On December 13, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a notice sent to Apple that basically denies them the rights to "Launchpad." This is Apple's second attempt at convincing the government agency of approving this trademark. The examiner notes that Apple hasn't provided "any new or compelling evidence," that would allow them to register the trademark. Back to the drawing table Apple Legal goes, as they still have a small window of opportunity remaining to seal the deal. A Major Update was added to thei report December 15, 2012
As the year winds down, there were only a handful of original patent applications from Apple that were published today by the US Patent Office. The only consumer oriented inventions that were noteworthy related to iDevice cameras and photo management. On Apple's website describing the new iPhone 5's camera they point to improved HDR Capabilities for better color, tone and reduced motion blur. One of today's patent filings cover advanced HDR capabilities using a new image sensor. Another one covered a testing and calibrating camera modules. Yet the one new camera related invention that stood out from the pack was one relating to a new application that Apple may be included in a future iDevice camera. It'll involve a unique combination of a pre-installed camera database and new recognition software that will be able to automatically recognized famous people's faces and famous objects such as a painting or perhaps things like a famous bridge or other landmarks. While it won't be a killer application on its own by any stretch of the imagination, it will definitely enhance Apple's camera features in future iDevices. And for those who just happen to live in California or any other famous locale, then it may assist the novice paparazzi in figuring out who was who in the photo they just took at a club, concert or movie set. Hmm, I can hear the ad for that now: Want to be a paparazzi? There's an app for that.
On December 12, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office officially granted Apple three Registered Trademarks. The first was for Apple's classic Mac startup chime which we covered in an earlier report this morning. The other two registered trademarks issued today cover Apple's business oriented "Briefing Room" and "Smart Instruments" which is part of the iOS version of GarageBand.
Over the years Apple has filed for a wide variety of trademarks so as to protect their distinct imagery and/or marketing strategies. Beyond the normal trademarks such as the iMac or iPhone, they also trademarked some pretty odd ones too. They trademarked their famous marketing line "There's an App for that," along with covering store designs , store fixtures of one sort or another and even the leaf in the Apple logo. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a registered trademark for their classic Mac startup chime which indicates that diagnostic tests running immediately at startup have found no hardware or fundamental software problems.
A Company by the name of Digitech Image Technologies based out of Newport Beach California has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. While the formal complaint relating to this case has yet to be made public, Patently Apple has discovered that Digitech has filed similar lawsuits in the past two months against Sony, Toshiba, Motorola, Asus Computer and others with the same common patent. What makes this case noteworthy is that the Digitech is wielding a powerful patent from Polaroid, who beat Kodak in court in 1986 regarding the "instant camera."
This week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of patent applications from Apple revealing how Siri works with various forms of smart lists. Siri is the name of Apple's intelligent personal assistant service that they introduced with their iPhone 4S in November 2011. Siri helps a user get things done just by asking. It allows the user to use their voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Apple's four Siri related patents specifically cover performing actions, generating task items, organizing tasks and triggering notifications. Noteworthy is the fact that Apple once again clarifies that this voice-centric service that we know of as Siri will eventually be coming to the Mac. This is something that Apple had previously set in stone in a patent filing that we covered in a report back in September titled "Apple Patents Point to Siri Controlling iTunes on an iMac & more."
Wi-LAN Inc. USA and Wi-LAN Inc. have filed two separate patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in Florida and Texas Courts. Wi-LAN is the first company to be suing Apple over the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 that are specifically noted as using the 3GPP LTE standard.
Before there ever was a Project Glass from Google, there was Apple's Glass Project in the form of a patent application filed in late 2006, published in 2008 and granted in 2009. Apple's Glass Project seemed to have fallen off the grid until July 2012 when a new patent application laid out some new parameters for their future glasses. The new glasses were being designed to work with augmented reality but more importantly, they were being designed with telephonic capabilities in mind. In one of the new patent reports that we posted yesterday, we pointed to Apple describing future video glasses that would integrate hidden audio sensors within the glass or frame to enhance voice commands capabilities. Little did we know that the best data was yet to come. Late last night, Patently Apple discovered a powerful new patent application that details some rather interesting features that Apple is considering for a future headset. Perhaps that Glass War that we described last month is going to be a lot more interesting than we initially thought.
On December 6, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published well over seventy-five patent applications from Apple. The vast majority of these filings were about boring everyday necessities to keep products humming along like video codecs, security sandboxing, backup and restore functionality, Flash Memory techniques and stuff to keep the iPhone advancing, such as integrating Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (ODFM) technologies, and more. Yet within this mountain of new patent filings we were able to find a number interesting advancements to standing projects worth noting. In this particular report we specifically focus on three areas of technology. The first relates to ejectable component modules for e-commerce, the second relates to iDevice thermal management technologies and the third relates to all things photography.
On December 6, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intentions of integrating audio sensors and light emitters right into future displays. The new system could go far beyond just Macs and iDevices. According to Apple, their new invention could apply to visors for video glasses, to televisions screens to intelligently control the audio for various kinds of action and even apply to next-generation in-vehicle systems that will respond more accurately to voice controls. It sure sounds like Apple has big plans for this invention.
Today a user is able to assign a custom ringtone to a list of various contacts found in their address book. In fact, custom ringtones can apply to SMS/MMS messages, email and calendar events to audibly inform the user of an underlying notification or alert. Today, a new patent application from Apple published by the US Patent Office reveals that Apple is working on advancing the notification system so that users will be able to assign custom vibration patterns to various notification events such as incoming calls, emails and so forth by using a new user interface associated with custom haptics. Uniquely, users will also be able to purchase custom vibration patterns from developers and/or web services at Apple's App Store. In the future, you're likely to see services like Twitter, Facebook and your favorite news sites delivering unique iDevice vibration patterns to alert you of new updates and/or breaking news reports. In-part, the new feature was made available with iOS 6.