The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include a design win for Apple's cool iMac, a Media Player System patent that covers the iPod's connector, the docking station and a few other interesting concepts that have yet to surface. Rounding off Apple's more interesting wins today, we see another granted patent relating to a future application for Apple TV that involves live sporting event statistics and a whole lot more. This is very cool technology that hopefully will surface in the coming years.
Granted Patent: Media Player System
The main focus of Apple's granted patent relates to the iPod's connectivity assembly and docking station. Another aspect of the patent covers Apple's wireless connectivity which would cover the iPod touch and iPhone. The interesting part of this patent is that there are certain aspects of this patent that have yet to surface, as shown below.
The first aspect of the patent that has yet to surface is shown below in FIG. 18 in a skier's scenario where one skier could transmit music to others in his party that only have a receiver that isn't a full iPod, allowing the transmitter to act as a personal DJ.
Other concepts that have yet to surface include FIG. 13 representing a Photo-Frame with a built-in docking station; FIG. 10 representing a docking station built-into a notebook; FIG. 11 representing a desktop system with a built-in docking station. The latter idea seems to be the most likely candidate to surface on some model in the future.
Apple credits Anthony Fadell, Stephen Paul Zadesky and John Benjamin Filson as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,627,343, originally filed in Q2 2003. Apple has also been granted a design patent for their media player dock insert under number D605,174 originally filed in Q3 2007. In addition, Apple has been granted patent 7,627,128 for Methods of Calibrating Tone-Based Communications Systems originally filed in Q3 2008. This relates to Apple's iPhone Stereo Headset. Apple was granted another patent for this last week.
Apple Wins Design Patent for the iMac
Apple credits CEO Steve Jobs, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Vincent Keane, Seid (legal rep), Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of granted patent D605,193, originally filed in Q3 2007.
Granted Patent: Movement and Event Systems and Associated Methods
This is Apple's second granted patent relating to Sports on TV and other devices. The first granted patent was reported on in detail this past June under the title Apple TV to Take Sporting Events to a Whole New Level.
Apple credits Curtis A. Vock (Boulder, CO), Burl W. Amsbury (Boulder, CO), Paul Jonjak (Lafayette, CO), Adrian F. Larkin (Essex, GB) and Perry Youngs (Longmont, CO) as the inventors of granted patent 7,627,451. Although Apple's filing date is noted as being May 2007, the fact is that this thought-to-be acquired patent has dates going back much farther.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
System and Method for Dynamically Presenting a Summary of Content Associated with a Document: A method and system for generating a summary of a document for display to a user on a display are provided. In one implementation, the method includes receiving a first document originally spanning several paragraphs in length, and generating a first summary of the first document, in which the first summary spanning a length less than the original several paragraphs of the first document. The method further includes dynamically displaying the first summary to the user on the display including showing words or short phrases of the first summary at a same location in the display serially one word or short phrase after another. Each word or short phrase is less than a complete sentence. Granted patent 7,627,590 was originally filed in Q4 2004. For more information, view this temporary link.
Method and Apparatus for Distributing Computer Files across a Network: One embodiment of the present invention provides a system for distributing files across a network. During operation, the system receives a request at a server to download a file to a client. If the server is not currently downloading the file, the system commences a download stream for the file on a multicast port. If the server is currently downloading the file, the system remembers a marked location on the file, wherein the marked location relates to a current packet number of the download stream on the multicast port. The system then continues downloading the file until the end of the file, thereby allowing the client to receive the remainder of the file. Next, the system downloads the file from the beginning of the file to the marked location, thereby allowing the client to receive previously transmitted portions of the file. Granted patent 7,627,653 was originally filed in Q4 2007. For more information, view this temporary link.
Adapting Masking Thresholds for Encoding a Low Frequency Transient Signal in Audio Data: An improved audio coding technique encodes audio having a low frequency transient signal, using a long block, but with a set of adapted masking thresholds. Upon identifying an audio window that contains a low frequency transient signal, masking thresholds for the long block may be calculated as usual. A set of masking thresholds calculated for the 8 short blocks corresponding to the long block are calculated. The masking thresholds for low frequency critical bands are adapted based on the thresholds calculated for the short blocks, and the resulting adapted masking thresholds are used to encode the long block of audio data. The result is encoded audio with rich harmonic content and negligible coder noise resulting from the low frequency transient signal. Granted patent 7,627,481 was originally filed in Q2 2005. For more information, view this temporary link.
Transfer Function and High Dynamic Range Images: Methods and apparatuses to derive at least one exposure function for high dynamic range imaging from images of different exposure durations. In one aspect, a method to generate a high dynamic range image from a plurality of images taken with a plurality of exposure durations respectively, includes: computing an exposure function from the plurality of images; and combining the plurality of images into a high dynamic range (HDR) image using the exposure function. In one example of an embodiment, the exposure function is evaluated through: evaluating first data representing a derivative of the exposure function from pixel values of the plurality of images; and integrating the first data to generate second data representing the exposure function. Granted patent 7,626,614 was originally filed in February 2005. For more information, view this temporary link.
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