Late last week, Apple filed two separate patent infringement lawsuits against Graphic Properties Holdings Inc. (GPH), formerly known as Silicon Graphics. One was filed in San Francisco and the other in Oakland which are both noted as being Northern California District Courts. Neither of the electronic court dockets has yet to be unlocked to reveal the details of Apple's formal "Complaint." In the interim, GPH has launched a more powerful patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in Delaware involving more patents than their original patent infringement case against Apple last November. The previous patent infringement lawsuit also included defendants Nintendo and Acer. This time around, GPH is focused solely on Apple. This certainly looks like it's going to be a very long drawn out legal slugfest.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published seventeen new granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our final patent report of the day, we cover Apple's port hatch, which debuted with the original MacBook Air, Apple's wireless keyboard, five design patents and a list of other patents in our final round-up.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second patent report of the day we focus on a possible next generation docking station from Apple that will include accessory power management. As portables get more powerful, Apple foresees the need for a dock that will be able to manage power more intelligently so that it could power-up larger and more powerful devices safely. As a side note, Apple's patent mysteriously states that the new dock will be able to power up a monitor. That could mean anything ranging from a portable presentation system to that of a TV. Time will tell what Apple has up their sleeve on that particular point; though I must confess that it sounds most inviting.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's first granted patent report focuses entirely on a very interesting invention that relates to display devices, and more particularly, to avoiding luminescence shock (temporary vision impairment) when a display device is activated in a dark environment. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone back in 2007, he stated that the iPhone was protected by more than 200 patents. Today, we get to review one of the originating patents that he referred to.
On November 10, 2010, Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc, formerly known as Silicon Graphics, Inc, sued Apple for allegedly infringing on their patent regarding floating point rasterization. Well, it appears that Apple has decided to counter sue and is now preparing for a showdown. The California courts revealed late last week that Apple had filed two patent infringement cases against Graphics Properties Holdings – though the courts have yet to open the electronic versions of the complaints. While it may be due in-part to the Thanksgiving Holiday schedule, the fact remains that we're still in the dark as to the details of these filings. In other IP News today, Apple has won another round of iPhone 4 Design Patents in China. This report has been updated twice: our last update was made on December 13, 2011.
On this long Holiday weekend, I thought it would be a little bit of fun to take a look at three Apple Developer patents that surfaced this week at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The ideas cover wild and crazy things like service robots, flying machines and synthetic guitars that all happen to tap into Apple's iOS in one way or another. Steve Jobs referred to these kinds of dreamers as "The Crazy Ones" – and today we cheer on a few of these crazies that live beyond Cupertino.
With the financial markets depressed and the downturn in the economy extending far beyond where any of us thought it would go due in-part to crazy right wing politics, it's so nice to gather with friends and family to just relax and be ourselves for a time. Even though things look dark at times, we must always remember what we should be thankful for. On this day, I'd like to wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. Cheers! (video)
On America's Thanksgiving 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an all-new concept for managing data on future versions of iOS devices. Apple introduces us to the "Persistent Overlay" which is going to be appreciated for those who need to be productive on their iOS devices. It's something like a personal multitasking bar system that will hold photos, tunes and documents that you need quick access to during the day. The patent also reveals that a new social networking app is in the works and that you'll have the ability to use your Magic Mouse or Trackpad with your iPad when docked.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nineteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The most interesting one within this group was by far the one relating to 3D Object Recognition Technology that we posted earlier this morning. Yet there were a number of other practical patents published today that were worth noting. The first one pertains to Apple's push notification system. The second patent relates to the magnometer found in some iOS devices that works tightly in conjunction with their "Maps and Compass" app. A third patent relating to iOS touches on "text input using speech data and non-speech data." And finally, a forth patent relates to the timer mechanism in iOS devices designed to automatically shut down the display when not in use so as to conserve energy. All in all Apple Legal gained an important basket of granted patents today.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today and one of them was a real surprise. Apple has been granted a major patent for 3D object recognition that will allow future iPads to advance graphics like MRI images for use in hospitals and other enterprise and military applications covering high-end security systems using advanced biometrics. Apple secretely acquired this patent at some point in the past from Swedish inventors. When the connections to this patent unfold, you'll be both surprised and excited about what this means for future iOS devices.
The timing of both a new Apple patent application and where I was in Isaacson's biography this past week seemed to coincide perfectly. While our report presents you with a brief overview of Apple's latest toy for Jonathan Ive, the heart of this report really touches on Apple's Magical Design Studio that mercilessly cranked out one hit after another for the past decade to the chagrin of their competitors.
On November 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that technically reveals advancements to visual display elements. The new system uses a combination of a light guide system along with microperforations and microlenses to provide high level alignment on at least one axis. Commercially speaking, the new system could advance the way that Apple creates their backlit logo on MacBooks so as to conserve power and take up less space. Interestingly, Apple's outlook for applications for this system extends to Kitchen appliances, a television and all personal computers stationary or portable.
On November 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their latest invention pertaining to a new intelligent multi-output adapter. The proposed adapter is to include a relay for intelligently controlling power and connector cords configured to supply differing voltages to two or more electronic devices simultaneously.
While Donald LeBuhn was filing a class action lawsuit against Apple back in January of this year, accusing the company of misleading customers as to the strength of the glass used in its iPhone 4, Apple was already well into inventing new crack resistant glass solutions for portables like the iPhone. The new solution involves a tunable shock mount that sits between the glass and the body of the device. The specialized mount could be instantly inflated if the device senses a drop event determined by its internal accelerometer. Apple's patent describes using exotic materials that could protect the glass from shattering. As a side bonus, Apple is also considering a solution that could provide portable devices with a new water damage prevention seal. Two Updates have been added to this report
In our special report today we present you with a fascinating account of one of Steve Jobs' secret meeting that involved creating the iPhone and how the iPod Phone almost came to be. It was much closer to reality than any us could have ever imagined at the time. We also discuss how a "breakthrough" feature was allegedly copied in the Android UI and what Steve Jobs thought of Google's alleged rip-off of Apple's iOS. So sit back with a coffee and enjoy our special report.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a whopping 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Earlier we covered a Key Swipe Gestures Patent for Virtual Keyboards, another covering a Telephonic MacBook with a Rotatable Display along with an Industrial Design Patent for Apple's Upper West Side NY Apple Store that credited Steve Jobs as one of the designers. In our last report of the day, we cover an eclectic mix of interesting patent wins ranging from a first NFC patent win to one covering location technologies including Infrared beacons. Additionally we cover conductive paints and foils used in the iPhone and another design win for Steve Jobs on the Magic Mouse. All in all it was a huge patent day for Apple and fun for Macites who love to hear the sound of Android-Heads exploding at the mere mention of Apple gaining yet more "e-v-i-l" patents – Ha!
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a newly granted patent for Apple Inc. today that sounds like a real winner. The patent points to a MacBook using a clutch barrel structure that supports both a cellular antenna and rotatable display. This officially announces to the Wintel camp that Apple now has the ability to match or beat the Ultrabook design that is to come to market in 2013 with the Haswell processor. Now we just have to applaud loud enough so as to send Apple a clear message that we want a MacBook Tablet combination device. I mean – why should the Wintel camp have all the fun with their upcoming notebook-tablet with Windows 8 and their new touch-based Metro UI? The iPad is Apple's thunder and they should naturally extend it through to a future MacBook or MacBook Air.
On November 15, 2011, the US Patent and Trademark Office surprises us with a newly granted design patent for the stunning Apple Store in New York's Upper West Side that credits the late, great Steve Jobs. An eye for design was definitely one of the key values that Steve Jobs possessed. It's echoed throughout his biography by Walter Isaacson. Whether it was the original Mac, iPhone, iPad or Store layout – Steve was constantly pushing for product designs that were both simplistic and elegant. So it's fitting that we now applaud Steve's contributions to the great Upper West Side NY Store Design. Update 9AM: Opps, we apparently goofed. The design is in fact that of the Upper West Side Apple Store in New York that uses Hanger Glass - and not that of the store in Paris that we noted in our byline.(Mon Dieu!)
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a new granted patent for Apple Inc. today that relates to input systems, methods and devices that use swipe gestures in relation to virtual keyboards. This key 2007 patent introduces a Touch Image Processor, Tap and Slide Recognizers as well as an exemplary Swipe Recognition System. In the bigger picture, this is Apple's seventh win for multi-touch technologies relating to virtual keyboards alone! Apple's previous virtual keyboard patents have covered a wide variety of features including a "Chord Motion Recognizer" right through to large futuristic virtual keyboards. It's an area that Apple intends to continue to lead and excel in as it researches ways to move virtual keyboards to the desktop and beyond. Apple's huge portfolio of original multi-touch and virtual keyboard patents will continue to provide Apple Legal with the means to protect their products in the market against copycats – to the dismay of Android fans whose heads collectively explode with each and every patent victory for Apple: Splat!
China's Hong Kong IP Office has officially published a series of newly registered design patents for Apple relating to battery and Solid State Drive configurations. Evidently longer battery life is on the way. The second IP news flash of the morning is that an iPod Classic graphic that Apple wanted to trademark has been refused and it's because Apple dropped the ball. The question becomes, did they do that purposely? Will the iPod Classic die in 2012 or will it be reinvented?
A company by the name of SmartPhone Technologies is suing Apple, AT&T and AT&T Mobility for patent infringement. So what makes this patent troll case any different from the others? Well, interestingly, Smartphone Technologies states that they're the "exclusive licensee" of the six patents in this case that just happen to be heavy hitters from Palm and 3Com dating back to between 1997 and 2000. This could be a very interesting case - yet a headache for Apple.
On November 11, 2011, China's Hong Kong IP Office published Apple's trademark application for OS X Lion's Launchpad icon – or should I say, Jumbo icon. Apple's application 302080836 was filed under International Classes 9 and 14 covering such things as computer software, services and social networking. Though truth be told, Apple's legal team zealously listed Launchpad under more than 200 descriptors. In other IP news, Apple's iWeb trademark is being challenged. This dragged out case that began in 2006 is finally getting a full hearing.
On November 10, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a series of new gestures that will provide users with a number of advantages. It will allow users to view clusters of photos as well as greater detail of photos, maps and/or documents with greater ease and speed. Two of the new gestures are currently dubbed "Hold then Swipe" and "Swipe then Hold." And lastly, we end today's report by sharing Steve Jobs' thoughts on Intellectual Property, according to the Book of Jobs.
On November 10, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that may reveal some of the changes coming to the iPad 3's backlighting system. This past Monday we learned that Apple is likely to modify LED back-light solutions for next-generation iPads. Today's patent may provide us with a more in-depth peek into where these modifications may be going. Some think that the iPad launching in Q1 2012 is really just a stepping stone to the iPad 3 that's destined for a Q4 2012 release. Something like what the iPhone 4S is to the iPhone 5. In today's patent, Apple discusses the use of one or two OLED backlighting units in a future iPad. Down the road, other devices adopting multiple OLED backlights may include such devices as the Cinema Display, MacBook Air and - if we hold our breath long enough, maybe an HDTV. For now however, the focus is definitely on a future version of the iPad.
On November 11, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's mini media players such as the iPod shuffle and iPod nano. Apple's proposal is to add a speaker to the media players attachment clip. Apple points out how they may use a space age material in the design of the speaker that was once used in NASA's Apollo lunar module. I guess that Apple wants to give their fans a unique out-of-this-world experience. Oh those Crazy Ones of Cupertino are at it again.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said Tuesday that it has voted to launch an investigation into a complaint filed by Taiwan-based chip manufacturer VIA Technologies Inc. for patent infringement against Apple Inc. Updated
On October 28 we posted a report titled "Apple's 'Slide to Unlock' Patent Stirs up a Hornet's Nest in Taiwan." In that report we pointed to the Premier of Taiwan stating that 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. There was a bit of backlash from some overzealous Taiwanese fans who had some choice words for me. I insisted that it was strange for the Premier to get involved. Well, there's another part of this story to demonstrate that the Premier may have indeed had an agenda here.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our final granted patent report of the day we cover Apple's no-touch sensor output technology and acoustic systems for iOS devices. And to top it off, we close out our patent report with our usual Final Patent Round-Up with six patents covering everything from a Mac Pro tower latch through to the Apple Remote.
November is definitely shaping up to be one hell of a great month for Apple legal. Last week Apple was granted two high profile multi-touch related patents and today they've been granted yet another pair. The first relates to a new True Multi-Touch Digital Controller and the second one relates to hover and gesture detection that uses a capacitive sensor panel having dynamically reconfigurable sensor size and shape. Most noteworthy is the fact that the technology applies to both iOS devices and Macs, according to the patent. Apple legal has four new shiny patents to go on the offensive against Google and their Android OEMs with and I love it being that Google legal whined in July and again just yesterday about how the so-called "broken patent system" is in their way of beating Apple. It now appears that there may be a massive new wave of the original Apple touch patents going through the system and Google likely knows it too: Hence their whining.
While the iPhone was being introduced back in January 2007 by Steve Jobs, Apple had already invented their Next Generation Touch Technology for their future iPad. Apple's granted patent, which was published earlier today, shows us that multi-touch technology for tablet PC's had to be different than that for the iPhone. Apple was clearly well ahead of the curve on this technology and on course for delivering the iPad three years later.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we cover two patents. The first patent covers a GPS testing system to ensure that the GPS circuitry doesn't overhead and readings remains accurate. Interestingly, Apple notes that GPS could one day be integrated into wearable computers such as an Apple wrist-watch. The second patent covers an antenna that will provide future MacBooks with telephonic capabilities. Being that the GPS patent points to the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular telephone standard being used in future portables, it may hint that we may see a telephonic MacBook hopefully in the next two years as Apple rolls out devices with 4G capabilities.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Our first report of the day focuses on six industrial design wins for Apple, with two of them crediting the late Steve Jobs. If you've had the chance to read the Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson, then you know how insanely passionate Steve Jobs was about all-things-design – be it the original Mac, the finish on the NeXT cube, the verbiage in the Think Different Campaign or the layout of the Apple Store. Somehow that put a smile on my face this morning. Maybe it will for you too.
On November 7, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application relating to the "Find My Friends" icon (Jumbo) under application 85462987. Apple filed their trademark under a single International Class which covers software that geographically locates and tracks people using global positioning systems. It also covers software relating to social networking. Apple's "Find My Friend" is a new iCloud Service that was introduced in October of this year. Apple has also filed a new trademark filing in China covering Find My Friends. Update: Our report also covers Google's whiney patent lawyer.
Late yesterday, China's Hong Kong IP Department granted Apple thirteen new design patents relating to the iPad 2. The designs cover Apple's Black, White and 3G iPad 2 models in a series of both photographic and illustrative design styles. Apple has dramatically revved up their legal machinery in China this past year as the stream of granted design patents have dramatically risen. Just in September alone Apple was granted 40 design wins for iOS graphic elements, the MacBook Air and even their Shanghai Apple Store architecture. With Apple having accused Samsung of "slavishly- copying" its market-leading iPhone and iPad, every industrial design patent victory for iOS devices is another arrow in Apple's legal quiver.
Last weekend we posted a report titled "The Flap over IDC's Report, Market Spin & the Ongoing Smartphone Wars." The numbers that IDC quoted in one of their latest report were definitely a point of contention for many concerning "mobile phone vendor shipments and marketshare for Q3 2011." This morning, IDC has released another round of stats concerning "smartphone" shipments and marketshare for Q3 2011. The new stats have Samsung as the number one vendor in the world with Apple overtaking Nokia for the second spot. Will the numbers enrage some in the Apple community once again? Yes, more than likely – but with Apple's iPhone 4S sales gaining traction, we're likely to see Apple take the number one spot as soon as next quarter. Then again, in this ever changing market, we can't really assume anything.
On November 3, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're working on a possible future iPhone that will operate using a Virtual SIM Card. Apple states that it would be desirable to be able to provide improved ways in which to provide users with the ability to purchase and use wireless network services without the need of a SIM Card. According to Apple, a secondary benefit of switching to a Virtual SIM Card is that'll improve security while allowing Jony Ive and his team to do what they do best: Design an ever thinner, astoundingly beautiful, next generation iPhone. Report Updated at 2:40 MST
A news report that broke in July stated that LG thought that OLED displays weren't suitable for smartphones and tablets. Some debated that claim and now we see that Apple does as well. In a new patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this morning, we discover that Apple has found a way to make an OLED based display work better with applications such as word processing and email for corporate users while gaining a power savings of up to 30%. Apple has been on a tear this year working on next generation hybrid displays to power their future iOS devices. In April, we learned that Apple had devised a smart hybrid e-Paper/Video iOS display and in July we discovered that Apple was working on smart transparent displays that could uniquely support augmented reality based applications. It's evident that Apple is placing a tremendous amount of research and finances behind display technology in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.
According to Taiwan's DigiTimes this morning, the real iPad 3 won't actually ship until Q3 2012. The rumor is that a revised iPad 2 will launch first in March 2012. The iPad 2 upgrade will supposedly introduce a thinner design along with much better battery life. In a separate report filed today, DigiTimes reports that Apple has big plans to completely overhaul their entire product lineup in 2012 including the iMac and MacBook Air. The latter of course will be under a little pressure in the second half of 2012 from competitors pushing Intel's new Ultrabook designs powered by Ivy Bridge that may introduce a swivel styled notebook-display doubling as a tablet.
Apple today announced that GarageBand, its breakthrough music creation app, is now available for iPhone and iPod touch users. Introduced earlier this year on iPad, GarageBand uses Apple's revolutionary Multi-Touch interface to make it easy for anyone to create and record their own songs, even if they've never played an instrument before. Apple's news fulfills their patent application which we covered in March 2011. Apple's patent was originally filed in Q3 2009. The patent was well ahead of the launch proving once again that patents can present trends well ahead of the curve.