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January 2012

Apple Wins iPhone Patents for Location Tracking, Hybrid Antenna & More

1 - Apple Wins iPhone Patents for Location Tracking, Hybrid Antenna & More
Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In today's patent report we focus on Apple's original hybrid antenna, their reinvention of photo management for smartphones and their first patent win for location tracking. In May 2010, location tracking became the focus of a senate hearing where both Apple and Google executives faced a grilling from Senator Minnesota Democratic Rep. Al Franken. Apple's Bud Tribble confirmed that Apple doesn't share personally identifiable information with third parties. Even though that was reassuring, the issue isn't going away any time soon. Just last week the Supreme Court basically stated that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant if they're to use GPS and location tracking technologies on suspects. Something tells me that this won't be the last time that the issue of location tracking abuse is brought into question. For now, we simply appreciate the tamer side of Apple's location tracking used for route planning and all things touristy.  

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Patently Apple Asks for Your Patience While we're Under Construction

1 - Patently Apple Asks for your Patience While we're Under Construction
Patently Apple is making some changes over the next quarter and some glitches are bound to occur during that time. We ask for your patience. Thank you. Beyond that, see our message after the break.  

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Intel Looks to Challenge Apple's iTunes on Future Ultrabooks

1 - Intel Looks to Challenge Apple's iTunes on Future Ultrabooks
With Apple having snubbed Intel's every offer to win them over to their mobile processors, Intel is deadly focused on challenging Apple's MacBook Air and eventually their iPhone and beyond. In 2013, Intel will be introducing the Haswell processor that will allow Intel's Ultrabook to offer a very smart ultrathin notebook-tablet form factor that will be able to challenge Apple's mobile platform. Yesterday, Intel showed how they're ramping up on the software side of the Ultrabook by signing an agreement with RealNetworks to purchase approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications worldwide, as well as next-generation video codec software, for $120 million. As part of the agreement, Intel will acquire RealNetworks' foundational streaming media patents, expanding Intel's diverse and extensive portfolio of intellectual property. Translation: We're going to challenge Apple's iTunes on Ultrabooks and beyond in the very near future. 

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Apple's Second Siri Patent Discusses All Things Hands-Free

1 - Apple's Second Siri Patent Discusses All Things Hands-Free
On January 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's second Siri centric patent. Our first report on Apple's Siri was titled "Apple introduces us to Siri, the Killer Patent," which described a large basket of concepts and possible future applications. In Apple's second Siri patent, it's all about the "hands-free Context."  

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Apple introduces us to the Wild World of Coded Magnets

1 - Apple Introduces us to the Wild World of Coded Magnets
Once in a while we're treated to a new Apple invention that virtually contains a new self-contained world of possibilities and vocabulary to enrich it. It comes out of the blue and feeds our need for meaty new technology brimming with potential. Today is such a day. This is such an invention. Apple's invention reveals a wild world of programmable magnetic devices, and more particularly, to security for computing devices and peripherals that may be provided by programmable magnets. And yet, it reveals so much more than that. Apple envisions this technology eventually working into iOS devices to produce wild haptic effects using Ferrofluids on touchscreens and virtual keyboards. It will also allow Apple's iOS to present light based points on the display as a way to guide a user through a process like a teacher. This is wild stuff folks and it only scratches the surface of what's to come. Grab a coffee, sit back and really enjoy one of the most fascinating patent applications to have surfaced in some time. Update 4 PM MST: Apple reveals inductive charging and/or other wireless charging using coded magnets coming to a new MacBook Dock in a secondary patent.  

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New Motorola Lawsuit Claims iPhone 4S & iCloud Infringe on their Patents

1 - Motorola Mobility vs. Apple Jan 24, 2012
According to court documents, Motorola has launched their second patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in Miami, Florida. In Motorola's new complaint they claim that Apple is infringing on six additional patents ranging from concealing an external antenna on a cell phone on through to a wireless messaging system. Motorola is mainly focusing on Apple's iPhone 4S smartphone and iCloud services as being the product and service infringing on their patents. It's safe to say that Google has given Motorola the green light and their blessing to proceed with this case.    

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Apple Files Nine Trademark Applications for Siri in the US

1 - Apple Files Nine Trademark Applications for Siri in the US
What an extraordinary week it's been for all things Siri. First there was our report titled "Siri, the Killer Patent" followed by news of Siri's trademark filing in China. Today we discovered that Apple has filed a series of nine trademark filings for Siri in the US. On a few occasions Apple has been known to breakdown an important trademark filing into a series of single filings with each covering a single International Class. This may speed up the process of approval with the USPTO or it may be done to ensure that they'll be protected on several fronts should one or two of the applications run into a snag with an examiner. Apple is covering Siri for a plethora of future application possibilities including those for social networking, education, a variety of travel-centric applications, television programming and a whole lot more. It'll be interesting to see what new Siri services Apple will roll out in 2012. Time will tell.  

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Apple Wins another Piece of the Telephonic MacBook Puzzle While new 2011 US Patent Statistics Prove the loonies Wrong Again

Jan 24, 2012 - Apple Wins another Piece of the Telephonic MacBook Puzzle
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of eighteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. While our report covers a wide range of patents, the main one reveals yet another piece of the telephonic MacBook Puzzle. Today's granted patent represents Apple's seventh patent win on this future product front since September 2010. This particular patent snuck through the application system and just popped up on us as being granted. The second focus of our report today rests with the latest US patent statics for 2011 that proves Apple's critics dead wrong once again. When will they ever learn? 

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Apple Attempts to Bring Ericsson into Discovery for Defense in Motorola Case

1 - Apple attempts to bring Ericsson into Discovery in Moto Case
Last Friday, Apple's attorney Robert T. Haslam of Covington & Burling, filed what is known as a "Letters Rogatory." By definition, such an action is a formal written request made by one judicial body to another court in a different, independent jurisdiction that a witness who resides in that jurisdiction be examined through the use of interrogatories accompanying the request. In this case, Apple is seeking to bring Ericsson Inc. into discovery so as to strengthen their defense against the case brought by Motorola before the International Trade Commission and in Germany. The testimony from Ericsson could help to establish a defense of unfair competition.  

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Apple's Siri Trademark Filing Lists Some Interesting Applications

1 - Apple Trademark Filing in China Lists Some interesting Applications
On the very day that Apple's first patent application for Siri surfaces at the US Patent and Trademark Office, we just happen to find that Apple has filed for the Siri trademark in Hong Kong China. What's interesting here is that there's a certain degree of symmetry between the two applications which may reveal some of the core applications that are on the minds of those sitting at the round table in Cupertino.  

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Apple to Redesign Battery Shapes for Future, Thinner Devices

1 - Apple to Redesign Battery Shapes for Future, Thinner Devices
On January 19, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the next thing in battery designs. As Apple designs yet thinner devices, and more importantly, a next generation of devices yet unknown, they need to have the ability and flexibility to shape and contour battery designs that will fit their specific dream designs and form factors.  

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Apple introduces us to Siri, the Killer Patent

1 - Apple Introduces us to Siri, the Killer Patent
On October 4, 2011, Apple launched the iPhone 4S with Siri just one day prior to Steve Jobs passing. Today, the first killer patent application behind Siri was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It's clear that Apple's breakthrough technology is destined to go far beyond the iPhone and into devices like the iMac and a future HDTV. The timing of this patent application is appropriate, being that we just posted a report on Tuesday titled "Steve Jobs Credited with an Apple TV Patent for Episodic TV." The patent also reveals that Apple envisions the technology playing a role in vehicles and in-vehicle entertainment systems where an Intelligent Assistant will be considered the king of user interfaces. Apple's patent shows us that Siri will be able to be configured to work with various new scenarios and even act as an instructor when we purchase future devices. Forget using a manual – as Siri will simply teach us what we'll want to know about our new devices when we're ready to ask it a question about a new function or feature. Today we get a look behind the magic of Siri, and it is simply mind boggling. Report Updated, 2:45 PM MST: Siri Trademark filing information added.

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Apple Wins Patents for Advanced Trackpads, iPhone Headset & More

1 - Apple Wins Patents for Advanced Trackpads, New iPhone Headset & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our third and final patent report of the day we primarily focus on two patents. The first covers advanced multi-touch trackpads that may one day track hand gestures. In the second patent, Apple reveals a possible future iPhone headset with a microphone that turns your music off automatically when you remove the headset and continues from where you left off when you put the headset back on. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty nifty idea to me. Sometimes the little features are just as great as the big stuff.  

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Steve Jobs Credited with an Apple TV Patent for Episodic TV

1 - Steve Jobs credited with Apple TV patent for episodic TV, Jan 2012
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's second report is focused on a single Apple TV patent. It's a patent regarding episodic TV and it's another patent credited to the late, great, Steve Jobs.  

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Apple Wins Smart Garment & iPhone Circuit Board Patents

1 - Apple wins smart garment & iPhone Circuit Board patetnts
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This morning's first report cover's a smart garment patent which describes technology that will be built into future running shoes related to the Nike + iPod product line. The newly described sensors may also one day be integrated into clothing like shirts and sweat pants and extend through to other sporting footwear like skates skis boots. The base technology is already in place via the Nike + iPod program. And finally to round off our first report of the day, we cover a design patent that Apple has received for an iOS icon.  

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Apple is paving the Way for a new 3D GUI for iOS Devices

1 - Apple is Paving the Way for a New 3D GUI for iOS Devices
On January 12, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an exciting new 3D GUI for iOS mobile devices. The new UI will work with proximity sensor arrays and will respond to hovering gestures. The Crazy Ones in Cupertino have been working on advanced 3D GUIs for some time now. We first learned of a major 3D GUI project back in 2009 that involved using head tracking technology. Then in early 2010 we learned of Apple's first project relating to a 3D GUI for iOS devices. Later that year Apple 3D multifunctional widgets and over time revealed advanced 3D and hovering based gesturing for CAD users on an iPad. With twenty times the GPU power coming to iOS devices over the next year, Apple appears to paving the way for a new 3D GUI for mobile devices in the not-too-distant future. Update Saturday Jan 14, 2011, 2PM MST: We've added a video to the report.   

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Sharp is Reportedly Out of the Race for iPad 3 Display Production

1 - Sharp is Reportedly out of the race for iPad 3 display production
According to Korea's Electronic Times Internet News, it's been confirmed that Samsung Electronics and LG Display will supply LCD panels for Apple's iPad 3, which is scheduled to be unveiled as early as in Q1 this year. Sharp was originally known to be developing display panels, but reportedly failed in initial supply.   

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Apple May work with HTC to Fight off New Kodak Lawsuit

1 - Kodak vs. Apple 2012
In February 2010 Eastman Kodak Company sued Apple claiming that they were infringing their patents related to digital cameras and certain computer processes. In April of 2010 Apple counter sued by claiming that Kodak had infringed on two of their patents but the US International Trade Commission in July 2011 ruled that Kodak didn't infringe on Apple's patents. So where are we now? Well, Kodak is coming at Apple like a freight train with a new patent infringement case that claims that Apple is infringing on four new patents. Yet an industry analyst believes that Apple may very well end up working with HTC to fight Kodak's claims. Now that would be an interesting possibility to say the least. And lastly, on another legal front, Apple is being sued by Hong Kong's Ho Keung Tse.

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Apple Wins More Strategic Patents Covering the iPhone & Smart Cables

1 - Apple Wins More Strategic patents covering the iPhone & smart cables
On January 10, 2012, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. This morning's patent report covers four of Apple's newly granted design patents covering such things as the MacBook Air and its Solid State Drive. Additionally, our report covers three important patents relating to Apple's original iPhone and associated smart cables. Since late December Apple has been on a roll chalking up original iPhone patents and today's patent wins continue that trend. Considering that there were over 200 patents on the books for protecting the iPhone on the very day that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, I would suspect that this trend is going to continue for some time to come.  

 

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Apple Invents an Ingenious Security System for the iWallet Era

1 - Apple Invents an Ingenious Security System for the iWallet Era
Make no mistake about it. As we move closer to a point in time when the iPhone could double as an iWallet, security will be the killer feature that consumers will demand. Two weeks ago Apple introduced us to one of their future security systems that will handle auto login using advanced facial recognition technology. That'll be great for iDevices not handling important documents and/or financial instruments such as debit and/or credit. For that, Apple has invented a heavy duty second tier of security that is quite ingenious. The key rests in splitting a user's password recovery secret amongst two devices that are never carried together at one time. And you know it's a serious security project at Apple when Bud Tribble, Apple's VP of Software Technology, is the man behind this endeavor. 

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Asian Apple Fans Cheer On Apple's All-New Red Friday Sale in Asia

1 - Asian Fans Cheer On Apple's All-New Red Friday Sale in Asia
In a rare move, U.S. electronics giant Apple Inc. held a one-day "Red Friday" sale Jan. 6 on its online store, targeting its fans in several Asian countries in celebration of the Lunar New Year.  

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Apple Reinvents the Ionic Wind Generator Cooling System

1 - Apple reinvents ionic wind generator
Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed their intent to reinvent a cooling system that is known in the industry as an ionic wind generator. This type of cooling system doesn't use a fan or heat sink. The problem with the current design however, is that it's only able to cool limited areas within a computer or device. Apple's reinvention of the ionic wind generator will allow the system to use specialty sensors and mechanisms to redirect cool air to various areas within a computer or device, as needed. This means that it could simultaneously cool down the CPU, GPU and other components such as batteries (in the case of iOS devices and the MacBook), transformers, storage devices, and other components. Yet if the GPU or any other component isn't being used, the system won't waste energy trying to cool down what's not necessary. Just think of it as a "smart" cooling system. Apple's killer attention to detail is legendary. Philosophically speaking, it's what separates the wheat from the chaff.    

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The Top Ten Apple Patents that Made Waves in 2011

1 - Apple's Top 10  Patents for 2012
As we kick off 2012, it's time to look back at the top ten Apple inventions that came to light in 2011. If you're wondering which ones made waves in 2011, I think that you'll be as surprised as I was. Many patents that I thought would make the cut didn't, while others that I thought at the time were just average – rose to the top. Beyond raw data, we also saw new trends emerge in 2011 that covered such matters as smart pens, smart bezels, the telephonic MacBook and augmented reality. Another observation that we made this past year through reviewing patent applications was that Apple put a lot of time and energy into crafting future iOS device camera features. Anyways, enough with the talk and on to the top ten patent applications of the year!  

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Apple Patents Reveal Thunderbolt is headed for iOS Devices

1.1 - Thunderbolt headed for iOS Devices, Apple Patent
Three new patent applications from Apple were published this morning by the USPTO that detail various aspects of Apple's revolutionary I/O technology called Thunderbolt. Apple filed many Thunderbolt trademarks in 2011 which opened the question as to who really owned the trademark and technology. The general line of thinking in the market today is that Thunderbolt was developed by Intel and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple Inc. Yet beyond filing several Thunderbolt trademarks, today's multiple detailed patents from Apple would strongly suggest that they're attempting to secure Thunderbolt related patents. This of course would fly in the face of Apple's involvement in the development of Thunderbolt as being limited to "technical collaboration." The good news that emerged from these patents is that Apple is focused on bringing Thunderbolt to iOS devices in the future so as to provide faster data transfers and more importantly, faster recharging.  

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Apple Wins an Original iPhone Patent for Editing Lists and More

1 - Apple Wins an Original iPhone Patent for Editing Lists & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our last granted patent report of the day we primarily focus on one of Apple's original iPhone patents that relate to editing file or file folder lists easily. Other granted patents issued today cover the technology behind Apple's second generation iPod Shuffle and how the iPhone was redesigned after 2007 so that it could double as an external hard drive.  

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