The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 39 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Our first granted patent report focuses on the iPhone 5's integrated touch technology being granted a patent as well as their 2011 Cinema Display. Apple's new integrated touch technology allowed the iPhone 5 to be much lighter and brighter than previous versions as well as requiring less power.
Apple Granted Patent for Display with Integrated Touch
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to a display with integrated touch, a feature that was first introduced with the iPhone 5 as noted in our cover graphic above showing Apple' Phil Schiller introducing this feature last September.
Technically speaking the patent relates to integrating touch sensing circuitry into the display pixel stackup (i.e., the stacked material layers forming the display pixels) of a display, such as an LCD display. Various structures formed within a display pixel stackup are designed to operate as circuitry of the display system to generate an image on the display.
An integrated touch screen can include multi-function circuit elements that form part of the display circuitry of a the display system that generates an image on the display, and also form part of the touch sensing circuitry of a touch sensing system that senses one or more touches on or near the display.
The multi-function circuit elements can be, for example, capacitors in display pixels of an LCD that are configured to operate as storage capacitors/electrodes, common electrodes, conductive wires/pathways, etc., of the display circuitry in the display system, and that may also be configured to operate as circuit elements of the touch sensing circuitry.
In this way, for example, a display with integrated touch sensing capability may be manufactured using fewer parts and/or processing steps, and the display itself may be thinner, brighter, and require less power.
Apple's patent FIG. 9A illustrates an example touch sensing system and touch phase operation.
Apple credits Steven Hotelling, Marduke Yousefpor, Shih Chang and John Zhong as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in Q3 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's 11 patent claims and full detailing, see granted patent 8,390,582.
Another touch panel related patent that was granted to Applel today is titled "Method for Fabricating Touch Sensor Panels." Apple's patent relates to a system and method for improving the touch sensor panel fabrication process using a resist which serves as both a mask during a lithography/etch (litho/etch) patterning process and a passivation layer during the subsequent passivation process. For more see granted patent 8,388,852.
Apple's Cinema Display Granted a Design Patent
Apple has been granted a design patent today for their Cinema Display. The Apple Cinema Display was a line of flat panel computer monitors introduced in September 1999 by Apple and replaced in July 2011 by their new Thunderbolt Display. The backside image of Apple's granted design patent illustrated below confirms that it's the older Cinema Display.
Apple has also been granted another display related patent titled "Flat panel display including a hinge assembly."
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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