The inevitable: When Motorola preemptively launched their declaration judgment action against Apple earlier this month, we knew that Apple was likely to launch multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Motorola once their licensing negotiations failed to produce an agreement. Late yesterday, Apple filed a pair of patent infringement lawsuits against Motorola Inc. and Motorola Mobility Inc. in the Wisconsin Western District Court. The combined lawsuits cover six patents – none of which were covered by Motorola Mobility Inc.'s filed lawsuits. The main focus of these lawsuits centers in on the most important technology of all pertaining to the next generation smartphones: Multi-Touch. In 2009, Apple's COO Tim Cook warned the competition during a financial conference, as follows: "we like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does." Obviously Apple now thinks that Motorola has crossed that line.
On October 28, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application of Apple's that relates to methods and apparatus for connecting together two electrical devices in which the mating connectors on each device are of different sizes. The mismatch of physical characteristics could be overcome through the use of an audio adaptor unit that is constructed from a plug having one dimension, a jack having another dimension and a coupler that physically and electrically connects the plug and jack together to form a single unit. In the future, this would allow a device like the iPhone to be coupled to such devices as the Ameriphone - cell phone for the deaf – and Bose's QuietComfort headphones. In a secondary patent published today, Apple reveals an early plug removal detection system that could help avoid iPhone disconnects that are caused by earphones jack connections.
In June of this year we presented you with a patent report covering Apple's stunningly crafted iPhone 4. In today's patent report we reveal yet another fanatical industrial design process of Apple's covering nitriding stainless steel. This process is used to create the iPhone 4's steel band which is aesthetically appealing while being scratch and corrosion resistant. And who knows, we may one day see this material extended to entire back panel of a future iPhone.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notable wins within this group relate to Final Cut Pro, the SnapBack feature found in Apple's Safari browser, the technology behind Apple's brilliant LED backlit displays and finally a design win for their famous Mac OS logo.
Just two weeks prior to Apple's Special Event that provided us with a Peek at Mac OS X Lion, Apple filed for two of their key trademarks in Jamaica: Lion and Mission Control. The third trademark application for "LaunchPad" was only filed the day of Apple's special event in Trinidad and Tobago. The three applications were then quickly filed in China and made public this morning. Apple filed their trademarks under a total of six International Trademark Classes covering them for such things as being an Application Service Provider (ASP), being a provider of education and entertainment services and covering all manner of telecommunications. Apple plans to launch Mac OS X Lion sometime next summer. Update - October 27: Apple Files for new "App LaunchPad" trademark twist in Canada.
Apple will ultimately introduce us to the "Telephonic MacBook" one shiny day. Perhaps when Apple's OS X Lion roars in next year we'll see their MacBook family integrate a blisteringly fast LTE solution - hopefully an LTE-Advanced solution. Obviously Apple wasn't' willing to provide this year's MacBook Air with a telephonic solution, so we'll just have to be patient. Until such time arrives, you could read about Apple's improved yet evolutionary tethering technology in today's patent.
On October 21, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled "Systems and Methods for Operating a Disk Drive." Apple's patent generally relates to electronic devices and, more specifically, to systems and methods for storing electronic data to a file storage device – that in-part – utilizes flash memory for frequently updated information on a device such a DVR. Apple's entire patent is about the technical aspects of a combo "hard disk + solid state drive" and yet scantily references a DVR to provide us with a focal point so as to help us recognize an example of where such a drive would be commercially applied. Add this to Apple's "Hobby" project called Apple TV.
On October 21, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published three patent applications from Apple relating to various areas of a cloud based radio broadcasting system. One of Apple's patents generally relates to accessing the media content provided by a broadcast media source using a non-broadcast source. An interesting example relates to listening to a tune or talk show guest on your car radio (or passengers watching a future TV show). When you're driving into a tunnel with a traditional radio system, you simply lose your signal and any part of a tune or conversation that occurred while you were in the tunnel. With a cloud based radio system, the tune, talk show conversation, or podcast (or future TV show) is flagged as you go into a tunnel and then technically resume exactly where it stopped when you exit the tunnel.
On October 20, the Patent & Trademark Office in China published Apple's latest trademark application for the word "Bumper" associated with the iPhone's rubber bumper casing under application 301738837. Apple has filed their trademark under two International Classes covering sleeves, covers and cases in addition to calling and credit card cases for mobile phones and more. The iPhone 4 Bumper case was in the news over the summer as it was part of a special program. If you had purchased an iPhone 4 before September 30, 2010, you got one for free due to the so-called antenna problem.
It seems that everyone is getting a little testy when it comes to the iPad of late. Heck, even Steve Jobs took off his gloves on Monday to prematurely bury RIM and poke Google's Eric Schmidt in the eye. You have to remember that this is the second time that Steve Jobs has tried to rile his competitors. But in the bigger picture, this kind of jostling is just beginning to heat up. Research in Motion's (RIMs) CEO fired back and touched on Apple's famous "Reality Distortion Field." And now, Acer is jumping in by insulting consumers who love the iPad.
On the eve of Apple introducing an all new MacBook Air design at a special "Back to the Mac" event tomorrow, Apple has been granted two design patents for their current design. The notables within the remaining seven granted patents that were issued today include a huge win for Apple's iChat video conferencing architecture as well as a win for their Quartz Extreme compositor.
This week the European Trademarks and Designs Registration Office confirmed that one of Apple's new iPad designs is displaying an extra left side 30 pin connector to allow it to dock in landscape mode under application 001222905-0001. The first sighting of this design was noted on September 25, 2010. This time around, we see that Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive have signed off on the design. That's always a good sign for things to come, wouldn't you agree?
Apple finally launched their "Cut, Copy and Paste" feature for the iPhone with the arrival of iPhone 3.0. Apple's Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall reviewed a few of the key Cut, Copy and Paste features during a special event presentation. He began with the Cut, Copy and Paste Bubble feature and then went on to discuss such things as "grab points," the "magnifier" and the ability to copy and paste across applications like Safari and Mail or even third party apps. Forstall also covered how to undo your copy and paste selections by using a "shake" technique in addition to covering how to use copy and paste with your photos into Mail. It took Apple a long time to bring Cut, Copy and Paste to the iPhone and they took a lot of heat for it. Apple's philosophy is that they want to get major features right. Some simply consider that to being nothing more than an excuse. Perhaps in some cases that may be true, but once you see Apple's ten in-depth patents covering this feature, you'll come to realize that Apple was really being honest about the delay of this feature. Forstall began his presentation by stating "we've been working really hard to design an easy to use straight forward user interface for Cut, Copy and Paste for our large touch screen display – and we think that we've nailed it." And for those of us who aren't naysayers, I think we could agree that they did just that.
Last week Motorola Mobility, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, launched three separate patent infringement lawsuits against Apple Inc. which are available for review in our archives. If that wasn't enough, Motorola Mobility Inc. has now launched an offensive Declaratory Judgment against Apple and NeXT. Motorola was fully aware of Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against HTC and it appears that they were even in confidential negotiations with Apple to license their technology so as to avoid litigation. Evidently the negations went sour and they are now preemptively trying to stop Apple from launching a similar patent infringement against them. The same patents presented in the Apple vs. HTC patent infringement lawsuit are the very same patents that Motorola wishes the court to declare invalid against them in this case. Motorola Mobility is actually asking for judgment to be entered finding that this is an "exceptional case entitling Motorola to an award." Well, we'll just have to see if the court agrees with Motorola Mobility on that count, won't we. For now, I simply smell fear. Don't you?
On October 5, 2010, Patently Apple briefly covered the Mirror Worlds vs. Apple patent infringement verdict by simply presenting the patents that were involved in this case. We had stated at the time that "closely held Mirror Worlds, founded by Yale University computer-science Professor David Gelernter, sued Apple in 2008, claiming that Apple's iPod music device, iPhone and Mac computers infringed its patents for a way that documents are displayed on a computer screen. Mirror Worlds has won their case against Apple who is now appealing." But a Patent Attorney is now telling us that the damages in the case could actually climb to a whopping 1.8 billion. This brief report presents you with a copy of the Jury's Verdict Form along with a legal perspective on the verdict. Update April 5, 2011: A News report from Bloomberg confirms that Apple has won on appeal.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a handful of Apple's patent applications today that mainly consists of continuation patents. Interestingly, within this group, we see that Apple has resubmitted and/or expanded upon their "Visual Expander" patent. The reason that this is interesting is that while the patent was resubmitted back in late June, Apple had actually been granted a patent for it in July. This advanced multi-touch feature which has yet to surface on any portable device, may in fact be one of the advances coming to a future iPad and/or iMac Touch. This report revisits Apple's "Visual Expander" patent in respect to multi-touch features for anyone who missed out on it on the first go-around while touching on Apple's "Back to the Mac" event scheduled for next week.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report we primarily covered three colossal patent wins for Apple in the field of Multi-Touch Technology. In this report, we cover several other granted patents published today relating to Apple's OS X Server XGrid, Apple's calendar app iCal, important iPhone parental controls along with a few design patents covering the 3G iPhone dock and Apple's current wireless keyboard.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this first report, we focus on one of the most important technologies that are empowering Apple's smart device revolution: Multi-Touch. Apple has been awarded three colossal multi-touch related patents. The patents cover multi-touch displays that detect the motion of two or more fingers as well as the tracking of multiple fingers and palm contacts using proximity sensors that enable unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling and 3D manipulation. One of Apple's patents also makes it crystal clear that multi-touch will extend beyond the iPod, iPhone and iPad and eventually advance to devices such as the MacBook and the iMac.
On October 10, 2010, China's Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for "Game Center" under application 301731753. Apple has filed their trademark under a single International Class covering video and computer game software. To run Game Center on your iPhone (3GS or 4) or iPod touch, you'll simply need to upgrade to OS 4.1.
On October 7, 2010, the Patent & Trademark Office in China published Apple's latest trademark application for "AirPlay" under application 301729972. Apple has filed their trademark under six extensively, if not ridiculously, detailed International Classes. The classes mainly cover services such as "computer software services, telecommunication services, educational and entertainment services," including but not limited to "music, entertainment, television programs, motion pictures, news, sports, games and cultural events."
On October 7, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple that may reveal their intention of integrating the MagSafe power connector into future portables such as the iPhone or iPad. Apple put the pedal to the metal on this continuation patent filing which was only filed in June of this year. Is someone in a rush or something?
It looks like revenge time for Motorola. Motorola Mobility, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, has filed three separate patent infringement lawsuits against Apple which in total consists of eighteen patents. In the first case filed in the Illinois Northern District Court, Motorola alleges that Apple infringed on six of their patents. The patents cover a wide range of technology including paging systems to cryptographic protection to radio frequency (RF) cellular telecommunication systems and more. Motorola points to various Apple products that are allegedly infringing on their patents including all iPhones, the iPad 3G and in some cases all Mac hardware from the MacBook on through to Apple's Mac Pro workstation. The presiding Judge in the first of two cases in Illinois is John F. Grady.
Motorola Mobility, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, has filed three separate patent infringement lawsuits against Apple. In the second case filed in the Illinois Northern District Court, Motorola alleges that Apple infringed on a second set of six patents which covers a wide range of technologies relating to wireless communications including mechanisms to selectively enable or disable GPS circuitry in a cellular telephone to a sensor controlled user interface and more. Motorola points to various Apple products and services that are allegedly infringing on their patents including all iPhones, the iPad 3G, Apple TV, the iPod touch and even the App Store. The presiding Judge in this second of two cases in Illinois is duly noted as being James F. Holderman.
Motorola Mobility, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, has filed three separate patent infringement lawsuits against Apple. In the third case filed in the Southern District Court of Florida, Motorola alleges that Apple infringed on six of their patents. The patents cover a wide range of technology including wireless messaging systems, pager status, transferring data and a receiver having a concealed external antenna. Motorola points to various Apple products and services that are allegedly infringing on their patents including all iPhones, the iPad 3G and in some cases all Mac hardware from the MacBook on through to Apple's Mac Pro workstation, MobileMe and more. The presiding Judge in this third case filed in Florida is duly noted as Ursula Ungaro.
Late last week Microsoft filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola in the Western District Court of Washington at Seattle. The lawsuit appears to be concerning Motorola allegedly infringement of Microsoft's technology that is laid out in the complaint under nine granted patents. The complaint zero's in on Motorola's "Droid 2" and "Charm" smartphones. According to Microsoft's legal counsel, their intellectual property rights in this case covers technology that relates to sending and receiving email on-the-go, managing calendars, surfing the web, playing music and videos, as well as running apps and managing memory for storing data. Their statement ends by trying to look like one of the good guys: "Our action today merely seeks to ensure respect for our intellectual property rights infringed by Android devices; and judging by the recent actions by Apple and Oracle, we are not alone in this respect." Microsoft is seeking, amongst other things, no less than a "reasonable royalty." For those interested in this case, our report will provide you with handy links to each of the patents listed in Microsoft's legal Complaint and more.
Every once in a while I find that trying to read and decipher one of Apple's patents is painfully like being an archeologist trying to find meaning in an ancient manuscript that's written in some form of Sanskrit. I'm not even going to pretend to understand the depths of this never ending granted patent which contains in excess of 200 patent figures. All that matters is that Apple's granted patent states emphatically that the invention is about a new graphics processor and method. The graphics processor is specifically referred to as a Deferred Shading Graphics Processor or DSGP. The invention relates to computing systems, to 3D computer graphics and particularly to structure and method for a 3D graphics processor implementing differed shading and other enhanced features. The granted patent appears to be discussing a desktop/workstation graphics processor and interestingly, Apple may have acquired this patent. The lead inventor, listed as Jerome Duluk, used to work at NVIDIA.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group are strangely timed to the Mirror Worlds patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. Apple has won another Cover Flow patent in addition to a set of patents pertaining to Apple's Time Machine. Both of these areas of technology were challenged in the lawsuit. Apple has also won a pair of patents today that relate to both the design and technology behind their Magic Mouse.
Patently Apple first noted Apple's NFC patent trend back in late 2009. Then the patent downpour arrived in April and May of 2010 which covered everything from embedding NFC/RFID technology into home appliances and devices right on through to the iWallet. But a European patent filing of Apple's that was published late last week provided us with a little background. It appears that Apple's work on bringing this technology to the iPhone and iPod touch actually began right after the iPhone debuted in 2007. Today's report covers this patent which discusses using a cellphone (iPhone) and Audio/Video Player (iPod touch) as both an RFID tag reader and a tag. At the heart of this patent, Apple states that "the RFID antenna could be placed in the touch sensor panel, such that the touch sensor panel could now additionally function as an RFID transponder." This is the technology that could be at the heart of Apple's future iWallet and iKey.
A private Delaware company by the name of Olympic Developments AG, LLC, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the California Central District Court Los Angeles Division against several major technology companies including Apple Inc., Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Inc., DirecTV, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Nintendo of America, Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment of America, LLC, Sony Electronics, Inc. and Valve Corporation. The lawsuit, in context with Apple specifically, appears to be concerning the sale of goods through Apple's iTunes and App Stores via an iPad or iPhone in a manner claimed in the patents-in-suit.
On October 1, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for "iAd" under applications 85139086, 85139109, 85139119 and 85139138. Apple has filed their trademark under four distinct International Classes which covers such matters as computer software, marketing, promotional services and being able to serve and transmit audio, video, multimedia, and advertising. Apple's iAd was launched in April 2010 and reaches millions of iPhone and iPod touch users around the world.