On October 31, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for their "AirPlay" logo/Icon under application 85456633. The application which was originally filed last week was filed under International Class 009 which covers such things as mobile phones, tablets, set top boxes, televisions, remote controls and tablets. Apple has also filed for their FaceTime logos in Hong Kong.
There was a huge uproar this week over the latest IDC report that placed Apple in fifth position for Q3 2011. And while the core argument was pointed out that Samsung's figures weren't based on actual facts concerning their handset number breakout, it was still a bit of an overkill reaction. Market spin has been a long standing practice by the industry in general and isn't limited to IDC. In the current Smartphone wars, market momentum is going to shift between the industry players in a dramatic way every year. And so getting overly excited over a single IDC report isn't worth losing perspective over. True champs don't go whining over a single picture covering a transitional quarter. Keep your eyes on the prize as they say. Just take all the noise in stride.
A new rumor that is now breaking states that Apple may have acquired a new high-end 3D mapping company that uses true photorealistic visuals which could integrate augmented reality. The company known as C3 Technologies already has the technology running on an iPad that was noted in a February 2011 video demonstration. The technology originated from a Swedish Military spin-off company that used the realtime photorealistic technology on their fighter planes.
Patently Apple was first to break the news about Apple's granted patent for their "Slide to Unlock" patent this past Tuesday. Considering that it was Apple's second patent win for this feature we didn't think that it would generate much interest. Contrary to our belief, it appears to have stirred up quite the hornet's nest in Taiwan. Yesterday the Premier of Taiwan, Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting, stated that he was very concerned about the possible adverse effects of Apple's latest patent victory on Taiwanese companies, particularly those in the smartphone and tablet sectors. I'm glad that they're looking into it and maybe they'll finally realize that copying IP shouldn't be a national practice.
On October 27, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new media tagging system that will be integrated into Apple's iCloud. In some respects portions of what is described in the patent is likely already in place. However, Apple is shown to already want to push iCloud services deeper into the sources of media like radio and TV. They also want to work closely with car and/or car stereo OEMs to integrate their new tagging standard to better tie content to iCloud for the benefit of iOS device customers. According to Apple's invention specs, iApp Developers will be given design specifications so that current and future apps on iTunes will be able to conform to Apple's new emerging tagging standard. Apple's patent even illustrates a new iTunes UI for iPhone that will integrate media tagging prominently as shown in our cover graphic.
One of Apple's latest patent applications published this morning indicates that possible changes may be coming to the Nike + iPod program. This originally filed 2010 patent application states that Apple's patent is about the ability of dynamically adjusting a display based on the progress of an event monitored by an iOS device. In particular, it's about dynamically adjusting workout information displayed as a user nears the end of their workout. The new feature comes about due to a new sensing module.
The year began with news that Apple was working on a new cloud-based safety-deposit box followed by an iTunes Cloud service before it was officially unveiled weeks later. Then in August Apple introduced us to future iCloud based printing services. To round it all out, Patently Apple posted an in-depth special report titled "iCloud: Winds of Change" which discussed how iCloud services would eventually push us into the era of the NC or Network Computer. Something that the naysayers have vehemently claimed would never ever happen. Well, today's patent application as revealed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, interestingly reveals how Apple is using a "librarian Service" on iOS devices to coordinate iCloud services and also create unique user credentials effortlessly. But more interesting perhaps is that the patent reveals that storage in the 1TB range is already on Apple's roadmap – and that certainly paves the way for the Post PC era's entry of the Network Computer – plain and simple.
On October 25, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intentions of providing a future version of the iPad with an advanced gesturing-based video editing toolbar. The new toolbar will provide fixed options for starters yet allow for gesture customization by the more advanced user. One of the new tools will interestingly allow for on-video annotations. This is great news for those who love taking videos with iOS devices at home, on the road and especially for business.
On October 25, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two trademark applications from Apple covering their latest stylized Cards icon. An application for this was also filed in Canada along with another one for Apple's newly released "Find My Friends" icon which is associated with an iCloud service. Enclosed is a Jumbo Icon Graphic Supplied by Apple.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day we covered a new microstrip cellular antenna for use in future Apple products. In our second granted patent report of the day we mainly cover Apple's wins relating to a light sensitive display, their "Slide to Unlock" iOS start screen feature and finally one that relates to Samsung's method for fabricating a semiconductor die package for Apple's iOS Devices.
Apple Introduces us to a Next Generation Microstrip Styled Cellular Antenna for Future MacBooks, iWatch and Beyond
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's first granted patent report covers a single knockout patent that has never been revealed before. The patent reveals a next generation microstrip styled cellular antenna that, according to Apple, will be used for future products such as notebooks, a wristwatch and other wearable computers and beyond. It may even be used in covert applications. Yes, another James Bond Classic invention from the Crazy Ones in Cupertino.
Patently Apple has discovered that Apple Inc has recently acquired thirty-two new patents and/or patent applications covering such matters as playlists, music kiosks and possibly finance, fitness and shopping apps too. The transaction took place earlier this month. The patents hold promise and may even assist Apple in one of their current legal cases. Today's report generally covers the patents that were acquired by Apple and points to a twist in the process of how Apple came across these patents. At the end of the day, our report could have been titled: Apple Acquires Patents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You'll see why as you read on.
One of the projects that I've always believed to have been on Apple's roadmap was that of a Smart-HDTV – even when Apple kept insisting publicly that it was just a "hobby." Year after year Apple's patents were indicating that the HDTV project was still alive and well. In fact there was enough evidence to call it an official trend worth following. So we opened a special Apple TV archive on our site to keep tabs on this project's progress. Today, the news broke that Steve Jobs had been working on this project until the very end and that Apple may have finally cracked the Smart TV mystery.
On October 20, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on optical transmitting cables, connectors and adapters. I first thought that the patent was simply describing Thunderbolt until I saw the illustrations as you could see above. They have nothing to do with Thunderbolt. These kinds of cables are usually used with HDTV's and other home electronics. While optical cables are interesting and I'm sure that they'll likely work with a future iteration of Apple TV – I wonder what else Apple may have in mind. Interestingly, the patent graphics make it appear as if the product is in its final stages of design. If you have any specific ideas as to where Apple could use such cables, beyond what is presented in the patent application, make sure to send in your comments.
On October 20, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a pair of patent applications from Apple that reveal their consideration if not right-out intention of shifting to fuel cell plate power for portables. While supplying more power in a smaller space, one of the side benefits may be a portable device's resistance to water damage. Report Updated Dec. 2011
While Intel is obsessed with pushing their Ultrabooks into the market to attack Apple's MacBook Air, Apple is working on producing a thinner MacBook Pro for road warriors who need the convenience of an optical drive. Apple's latest invention describes how they propose to minimize the mechanics of an optical disk drive so as to produce a thinner MacBook Pro design in the future.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we focus in on a key Apple Multi-Touch patent relating to an In-Plane Switching Display. Multi-Touch based In-Plane Switching or IPS first debuted on the iPad 2. Apple has also won two iPod nano related patents and one for their boring yet functional iPad dock. And lastly, in our granted patent round up of the day, we present you with an iPhone-nano like design that was on the minds of Apple's engineers back in 2006.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day we focus on Apple being granted a couple of new solar energy related patents. As we learned at this year's IDF fall session, a notebook's display is a real energy hog. In order to extend battery life, the industry will be moving to "Panel Self Refresh" technology by 2013 in the hopes of saving mobile users about an hour's time of battery life per day. And like Intel, Apple is researching methods of harnessing solar energy to further extend the run time of all portables. Today's patent wins cover new solar cell assembly methods and how MacBooks could harness the power of the sun one day with a specialized back panel reflector. Apple is definitely on a roll this year as these patents mark their fourth and fifth solar related wins.
Personal Audio LLC of Texas who won a case against Apple on one patent front this past July is back in court with a new filing. The jury in the first trial sided with Personal Audio against Apple, but a post trial judgment ruled against their second key patent. Personal Audio is back with a vengeance to prove that their second patent was indeed infringed by Apple by pointing to iOS and Apple's own marketing regarding playlists for which they have no patents for, states the company. The lawsuit drags in the new iPhone 4S, iPod touch and the iOS 5 operating system which was just released. This is a very long and detailed report that goes into some of the history of this case and presents some fascinating details brought up in court testimony. If you're a legal buff or professional, it's definitely an interesting weekend read. Updated
It was revealed today at both the EU and Hong Kong China IP Offices that Apple has filed for the "Assistive Touch" trademark shown above in three different formats under International Classes 9, 28 and 42. The Assistive Touch feature shown here in use actually fulfills a patent feature that we reported on in November 2010. The initial concept was generic while Apple's implementation is Apple feature specific – but it's the same feature being described. In other IP News, Apple filed for iPhone 4S, Siri and the Siri logo trademarks in Canada this morning. Updated with US Filing Info
On October 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that reveal that they're working on a new facial recognition/Signature system in addition to a new encryption system for a future implementation of iOS. Apple's new iPhone 4S offers new face detection capabilities but the next step appears to go one step further with tagging the photos for applications like your address book and so forth. In the case of Apple's newly proposed encryption, it's definitely a must have feature if Apple wishes to push further into the Fortune 500 and beyond.
On Oct 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a powerful group of seven Apple patents concerning the next round of FaceTime videoconferencing innovations. Some of these innovations include new PIP controls, new focus and exposure operations and a superimposing feature. The depths of these patents are mind numbing as they cover everything from the camera technology and software magic behind FaceTime through to actual user examples. With Microsoft likely to integrate Skype into Windows 8 in 2012 or thereafter, Apple knows that they have to advance FaceTime with important conferencing features for the consumer and the enterprise user in order to stay ahead of the pack.
On October 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that reveal a very detailed overview of an advanced avatar editing app. Using and creating Avatars has been a new trend emanating from Apple's engineering labs. The year began with Apple introducing us to "the Personalized Shopping Avatar" concept and have since followed through with an avatar creation tool for tablets in July and even mentioned Avatars being used in a mobile clubbing app just last week. In the bigger picture, Apple envisions the day when Avatars and related environments will be so rich that we'll be able to shop online in an Avatar centric Apple Store environment. When you think of the power of Apple's new Siri, an online Apple Rep with Siri's brain would seem very natural indeed. But for today, it's all about advanced creation and editing tools for Avatars. In the future, Apple envisions Avatars working with a wide variety of apps including but not limited to address books, chat sessions, video conferencing, email, games or any other application that could support an animated avatar. Apple is even working on a few humorous animated Avatars as well that will quickly replace antiquated emoticons. Apple obviously see's Avatars playing an expanding role in our online experiences, even when most of us just don't see it yet.
Apple has been granted 17 iPhone 4S Design Patents in China over the course of the last several months. It appears that the Hong Kong database doesn't always file registered designs as one would expect. Some registered designs are found out of date sequentially and are easily overlooked. The designs noted in our report today, of course, are really those relating to the original iPhone 4. But why not have a little fun with it being that that Apple decided to use the very same physical design as the iPhone 4 for their current iPhone 4S. Apple's iPhone 4S designs are protected in China until 2016.
Sight Sound Technologies, whose parent company is General Electric, is suing Apple for patent infringement. After winning cases against the likes of N2K, Inc., CDNow, Inc., CDNow Online, Roxio and Napster with three specific patents, Sight Sound Technologies is now focusing their sights on Apple.
According to a Danish report filed last week, Samsung now possesses several patents that will be able to challenge Apple's new iPhone 4S. They also note that Apple's press release claims that the "iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive" may not hold water.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The two patents that easily stood out from the pack this morning include another Multi-Touch patent for Apple's legal war chest and a unique illuminable MacBook camera latch patent that reveals a twist that could definitely play out at some point in the future. We conclude our report with a real heartbreaking moment caught on film at this year's WWDC with Steve Jobs.
Yesterday we mourned with the rest of the world as we learned of Steve Jobs passing on Wednesday evening. Today we move forward with a heavy heart - but remain focused on what we do best: Report on the insanely great inventions inspired by Steve Jobs and his team. During Apple's special event held earlier this week in Cupertino, Tim Cook spent a lot of time talking about how Apple still loved music and the iPod that started the mobile revolution. In a patent published by the USPTO on Thursday, we learned that Apple is working on a fresh new music sharing app that is uniquely designed for those who love the mobile clubbing scene. The app is described as tying in with the iOS notification system as well as with Twitter and Facebook social networking sites. And finally, our report covers the newly released iOS 5 split keyboard patent and more.
Steve Jobs, one of the most inspirational leaders of my generation has died at the age of 56. The one that always reached for the Next Great Thing and inspired us all to Think Different will never be forgotten. Patently Apple will not be reporting as usual tomorrow out of respect for Steve. Our comment system will remain open without moderation for the first time in our history in order to allow anyone in or outside of the community to pay their respect until Friday morning. And one more thing: I've added Apple's Think Different Campaign video as narrated by the Great One himself. It's the first time that I've ever heard this version of it before and it'll always be the way I remember Steve: As one of the Crazy Ones who thought they could change the world, and did. Updated
Today, Apple introduced their next generation iPhone called the iPhone 4S. While the iPhone 5 is scheduled to be released in 2012 with likely enhancements such as LTE and/or NFC, there were still a few interesting technologies added to the new iPhone 4S that were worth noting. Apple introduced video stabilization for those that like to shoot videos on-the-go, a face detection feature and contextual voice commands via Siri to name but a few. Today's report focuses on a few of the features that fulfilled and/or touched on Apple's published patents. Updated
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's report highlights a series of patents covering a wide swath of technologies including multipass video encoding to a service provider activation policy to a backlight and ambient light sensor system and a Cover Flow related patent. Yet the two key patent wins of the day definitely go to those relating to Multi-Touch Sensors and Surfaces; patents that will provide current and future iOS devices with ongoing protection. Most of today's patents are considered patents fulfilled.
In 2009 Intel introduced a theme called a continuum of computing and spoke about the three vectors of innovation. In April 2011 they spoke about the rise of tablets and the new mobile device form factors that are on the way. Then in June of this year Intel spoke about the transformation of the PC. They confidentially assured their developers that the turmoil being experienced today in the market, due to tablets, was simply the PC undergoing its third transformation since the mid-ninety's: No more, no less. Otellini described how the growth in computing over the next few years will dwarf what's been accomplished over the past 3 decades. This was about Intel's vision of a future accelerated. And while IDF had its interesting moments, make no mistake about it – the only thing on Intel's mind is their next generation processor called Haswell. This is the processor that they believe will usher in next phase of the mobile device revolution.
While Intel's IDF San Francisco conference was mildly interesting, the real energy behind the next mobile revolution surprisingly came from Microsoft. The energy that they generated at their developer conference dwarfed Intel's IDF. Unlike the noise that came with the introduction of Vista and/or Windows 7, Windows 8 came in like lightning as they presented their next generational Metro interface. We'll definitely look back in a few years and realize that this was Microsoft's "Think Different Moment." In part two of our report, we take a look at some of the highlights from one of Microsoft's developer conference segments titled the "8 traits of great Metro Style apps," while taking a peek at some of the features behind one of Samsung's 2012 tablets. Updated Oct 5, 2011.