The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent for a MEMS based autofocus actuator for iDevices which will provide faster response times, better photo stability and more. The inventor of this patent worked at Cambridge Mechatronics who specialized in auto focus actuators. Will this cause Apple any problems in the future or did Apple license part of the technology? Only time will tell. In addition, we cover Apple's newly awarded design patents and we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Apple Granted Patent for a MEMS Autofocus Actuator
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) autofocus actuator for a camera module that may be integrated within an iDevice.
Apple notes that the use of MEMS technology benefits from requiring very little power, a factor that is increasingly important in mobile devices. In addition, owing to the small size and stiff silicon structure, the mechanical resonance is much higher, delivering much faster response speed and focusing time, and also better stability for different camera orientations.
There are two key factors, however, that have prevented the MEMS technology from being a practical commercial success. The first is that the actuator has thus far failed to survive the very difficult impact and drop testing that mobile devicesrequire. Apple's granted patent overcomes this problem while advancing the technology.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 shown below is a top plan view of one embodiment of an autofocus actuator.
Apple credits Senior Camera Technology Specialist Richard Topliss who was the CTO of Cambridge Mechatronics in London England who are leaders in Auto Focus actuators. Mr. Topliss is noted as the sole inventor of granted patent 8,711,495 which was originally filed in Q4 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's 21 granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
In our cover graphic: Patent FIG. 2A (in-part) is a side cross-sectional view of one embodiment of an autofocus actuator in a non-actuated state. Apple's patent FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one embodiment of an implementation of an autofocus actuator within a mobile device.
Apple Granted 5 Design Patents Today
Apple was granted 5 design patents today covering the iPhone 5S front cover which Apple filed for in March 2013 with the larger Home Button. Apple was also granted a design patent for their MagSafe Adapter, two design patents relating to their Siri logo and one for the iPod's virtual keyboard.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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