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May 2011

Apple Wins a Major OS X Related Patent in addition to Patents for their White iPhone 4, Dashboard, Aperture and More

1 - Apple wins patents for osx, dashboard, aperture, the white iPhone & More - May 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today covering a wide gamut of technologies including those related to Apple's Logic Studio, QuickTime VR and iMovie. The more notables within this group, however, included a major OS X patent relating to both their Foundation Kit and AppKit which originated with NeXT's OpenStep. The other patents of interest today covered Apple's Pro Photography app called Aperture, OS X's Dashboard and a design win for their new white iPhone 4 – A patent which could very likely end up being introduced in their legal case with Samsung.

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Apple Wants to Patent a Method for Manufacturing a Display that Emits Circularly-Polarized Light

1c - cover - retardation film 
Last year Apple was granted a patent for a "Display that emits circularly-polarized light." We reported on that granted patent in March 2010. Earlier this week the USPTO published Apple's divisional patent application 20110124260 which claimed priority from both 2006 and 2010 patents which were covered in Apple's granted patent. The illustrations found in this latest filing were identical to those used in Apple's granted patent. Considering that the technology was in-hand as far back as 2006 and that the granted patent actually illustrated the technology being used on an iPod Classic, it's clear that Apple was far beyond "exploring" this technology as others have incorrectly reported on this week. Today's report provides you with the reason why Apple filed their divisional patent application this week.

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Apple Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against whiteiphone4now.com

1 - Apple files trademark infringement lawsuit agains whiteiphonenow.com - May 2011 
Apple is bringing an action against Defendant Fei Lik Lam, a/k/a Phillip Lam and his business whiteiphone4now.com, seeking damages relating to Defendant Lam's infringing and diluting Apple's famous trademarks, in willful violation of the Lanham Act and for engaging in deceptive practices and unfair competition in willful violation of New York state law. This report covers Apple's formal complaint and their detailed argument under the title "Defendants Misappropriation and Unauthorized Use of Apple's Trademarks" which you just might find to be very interesting. Fei Lam is the New York teen who made the headlines last year for selling White iPhone Conversion kits  prior to Apple's official launchReport Updated. 

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To Avoid a Potential Fire Hazard, Apple Invents Pressure-Relief Battery Pouches for Portable Devices

1 - To avoid potential fire hazard, apple invents relief battery pouch for portables - apple patent may 2011 
On May 26, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly devised pressure-relief battery pouch for portable devices using rechargeable lithium-polymer battery cells. Gas buildup found in most chargeable battery designs could potentially cause the battery cell to swell or explode and even cause a fire. Apple's invention introduces a new series of designs to remedy this potential fire hazard.   

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Apple Wins Patents for iOS Gaming & Music Interaction, Thinner Touch Sensor Panels & Electro-Mechanical Camera Shutter Control

1B - Apple Wins patents for iOS gaming ... - May 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 17 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. There were four outstanding granted patents within this group. The first covered the technology behind Apple's original iChat video conferencing system. The second covered a system for integrating gaming & music interaction into iOS devices. The third covered Apple's delivery of a thinner touch sensor panel design using polyethylene terephthalate plastic instead of traditional glass and finally the fourth notable granted patent of the day covered Apple's camera shutter system. The shutter system was specifically designed for smaller device spaces, and according to Apple, could one day be integrated into a higher-end standalone digital camera. Updated

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Apple Didn't Get the Memo: Files for Thunderbolt Trademark in US

1 - Apple Files for Thunderbolt Trademark in US - May 2011 
Intel's Senior Manager of Communications Dave Salvator supposedly told Bright Side News on May 19, 2011 that "As part of our collaboration with Apple, they did some of the initial trademark filings" for Thunderbolt but that they have full rights to the trademark. That's interesting in light of Apple's latest filing for Thunderbolt as revealed by the USPTO this weekend. The official filing was dated May 6, 2011. The filing date would appear to contradict Intel's statement, as May 6, 2011 is way past the so-called "initial" time frame. Additionally, as of this date, we see that Apple's Thunderbolt webpage still refuses to acknowledge Intel's trademark at the bottom of their page which is common courtesy and professional practice. Was it political posturing on Intel's part to claim that they own full rights to Thunderbolt or just a late filing by an Apple attorney that wasn't aware of the so-called transferring of this trademark? The bottom line is that Apple has filed a new application for Thunderbolt and it's their fourth this year.  

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A New Patent Application from Apple Introduces us to a Breakthrough Platform Independent Word Processor

1 - Apple Introduces a Breakthrough Platform Independent Word Processor 
Just last week we presented a report about Apple advancing the design of a possible future Post-PC hybrid system. We also noted that it was Steve Jobs who made this term of "Post PC era" extremely popular within the tech community. A recent Forest Research related blog presented an interesting overview of what they felt the term Post-PC era really meant and this week a new patent application from Apple had a surprising revelation that they were working on a new platform independent word processor application. Whether this will be represented by their already standing Pages App is not yet known but it would stand to reason that it would be. Apple's little shocker also hinted that their platform independent code could go far beyond just word processing. This could be Apple's new internet strategy that thrusts more of us into the next phase of what is now known as the Post-PC era. In my view, this breakthrough could be a game changer.

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Apple Attorneys File to Quash Nokia Subpoenas and Get a Protective Order

1 - Apple Attorney's File Suit to Quash Nokia's Subpoenas 
Attorneys representing Apple against Nokia file suit in D.C. federal court to quash Nokia's subpoenas seeking to depose them. The attorneys moving to quash Nokia's subpoenas represent Apple in patent litigation in Delaware federal court, and who are also working on Apple patent reexamination matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The attorney are also seeking a Protective Order from the court. 

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Apple Working on Privacy Mode Viewing Options for Future Displays

1b - Apple Working on Privacy Mode Viewing Options for Future Display - May 2011 
The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application of Apple's yesterday that revealed one of the next chapters for Apple's top line displays. The patent describes a method of allowing a user to steer display light beams in various directions to effectively provide themselves with a new privacy option. The new privacy option mode only allows those directly in front of the display to view its content. Anyone on the periphery would simply see a blank display. A number of professions may find this feature very appealing. The patent also vaguely points to this technology being used in association with a future pico-like projection system and/or 3D Holographic Display.  

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Apple Patent Reveals Aperture Coming to Touch Display Devices

1 - Apple Patent Reveals Aperture Coming to Touch Displays 
A number of patents have surfaced over the last two years concerning light pens and apps moving to touch screens. While one of the first detailed patents surfaced in 2009 in relation to business forms, we've since seen some serious advances in Apple's pursuit of the Smart-Pen including a huge leap in the field of graphics pens. It's the latter that's interesting in light of Apple's latest patent revelation that Aperture is coming to touch displays including handhelds like the iPad. It may even come to future desktops and laptops that offer touch displays, according to Apple. An advanced graphics pen would be great for fast photo touch-ups and appreciated by photographers using Aperture on-the-go. Who knows, maybe Apple is even gearing this up for future hybrid systems. Time will tell.

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Whoa! Apple Patent Confirms iTunes Cloud Media Services

1 Apple Patent Confirms iTunes Cloud Based Media Cloud Services - may 2011 
In January we pointed to a possible HP music cloud service that could debut with their future TouchPad tablet due to their 3par acquisition. Such a service had the potential of upsetting Apple's iTunes kingdom. Then word broke in April that Apple was acquiring iCloud followed by news in May that Apple signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music and others. Today, a new Apple patent application dating back to Q4 2009 shows that Apple has been working on a cloud based media service for some time. Apple's patent details a very unique approach to cloud based services using iTunes which they describe as being "seamless and invisible to the user."  

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Apple Files "Noteworthy" Trademark for New iPhone App

1 - Apple's Latest Trademark for Noteworthy Points to a new iPhone app - may 2011 
It appears that Apple may want to drum up a little more mystery and excitement going into this year's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) on June 6, 2011. Today, the European Trademark Office has revealed Apple's latest "Noteworthy" trademark filing. On the surface it appears to be a new iOS app – that may relate to providing OCR capabilities. If correct, it would support a February 2011 patent describing a future optical in-LCD sensing panel for the iOS devices: In other words – an App that could allow your iPhone to double as a scanner. Yet at the end of the day it's a blind trademark filing which keeps the door open to other possibilities. If you're a sleuth by nature, then check out our report's full detailing of Apple's International Class descriptions to assist your investigation. Report Updated.  

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Apple Wins Patents for their Redesigned iPod Nano, 27" Cinema Display & Original Bluetooth Headset that Just Might Return to Market

1 - Apple wins patents for iPod nano, cinema display & bluetooth headset - May 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 9 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today which included three design wins for Apple's 27" Cinema Display, iPod nano and more. Yet the key granted patent of the day goes to Apple's original iPhone Bluetooth headset that just might return to market at some time in the future.  

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Could Apple be developing a New Post-PC Hybrid Desktop?

1& 4 - Apple's Baffle Patent May be a Piece fo their Multi-Touch iMac Puzzle - May 2011 
A couple of Apple's recent patent applications have come to light that oddly open the door to the notion that they may be toying with a hybrid desktop-tablet system. It began in earnest late last summer with the introduction of Apple's Multi-Touch iMac patent and now a secondary patent puts this possibility back into play. The Post-PC era may have started with a simplistic tablet called the iPad but hybrid systems may be the next wave in Apple's revolution.  

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Three Fulfilled Apple Patents Surface Covering iAd & Aperture

1C - Three Fulfilled Apple Patents Surface Covering iAd & Aperture - May 2011 
Every new round of product updates from Apple fulfills a few dozen or more patents whether Patently Apple or anyone else covered them or not. It could be that a new product is using a new kind of screw or a new GPS module or a new twist in the way that they manufacture LED Displays. Apple doesn't release a product until their legal team has filed the right IP documents, plain and simple. Yesterday, there were three distinct patents that were fulfilled and they're worth noting even if they're not about flying cars or magic bikes. Today's report takes a look at two great little patents covering two of Aperture 3's new features along with a third patent which covers Apple's iAd services. In particular, Apple's iAd patent is about the provisioning of invitational content and its connection and interrelation with built in iPhone apps like "Compass and Maps." 

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Apple Files Trademark Application for their Game Center Icon

1 - Apple Files for Game Center Trademark in US - May 2011 
On May 13, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for their official "Game Center" Icon under application 85316306 which was originally filed on Monday. Apple has filed their trademark under two International Classes. The first class covers computer software in connection with multi-player games while the second class covers entertainment services concerning information about computer games via the internet which also covers social networking.  

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Apple to Advance iPhone with both Text-to-Speech & Speech-to-Text Converters

1 - Apple Advancing iPhone with Advanced Text-to-Speech & Speech-to-Text Converters - patent 2011 
According to a new Apple patent application that was published this morning by the US Patent and Trademark Office, future iPhone's are likely to provide end users with effective new ways of communicating in both noisy environments like a restaurant or even during a quiet office meeting without stirring a mouse. The system involves using new text-to-speech and speech-to-text converters as well as providing a means of sending prerecorded notifications to the caller if you're unable to speak when answering your phone. I think that many will appreciate these new features and only hope that Apple could get these to market in good time.  

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Apple Introduces us to a Live Chameleon-Like Screen Saver Designed Specifically for iOS Devices & Fashion Accessories

1 - Apple Introduces us to a Live Chameleon-Like Screen Saver for iOS Devices + , patent 2011 
Apple filed their "Apple" trademark in China this week which we noted as carrying an interesting twist. We noticed that Apple had, for the first time, emphasized fashion accessories and precious metals for jewelry, a watch and more in association with their brand name in a very succinct way. That just happens to fall in nicely with a new Apple patent application that was published this morning by USPTO that specifically points to using a next generation iPod nano as a fashion accessory. The unique aspect of this accessory is that it will implement a wild new dynamic screen saver system that could sense the environment it is in and in a chameleon-like fashion automatically change the screen saver accordingly. The patent even indirectly hints at a camera returning to the iPod nano which would support several on-going rumors. 

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Apple Explores Keyboards using an Advanced Air Feedback System

1 - Apple Explores Keyboards using Advanced Air Feedback System - may 2011 
This appears to be the year of the keyboard. Apple began the year working on several keyboard projects including one involving a leap to a next generation virtual keyboard system for desktops while working on a secondary parallel bridging keyboard project that involved implementing a hybrid keyboard using advanced motion tracking. In Apple's latest keyboard project, which was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, we see a more practical approach to advancing keyboards in the shorter scheme of things by using advanced sensors and a unique air-based feedback system primarily for Mac keyboards. In the longer scheme of things, Apple is actually eyeing the concept of using deformable keyboard systems.  

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Nokia vs. Apple: Nokia Files Motion to Compel Broadcom to Produce Documents

1 - Motion to Compel Broadcom to Produce Documents - Nokia vs. Apple - May 2011 
In February 2011we reported on how Nokia was seeking a Motion to Compel Infineon to produce documents relating to their baseband processor used by Apple's iPhone to prove that Apple was in fact infringing on Nokia's core ten patents known as the "Essential Patents." The case read like a spy novel with many twists and turns. While not as dramatic as the Infineon case, our report today covers Nokia's latest filing of a Motion to Compel Broadcom to produce documents relating to their involvement with Apple products. To put it mildly, Nokia isn't happy with Broadcom.  

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Apple Wins Patents for the iOS Virtual Keyboard, Cover Flow and a Never Released iPad Design and More

1- Apple Wins Patents for a Virtual Keyboard, Cover Flow & Never Released iPad Design - May 10, 2011 
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 16 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include patents for iLife's iDVD application, a method for creating Web Clip Widgets for iOS devices, Cover Flow and iOS's virtual keyboard. Yet the one granted patent that really stood out this morning was that of an iPad design that never came to market. You just might find it interesting to see what that missing feature is.  

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Apple Files for Thunderbolt, AirPrint & Apple Brand Name Trademarks in China with a Twist

1 - Apple Files for Thunderbolt, AirPrint & New Apple Trademarks in China with a Twist - May 2011 
Apple has filed for Thunderbolt, AirPrint and "Apple" brand name trademarks in China with a twist. To begin with, it should be noted that this is Apple's third filing for Thunderbolt since its debut on MacBooks in late February 2011. It was filed in Canada first and then in Europe just last week. Does anyone still doubt Apple's resolve in claiming Thunderbolt as their own? Yet the twist to Apple's multiple trademark filings rests with their own brand name update which we detail in our report.  UPDATE 2: Apple's US filing for Thunderbolt was published by UPSTO on May 11, 2011.

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Apple's Picture-in-Picture Patent for FaceTime & Beyond

1- Apple's Picture-in-Picture Patent for FaceTime & Beyond 
Today the US Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's patent which relates to FaceTime's picture-in-picture effect that is implemented on mobile devices like the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. The patent mainly focuses on how to achieve this feature while conserving electrical power. Yet the patent hints that the scope of the patent doesn't limit this PIP feature to just videoconferencing.  

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Apple Aggressively Files for Thunderbolt Trademark in Europe

1 - Apple Files for Thunderbolt Trademark in Europe - May 2011 
On May 4, 2011, the European Trademark Office has published Apple's latest trademark filing for "Thunderbolt" under application 009935446. Apple is trying to legally establish that they're the owner of this trademark, as they filed for this trademark in Canada back in March of this year. The difference this time around is that we get to see the two International Classes that the trademark has been officially filed under which specifically covers Application Service Provider Services (ASP) and computer software and hardware without mention of a cell or smartphone. Of course, Apple could be simply hiding that tid bit under the "computer gaming machines" listing. Time will tell where Thunderbolt will show up next.  

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A New Location Services based Class Action Lawsuit has been Filed against Apple. It's Time to Open up the Debate Wide Open

1 - O'Flaherty vs. Apple Inc. - Class Action Lawsuit - May 2011 
Cynthia O'Flaherty has filed a class action complaint against Apple and is seeking the court in Illinois to grant it class action status. The case rests on the plaintiff's view of Apple's patent 20110051665 titled "Location Histories for Location Aware Devices." The complaint uses incendiary wording and/or phrasing such as "Apple collected the private location information covertly, surreptitiously and in violation of law, "or "secretly-gathered private information" and even "stalking." This is not the first lawsuit against Apple on this front and it's likely not to be the last. In fact, there have been recent cases filed against Apple in Florida and Alabama. While our report presents the O'Flaherty case in depth, we also try to balance it with a look into the issue in general. Is Apple really the bogeyman or has conspiratorial hysteria been overblown? Are we the ignorant public or has the industry, Apple included, been too slow at providing us with real answers or solutions? At the end of the day, it's not a black and white issue and it's important for everyone to join in the conversation so that the public and the industry can try to find a middle ground between progress and privacy.  

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