On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple that reveals that they've slightly updated a previously granted patent relating to magnetic attachments. In continuation patents, Apple seeks to extend protection rights for features that they may consider using in the future. Apple is now protecting six possible future iPad accessories that could be magnetically attached. The first accessory relates to a stylus and a stylus holder which could be of importance if Apple introduces an iPad Pro device that uses a stylus.
Apple's patent application 20140049911 that was published by the U.S. Patent Office back in February 2014 was covered in our report titled "Apple Takes a Giant Leap Forward in iPad Attachment Designs." Additionally, a related invention that was later granted in March 2015 was covered in our report titled "Apple Granted a Patent for a Cooperative Magnetic Attachment System Supporting Various Dual iPad Pro Scenarios & Beyond." These two patents shared patent claims that were relatively common. The emphasis on those patents related to the creation of an electronic book by attaching two iPads together magnetically side-by-side.
In today's continuation patent, we now see that Apple seeks to specifically protect six accessories. The patent claims in-part reads as follows:
Patent Claim #4: "The accessory device as recited in claim 3 wherein the mechanical information tool is a stylus."
Patent Claim #5: "The accessory device as recited in claim 4, wherein in response to the magnetic attachment of the stylus to the host device function is a stylus input recognition mode."
Patent Claim #6: "The accessory device as recited in claim 5, wherein the host device responds to movement of the stylus in the stylus input recognition mode."
Patent Claim #7: "The accessory device as recited in claim 4, wherein the mechanical information tool is a keyboard."
Patent Claim #8: "The accessory device as recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory device is a magnetic card reader arranged to receive magnetically encoded information from a magnetic strip when the magnetic strip is swiped through a slot in the magnetic card reader."
Patent Claim #9: "The accessory device as recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory device is a data storage device arranged to store at least information used by the host device."
Patent Claim #10: "The accessory device as recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory device is an RF trx/rx antenna system."
Patent Claim #11: "The accessory device as recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory device is a camera."
Below you will find a few of Apple's patent figures relating to the magnetic accessories that are now protected in their updated patent claims.
If Apple is going to introduce a new iPen or modern stylus for the iPad Pro, then they'll have to either create an indented space to magnetic hold the stylus in place when not in use or sell a magnetic based stylus holder accessory as noted below in patent FIG. 23B.
Apple specifically illustrates patent FIG. 23B with a stylus holder #804 and a stylus #806. In one embodiment, the operation of the iPad could change to a stylus recognition mode when the stylus holder is attached. In the stylus recognition mode, the operation of the iPad could be such that movements of the stylus on the display could be recognized and acted upon by the iPad.
Apple's patent FIG. 23E noted below illustrates a memory module #814 magnetically attached to an iPad arranged to provide additional memory resources.
Apple's patent FIG. 23C noted above illustrates a card swipe reader #810 magnetically attached to the iPad. In this arrangement, a user can swipe a magnetically coded card, for example, and the information being readily made available for processing by the iPad.
Apple notes that FIG. 23A shows a camera accessory #802 that could be magnetically attached to an iPad. The camera could be operated in conjunction with or separately from the iPad's built-in camera.
Apple credits Sean Corbin and Andrew Lauder as the inventors of continuation patent application 20150153783 which was filed in Q1 2015. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 7pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.