. Apple's patent FIG. 3 illustrates an interactive game display relating to a laser tag game. For more details on this patent, see our original November 2010 report titled "Apple Working on an Interactive Laser Tagging Game or Framework."
Apple credits Huang; Ronald Keryuan (Milpitas, CA), Mayor; Rob (Cupertino, CA), Mahe; Isabel (Cupertino, CA), Piemonte; Patrick (Cupertino, CA) as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents noted in our report, we present you with a list of other granted patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today:
'939 - Custom stores
'237 - Heterogeneous video conferencing
'024 - Soft handoff in OFDMA system
'777 - Viscoelastic material for shock protection in an electronic device
'421 - DisplayPort control and data registers
'383 - Sealed connectors for portable electronic devices
'359 - Multi-pin connector for advanced signaling
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.
Other IP News:
The BBC interestingly reported last week that Oracle and Google have been ordered to reveal the names of reporters, bloggers and other commentators they have paid. It was revealed in the report that Oracle was paying Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. The BBC reports: "He had written about the lawsuit over previous months on his influential Foss Patents blog and continued to do so after his declaration, often making comments sympathetic to Oracle's claims." Sources: one and two.
Check out Patent Bolt's Latest Report Titled: