The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 10 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include Apple's MagSafe Power Adapter for the MacBook Pro, a second round design win for the iPhone 4 and another design win for the 13" MacBook Pro. Yet the more interesting wins of the day have to go to Apple's famous "Home" screen button that is incorporated into most iOS devices in addition to a win for a possible new iOS UI regarding stored assets. And finally, Apple's has won yet another key multi-touch patent specifically relating to iOS animations.
Granted Design Patents: iPhone 4 & MacBook Pro
Apple has been granted their second design patent for the iPhone 4. Their first design patent for this sexy beast was only granted last week. The design boasts of black Gorilla Glass and Nitriding Stainless Steel trimming. The design may end up being classic if the whispers of a new design in the works pans out. The new design is likely to replace the back-side glass with aluminum and sport a new antenna design. Apple could be thinking of adding a logo antenna as a December 2010 patent points out. Time will tell, as it's only a whisper for now.
Apple credits CEO Steve Jobs, VP Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and team members Jody Akana, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Jeremy Bataillou, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Patent D633,908 for the iPhone 4, originally filed in Q2 2010.
The MacBook Pro
Apple has been granted a design patent for their 13" MacBook Pro. Although it could be nothing, it should be pointed out that patent figure 1 presents two slot-like demarcations on either side of the MacBook's FaceTime Camera. The patent doesn't acknowledge them in any way. Yet you can't dismiss them on the basis that they're represented with broken-lines because the entire MacBook Design is presented as such. Time will tell if these slots represent anything meaningful.
Apple credits CEO Steve Jobs, VP Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and team members Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Calvin and Vincent Seid, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Patent D633,907 for the iPhone 4, originally filed in Q3 2010.
Granted Patent: the iOS Device "Home Button"
Apple has been granted a patent for their famed iOS device Home Button which allows a user to return to the home or a previous screen to view or access apps and folders. It's a classic iOS device signature design feature.
Apple's Main Patent Claim: To the end user it's a "home button." To legal world it's a little more complicated than that of course and so here is the main patent claim: A button assembly comprising: an actuating button member having a first electrical contact and a second electrical contact, the actuating button member having an outer surface that receives externally applied button actuation pressure from a user; and a collapsible dome having first and second sides and a base attached to the actuating button member, the dome being in a relaxed state when no button actuation pressure is applied to the actuating button member and being in a collapsed state when button actuation pressure is applied to the actuating button member, wherein the dome has a conductive material on the first side that faces the first electrical contact and the second electrical contact and that connects the first and second electrical contacts when the dome is in the collapsed state, and wherein the base has an area defining a footprint for the dome; and a planar housing member that overlaps only part of the footprint, wherein the second side bears against the planar housing member.
Apple credits Adam Mittleman, Robert Scritzky and Bradleas Hamel as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,902,474, originally filed in Q2 2008.
Granted Patent: an iOS UI for Stored Assets
Technically, Apple has been granted a patent for "Graphic representation of assets stored on a portable media device." The graphic representation of the UI presented below is supposedly available on an iPod, according to the patent. Yet I've been unable to find such an interface. When I follow the steps in the patent and put my iPod touch in landscape mode I don't get the UI that they present below. I get Cover Flow pop-up instead. If someone is familiar with this UI, perhaps on the iPad, then please send in a comment at the bottom of our report describing it. For now, we'll consider it to be a new UI until proven otherwise.
Technically Speaking: Apple's abstract states the following: A user interface can deliver enhanced information regarding media assets stored on a portable media device. A graphical user interface for database browsing and navigation can include a list of values of a metadata item and a graphical representation of the distribution of media assets across the values on the list, such as a pie chart where the size of different wedges reflects the fraction of media assets having a particular value. As a user browses a list, the graphical representation can be modified to emphasize the correspondence between different graphical elements and different entries on the list.
Apple credits William Bull and Kourtny as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,904,485, originally filed in Q1 2008.
Granted Patent: iOS Animations
Apple has been granted a key iOS related patent that covers on-screen gestures, scrolling and more.
Apple's patent covers a method for animating a display region, window, or views displayed on the display of a device. The method includes starting at least two animations. The method further includes determinging the progress of each animation in additon to completing each animation based n a single timer. A related granted patent surfaced in August 2010.
Apple credits Andrew Platzer and John Harper as the inventors of granted patent 7,903,115, originally filed for in Q1 2007.
Granted Patent: MagSafe Power Adapter for MacBook Pro
Apple's Main Patent Claim: A cable connector assembly adapted for electrically connecting with a complementary connector comprising: a nonconductive body to form an insulative housing; a plurality of contacts, each contact comprising a contacting portion, each contact located in a passage in the insulative housing; a cable electrically connecting with the plurality of contacts; a first magnetic element to form a front cover and made of metal material and capable of being attracted by the complementary connector, wherein the front cover is assembled to the insulative housing and the contacting portions of the contacts are exposed in the front cover; and a shell to form a rear cover assembled to the insulative housing to enclose the rear of the insulative housing and a front end of the cable.
Apple credits Matthew Rohrbach, Mark Doutt, Bartley Andre, Kanye Lim, John DiFonzo and Jean-Marc Gery as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,901,216 originally filed in Q4 2009.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Final Cut Pro: Apple has also been granted a patent for Final Cut Pro relating to resizing windows. The method involves selecting a seam bordering a window, building a list of windows, and resizing more than one window in response to a single seam movement by a user.
Other Granted Patents Published Today Include: One- Method and apparatus for variable accuracy inter-picture timing specification for digital video encoding; Two - Computer system with graphical user interface including drawer-like windows; Three - Flushness Sims: The media player may include a scroll wheel and a housing including a retention ledge. The retention ledge may maintain the position of the scroll wheel with respect to the housing. A flexible printed circuit may also be included in the media player. The flexible printed circuit may include a first face and a second face. The first face may contact the scroll wheel. The second face may include tactile dome switches. Compressible shims may also form a portion of the media player and may be adjacent the second face. The compressible shims may control the distance between the scroll wheel and the retention ledge. See the associated graphic below.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.