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March 2011

Future iPhones May Incorporate Smart Haptics

Future Apple iPhones May Incorporate Smart Haptics - mar 2011 
Have you ever been in a meeting where someone forgot to set their phone to vibrate for incoming calls? Sometimes to be polite, you may smile at the person because the ringtone is the Flintstones theme or some other silly tune and then there are other times when your nostrils will flare if you're in the middle of a pivotal point in your presentation when the stupid phone will ring. Yes, those are the dumb-phones and Apple wants to change all of that and put smart haptics into their future iPhones to really make them, well, smart. Apple's plans are quite extensive to ensure that no matter what environment you're in, your future iPhone will be able to adapt and/or adjust the alert to whatever is needed and appropriate – autonomously. Yes, like in meetings.  

 

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Apple Considers adding a little Chromatic Magic to their Mouse

Apple Considers Adding a Little Chromatic Magic to their Mouse 
In January of this year we posted a report titled "Apple Considers Integrating a Display into their Magic Mouse." This idea has once again surfaced in a new Apple patent that the US Patent Office published today titled "Incorporating Chromatic Sensors in Computer Mice." The first half of the patent discusses how the Magic Mouse will be able to improve performance when used on highly reflective surfaces such as glass, while the second half of the patent discusses how they'll be able to implement chromatic sensors so as to turn the Magic Mouse into a handheld scanner. This is a really great idea that I hope will come to market instead of being placed into File 13 

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Patent Shows that Apple is Bringing "Spaces" to the iPad

Patent Shows that Apple is Bringing Spaces to the iPad - mar 2011 
In an Apple Discussions forum on Spaces for iPad, Robb Manning stating back in 2010 that having "the ability to touch one button and switch spaces to where I have safari up to do some research would be awesome." Well, today we move closer to that reality. The USPTO has revealed a patent that shows that Apple is bringing Spaces to the iPad. In fact, if you look closely in one patent graphic, you may actually be getting a sneak peek of OS X Lion on iPad. This spices things up a bit wouldn't you agree?  

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Apple Working on a New Power Adapter that will use Solar Energy

Apple Working on a new power adapter that could use solar energy - mar 31, 2011 
In January of this year, Apple won their first solar device related patent. That particular patent presented methods of adding solar power into the power mix of portables via a voltage converter within the device. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent relating to a new power adapter that could utilize solar energy along with other conveniences. Although this could take a little time to come to market, Apple's fifth solar related patent is at least confirming that their R&D teams are prioritizing this green-project.  

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Flabbergasted Nokia Strikes Apple with New Patent Lawsuit

Nokia and Intellisync vs. Apple - mar 29, 2011 
Patently Apple has been keenly watching the ongoing patent war between Apple and Nokia for some time now. We began in May 2010 and again this past February with a report titled "Nokia vs. Apple: Hunting Down Infineon's Documents." Although the patent wars between these two parties have only begun, the fact remains that Nokia lost a key case against Apple last Friday. Although flabbergasted with the verdict, Nokia wasted no time in continuing their scorched earth approach against Apple. In fact, according to new court documents, Nokia and their subsidiary Intellisync have filed a new complaint against Apple alleging Apple has infringed on six additional patents. Patently Apple gives you easy access to all of these patents for your review.  

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Apple's AirPlay May Stem from an Old Home Automation Patent

Apple's AirPlay May Stem from an Old Home Automation Patent - Mar 29, 2011 
In our last granted patent report of the day, we generally explore a rather old yet important patent; One that will provide you with a rudimentary overview of Apple's longer term ambitions of automating both our home and office environments. And yet, in the short term, Apple's patent allows us to see some of the thinking that likely went into their AirPlay feature. In fact, if the illustrations that are presented in this patent ever pan out, then it's obvious that Apple will use a method like Airplay to further automate our various environments beyond the living room. Yet something tells me that home automation is going to take much longer than any of us want to admit.  

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Apple Wins another Original iPhone Touch Panel Patent

Apple Wins another Original iPhone Touch Panel Patent - Apple, mar 29, 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second patent report of the day we focus entirely on one of Apple's original iPhone patents that relate to deep touch panel technology. Being that this patent only became public days before the original iPhone officially debuted, we think that this patent deserves the spotlight. There's no doubt that this vital patent could be used in any current or future patent infringement case brought against Apple or cases that Apple may open against overstepping competitors.  

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Apple Wins Patents for Inductive Charging Docks, Antennas & More

Apple Wins Patents for Inductive Charging Docks, Antennas & Mac Mini - Report Cover mar 29, 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first report of the day, we look at several minor patents including a design win for the Mac Mini that was issued to Apple in China along with Apple's iPhone and iPad antenna system. Yet the most important patent in this first group goes to a series of newly advanced inductive charging docking stations that have never seen the light of day. With HP's TouchPad coming to market this summer with cool wireless charging capabilities, Apple needs to get these patented docks to market before HP scores a major point with consumers this fall.  

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Apple Considers New iOS and iTunes Store UI Elements

Cover II - Apple Considers New iTunes Store Graphics & iOS Elements - march patent 2011 - 
Tampering with a winning user interface is a tricky thing. People don't generally like drastic user interface changes and yet, there are times early on in a new device cycle, where reinvention from within is necessary to keep the competition on the run and in a panic. Apple's iPhone user interface led the way in 2007 and the copycats do what they do best: they copied it. Well, Apple appears to be at it again and sending out signals that change is in the wind. Both in September and December of 2010, Apple hinted that they were considering the use of a new UI element called Spirals: An interesting UI that could be used for media, especially photos. Today, Apple introduces us to something they simply refer to as "Segmented Graphical Representations." It's a new Graphical User Interface element that presents one larger graphic, such as album art, and then segments it into a series of smart interactive tiles. The idea may begin with the iTunes Store, but Apple shows us that it could very well spill over to other iOS elements like the address book and beyond. Leaders lead and Apple is likely to take iOS to the next level sometime in the future. Until then, the competition will just have to sweat it out.   

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Apple Patents iPhoto Face Recognition for iOS + Tripod for iPod

Cover - Apple patent - generating slideshows using facial Detection Information - Mar 2011 
Apple improved facial recognition in iLife 2011's iPhoto while adding new slideshow features and themes. It now appears that Apple is already working on the next round of improvements by adding more advanced facial recognition features to iPhoto for home slideshows or work presentations. Interestingly, the patent shows us that this iPhoto feature is designed to work on iOS devices. Another Apple patent published today discusses a new handheld device latch that will make it easier to access batteries. Apple is mum as to which handheld device the latch is for. And lastly, there's news of a third party developer working on a tripod for iPod and other iOS devices that could help us take steadier videos and photos. That was only a matter of time, though it probably won't be ready in time for this summer.   

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Apple Trademarks their Mag-nificent "Smart Cover" Accessory

1 - Apple Trademarks their Mag-nificent Smart Cover Accessory - Mar 23, 2011 
On March 23, 2011, Apple's trademark application for "Smart Cover" was made public in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office database. The trademark, which was originally filed for in Jamaica this past January, came under the spotlight during the launch of the iPad 2. This isn't our typical trademark report as there's a unique twist to it that's definitely worth noting.   

 

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Apple Wins Patents for Shake, Spotlight and the Clickwheel

Apple Wins Patents for Shake, Spotlight and the Clickweel - mar 22, 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our third and final report of the day, we say goodbye to Shake, get ready to bury the clickwheel and lastly – take a look at pattern searching via Apple's Spotlight – that's still alive and well.  

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Apple Advances the Antenna System for the Telephonic MacBook

Mar 22, 2011 - Apple Continues to Advance the Telephonic MacBook's Antenna System 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The most interesting patent came to us as a complete surprise this morning as it wasn't originally covered. More than likely, the patent was filed in a way so as to escape the regular channels. The good news is that this patent advances Apple's new antenna system from previous applications. We were first introduced to Apple's intentions for a Telephonic MacBook back in August 2010. This was followed up with two related granted patents for a cellular antenna for a MacBook that were published respectively in September 2010 and February 2011. Apple continues to advance the concept of a Telephonic MacBook which will hopefully see the light of day sometime in the future – hopefully sooner rather than later.  

 

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Apple Wins Smart Shoe, Earphones with Mic & iPod Touch Patents

Apple wins smart shoe, earphone with mic & iPod touch patents - mar 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first of three patent reports today, we point to several notable granted patents which include Apple's seventh industrial design win for their iPod touch, another which relates to the earphone jack associated with their earphone with mic accessory and a win for Apple's Bonjour technology. Yet the most interesting granted patent in this first lot that we review today, definitely goes to a smart shoe patent. This patent relates to a sporting shoe wear-out system that Apple has yet to bring to market that would warn athletes when their running shoe, ski boot and/or soccer cleats were no longer properly supporting their foot so as to avoid injury.  

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China Grants Apple 11 Design Patents for the iPhone 4

Chna Grants Apple 11 Design Patents for the iPhone 4 - Mar 20, 2011 
Just as rumors begin to surface that the iPhone 5 may sport a metal back panel, China grants Apple eleven design patents for the iPhone 4. While the iPhone 4's design may be highly controversial, the wins in China coming back to back with Apple's many US design wins, clearly illustrates Apple's desire to protect this sleek design against their many copycat competitors.  

 

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Apple Sued for Incorporating Image Sensors into Macs & iPhone

Imperium (IP) Holdings vs. Apple +, Mar 2011 
Imperium (IP) Holdings, Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and other smartphone heavyweights such as Kyocera, LG Electronics, RIM, Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola. Yet the case really isn't about smartphones as it is about the cameras they incorporate. Imperium Holdings holds five distinct patents that primarily deal with image sensors.   

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The EU Grants Apple 24 iOS Icon Design Patents

1b - The EU Grants Apple 24 iOS Icon Design Patents - Mar 2011 
It seems that Europe is getting all of Apple's trademark business these days. Since January there have been five major filings alone. It Began with Ping, Apple's branding for their social network for music. The others that soon followed included Ping's associated "Bubbles" logo; "Places" for social networking; "Apple" covering everything under the sun; and finally the famous Granny Smith logos that once belonged to the Beatles. Well, the trend continues today as the EU has just granted Apple 24 iOS icon related design patents. Apple's European copycat competitors are now on notice.

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Apple & Victoria's Secret Sued in a Not-So-Sexy Patent Lawsuit

Cordance Corporation vs. Apple - Mar 17, 2011 
Cordance Corporation and Efficient Online Purchasing have launched a patent infringement case against Apple, Victoria's Secret and PayPal. The case specifically against Apple involves their iTunes purchasing/transaction system which allegedly infringes on Cordance's 2004 patent. Updated.  

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Apple Considers New Flat Cabling System to Control Power Surges

Apple Considers New Flat Cabling to Control Power Surges - Mar 17, 2011 
Apple loves Industrial design and that's evident in their string of creative breakthroughs for products such as the iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, iMac and MacBook Air. Furthermore, they're fanatical passion for detail ventures into every facet of design from their stunningly crafted iPhone which includes advanced nitriding stainless steel and exotic materials like Liquid Metal right through to their New York store's insanely inspiring glass architecture and their other distinctive mall outlets. Every facet of an Apple product is considered for redesign at some point in time, and today we learn that Apple is considering the use a new flat cabling system that could end our tangled-wire blues and perhaps even prevent nasty power surges.  

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Apple Files Trademarks for Smart and Touch Instruments + Icons

Apple Files Trademarks for Smart and Touch Instruments + Icons - March 16, 2011 
On March 15, 2011, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office finally published five trademark applications that Apple had filed for earlier in the month. The applications cover two formal trademarks for "Smart Instruments" and "Touch Instruments." Additionally, Apple has applied for three Smart Instrument Icons including "guitar," "bass" and "keyboard." The filings cover a comprehensive if not sweeping list of product protections under wares and services. Notably, Apple has included "Toys" as a breakout category. In context, you have to wonder if Apple is eyeing the gaming and/or toy markets for a future game or app to compete with the likes of Guitar Hero and/or the new Guitarsmith. It would make for a great Christmas gift to go along with that shiny new iPad under the tree, wouldn't you agree? Time will tell. Updated August 9, 2011 with US filing information.   

 

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Ogma Strikes Again & Apple Sues Motorola for Breach of Contract

Ogma vs. Apple & others 
Court documents have revealed today that Ogma LLC has launched a second patent infringement case against Apple dealing with video formats and aspect ratios for displays. Their first lawsuit was reported on this past weekend. On a second front, Patently Apple has just learned that Apple has launched a breach of contract lawsuit against Motorola. With a number of sealed documents found within a barrage of documents, we find it difficult to assess what the heart of this case is all about at this point in time. But it's certainly an interesting twist in the Apple vs. Motorola legal wars.   

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Apple Wins Key 2007 iPhone and Related Multi-Touch Patents

Apple Wins key 2007 iPhone and Related Multi-Touch Technology + , mar 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 9 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. There are several notables within this group which include a Resolution Independent User Interface Design along with three industrial design wins for Apple's iPhone 3G dock, their 2009 iPod nano and the original 2007 iPhone. Yet the perhaps the most important granted patent in this lot today goes to a key multi-touch patent. This 2007 patent is definitely a defacto classic in defining the gigantic leap forward that smartphones took at that very moment in time. The iPhone was born and changed the smartphone market forever.   

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Apple Files for Apple Logo Trademarks Once used by the Beatles

Apple files for famed apple logo trademarks once used by the beatles - march 2011 
Apple Corps had won two previous trademark infringement cases against Apple Inc. in the years 1981 and 1991 respectfully. Their third case against Apple Inc., which was filed in 2003, ended up in a legal settlement in 2007. In that settlement, Apple Corps sadly lost their legal rights to their famed Granny Smith Apple Logos to Apple Inc. Sometimes, the spoils of legal wars are painful. On a happier note however, the Beatles music was finally brought to iTunes on November 16, 2010. To ensure final ownership of the famed Apple logos, Apple Inc. has filed a pair of trademark applications with the European Trademarks Office under 14 International Classifications covering such matters as computer hardware, online social networking services, mobile phones, musical instruments, games, clothing/headgear, advertising, education and broadcasting.   

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Ogma Sues Apple with Motion-Sensitive Sound Effect Device Patent

1 - Cover - Ogma vs. Apple & others 
A little unknown company going by the name of Ogma LLC is suing Apple and others such as Dell, HP, HTC, Nokia, RIM, Motorola and Sony Ericsson for infringing their patent that relates to a programmable motion-sensitive sound effects device.  

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Apple Invents Remote Camera Controller, Audio Fun + Honda News

1 - Cover - Apple Invents a Remote Camera Controller Accessory - mar 2011 
A few minor yet interesting Apple patents published today show that Apple has invented a new remote camera control accessory that might come in handy for photo and video shoots with the family. It sounds like it may also be used for other purposes like a security system. Another patent shows that Apple is working on new audio controls for iOS devices and even has another version of a DJ app for the iPhone. Lastly, a news item out of Japan states that a new navigation based app is coming to the iPhone on March 18 to those thinking about buying a new Honda this year.  

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