On the surface, this certainly looks like a classic David and Goliath case. Individual Jerald Bovino is taking on Apple claiming that the iPad Smart Cover infringes on his "portable computer case" patent. Bovino is seeking a royalty from Apple and/or $100,000. At the end of the day, once you actually see the design, you'll have to admit that Bovino has a lot of courage taking on the number one tech company in the world.
On April 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that introduces us to gifting iTunes purchases via NFC or email. Apple's patent generally relates to digital media content and electronic devices being configured to transfer information from one user's account to another user's account. Apple will also allow users to share iTunes Playlists – though at a cost being that it's in context with "gifting," as Apple calls it. It sounds like a great idea and it should be available when NFC based iDevices finally debut.
On April 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published three interesting patent applications from Apple. In the first one, Apple seeks to patent their Upper West Side (NYC) retail store structure that's located at 67th Street and Broadway. Just last week they filed a similar patent application for their Shanghai Apple Store. This trend of patenting "Flagship" store designs is likely to be a trend that will continue going forward. In a second patent application, we see that Apple has developed a new OLED driver which indicates that Apple is considering OLED for future MacBook and iOS device displays. The advantage to OLED is that display-backlighting isn't required. In the third patent application we see that Apple is legally beefing up their patent pending MacBook Air by including nine related patent applications under one roof. Is Apple making this move to protect their design if challenged or could it be used offensively in the future against copycat OEM designs hiding under Wintel's Ultrabook banner? Time will tell.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-five newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The vast majority of today's granted patents would be considered utility based patents for things such as connectors, security, networking and more. Yet a few that stood out include Apple's second iTunes Store related patent in as many weeks and Apple's fifth win for Time Machine, their OS X based backup software. To close things off, Apple has been granted four design patents covering an in-store display structure and much more.
A Pennsylvania company by the name of FlatWorld has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the California Northern District Court in San Francisco. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns Apple's entire line-up of touch related products. Once again, a company is suing Apple regarding touch technology that doesn't relate to Apple's multi-touch technology in any way. The patent background states that the inventor "developed a testing tool with a touch screen programmed to allow children to directly manipulate or move objects on the screen, and 'hide' them behind other objects." It's very difficult to understand how this relates to any of Apple's iDevices or Magic Mouse for that matter. In my opinion, it's simply a bizarre stretch. It's also difficult for the average Joe to understand how a company who took assignment of a patent for the sole purpose of suing others can actually claim that they've been "damaged" in any way by products for which they have no equivalents. Yet in the legal world, imaginary "damages" appear to be the real thing – whether we understand it or not.
On April 19, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two of Apple's inventions relating to next generation connectors designed with slimmer devices in mind. The new connectors that are designed to be smarter, stronger and safer will apply to all of Apple's future hardware.
In March we broke the news on Apple winning a design patent for Apple's Shanghai's Glass Store entrance. Today we see that Apple is now seeking to protect that design even further by filing a patent application for it. Apple's patent details various aspects of the glass structure and we present you with a few of the key graphics in today's report.
Apple definitely has their eye on the corporate world as a new patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office today reveals that they've invented a new and more convenient way to sign electronic documents. Many professions and governmental agencies have to deal with signing legal documents every day and Apple's new methodology may be the magic bullet in making this process convenient for electronic forms. Apple has also created several security measures that will appeal to both corporate and consumer markets alike. Whether Apple plans to keep this technical methodology for their new signature application alone or try to make it an industry standard is unknown at this time.
Patently Apple has reported on most Intel Developer Conferences over the last few years simply because Apple had transitioned from the Power PC to the Intel Architecture back in 2005-2006. Yet once Apple introduced the iPhone, there was a definite disconnect between the two companies publically. There were a series of snipes from the Intel camp towards Apple at various IDF events and there was definitely some real tension between these two companies. Over the last twelve to eighteen months Intel has clearly aimed their sights on Apple's MacBook Air with the introduction of the Ultrabook. They're also squarely aiming to challenge iTunes on Ultrabooks in the future as well. As you could see in our opening graphic, Intel's 2012 Beijing IDF slide makes it clear: An Industry Call to Action for the Ultrabook and beyond. As you will see, Intel isn't only trying to follow Apple's lead in notebook designs but also the iMac and iPhone too.
At the beginning of the month we posted a report titled "Looking into One of Apple's Special-Purpose Liquidmetal Projects" that was based on several patents related to Apple's agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies. Today we learn that Apple and Samsung Electronics plan to shift their respective smartphone designs to new lightweight materials with Apple specifically shifting to the use of liquidmetal.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our third and final report of the day, we mainly focus in on two granted patents. The first one briefly covers a possible future Motion Tracking User Interface that some have dubbed a head tracking interface. This would of course work like a charm with Apple's patent pending 3D version of OS X. The second patent covers advancements possibly earmarked for a future iteration of Apple's Magic Mouse. The advancement cover such things as paint brush stroke capabilities and advanced maneuvering that you'd expect to only find in a video game.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the main patents that Apple has won today relates to their tenth Telephonic MacBook patent. Apple's Telephonic MacBook will at minimum present users with the convenience of always-on service much like today's LTE iPad. Previous generations of wireless technology such as 3G were designed with telephony in mind. The LTE wireless standard was designed with data transmission in mind which is ideal for devices such as the iPad and especially the MacBook Pro for road warriors. Whether this is a 2012 or 2013 feature is irrelevant for now. The point is that an LTE based MacBook is a no brainer that will make its way to market when Apple deems it to be the right time. In addition to the MacBook adopting cellular capabilities, Apple's patent delivers a few other interesting twits that are noteworthy.
Apple has been granted a major patent victory for their iTunes Store today. Apple's iTunes Store which originally opened as the "iTunes Music Store" back in April 2003 is now fully protected. Today's patent win nails down the very heart and soul of what makes Apple's iOS devices so desirable. Apple's iTunes Store and related software are what differentiates their mobile devices from the pack. Up until this day, Apple's competitors have yet to successfully find the magic bullet to counter Apple's advantage. Today's victory will only make it harder on them to challenge the iTunes Store going forward. Technically speaking, Apple's invention relates to media purchase and distribution and, more particularly, to media purchase and distribution in a client-server environment.
Texas based Touchscreen Gestures LLC is suing Apple for patent infringement. The lawsuit is based on four specific patents covering various touch related technologies that they claim the iPhone and iPad infringe upon. After the "Discovery" phase, Touchscreen Gestures LLC believes that the facts point to Apple's willful infringement. It should be pointed out that Apple is in possession of many granted patents regarding multi-touch technology, the particular type of touch technology that debuted on the iPhone in 2007. Touchscreen Gesture patents don't appear to relate to multi-touch technologies in any way.
In 2009 we learned that Apple began researching new sophisticated in-vehicle navigation systems. Then in 2011 we further learned that they were working on ways to advance their "Maps + Compass" iOS application with augmented reality. And before 2011 closed out, Apple acquired C3 Technologies which is likely to bring photo-realistic mapping to iOS devices in the not-too-distant future. Adding to this momentum we learn today that Apple has invented an advanced magnetometer application and related system. It's designed specifically to provide iOS devices with greater mapping and navigation accuracy. And to be absolutely clear about their market focus, Apple specifically lists navigation systems for vehicles, aircraft and watercraft.
On April 12, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new electronic content authoring tool in the works that's configured to optimize authored content for one or more intended devices. According to Apple, the existing solutions on the market today are simply not adequate to eliminate barriers between content creators and the presentation of high quality electronic content on a variety of platforms. Today's report presents you with a grand overview of Apple's new authoring tool which includes a few cool user interface elements that we're likely to see surface in the not-too-distant future.
Like millions of Macites around the world, I simply love my new iPad with its Resolutionary Retina Display. It's a stunningly crisp display with no equal. I also happen to be in the market for a new smartphone later this year, and so I wanted to be fair and at least take a look at Samsung's new Galaxy Note smartphone. I like taking notes and their smart pen intrigued me. But once I saw the drabness of the Note's display in contrast with the iPad, I just chuckled. Apple has so raised the bar on display quality that it will be very difficult to now want anything short of the Retina Display for any device. This brings us to the very point of today's second patent report: Apple' attention to the tiniest of iOS device details. In our second patent report of the day, we take a look at three granted patents. The first covers Apple's reinvention of the iPhone's backlight unit which may account for its current brilliance. The second patent shows us how Apple wanted to save money on manufacturing costs on a touch display and walked away with a new method for manufacturing a thinner touch display. And lastly, the third patent covers the hybrid playlist mechanism found in Cover Flow. Yes, they're all tiny pieces of a final product, but when added together – they help to deliver that total magical experience found in Apple devices. It's that fanatical attention to detail that Apple's competitors fail to comprehend at their own peril.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Today's first report covers a granted patent related the iPhone. The patent covers the use of a Multi-Antenna System which includes the key LTE frequency. Apple has had some recent problems pertaining to the new iPad's LTE coverage in Australia and some European countries. Other granted patents highlighted in today's report include the iPhone's Dynamic Audio Parameter Adjustment System and Apple's second iPod shuffle design win in as many weeks. Our Final Patent Round Up section completes our report by listing an additional twelve granted patents covering such topics as "near real-time streaming" related to playlists" and "peer-to-peer security authentication protocol."
Apple's iOS cameras will be eventually gaining very powerful pattern detection technologies. Although the iOS camera system will gain OCR and bar code scanning capabilities, Apple's future system will go far beyond that. The advanced camera system will be able to read IBSN numbers, pricing symbols, phone numbers and much more – all in context. For instance, you'll be able to scan a poster of a movie as noted in our cover graphic. From that you'll be able to scan faces and be given contextual menu options pertaining to that face or scan a phone number and be given the option to put it into your contact information or touch the photo of the movie image and call up a movie trailer or access to show times and other relevant information. You'll be able to scan a URL off of a magazine and then touch the URL on the image on your iPad and be given the option to activate the URL. Is that wild? This is really powerful technology that Apple will be building into next generation iOS devices that will greatly benefit consumers and professionals alike.
Apple thinks it's time for a MacBook Pro to have a kick-ass surround sound audio system. With future MacBooks doubling as our Mobile TV, Movie Theater and high end video conferencing system, it's time to kick the audio quality up a notch so as to compete with PC Notebooks offering Beats Audio. This is definitely a feature that I think that most would welcome with open arms.
The timing of Apple's new micro SIM connector patent couldn't be more perfect in light of the battle between Nokia and Apple over the design of future miniature SIM cards for mobile devices. It's even been reported that Nokia has threatened to withdraw 50 or so SIM card related patents from ETSI if the Apple proposal is approved. Today's patent application sheds a little more light on the subject by illustrating that Apple's proposed SIM card connector could be utilized beyond smartphones and into devices such as Apple's MacBook Pro, iPod touch or even a monitor which could technically cover future televisions. The ability to transfer a SIM from one device to another is perhaps one of the advantages to Apple's design and why the ETSI is strongly considering it as a standard. In the era of mobility and device interconnectivity, Apple's solution may be the winner.
Intel and the entire tech industry have been preparing for the MacBook Air Counter Attack since June 2011. Today, Intel has announced that their official Ultrabook campaign kick starts this Friday. The Intel lead Ultrabook is a copycat styled MacBook Air. By next year, the Ultrabook powered by Intel's next generation processor called "Haswell" will introduce a hybrid notebook-tablet from factor that is bound to help the PC sector gain back some ground on Apple. Our report presents some of Intel's thoughts about their new Ultrabook campaign.
On April 4, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for their "Reminders" App icon under application 85585420. Apple's Reminders App lets users organize everything they have to do by deadline, priority, location, or custom-made lists. And as a due date gets closer, Reminders sends you an alert so you stay on track. As Apple puts it, the reminders app lets your iOS device "seem like a sticky note come to life."
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of seventeen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Noteworthy are two patents relating to iOS cameras and one for wireless synchronization. It's unknown at this time if Apple's wireless synchronization patent will be retained for purely defensive purposes or used offensively to challenge competing products.
Before there was even a Master Agreement signed between Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies, there was an Apple patent describing the use of such technology. In June 2010 we posted our original report titled "Behind Apple's Stunningly Crafted iPhone is a Patent." In May 2011 we pointed out how Apple updated their trademark to cover precious metals and their alloys for such things as watches and other interesting items. Then this past Saturday, AppleInsider's Daniel Dilger reported on Liquid Metal Technologies 10-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. After reviewing the statements related to Apple in their 10-K filing form, we wanted to investigate this a little further. The end result was the discovery of a pair of interesting patents related to Apple's relationship with Liquidmetal Technologies. In March we posted a report about Apple researching methods of waterproofing iOS devices and lo and behold, one of the key projects between Liquid Technologies and Apple was about "Forming a Hermetic Seal" for waterproofing. Today's report fills you in on the details.