Apple Introduces the Incredible Shape Shifting Device Interface
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Apple Granted Patents for iPhone, Apple TV, Cooling System, More

1b - Apple Inc, Cover, iphone 2, Apple Mail icon 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today covering such matters as two design wins for Apple's iPhone 2G, the Apple Mail and garbage can icons, Apple TV, a notebook cooling system using a thermally conductive hinge assembly and more.

Granted Design Patents: iPhone 2G, Apple Mail & Trash Can Icons

Apple has been finally granted a design win for their iPhone 2G design, ten months after winning a design for their iPhone 3G design.

2 - Apple Inc, iPhone 2G Design Win, June 2010 

Apple credits CEO Steve Jobs, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Calvin Seid, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Design Patents D618,677 and D618,678, originally filed in Q4 2008. Apple was granted a related design patent for the iPhone 2G last week under patent number D618,204.

Apple was also granted design patents D618,703 and D618,704 respectfully for Apple Mail and Trashcan icons. Both designs are credited to Imran Chaudhri, Cesar Carrera and Patricia Coleman and originally filed in 2007 – though much older dates are shown in the related documents section of the patent.

Apple TV User Interface – Part Three

Apple was granted two "Apple TV" related patents last week and today we see a third patent in this series surface titled "Content abstraction presentation along a multidimensional path." See patent 7,747,968 for more details.

Apple's patent relates to systems and methods for presenting content abstractions in a user interface. In one example implementation, content menu items related to content are generated, and one of the content menu items is highlighted. A set of content abstractions for the content related to the highlighted content menu item is generated. A multidimensional path is defined, and overlapping depth transitions of the content abstractions are generated. The content abstractions, for example, can be digital representations of movie posters for movie content, or digital representations of cover art for music content, and the like.

In another implementation, content abstractions for a plurality of content items are generated, and a multidimensional path having an ingress terminus and an egress terminus is defined.

3 - Apple Inc, Apple TV content menu figs 23, 24 

Apple's patent FIG. 23 is a block diagram of an example content menu interface environment 600. The example content menu interface environment 600 of FIG. 23 corresponds to movie content, and can, for example, appear as the end result of the transition from the media menu interface environment 300 to a content menu interface environment as described with respect to FIGS. 21 and 22.

Apple's patent FIG. 24 is a block diagram of an example transition of the content abstraction 630 through the egress terminus 653. As shown in FIG. 24, the rate of the content abstraction increases significantly as the content abstraction nears and begins exiting through the egress terminus. Additionally, content abstractions 632 and 634 transition in an overlapping manner along the multidimensional path 650, and another content abstraction 636 emerges at the ingress terminus 651.

In one implementation, content abstractions can repetitively emerge into the multidimensional path at the ingress terminus. Thus, the content abstractions appear to cycle through the multidimensional path. The number of content abstractions that may cycle through the multidimensional path can, for example, depend on the amount of content associated with each content menu item or set of content menu items. For example, the content menu item 610 may provide access to a list of twenty titles available for purchase by download, and thus the first set of content abstractions associated with the content menu item 610 may comprise twenty digital representations of movie posters. Likewise, the content menu item 612 may provide access to a list of fifteen titles available for preview, and thus the second set of content abstractions associated with the content menu item 612 may comprise fifteen digital representations of movie posters. Similarly, if the library content menu items 614, 616, 618, 620 and 622 comprise the entire list of content titles in a user's library, then the content abstractions associated with the library content menu items 614 616, 618, 620 and 622 may comprise five digital representations of movie posters.

Other Granted Patents (GP) Published Today

GP - 7,746,631 - Methods and apparatus for cooling electronic devices using thermally conductive hinge assemblies. 


4 - Apple Inc - thermally conductive hinge assemblies for a notebook fig 6b 
Apple's patent relates to systems and methods for cooling an electronic device, and, more particularly, to systems and methods for cooling an electronic device using a thermally conductive hinge assembly. Apple's illustrations point to a cooling system in a notebook – though the design doesn't seem to relate to current MacBook Designs.

GP -7,747,784 - Data Synchronization Protocol

Abstract: Among other things, techniques and systems are disclosed for syncing data between a client device and a server. Synchronizing data includes initiating a sync session by negotiating a sync mode between a client device and a server for each of one or more data classes. A status code is generated based on a result of the negotiating. Based on the generated status code, the client device and the server exchanges one or more data items to be updated for the one or more data classes using the negotiated sync mode for each data class. The exchanged one or more data items are updated at the client device or the server. The updated one or more data items are committed at the client or the server.

GP - 7,747,765 - Method and apparatus for media data transmission

Apple's patent relates to methods and apparatuses for preparing time related sequences of media data for transmission, and more particularly to packetized transmission of such media data.

GP - 7,747,747 - Method and arrangement for suppressing duplicate network resources

Apple's patent introduces a duplicate suppression protocol that suppresses duplicate entries from appearing in a list of available network resources. With the duplicate suppression protocol of the present invention, a computer that wishes to query for network resources also asks for duplicate suppression information from the responding network resources. The duplicate suppression information for a particular network resource specifies identifiers associated with that network resource for various protocols. Thus, if a particular network resource responds to more than one network resource request from a single requesting entity, that requesting entity will be able to locate duplicate network resource information. Thus, a single unified list of network resources available for various different protocols may be presented with all duplicate network resources removed.

GP - 7,743,496 - Cable termination methods

Abstract: A termination for a multi-conductor cable is made by providing a metal structure that includes a plurality of parallel but spaced apart fingers that are joined together by a connecting member adjacent at least one end of each finger. Each of the conductors in the cable is connected to a respective one of the fingers at a location that is spaced from the connecting member. The cable and the fingers are then over-molded with an insulating material where the conductors are connected to the fingers. This over-molding leaves a portion of the length of each finger exposed. The connecting member is then severed and removed.

GP - 7,746,360 - Viewing digital images on a display using a virtual loupe

Abstract: A method and apparatus for viewing digital images is provided. A digital image may be viewed using a digital image system that employs a virtual loupe. A virtual loupe comprises a lens region and a target region. A user may position the target region over a portion of a screen, which may correspond to a digital image, to cause a depiction of visual information associated with the portion of the screen identified by target region to be displayed in the lens region. The user can configure the virtual loupe to display visual information in the lens region at different levels of magnification. The lens may automatically move and change in orientation with respect to the target region as the target region moves on the display to ensure that the display of the lens region on the display is always unobscured.

GP - 7,746,927 - Robust single-pass variable bit rate encoding

Apple's patent relates generally to video encoding, and more specifically to single-pass variable bit rate encoding.

GP -7,746,032 - Method and system for operating a portable electronic device in a power-limited manner

Apple's patent relates to portable electronic devices and, more particularly, to power-limited operation of portable electronic devices, such as portable media players.

Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details. For additional information on any granted patent noted above that is not directly linked, simply feed the individual patent number(s) provided, minus the "GP" suffix (if present) into this search engine. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.


For the Record: Important Supreme Court Ruling Leaves Software Patents Intact


A Special Side Note


If you missed this article from the New York Times, you should read it: Death by Gadget. Supposedly Steve Jobs responded to this issue of using "Conflict Minerals" in Apple products. However, until Apple officially releases a press release on this subject, I'll remain a skeptic. (June 29, 2010, 12:45 PM Mountain Time.)



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