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September 2006

Classic Patent: Apple Files Multi-Functional Hand-Held Device Patent


On September 7, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled "Multi-functional hand-held device" originally filed in March 2006. In light of Apple's September 12th “Showtime” media event – this patent holds the potential of providing us with valuable insights into a new iPod and/or other hand-held device which could debut on Tuesday. Telephony is covered in this patent. However, the unique aspect of this chameleon style unit is that it holds the potential of changing UI. The patent notes: "Before a particular device functionality can be used, it typically must be selected for use. The selection can come in a variety of forms. For example, the selection may be made via a main menu that includes soft buttons or icons that, when selected, activate the device functionality associated with the soft button. During activation, the GUI for that particular device is brought into view on the display (see FIGS. 9-17 - below) and the software associated with the device is installed, loaded or activated. From that point on, the multi-functional device operates like the selected device.

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