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Apple Wins Major Apple TV Patent Relating to Cable TV

1. Apple Wins Major Apple TV Patent Relating to Cable TV
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the key patents published today covers a major patent win for Apple TV, the set-top-box. Apple's patent clearly shows that Apple TV was and/or is going to work with cable TV and provide PVR like features. Whether Apple TV will ever make the leap to being a fully advanced iOS based Smart TV is unknown at this time – though it certainly would be a way to get under Samsung's skin. That's reason alone for Apple to move into this market. Only time will tell. Read this report's important update that just came in (August 15, 2012 at 8:22PM). 


Apple Granted Major Apple TV Patent


Apple has received a Granted Patent relating to a video device which displays video in one of a plurality of contexts in an onscreen display area. In response to the menu command, the video device generates a menu overlay within the onscreen display area while maintaining the video within the menu overlay, and generates within the menu overlay a context icon based on the selected context.


Apple's 2006 patent filing clearly illustrates that Apple TV was or is to work with regular cable TV. The patent figures clearly show ABC, Fox channels and so forth. Apple TV was and/or is to be able to record TV shows. Advanced Set-top-Box features for Apple TV would be a welcomed addition to the current iteration of Apple TV, one being it could act as a high-end PVR. Just recently Apple added access to Hulu (in the US only), which illustrates that Apple TV continues to be a mystery project in progress.


Apple's patent FIG. 6 is an example network environment; patent FIG. 14 is a screenshot of video data including a record icon; and patent FIG. 17A is a screenshot of video data displayed in a video environment and includes an example channel navigation menu.


2. Apple granted major Apple TV Patent - 1


Apple's patent FIG. 21 is a screenshot of another example channel navigation menu; and patent FIG. 31 is a screenshot of video data including further search results menu items displayed in the search navigation menu.


3. Apple granted major Apple TV Patent - 2


Although there are some that doubt that Apple will ever actually sell an HDTV version of Apple TV, our Apple TV related archives continue to show that Apple is working on LCD technology for TV's as well as a host of other advanced technologies including 3D. And with Microsoft eyeing TV as the next device to offer video conferencing for the family, Apple will have to eventually offer FaceTime. To do it right, Apple will integrate iSight into an HDTV system. I highly doubt that Apple will want to sell a clunky iSight camera to sit on top of your current HDTV.


Yet at the end of the day, it's still a hobby project for Apple and it's hard to get too ahead of the curve here. Whether Apple TV will simply advance as a set-top-box or make the leap to a full tilt HDTV is still unknown at this time.


Apple credits Rainer Brodersen, Rachel Goldeen, Mihnea Pacurariu and Jeffery Ma as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q4 2006 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Report Update August 15, 2012 8:22 PM MST


The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that Apple "is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. Cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top-box for live television and other content, according to people familiar with the matter." 


Jessica Vascellaro and Shalini Ramachandran go on to report that "the talks represent Apple's most ambitious crack at infiltrating the living room after years of trying."


You'd almost think that I had some inside track on the matter to dramatically end our report. Then again, one never knows. 



Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.


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 Check out Patent Bolt's Latest Report Titled

"Samsung Working on TV Recording Feature for Android Devices"



Sites Covering our Original Report


MacSurfer, Twitter, Facebook, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, Macnews, iPhone World Canada, NY Times Blogrunner, iPhoneHungary, NY Times Bits Around the Web, Accelerate Your Mac, CNET, 9to5 Mac, GigaOM and MacRumors


Wall ST. Cheat Sheet, iPhoneItalia Italy, Macerkopf Germany, United Daily News China, Electronista, MacDailyNews, TUAW, CNET UK, Macworld UK, Heise Online Germany, L'Expansion France, RazorianFly, CBS News, and more.




For anyone interested in Apple's possible venture into television services, I would suggest they watch "The Lost Steve Jobs Interview". The film reveals just how far reaching the scope of his vision was.

Apple is not interested in buying Netflix, TiVo, Boxee, or fill-in-the-blank. They are not interested in developing some new-tangled TV console or exotic set top box. It will simply be a newer version of the present Apple TV. If it is up to Apple, your DVR and all programming will reside in the CLOUD. Apple is positioning itself to be the first to offer A LA CARTE programming. Once they develop this, the world will pave a path of gold to Apple's doorstep. Let's not forget that Apple is the master of knowing what people really want when it comes to product design, quality, and service.

I was listening to Jim Dalrymple on 5by5 today saying that Apple's patent was filed in 2006 and that "it's a long time to be waiting on a patent." Ha. Apple has iPhone patents going back to 1999 and the iPhone launched in 2007. That was eight years for some patents to see the light of day. But guess what, it happened Jim.

Of course not every patent comes to light, but many of them, like the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Cameras on iDevices and many many more have. To say that patents mean nothing, illustrates a common ignorance, plain and simple.

The funny thing is that Jim is following the Apple vs. Samsung trial about patents related to the iPhone, patents that we covered over time. I guess that patents matter big time, but Jim just didn't get the memo. In the Apple vs. Samsung trial, that's about 2.5 billion reasons to believe that patents matter.

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