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August 2010

Tritton Technologies Files Patent Infringement Case Against Apple

1 - cover - Tritton Technologies vs. Apple 
On August 30, 2010, a San Diego based gaming technology company by the legal name of Tritton Tech of Texas, LLC and known as Tritton Technologies, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo and Apple Inc., in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The company claims that Apple's iPhone 4 violates their 1993 patent which covers accelerometers for sensing linear translation along three axes of a Cartesian coordinate system and three angular rate sensors for sensing angular rotation about the three axes.

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Apple Wins Major Patents for iPhone Gesturing, iMovie, iTunes +

1 - Cover - Granted patents aug 31, 2010 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 19 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include five industrial design patents relating to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPod nano. Among the standard granted patents, we see that Apple has finally picked up two iMovie related patents that date all the way back to the year 2000 – as well as one for the iTunes interface and two for LCD related technologies. Yet the one that is likely the most important for Apple today is a major motion, gesturing and touch related patent that covers all of Apple's iOS related devices that will certainly provide Apple with a larger sledgehammer going into any law suit current or future.

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A Look Back at Apple's Summer Patents, Surprises & Issues

1 - V2 - Cover - apple's summer patents surprises, issues & rumors
Who knew that the Summer of 2010, and particularly August, would produce two of the most popular patents of the year? Who knew that the Summer of 2010 would unravel so many interesting surprises? In today's report we'll review some of the more interesting twists and turns that came to light this summer that are definitely pointing to some rather exciting new developments that are bound to dominate the news cycle in the second half of 2011. Yet let it be said that the summer of 2010 didn't go without its share of controversies and we'll cover the ones that definitely made their mark. But at the end of the day it's really all about some of the products that are in Apple's future; products that will once again have the competition scrambling in panic for many years to come.

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Apple Considers New Audio Jack with Built-in Mic for Future iPhone

1 cover audio jack, mic combo 
One of Apple's new patent applications published yesterday describes a possible future iPhone audio Jack with built-in mic combination so as to save space should Apple decide to add new ports or future features.

 

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An Apple A4 Chip Related Patent Surfaces

1 - Cover - Apple - an A4 Chip Related Patent - graphic 
Today, in a newly published patent application from Apple Inc., we get to see a glimpse behind one of the many processes behind their new powerhouse A4 processor. Apple's patent reveals systems and methods for providing a system-on-a-substrate. In particular, this patent relates to systems and methods for reducing the total size of a system's circuitry by providing all of the components of the system on the same microchip. A microchip that the patent reveals is behind the iPad, iPhone and likely to be used in other future Apple products such as Apple TV.

 

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Apple Wins Major Touch Technology Patent along with Patents for the Original iPod, iPod touch, Graphic Gradients, Shake & More

1 - Cover - major touch tech, Original ipod + ipod touch 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nine newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include design wins for both the original iPod and the iPod touch along with other patents covering Apple's now defunct Shake application, the technology behind multi-conic graphic gradients and most importantly, a major touch related patent that may have played a role in Apple's latest Magic Trackpad desktop device.  

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The Mother Lode: Welcome to the iMac Touch

1 Final Cover - Apple iMac Touch with Flex Base - Collage 
While most of us were getting ready for the iPad's arrival in January and Patently Apple hard at work preparing our major series called the Tablet Prophecies, a major iMac Touch patent was being quietly published in Europe. And while some of the graphic figures of today's patent did slip out in Europe, we were never able to verify whether they were legitimate or not. Well, today we finally get to post the Mother Lode of all information concerning the iMac Touch and it's absolutely brilliant! Ironically we had just posted a report on Saturday titled "Apple Patents Point to Future MacBooks with IPS & Touch Displays" when we discovered the European Filing. The naysayers will have to eat crow on this one, because Apple's method of transitioning from OS X to iOS is clearly outlined for both the iMac and MacBook – and it's a grand slam home run. Imagine having an iMac on your desktop one minute and a gigantic iPad the next. Imagine playing iGames on this dream machine - Wow! Imagine reading a double-page book on this - Unbelievable! Apple takes the mystery out of how OS X could finally co-exist with iOS on a Mac and you've got to see this one to believe it.

 

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Apple Patents Point to Future MacBooks with IPS & Touch Displays

1 - Cover - MacBook Touch

On July 19, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of ten meticulously detailed Apple patent applications covering the technology behind Apple's high-resolution LED-backlit IPS displays. These high-end displays could be found on today's iPad, iPhone 4 and even on the latest upgraded iMacs. According to Apple's newly published patents, it appears that Apple's MacBook line-up is destined to gain these incredible displays as well – even though they already possess a pristine LED-backlit display with wide-angle viewing, today. Yet the big news buried deep within all ten of this week's display-centric patents is a clear-cut fact that the MacBook is destined to also gain a multi-touch display. There's no wishy-washy lingo about it and today's report will show you the details. 

 

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Apple, Taking Target Marketing Seriously

1 - Cover - Apple - Taking Target Marketing Seriously - small version 
Apple's new advertising centric webpage states that "iAd rich media ads bring motion and emotion to mobile advertising through branded experiences that entertain and inform. With the iAd logo on each ad, your target Apple audience will know a great experience awaits them behind the banner." Yeeeesss, Apple is taking Target Marketing seriously – very seriously. In fact we learned just yesterday that Apple has recently acquired a new powerful geo-location patent that packs quite the punch. It's focused on delivering informative content proactively rather than reactively in response to a person's manual query to a service or human. Beyond delivering advanced marketing retail services, the patent provides us with a series of other feasible life-based scenarios. For instance, the new service could give home users the ability to announce a Garage Sale that they're having to anyone in a given vicinity or send emergency live Amber Alerts to your iPhone along with photos of the missing child in question. Advanced geolocation services could go far beyond just commerce.

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Apple May Add Speed Enhanced Autofocus to Future Cameras

1 - Cover - apple - autofocus camera feature for iSight and Portables, iPhone etc 
On August 19, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that appears to be describing a next generation autofocus feature for future iOS devices that will add speed enhanced autofocus operations. Technically speaking, any of the camera features described in Apple's patent could equally apply to iSight.

 

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Apple Keeps Advancing Portable Device Security

1b - cover - apple portable security 
Being the leading portable devices company in the world, Apple is constantly advancing new security features so that consumers and business executives could be assured that their sensitive data is locked down. Apple's iOS based devices currently come with a certain degree of security with features like "Find My iPhone" (or iPad etc), high end encryption and remote wipe. Apple is also working on advanced biometrics such as using heart sensors to detect an unauthorized user which is once again covered in today's security patent. Some of the other new security features that may one day work themselves into Apple's portable devices include the device taking a photo of the thief (smile now) or recording the thief's voice. Apple's iOS security is getting so smart, that it'll even know what kind of vehicle that the thief is using your device in – be it a plane, train or automobile and notify the proper authorities.

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Apple Wins Major Patents for Audio UI for iPhone and Multi-Touch

1b - Cover - Granted Patents - Aug 17, 2010 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 23 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. yesterday. The notables within that group included one relating to design wins for the iMac and the iPhone's Unlock feature as well as patents for Apple's Final Cut Pro Audio and the MacBook's magnetic latch. Yet the major wins of the day went to Apple's Multi-Touch/Multi-Event touch screen patent and their Media Player's Audio-centric UI that has only surfaced in-part. The advanced audio UI described in the patent goes far beyond the simplistic usage of audio commands that are being implemented in Apple's current iPod Shuffle and iPhone via Voice Control. Let's hope that Apple could get their advanced audio-centric user interface technology to market this year so that they could further challenge Google's latest Android features relating to voice commands.   

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Could Apple Deliver Sandy Bridge Based iMacs for Christmas?

1 - Sandy Bridge When will Sandy Bridge based macs hit the market 
Most of us in Techland want to know how early Intel's next generation architecture known as Sandy Bridge will be. Although Sandy Bridge was originally scheduled to be released sometime between mid to late 2011 – Intel had been whispering differing early release dates. Apparently the rumor mill has decided to try and upstage Paul Otellini's keynote next month by releasing supposed "secret" slides and other data pertaining to Sandy Bridge ahead of time. That works just fine for Intel who's hoping that the rumors and buzz surrounding their new chip architecture will drown out any possible positive press coming out of AMD's forthcoming presentation at Stanford University's Hot Chips Conference later this month concerning "Bulldozer" – AMD's challenger to Sandy Bridge. At the end of the day, the rumors surrounding Sandy Bridge's release date may have been falsely volleyed so as to provide Intel's Otellini with a chance to score a little shock and awe of his own during his upcoming keynote. The question remaining is - could any good news about an earlier release of Sandy Bridge translate into new iMacs in time for Christmas?

 

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Is Apple Describing the Next iPod Shuffle or Something New?

1 - COVER - HMM... WHAT'S IN THE FINE PRINT - WITH HMM... - IN BLUE 
A new Apple patent that surfaced this month was found to be describing features that could one day unfold in either a next generation iPod Shuffle or iPod Nano. The patent doesn't provide us with a clear patent figure to distinguish which of the two devices that the patent really pertains to. It could be an iPod Shuffle that will be gaining a touch display or an iPod touch that will be gaining VoiceOver. The lines are definitely blurred. This brief report points you to a few key features that may eventually work themselves into a future iteration of one of Apple's smaller media players. Then again, the patent may be pointing to a device yet unknown.

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Apple App will Create a Comic Book from Your Video Game Play

1D - Cover - Apple program - turn your personal video game action into an ebook or Comic 
On Monday we read about the possibility of Apple choosing AMD's Fusion Processor for Apple TV to boost gaming. Today we've learnt from a new Apple patent that a wild new application could be in development that would record your personal journey through a video game like Mass Effect and then give you the option of turning it into a custom comic or ibook when you're done playing. What a phenomenal idea. Video games like Mass Effect not only allow you to customize the appearance of the characters that you'll be playing, they also allow you to choose which direction the story line could actually play out by choosing different dialog options. The possibilities are almost endless in how the game's ending could play out. Instead of just discussing how your version of a game played out with a friend, you could now show them with your very own customized comic. Now how cool is that? Our report today takes you through some of the mechanics of how this magic is actually accomplished - in addition to providing you with various screenshots of the Mass Effect video game as they pertain to this patent. At the end of the day, I see a possible new iLife app in the making here that could be associated with with a new online Apple-centric comic book store print service. This could be a lot of fun for die-hard gamers!

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A Special Message from Patently Apple

Patently apple - thanks, V6

Apple Introduces us to the Telephonic MacBook

1 - Cover - Apple's telephonic MacBook 
Welcome to the patent that's all about the next generation telephonic MacBook. For Macites who are road warriors, this could definitely be the patent of the year for you. With LTE and other 4G networks rolling out in 2011, it's clear that Apple is preparing to deliver some pretty interesting MacBooks for us to get excited about in the coming months and years. It's equally clear that Apple has been exploring and testing out several next generation antenna technologies since April of 2008. And while Apple's patent shows us a few of the ways that the telephonic antenna could be implemented in the MacBook, the patent also opens the door to some rather interesting twists that could spice things up for the next generation MacBook. Apple touts that they're the leading portable devices company in the world – and this patent shows us once again that Apple's engineers are out to stay number one for many years to come.

 

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Apple May Adopt Fingerprint Scanning in Future Portables

1 - Cover - Apple Inc, Purchases flat panel image sensor
We first introduced you to the Telephonic MacBook this morning and now we're presenting you with somewhat of an adjunct to that report. If you would have blinked yesterday, you could have easily passed over one of Apple's secretive little patent gems. Apparently Apple has purchased a patent from three Oregon based engineers that specifically relates to flat panel image sensor technology. The vast majority of Apple's new patent relates to technology in relationship to next generation x-ray applications. However, there's one application that Apple could be thinking of for this technology and that's Fingerprint Scanning. The patent points to this application in passing - but may in fact be one of the new technologies that Apple could be bringing to their multi-touch display portables sometime in the future. As a security feature, I think it's great. But it's still a technology that creeps me out and I don't think I'm alone on that one.

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Apple Wins Patents for the iTunes Store, Aperture, Flex Arm & More

1 Cover - Apple wins patent for iTunes and iTunes Store aug 2010 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 21 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one relating to an iMac-like computer flex arm, a few design wins for the MacBook Air's SuperDrive and the Apple keyboard with numeric keypad, a great win for Apple's Aperture in relation to RAW processing and finally, the most important of all, a granted patent for Apple's iTunes and integrated iTunes Store.

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Apple Considering a New "Exciting" Feature for Future Devices

1 - Cover - Apple Inc, Exciter Technology 
Late last week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed various concepts behind a newly advanced Authentication Key generator in development. Some of the patent delves into the tap-tap process similarly used with NFC, which allows for two devices to swap information wirelessly and securely. Yet the key to this patent is that Apple is devising a way to make swapping information between two devices even easier, without tapping via a technology that they dub as the "Exciter." Interestingly, the communication between two devices goes beyond just iPhones. The two devices could be any combination of devices that include an iPod, a Blackberry, MacBook/notebook, camera and/or medical equipment. More importantly, is that this technology will apply to a new class of device that Apple simply lists in their patent as the cyclocomputer - which supports Apple's revelations about the Smart Bike. The simpler method of wirelessly swapping information between two bikers using the Exciter methodology is a perfect application for this technology.

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Apple to Adopt AMD Fusion & New Antenna Design for iPhone

1b - Cover - Next Gen Apple TV to adopt AMD processor - Fusion 
The news out of Taiwan this morning is that Apple will adopt AMD's new Fusion APUs for the next generation of Apple TV. This blockbuster news, if true,  could open the door to other Apple-AMD based products later in 2011. This morning's news also adds some other interesting products due to arrive in early 2011 - such as a new ARM Cortex-A9 based processor for the iPad and a second smaller 7 inch iPad. The news also hits a nerve with the revelation that Apple will redesign their iPhone with a forged metal back plate with integrated antenna to remedy any concerns over the iPhone's antenna reception.

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Apple Points to a New Workout Reminder App that Thinks

1 - cover - Apple Inc, Workout Reminder App

In addition to Apple introducing us to their Smart Bike system this week, they also added another workout related application that describes a new workout reminder system that is intended to keep users on track with their workout goals. In particular, the patent is directed to systems and methods for reminding a user about workout goals spanning multiple workouts. In fact, the system could actually calculate your objectives in contrast to your stated time goal and make independent suggestions as to what you'll need to do in order to achieve the goals that you've set out for yourself. In theory it sounds great, but only time will tell if this little wonder is actually intelligent or just an electronic pain in the neck. At the end of the day, when you add this application to Apple's growing portfolio of sporting based patents, you could plainly see the importance that Apple is placing on the future of this health conscious market. All we need now is for Apple to press the "Go" button – and begin rolling some of this stuff out.

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Apple Working with Shopping Centers to Jazz up Sales

1 - Apple Inc, new iPhone centric shopping center app in the works 
Last week Apple introduced us to both a new shopping app and the Virtual Closet. The next in this line of shopping apps is one that works directly with in-mall servers. The new iPhone centric app uses GPS to track your whereabouts in the Mall and to assist you in finding the right stores at the right time for hot sales through what Apple calls a "heat map." The new iPhone app covers a lot of ground here – from being a handy in-mall directory, to allowing you to use your iPhone as an electronic key to access services like a private bathroom, to making an in-mall restaurant or movie reservation, to assisting you with parking, to finding a bell boy and right through to social networking with your friends at the mall. Being that Apple's screenshots display names like Sears, Target and the Gap prominently, it's obvious that Apple has been working with several major chain participants in designing this application in order to modernize our shopping experiences.

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Apple Introduces us to the Smart Bike

1 - Cover - Apple Inc - the Smart Bike patent 
On August 5, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced Smart Bicycle System in development. The premise is rather like Apple's Nike + iPod system for runners except for cyclists. While the system is for individuals, it's also designed to work with teams of cyclists so that they could communicate with each other on-the-fly about course difficulty or perceived problems. The Bicycle system monitors speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace. The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself. Apple's patent is extraordinarily detailed and packed with interesting twists that the sporting cyclist will really appreciate.

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Apple Tries to Trademark their Famous Glass Store Architecture

1 - Cover - Apple Trademarks Glass Architecture - Apple Store - N.Y. 
On August 4, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for their famous Glass Store Architecture. The design covers Apple's Fifth Avenue retail store in N.Y under TEAS Plus Application 85097331. Apple has already filed a trademark covering their Distinctive Retail Store Layout and possesses a patent covering their in-store glass staircase. With Apple's new store in Shanghai China following their glass architectural styling, it stands to reason why Apple is now trying to formalize this design as a unique Apple trademark.

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