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January 2010

Apple's Magic Mouse Wins Design in Europe

Apple Wins Design for Magic Mouse in Europe 
The European Trademark Office, referred to officially as the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, has published five sequences of registered designs under 001185821-0001 to 0005 for Apple's Magic Mouse. The application was filed for in Germany in December 2009 with Apple's Andre K. Bartley acknowledged as the designer. The registered designs were officially published in Europe on Tuesday January 26, 2010.  


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Apple's iPad: Welcome to the Revolution

1 - Apple - iPad - Welcome to the Revolution - Cover 2 

On January 18, 2010, Patently Apple began a miniseries titled "Apple: The Tablet Prophecies" that primarily focused on presenting Apple's known tablet-centric patents to the public prior to the tablet's debut.  Yesterday, many of Apple's patents leapt off their dusty pages right into the heart of the iPad, Apple's revolutionary ebook and productivity device. It was a thrilling ride for most who witnessed the features of Apple's iPad unfold before their eyes: Especially those who have faithfully followed Apple's weekly published patents over the years. Some of the patents fulfilled dated back to 2005, while others only weeks ago. This report takes a quick look back at some of the patents that are no doubt directly linked to Apple's iPad while pointing out the fact that Apple's iPad marks the beginning of something much bigger. In my view, we were all witnesses to the birth of the NC Revolution.

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Apple's iPod Touch to Gain Video Camera and LED Backlighting

IPod touch to gain video camera - Cover 

On January 28, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iPod Touch. The patent covers both the iPod touch and iPhone gaining a video camera. Being that the iPhone 3G-S now has that built-in, it's obvious that Apple's iPod touch is next in line.  A secondary patent of interest relates to the iPod touch gaining an LED backlight display sometime in the future.



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Bloomberg: Apple, "Almost like a Terrorist Organization"

In a Bloomberg Television news segment that aired yesterday called "Apple's Code of Silence," they interviewed former Apple senior systems engineer Edward Eigerman who was fired at some point in time for "violating the intellectual property rules at Apple" prior to an Apple product release. Eigerman discussed the internal security measures at Apple with Bloomberg's Matt Miller and Deirdre Bolton. The over-the-top interview remark and question made by Deirdre Bolton, noted at the 1:08 mark of this video, is noted as follows: "There are some journalists who have described working there after speaking with people who have left, that it's almost like a Terrorist organization. I hate to say it that way, but it's like these small cells where secrecy as you mentioned there's to be no overlap between products or between knowledge. What does that do for the company – or to the company?" Whether it was Deirdre Bolton or Bloomberg's editorial staff who crafted this description is irrelevant. Apple is one of America's most respected technology companies and Steve Jobs one of the most respected CEO's in American history. Their question, especially out of their New York Office, comparing Apple to a terrorist organization was completely unprofessional and out of line. For the sake of ratings, this professional news organization has stooped to the lowest levels of journalism. On the eve of Apple announcing a revolutionary new product, Bloomberg decided to be on the stupid side of history. What a sad day for journalism. They could always pretend to hide behind their twist that "some journalists" were the source, but Bloomberg knew full well what they were doing here in posing that question for the sake of cheap sensationalism. That was an uncalled for sucker punch, in my view, and one that they should own up to and apologize for. – That's my opinion for January 27, 2010.

Operation Apple: What will they Call their Tablet?


My favorite television drama show, ever, is 24 – bar none. Once a new season begins, it has me hook, line and sinker. It's a drama that's over in the blink of an eye leaving you stranded until the next nail biting episode airs the following week. Well, for Apple fans, the drama leading up to tomorrow's event has been the same. Patently Apple posted a three part series called Apple: The Tablet Prophecies last week and there's been excellent wall-to-wall news coverage from other Mac sites, including rumors - to entertain everyone. The drama will end in about 24 hours and "Operation Apple" will be revealed. This report is really a follow through on a series of reports about possible brand names for Apple's coming tablet. As many already know, it's really been a passion, if not a crusade of MacRumors - to find Apple's possible branding of the tablet. Patently Apple has pointed to MacRumors TabletMac report and added a few details of interest. AppleInsider provided us with an overview of the rumors this past December and in this report – we're going to confirm some of these facts that have shown up in the Canadian Trademark Office. There appears to be at least one distinct connection between Apple's own "Message Pad" filing and the three rumored candidates that indirectly point to Apple. At the end of the day, it may not matter one iota if Apple has chosen to brand their tablet with something altogether different. Yet until such time, take a moment to review the coverage that these three rumored names hold and perhaps it'll spark you to add what you think Apple will call the tablet tomorrow.

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Apple Wins iChat and Major Tablet Patent Prior to Launch

Cover, Major Tablet Related Patent Granted 

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Without a doubt the granted patent that screams out this morning is one that relates to Apple's forthcoming Tablet. The focus of the patent is on the tablet's proximity detection capabilities. The timing is unbelievable yet crucial in protecting Apple's new technology for larger tablets. Other granted patent notables include a color management system and a crucial patent relating to Apple's iChat.    

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Apple iPhone to Gain Social Networking & Public Transit Apps

1 - cover - Geolocation - transit app 
An interesting Apple patent surfaced last week that had me take a second look. The patent generally relates to provisioning mobile devices with information and services pertaining to a location. While this patent confirms that location based technology could be used to send out ads to iPhone users, the fact is that this patent provides us with some interesting twists. A new architecture will offer differing databases relating to points-of-interest (think restaurants, night clubs, theaters, etc) and social networking via a shared-interest database - so that you and your friends could plan a night out by coordinating information. Another key focus of this patent relates to Apple's iPhone offering a very handy Transit System Interface covering busses, light rails, trolleys, cable cars, or other types of conveyance available for public use. The system would be able to send out timing alerts to users based on current public transit schedule information, current locations of public transit vehicles on one or more routes and so forth. The location-aware iPhone will use triangulation information via GPS signals. Whether for city transit or inner city parking, the service will double as a vehicle for Apple's new Quattro Wireless ad services  

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Apple Files Trademark for QuickTime Logo


Apple's cross-platform media QuickTime media-plaftorm has a rock-solid foundation that is trusted to offer a host of innovative features that create the most cutting edge multimedia experiences in the industry. QuickTime is about HD Video, AAC Audio, media streaming and immersive 3D QTVR photographic experiences. Most importantly, QuickTime is about entertainment. Apple's QuickTime is even likely to introduce something new in respect to their coming tablet. Apple filed for their updated logo this past week with the USPTO. The new logo was first revealed publicly during WWDC in July 2009. The graphic above illustrates the old logo on the left and new on the right. 

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Apple's iMac Touch Technology Surfaces in Patent

IMac Touch Technology, Cover 

This week, news broke that a 22" iMac Touch is scheduled for late 2010. Although it's only a rumor at this point in time, the fact is that a 2008 Apple patent supports that marketing direction for the iMac.  To add a fuel to that fire, a segment of a new touch display technology patent that surfaced on Thursday further illustrated Apple's commitment to this project. The new touch technology employs several new sensors including laser vibrometers and micro-machined accelerometers. The twist to this is that it could be an iMac Touch or an iMac-like dock for a future Apple tablet. This is explained in more detail in this week's article titled Tablet Prophecies – Future Twist.  Whether we end up with an iMac Touch or a Touch Screen Tablet Dock, the fact is that it opens the door to some very interesting applications for consumers.

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Apple Patent Details Advanced Light & Laser Pens for Tablets

 1 Cover light pen 
Are you still a Doubting Thomas when it comes to Apple's intentions of eventually introducing a stylus to the iPhone or future tablets? Well, perhaps you should rethink that position. It appears by this current patent that surfaced yesterday, that Apple is seriously thinking of reinventing the stylus by introducing us to an advanced Light Pen or even a Laser Light, states the patent. Just a few weeks back there was another very sophisticated touch screen patent that touched on future touchscreens for the iPhone and future MacBook Tablet. Today's patent is equally sophisticated. This patent introduces us to a futuristic light pen that has a cylindrical tubular tip that is both extendable and retractable when pressed against the touch display. It also discusses a light emitting diode that provides a beam of light that is channeled through an optical path. This capability, states the patent, is particular useful for pressure sensitive applications, such as Photoshop by Adobe. As noted in the illustration, the light pen appears to be tethered to the device in some way. The patent doesn't explain if the wire from the pen is retractable in some way or if it's simply a plug-in accessory. Time will tell.  This patent report focuses on references to the light pen and not on the touch screen technology itself.    


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Apple Could Advance Gaming & Paint in Magic Mouse Upgrade


On January 21, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next possible chapters for Apple's Magic Mouse. Apple introduced the world's first Multi-Touch Mouse this past October. The Magic Mouse features a seamless touch-sensitive enclosure that allows it to be a single or multi-button mouse with advanced gesture support. Using intuitive gestures, users can easily scroll through long documents, pan across large images or swipe to move forward or backward through a collection of web pages or photos. In today's patent, we see that Apple is already in the process of either developing a new input device (or devices) or could actually be planning an advanced version of the Magic Mouse to process kinematical inputs and gestures that the patent claims will directly benefit video games, interactive navigation and industrial applications amongst others. The next tricks that the Magic Mouse will apparently learn includes advanced gestures revealed as tilt, tap, slide, scoop and yes, brush. The latter gesture suggests that Apple could be gearing up to introduce a new paint or illustration program. That was indirectly presented in another recent patent relating to yet another input device in the form of a 3D remote wand of sorts. In fact, some of the motions described here today, would actually suit the other patent pending input device better. 

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Apple Thinks Green Again with Solar Cell Panels for Media Players



Last week Apple introduced us to a Smart Home Energy Management System that had every tree hugging site on the planet cheering Apple on to the n-th degree. Well today's patent application from Apple should provide an encore for this audience, because Apple is seriously working on reinventing their media players to operate, for the most part, using solar cell panel technology; Panels that could cover a portion of the front or back covers of portable devices that are made from a transparent or semi-transparent material. One of the cool factors to Apple's technology is that if one or more of the solar cells are obstructed from a light source, the voltage output of the solar cells can use a technique described as first and second cell chain reactions to ensure that the device retains a constant source of power. The system works with a regular battery to ensure that in times of complete darkness the media players will still be functional. What will they think of next?

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