Apple revealed today via a newly published patent application that they have a video stabilization system in the works. The system will be both hardware and software based and hopefully translate into an iMovie editing function. Now that would be both cool and greatly appreciated. I don't know about you, but I've taken a lot of video with my iPhone and the quality is great …until you start moving that is. Without a solid tripod-like solution for the iPhone, the next best thing will be to have a software editing solution. The good news is that Apple seems to have been working on this solution for about two years now, so hopefully we'll have some relief of video jitters sooner rather than later. While it'll never be perfect, especially when you're on the move, anything will be better than the way it currently stands today.
On September 29, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two multi-touch related patent applications from Apple that revealed a very odd twist. Apple had just been granted two identical patents in June and it appears that they're already back to extend their multi-touch claims. In light of Wintel aiming their sites squarely on all things Apple a few weeks ago by revealing their intent to launch multi-touch tablets, Ultrabooks and desktops aggressively over the next 12-36 months – it appears that we may be in store for a new war front on all things multi-touch at some point in the future. Apple is either gearing up for these legal battles or is shoring up their claims so as to support new multi-touch devices in the future like their patent pending "iMac Touch." No matter how you slice it, Apple is digging further in on the multi-touch front regardless of a minor setback that they experienced earlier this week for the rights to the Multi-Touch trademark. Apple first introduced Multi-Touch with the debut of their 2007 iPhone, at a time when no one was implementing this on consumer devices. So if there's going to be a war on Multi-Touch patents, then it's safe to say that Apple is more than ready.
On September 29, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a next generation Hybrid Drive that includes both a hard drive and Flash. Intel will be pushing their Smart Response hybrid drive systems for consumer systems in 2012 and Apple's patent would indicate that they intend to have their own solution for future hardware. Uniquely Apple's twist to this drive is that it will handle different types of storage media based on an environmental state of the hybrid drive. If the drive undergoes temperature, vibration or acceleration variances that could cause the hard drive to temporarily fail, the system would save the volatile data to the Flash drive.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first patent report of the day we covered an extremely interesting patent win relating to a super smart-pen and in our second and final patent report of the day we mainly cover another important Multi-Touch related patent which Apple could add to their extensive patent war chest. It's a little humorous that Apple has won so many Multi-Touch patents to date on a technology that altered the smart device landscape forever but can't convince the Patent Office examiners to grant them a trademark for that same technology called "Multi-Touch." Maybe Apple didn't provide the right argument in this round of their trademark battle, but the reasoning for not gaining the trademark yet, appears to be a little weak itself. So I don't think Apple will be giving up on this trademark application anytime soon - and rightfully so.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the most important patents within this group is for a super smart-pen. In fact, it's so smart that it's described as being a portable computer. The smart-pen, which is noted as using an ARM processor, is also likely to incorporate recording capabilities and act as a pager, as the pen incorporates a tiny LCD. The patent notes that the device's rechargeable battery may also incorporate pyroelectricity and a custom-built solar cell. It should be noted that Apple has likely acquired this patent from a Great Britain inventor who originally filed the patent in 1998 or nine years prior to Livescribe coming to market. This is important – as a recent Apple patent application which reflects Livescribe-like capabilities is actually building on the foundation of this newly granted patent and advances the smart pen to include voice, face and object recognition modules and more. This is Apple's thirteenth smart-pen related patent since 2009. The trend illustrates that Apple is attempting to develop a family of smart pens for future iOS devices that would appeal to both the artist and enterprise user. The depth of innovation illustrated in Apple's string of smart-pen patents goes far beyond purely defensive measures.
A Nevada based company by the name of X2Y Attenuators has filed one of the briefest patent infringement lawsuits against Apple that I've ever seen. The official complaint states that Apple isn't licensing their technology which is being used in the iMac 27"/3.20/2x2GB Model No: A1312 personal computer sold with an Intel Core i3 processor in it. The Plaintiff is seeking damages up to three times the amount of compensatory damages found by the judge. The odd part to this complaint is that patent number that is quoted in the official complaint (8,024,241) isn't even theirs. It's not even close to being considered a typo. Someone has egg on their face and it's not Apple.
On September 22, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals how future iPhones and other Apple devices will be able to effortlessly communicate with everyday electronic devices like a downtown parking meter, a garage or home door, a grocery store cash register or a stereo component. Apple first established some of these future functionalities, such as using the iPhone as an electronic key or working with in-home devices back in early 2010 working with NFC. Then last week a new Apple patent application revealed how the iPhone could adopt RFID circuitry and reader to perform some of the very same noted tasks. In today's revelations, Apple states that they'll adopt a host of other wireless technology standards to enable the iPhone to communicate with all of tomorrow's smart devices. Apple is preparing future iPhones to work as an electronic wallet and in doing so must ensure that it'll work on any given wireless network that a retailer or city service implements. In the big picture, Apple now has all of their bases covered. The next step will be introducing iWallet capabilities into a future iPhone that will take e-commerce to the next level.
A Delaware based company called Streetspace has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and ten other defendants including Google for violating their 2005 patent titled "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisement in Public Spaces." As you could tell by the name of this patent, Streetspace believes that Apple's iAd service is in clear violation of their patent, as is Apple's Quattro Wireless, which is also named in the lawsuit.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's report covers patent wins relating to icon designs, assembly methods for the iPod and the iPod's capacitance sensing electrode based clickwheel. Yet the patent standing out amongst them all this morning relates to future solar powered portables and the power management circuitry that'll make it all happen. This is Apple's second major solar related patent win for 2011. While this technology may take another five to ten years to come to market, Apple is amongst a growing list of tech companies that are in a race to power portable devices like smartphones and notebooks with solar energy as one of their key power sources.
The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung earlier this month that reveals their intentions of creating a series of differently styled tablets in the future. One idea is to create a more book-like dual multitouch display that is capable of folding over. The concept even expands to other iDevices such a future HDTV. That may sound a little nutty but it has a market for salesmen who wish to make smaller presentations to clients without having to lug around both a projector and screen. Obviously Samsung is trying to find a way to different their tablets from Apple's iPad and others so as to avoid further court battles and hassles related to copying design features – and their new foldable concept has great potential in accomplishing that goal.
On September 15, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals some of the magic behind their upcoming RFID device circuitry. Steve Jobs has always loved to play up all-things magical whether they pertained to the new magic mouse, magic trackpad or simply talking up the magical experiences of a particular device or iOS feature. When we think of future RFID applications, we simply think of them as magically communicating with other devices somehow. Well in todays patent report we point out some of the technology that will go into future Apple products that will allow us to make banking transactions and opening a door with an electronic key seem magical and more. Apple's invention also touches on new security features associated with their RFID circuitry and points to inductive charging and the possibility of using solar power to charge future RFID devices. Updated at 9:30 PST with two new mini reports.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today and one was a real stunner. Today's report focuses on this advanced 3D display and imaging system that packs one hell of a wallop. Apple's patent covers a wild 3D system that could generate an invisible space in front of the user that could allow them to work with holographic images or project their hands onto a screen in front of them to manipulate switches or move pieces of virtual paper or parts of a presentation. One could only image how this could be applied to 3D gaming, business or medical applications in the future. This is Apple's second major revelation about such an advanced 3D system and many supporting patent applications would suggest that the system is progressing quite well in Apple's research labs. The good news, is that future iOS devices will be one of the drivers behind this new beast. This is definitely one of Apple's coolest ideas to date.
China Grants Apple 40 New Design Patents Covering All-Things iPhone, MacBook Air & their Beautiful Shanghai Store Architecture
What's with Apple jamming through hundreds of design patents through China's Patent Office this past year? The increase in design patents is measurably noticeable but the reasoning behind it isn't clear in the least. One could only surmise that Apple simply foresees the majority of future copycat designers coming from Asian OEMs. With that said, today's report covers an overview of the latest 37 design patents that were granted to Apple in China this past Friday in addition to a peek at a few architectural styled figurative design graphics showcasing Apple's beautiful Shanghai Store.
A Texas based Software Company called Droplets Inc whose global 1000 client list includes IBM, Borland and PricewaterhouseCoopers has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. Droplets official Complaint, filed with lawsuit friendly Texas Eastern District Court, accuses Apple of violating their patent that covers an object-oriented approach for delivering interactive links to applications and information stored on a network. The Complaint claims that Apple's own website along with their movie trailer site, iTunes and "other web applications" violate their patent. Other defendants in the case include Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
On September 8, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals more details on their portable point-of-sales (POS) system. Apple first filed a patent application for their POS system back in Q1 2010 which was later granted to them in July 2011. The news of such a system actually being piloted at a few of Gap Inc's Old Navy stores first leaked to 9to5 Mac in December 2010. In today's latest patent application Apple reveals that their POS scanning device is capable of scanning multiple barcodes in different sizes with different symbologies in a single swipe and then instantly transferring the data to an electronic sales form for processing. Although Apple is recognized as a global leading consumer centric company, it appears that Apple's push into a Point-of-Sale system could very well be the first of many specialized systems for both retail and enterprise markets in the years to come. Are you listening Wall Street?
China's Patent & Trademark Office has published the equivalent of a design patent for Apple's iPod nano late last Friday. The design is likely a reflection of Apple's 2009 model. Rumors of a possible backside camera coming to the next generation nano surfaced back in April of this year and then somewhat supported by an Apple patent application in May which presented a camera feature on the nano's interface. Whether the camera will debut at all this year or end up being on the back or front side of the nano – is yet to be determined. In other IP news, Apple has filed for a figurative trademark design in the US for their new iPad "Smart Cover."
Apple Wins Patents for iPhoto, an iOS Device Windowing System and Another Major Multi-Touch Patent that could Bolster Legal Cases
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today which includes three design wins which our report covers this morning. In addition, our report covers granted patents for iPhoto in relation to photo albums and books and another relating to a construction technique for an iOS device windowing system along with links to many other patents. Yet the major patent of the day definitely goes to one relating to key attributes of Apple's multi-touch technology and methodologies. Apple's competitors should definitely review this patent in detail should it ever be used against them in court.
New court documents reveal that both Wi-LAN and Openware have filed patent infringement lawsuits against Apple this week that allege that the iPhone and iPad with 3G violate a list of patents covering such matters as authentication systems, mail and CDMA technologies. Openware's CEO stated in a press release that "Openwave invented technologies that became foundational to the mobile Internet" and believes that large companies like Apple should pay them for the use of their technologies.
On September 1, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new accessory protocol for touch screen device accessibility that will allow those that are disabled to use an iOS device. The new protocol is likely to be an extension of Apple's "Voice Over" Framework allowing third party developers to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Providing the disabled with access to an iPhone and its various services is bound to be applauded by many.
On the first day of September 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the possible next chapters for Apple's iPhone and iPad. While Apple's patent delves deeply into a new composite that will include a foam substrate formed of a plurality of foam cells, it's the intent behind this that's revealing. The new composite would accommodate a new antenna window for Apple's iPhone and iPad formed of RF transparent materials. As shown in our cover graphic, the new antenna window could take up as much as half the backside of an iPhone. The proposed antenna window would have a seamless backside line that would almost be invisible. The new antenna window design obviously departs from the iPhone 4's stainless steel antenna band which has been so controversial.