On November 10, 2010, Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc, formerly known as Silicon Graphics, Inc, sued Apple for allegedly infringing on their patent regarding floating point rasterization. Well, it appears that Apple has decided to counter sue and is now preparing for a showdown. The California courts revealed late last week that Apple had filed two patent infringement cases against Graphics Properties Holdings – though the courts have yet to open the electronic versions of the complaints. While it may be due in-part to the Thanksgiving Holiday schedule, the fact remains that we're still in the dark as to the details of these filings. In other IP News today, Apple has won another round of iPhone 4 Design Patents in China. This report has been updated twice: our last update was made on December 13, 2011.
Apple Wins a New Round of iPhone 4 Design Patents
Apple has won six new iPhone 4 Design Patents in Hong Kong China under numbers 1101269.3M001-3M006. There were three color and three black and white designs involved covering all aspects of the iPhone 4's hardware.
Update: The design illustrations almost appear to be suggesting that this could be a new slimmer future design. The entire iPhone from both the side and top views appear to only show the metal rim. If you take our cover graphics into consideration and fit them with the parts below, you're given the impression that the design could end up being a slimmer design. Under closer examination, the cover graphic may also be suggesting that there's a slight raised rim on the face of the iPhone cover. Is this to better protect the face glass of the iPhone? That would be in line with Apple's research into new means of protecting the iPhone's glass.
Whether these are just patent graphic illusions or hints of what's to come is unknown at this time. Design patents never provide confirming information about the design's detailing. It's really a "What you see is what you get" document. For now, it's certainly interesting - but only time will tell if these fine details actually pan out. What's certain, is that Apple has been granted a design patent in China for an iPhone design.
New iPhone Design Patent: Comparison Graphics Show One Unit with a Raised Rim
Noted below is a new illustration that we added to this report today at 5:10 PM PST. The Dark Model is from design patent 1101269.3M002 and the light Model is from design patent 1101269.3M001. Note that the Dark Model clearly illustrates a raised rim vs. the light model which illustrates the current flush surface design. Design patent 3M002 offers no explanation for this differentiating feature. All we could do is point it out.
Update - December 13, 2011: A newly discovered iPhone assembly patent found in Canada under 2735999 clearly shows the missing piece of the puzzle which shows the exposed rim prior to the glass and other components falling into place.
Apple Sues Graphics Properties Holding, Inc for Patent Infringement
Noted above are the two cases that Apple has filed against Graphic Holdings. Note that one was filed in San Francisco and the other in Oakland. The electronic versions of Apple's "Complaints" have yet to be made public as of this morning. For the record, SGI still exists.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Sites Following our Original Report: MacSurfer, Groklaw, New York Time's Blogrunner, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, iMajenta, Macnews, Twitter, Facebook, iPhone World Canada, MarketWatch, MacDailyNews, Techmeme, MacDirectory, and more.