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January 2011

Apple Delves into Three Dimensional Multi-Touch Skins

1b - Cover - New Invention. Crayons Not Included - Jan 2011. Apple Patent report 
When Apple introduced the iPhone in January 2007, it turned the mobile phone industry on its head. It changed everything we knew about smartphones and threw out the manual. That's what secret out-of-the-blue technology could do when applied just right. With the iPhone's success, the Crazy Ones of Cupertino went into high gear. They were scribbling ideas on bar napkins as their teams feverishly pushed the idea of what Multi-Touch was and more importantly, could be. Today you'll learn about their new Three Dimensional Multi-Touch skin technology; an idea that could explode into a plethora of future product concepts.   

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MicroUnity Systems Engineering Dragging Apple Back to Court

1 - cover - microunity systems engineering vs apple - jan 2011 patent infringement case 
MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. of Santa Clara, California has launched another patent infringement law suit against Apple and nineteen others in the telecom and handset sectors including AT&T, Nokia, Samsung, Verizon, Texas Instruments, HTC Corporation, Palm, Google and Qualcomm. We covered their initial lawsuit against Apple back in March 2010. In this new case, the entire focus is on a single patent which is challenging Apple's A4 processor and all its related products.    

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Apple Files for "Ping" Trademark Protection in Europe & China

1 - Cover - Ping trademark filing , Apple, Jan 2011 
It's been an interesting month for Ping, Apple's new social network for music service. Last week we discovered through a patent filing that Apple has been working on a new high octane iTunes App that tightly ties into Ping and overnight we discovered that Apple has filed for trademark protection for Ping in both China and Europe. Apple has filed for protection under six International Classes covering everything under the sun including online social networking services, digital music, telecommunications, education, entertainment services, promotional items and more.  

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Introducing: The Apple Patent Song

1 f - Cover - The Apple Patent Song - Jonathan Mann 
In July 2010, Jonathan Mann found himself center stage with Steve Jobs who played his song called The iPhone Antenna Song. Jonathan and his band will be performing at Macworld 2011 this Saturday in San Francisco. Jonathan's latest tune is called "The Apple Patent Song." He emailed me this afternoon with a link to his new video for the song and I thought it would be fun to post it and wish Jonathan the best for this weekend. Check out the YouTube video after the break and have some fun.  

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Apple Pushes Research into Motion Keyboards for MacBooks +

1 - cover - apple patent jan 2011 - Apple pushes research into motion keyboards for Macbooks + 
A pair of new Apple patent applications have surfaced this month at the USPTO that clearly illustrate Apple's research efforts are mounting in the area of motion sensing and motion tracking. The first patent is all about controlling keyboard and gesture command sensitivities to accommodate public commuters while they work. The second is more dramatic and points to a new hybrid motion tracking desktop keyboard. The thing is that the latter is also being considered for use in Apple's MacBook line up. This would eliminate the use of trackpad and need for a touch display. There's no doubt that Apple is pushing hard to find a way to implement gestures on Apple's desktop and notebook products to support OS X Lion and beyond. At this point however, it's a little too early in the game to call the winner. Update 3:20  PM PST: New details have emerged about the motion tracking keyboard and are detailed herein.    

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Future iPad Could Provide New Connector & Grounding Options

1 - Cover - future iPad & Dock could have more connecting and grounding options - apple, Jan 2011 
A new Apple patent focuses on grounding future iPads in superior ways so that touch values don't get distorted when the iPad isn't being held by the user. For example, a user could be resting their iPad down on a wooden coffee table or a leather sofa so as to read a book or surf the web. In these situations, the iPad isn't being properly grounded and could begin to cause the iPad's touch commands to behave incorrectly due to improper grounding. Apple's solution includes adding additional ports to make it easier to ground the iPad and a new notification system to warn the user that the iPad requires to be grounded for proper operation. 

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Apple introduces us to the Personalized Shopping Avatar

1 - cover - apple introduces us to the Personalized Shopping Avatar - Jan 2011 
Apple has long been researching the field of avatars in context with next generation shopping experiences. Their initial research popped up in 2008 in context to a future avatar-centric Apple Store. A year later, Apple introduced us to the head-tracking system in relation to future avatar movements matching our real-world movements and we also learned about the future of 3D internet experiences. While the first generation of avatar creation was rather hokey, like avatars associated with Microsoft's Xbox, next generation avatars show promising realism. It's that realism that will give life to Apple's new personalized shopping avatar application. It will allow users to visualize what clothing, jewelry or accessories will look like on them before purchasing the items from a virtual retailer. The technology will also eventually apply to assisting user's redesign their living room with new furniture that they're thinking of buying or assisting doctors in their communication with patient's over the net.   

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Apple Wins Patent for a High Tactility (Magic) Glove System

1 - cover - high tactility glove system - apple patent jan 2011 
One of the surprises that surfaced at the US Patent and Trademark Office this morning, was a granted patent for a new Magic Glove System from Apple. Being that Apple loves the word Magic,  why not precast it as such right out of the gate. The proposed high tactility glove system isn't as magical as a projection-type of touch panel that was revealed in November. Then again, patents are about concepts and Apple is clearly working on several solutions relating to working with an iPhone in colder weather. Perhaps we'll see one of these solutions come to market sometime in the next year or two.  

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Apple Wins Trackpad, iPhone & Gesturing on Hover Device Patents

1 - Cover - apple patents for magic trackpad, iPhone & gesturing on hover devices - jan 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 13 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Some of the notables within this group include the iPhone's Wireless Communications Circuitry, the technology behind the MacBook and Magic Trackpads including haptics and haptels – and lastly a major win for gesturing. The gesturing patent interestingly relates to the iPad and/or larger surfaces including future "hover" surfaces where real-world gestures could be introduced.    

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HP to Veer Right into Apple's Face

1 - Cover -  HP to focus and Veer Right into Apple's Face - Jan 2011 
Apple and HP have always had a peaceful co-existence. The Woz started with HP and both he and Steve Jobs deeply respect HP. Apple was all-to-happy to make HP an iPod partner in 2004. It was also reported last October that "HP executives gushed about a printing partnership with Apple and the iOS." And Apple just bought a 96 acre Cupertino campus from HP. That's as cozy as it gets in Silicon Valley. But competitors they are and this is the year that HP will veer right into Apple's face.  

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Apple Dreams Up a New User Friendly Connector System

1 - Cover - Apple Dreams Up a New User Friendly Connector System - Jan 2011 apple patent 
While Apple is statistically the leading mobile devices company in the world today, the company has always been known for being a consumer friendly company in terms of selling easy to use hardware and software. In a patent application published yesterday by the USPTO, Apple is once again attempting to make the average consumer's life a little easier by inventing a new user friendly connector system. Some hardware systems have a plethora of ports and trying to mate the right connector to the right port isn't always easy for the non-geek. Apple's new system contemplates using various schemes to simplify that process by including magnetic connectors, haptic actuators that vibrate and other unique approaches to make setting up a new device, friendly. Sometimes simple is cool.  

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To Mac Music Geeks: Eight New GarageBand Patents Have Surfaced

1Final - Cover - Seven of Apple's GarageBand Patents Surface 
Eight of Apple's GarageBand patents have surfaced for those who are both geek and musician. The patents cover methods pertaining to such matters as collectively adjusting music tracks; adjusting a variable tempo of an audio file independent of a global tempo; adjusting tracks in a musical arrangement; enabling a user to generate and manipulate string-instrument chord grids; being able to double or replace a recorded sound; and positioning a virtual sound capturing device in a graphical user interface (GUI).   

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Apple Working on High Octane iTunes App for Ping +

1 - cover - apple working on high Octane iTunes app for social networking - jan 2011 
A new Apple patent application has surfaced today that describes how users will be able to better control audio and visual outputs for their iOS devices. Apple states that the new visualizer is similar to the one currently available on iTunes, but not operationally. The new system works on fine-tuning itself to the user's environment, especially for those in high octane exercise or party environments. The system appears to take Apple's iTunes DJ app to the next level. The new system employs a new physiological sensor which monitors your heart and breathing rates while you're dancing so as to adjust the music and light show accordingly. The new system appears to have been designed with Apple's new social networking app Ping in mind.   

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Apple Gets Closer to a Virtual Keyboard for the iMac +

1 - cover  - apple gets closer to a virtual keyboard for the iMac + 
This morning, Apple revealed their research into integrating a display into devices like the Magic Mouse and Trackpad. The same team is also shown to be working on another project that would bring an optional full sized virtual keyboard to the iMac. The patent covers Apple's research into advancing a haptics system that would finally provide users with a sense that the virtual keyboard is in fact a regular keyboard. Of course one of the key advantages of such of a system isn't revealed in this patent, but rather a 2006 patent wherein they illustrate the possibilities of a virtual keyboard morphing into other types of inputs like a gaming pad or a musical keyboard. That's where the real fun begins.  

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Apple Considers Integrating a Display into their Magic Mouse

1D - Cover - apple considers integrating a display into their magic mouse  -  jan 2011 
On January 20, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's Magic Mouse. Apple is working on combining the Magic Mouse's touch surface with either an OLED or specialized display surface made of collimated optical glass that contains a unique magnifying capability. The display will be able to display a calculator when in use with Apple's Numbers app or be able to magnify text when using Apple's Pages app. The interface could be used for other applications in the future, and an iPhone keypad isn't out of the question.  

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Apple Service Mark Amended to Reflect Social Networking

1C - Cover - Apple - A social networking website for entertainment purposes - Jan 2011 
Late last week, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest important trademark/service mark application update for "Apple" under application 85120231. Apple had originally filed a service mark application that would cover Apple, the brand itself, for social networking services one day prior to Ping being introduced. Yesterday the USPTO registered a Trademark "Snapshot Amendment & Mail Processing Stylesheet" form reflecting the changes that Apple was requested to make. Apple obviously regards social networking as an important piece of the mobile device revolution and their brand name being associated with this movement is crucial.    

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Apple Launches Patent Infringement Lawsuit against 3S Graphics

1 - cover - Apple vs. 3S Graphics - jan 2011 
Apple has initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against S3 Graphics, Inc. a Cayman Islands Corporation and S3 Graphics, Inc. a Delaware Corporation in the Northern District of California. The summons dated January 13, 2011 was issued and revealed today. At the moment the details are a little sketchy.   

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Apple Wins their Third "Light Display" Patent in Three Months

1 - Cover - Apple wins third light display patent in three months - Jan 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 15 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include battery assembly and motion sensing management for the iPhone along with patents for Apple's OS X Dashboard, AppleScript and Universal Dock. Yet the one granted patent that was a standout today by far was one covering Apple's work on a new "Light Display." The patent reveals a new contemplated light-reflecting structure that would be built right into the bezel of a device like the iPad to better detect touch from a finger or new light-pen.  

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Next Generation Interfaces Give New Meaning to Mind Control

1 - Cover - next gen interfaces give new meaning to mind control 
In December 2009 we explored MIT's Pranav Mistry's SixthSense wearable device that merged an iPod-like device with air-gesturing capabilities as part of a future interface concept. In June 2010 we delved into John Underkoffler's interface vision involving what he calls "g-speak - a Spatial Operating Environment." In today's report, we'll provide you with a brief 3D Internet update and wander into the workings of a futuristic interface that gives new meaning to the term Mind Control.  

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Apple Creates Customizable Access to the App Store for Enterprise

1 - Cover - Apple advances app store for enterprise - jan 2011 
Although Apple's App Store debuted in 2008, Apple immediately went to work on a version of their store for the enterprise that would limit employee's access to various types of applications for their company-centric iOS devices. 

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Apple Simplifies the Click Wheel, On-Screen Controls & Gets Goofy

1 - Cover - Apple Simplifies the click wheel, on screen controls & gets goofy - jan 13, 2011 
On January, 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published several interesting patent applications from Apple. In this report we cover three that primarily relate to Apple's portables. Firstly, Apple is seeking ways to simply the iPod's old click wheel so that it could be much thinner with less moving parts. Secondly, Apple wants to change touch screen controls to be invisible when not in use and lastly, Apple wants to ham it up in FaceTime with a likely new fun app that could alter your voice so that it could sound like a scary alien, monster or ranting Tea Partier.   

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Apple Files 45 iPad UI Design Patents in Europe

1b - cover - 45 iPad UI design Trademarks filed in Europe - Jan 2011 
Apple has filed forty-five iPad UI Design Patents with the European Patent and Trademark Office. Oddly, the designs were listed in the European database sometime in January 2011 even though they're back-dated to July 27, 2010. It's unknown at this time who caused the delay. With so many copy cats gunning for Apple's iPad these days, no wonder Apple has to patent every possible iPad UI element imaginable.  

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Apple's CDMA iPhone Testing and Label Documents Surface at FCC

1B  - Cover - Apple's CDMA iPhone testing doc shows up at FCC - Jan 11, 2011 
As the Verizon-Apple special event comes to a close, Apple's emissions testing for their CDMA iPhone surface along with the traditional label placement drawing from the FCC. The Verizon iPhone will be noted as the A1349 model. The 16 and 32 GB units were tested on January 5, 2011.   

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Apple Wins their First Solar Powered Patent for Portables

1 - Cover - Apple wins solar power device patent - jan 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of ten newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notable that stands out amongst all is Apple's first solar powered portable device patent. The patent pertains to all portables from MacBooks to the iPhone. The patent presents methods of adding solar power into the power mix of portables via a voltage converter. This is Apple's fourth solar powered patent and is now seen as a bona fide emerging trend for future portables.   

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