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January 2013

Lenovo Urges Telecoms to Drastically Cut iPhone Subsidies

T 01 - Patently Informative
China's Sina Tech is reporting today that after Lenovo's financials were announced indicated that the company's smartphone sales volume had risen by a whopping 200% Year-Over-Year, Lenovo's CEO Yang Yuanging urged telecom operators to decrease their subsidies for iPhones and reduce "super-national treatment" for foreign mobile phone makers, including Apple and Samsung. The call for an end to subsidies is beginning to sweep the industry. Just last week we pointed to T-Mobile ending subsidies with AT&T applauding the move. In Asia, KT (Korea Telecom) has been demanding such a move in Korea. Though in the end if Telecoms are making record profits selling Apple's iPhone, not much will change unless foreign governments get involved – and that's always a slippery path that most would rather pass on. Then again, Korea has begun to crack down on excessive subsidies and a new report published today discusses it in full detail.   

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Patent Lint: Apple Thinks Collaboration, Telecom & Cameras

T 01 AA - Patent applications & lint
The US Patent and Trademark Office published twenty of Apple's patent applications today and we highlighted four of them in-depth throughout the day. However, there were nine other patent applications that were published today along with seven continuation filings. In today's Patent Lint report we provide you with the links to each of the remaining patent filings that we didn't highlight, just in case there's something that may be of interest to you. Today's Patent Lint report covers such matters as collaboration on virtual works of art, adaptive auto exposure for cameras, telecommunications and more.  

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Apple Reveals New Machinery for Creating Liquidmetal Forms

T 01 AA - Patent applications & lint
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new method for fabricating a sheet of metallic glass matrix composite. Metallic glass is a form of liquidmetal. In order to make cool products with this exotic material one must first invent equipment that could properly processes and control it. Today's patent relates to sheet casting of metallic glasses, and more particularly to twin roll sheet casting of bulk metallic glasses and composites in an inert environment. If you don't think that this is about liquidmetal, the conclusion of our report will make it crystal clear.

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Apple Thinks Outside the Box with Cash Dispensing Network

1. Cover. Apple's Ad Hoc Cash Despensing Network System
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that out of the box thinking is still alive and well at Apple. In a way, Apple's latest invention could be considered one of many apps associated with a future master iWallet App. Under today's Passbook App we see a series of services within it such as handling gift cards, coupons, passes and tickets. Apple's iWallet App will likewise carry a number of sub categories for credit, debit and a new one related to a proposed ad-hoc cash dispensing network using iTunes and Maps. Apple states that there are times when you just need cash and with no ATM's in sight their new network will be able to bring a cash requester together with a cash provider using a new App that make the processes somewhat painless. If you love nightlife, this could very well come in handy. But it's not for everyone, that's for sure.

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Apple Reveals Enhanced Audio System for Their Future HDTV

1. Cover Graphic Enhanced Audio & Beyond patent
Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs told Biographer Walter Isaacson that he'd "like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." In that very same timeline, Apple's engineers were working on his dream TV and in a patent application published this morning, we get a tiny glimpse of the enhanced audio system that may be accompanying this future HDTV. The system will also intelligently integrate surround sound-like quality for video conferencing for the home or work. Apple's TV will also be able to work with FaceTime and create a unique audio experience whereby the voices from multiple participants will be heard in the exact direction that they're positioned on the screen. While it's not the Killer HDTV patent we're all still waiting for, it's the next best thing. Today we could safely say that Apple's Killer HDTV is real, at least on paper.

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Apple Reveals Cool Depth Perception System with a Unique Laser Projection Keyboard Feature for iDevices

1. Jan 31, 2013 re Apple's depth perception system
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published twenty patent applications from Apple and the most intriguing of all relates to their invention concerning a new depth perception system. While Apple has worked on "presence detection systems" before relating to MacBooks and iDevices, this new system goes beyond mere detection. For instance, in one application, Apple describes the new system integrated into an iPad that would be able to project a laser based keyboard onto a table. That would definitely be considered a wow-feature that could excite consumers. Of course, that's if they actually get it to market before the completion steals their idea, which is highly likely.

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Microsoft Seeks to Challenge Google with Gesture-Based Search

1. Cover Msft Seeks to Challenge Google with gesture based search
From an Intellectual Property stand point there are a number of races going on in techland on many fronts. There's the race to find the next generation smart pen, there's a race to bring smart eyewear to market and there's even a two horse race to bring gesture-based search to market in the not-too-distant future between Google and Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft has filed a new patent application with the US Patent Office covering gesture-based search that could extend to smartphone, tablets, the Xbox, tiltable desktop multitouch displays, next generation Ultrabook convertibles and more. Our cover graphic covers patent FIGS. 12A-12E as basic examples of specific gestures being considered. The dot shown in the bottom center example, for instance, has an added value that indicates that the search query should weight a particular world or term more heavily. While Google's 2012 patent filing shows that they have a substantial lead over Microsoft's Bing team in this area of gesture-based searches, I wouldn't count Microsoft out of this race just yet. In fact Macites may even welcome the new features in the future.   

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Judge Denies Samsung's Bid to Invalidate Apple Patents & More

T 01 DD Patently Legal
A US court has ruled that Samsung didn't willfully infringe on some of Apple's patents and denied a request by Apple to raise patent damages awarded to it in its legal dispute against Samsung. Moreover, Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung's request for a new trial and more importantly, denied Samsung's bid to invalidate Apple patents. Our report points out a few other interesting rulings in this case and provides you with full views of all of the key rulings handed down by Judge Koh late yesterday.  

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Apple's Hot iPad mini Outselling iPad 4 by up to 4 to 1

T 01 - Patently Informative
A new report out of Taiwan this morning states that the sales volume of the iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad 4 are at a ratio of 3:1 for mobile telecom carriers' contract-bundled sale and 4:1 for contract-free sales through the retail channel, according to sources with local retailers.

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Russia may Investigate Thin Bribery Case against Apple

T 01 - Patently Informative
BrightWire, a business-to-business resource for portfolio managers has posted a rather strange report this morning. The report is claiming that Apple organized a week-long seminar for Russian regional ministers of education and other officials, in charge of public purchases, in London, UK, during which the company will familiarize the officials with its products. The article discloses several names of regional officials and stated that the event participants will be staying right in the heart of London. The author noted that the timing of the trip was suspicious given that large federal government educational tenders for the modernization of equipment worth up to 66.5 million US per region would soon be conducted.  

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Apple Slaps Google with a Motion to Compel Compliance with a Subpoena

T 01 DD Patently Legal
Apple has filed a notice of motion, motion to compel compliance with a subpoena with the court in Northern California which seeks to compel Google Inc. to comply with the August 27, 2012 subpoena issued by the Northern California Court. The anticipated discovery would assist Apple in the preparation of its case in Motorola Mobility v Apple. Motorola has accused Apple of infringing several of its patents, and Apple has counterclaimed, asserting several of its own patents against Motorola. Apple alleges that seven of its patents are infringed by Motorola's mobile phones and tablets that perform specific functionalities or features enabled, executed, or supported by Google's Android mobile operating system and related proprietary software applications.  

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Apple Thinks Enterprise: 128GB iPad Launching Next Week

T 01 - Patently Informative
Apple is continually focusing the iPad for the enterprise and starting on February 5, Apple will be introducing new 128GB versions of the fourth generation iPad. Retail pricing will be $799 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi model and $929 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Today's press release states that the iPad continues to have a significant impact on business and virtually all of the Fortune 500 and 85 percent of the Global 500 are currently deploying or testing the iPad. The increase in storage is to support companies that are regularly using large files associated with 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, project blueprints, music and more. Obviously Apple listened to their customers like AutoCAD who were quoted in Apple's press release. Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products for Autodesk stated that AutoCAD "files are often large and highly detailed," and so the new iPad with 128GB will be a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data. Apple takes the lead on storage capacity on tablets, as Microsoft's RT tablet is stuck at 64GB and the Samsung Galaxy Tab is at the bottom of the pile with a paltry 16GB.

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