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May 2012

Apple Sued over iOS Developer Program

1. Cathas Advanced Technologies v. Apple
A Delaware Company by the name of Cathas Advanced Technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple alleging that the company's iOS Developer Program infringes on two claims of their patent titled "Web-Based Design Software for Keep-Alive Boards." The plaintiff is seeking a "reasonable royalty.  

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Apple Invents New Fault Monitoring Battery & More

1. Apple Invents New Fault Monitoring Battery & More
On May 31, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple revealing a new fault monitoring battery system. Apple states that the fault-monitoring mechanism will generate an alert and/or disable use of a portable electronic device containing the battery pack. For example, the fault-monitoring mechanism may indicate the fault through a visual alert (e.g., color-changing mechanism) or an audible alarm. Additionally, our report briefly touches on Apple's Audio Jack Assemblies patent and concludes with a simple question: Is Apple Changing Gears?  

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Apple Wins Camera & Wide Array of Design Patents

1. Apple Wins Camera & Wide Array of Design Patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-seven newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we cover a wide array of design wins for Apple covering such things as Apple TV and a possible new icon. In addition, we cover two iOS related camera patents covering exposure and electro-mechanical shutter control.  

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Apple Wins Major iPod User Interface & Systems Patents

1. Apple Wins Major iPod User Interface & Systems Patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-seven newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. While this morning's patent report covers seventeen patents in total, our main focus is placed on Apple winning two major iPod patents covering the user interface and the systems behind their media player. Steve Jobs is noted as one of the inventors of the iPod user interface patent which covers a hierarchically ordered graphical user interface including its "home" UI. Will Apple Legal use these fresh new patents to further protect their iDevices? Time will tell.  

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Apple Sued for iCloud & iTunes Services with Symantec Patents

1. STEC IP V APPLE
A Delaware based company by the name of STEC IP has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple on Seven counts. The main focus of the infringement case surrounds Apple's iCloud and iTunes related services. The exception is one count that that claims that VPN Tunnels found in Apple's OS X Lion Server violates their patents. Notable in this case is the fact that five out of the seven patents presented in this case were originally granted to Symantec. In a way, the question really becomes, who's really suing Apple?  

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Apple's Minor Inventions Cover Retail Packaging, Earphone Refinements and an Alternative iPhone Design?

1. Apple, inventions cover retail pkg., earphone refinements & new iphone design
Beyond the major patent applications that we covered earlier today, there are a few minor patent applications worth noting. The first one covers a new iOS device earphone speaker system for enlarging the effective volume of a speaker using a unique blend of gas and air. The second one covers new and improved Apple Store retail packaging. In a third patent application, Apple reveals that they could be adding a "radiation absorber" to a future iPhone. According to Apple, "By virtue of its radiation absorption characteristics … the absorber may help prevent stray radiation from the emitter that may have been internally reflected." Well, well, isn't that nice to know? And one last thing: one of Apple's engineers who worked on the last patent, briefly points to alternative iPhone design features that are basically passé to begin with. The question becomes, why were these features even being discussed in the first place?  

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Apple Introduces us to Patent Pending Safari 3D

1. Apple Introduces us to Patent Pending Safari 3D
Patently Apple has been following Apple's patent applications over the years regarding future interfaces and three dimensional visions, and today we present you with a series of patent applications from Apple regarding Safari 3D. The 3D version of Safari will allow users to stack bookmarks, emails, docs and apps in a very interesting 3D manner. While we're definitely a few years away from shifting to 3D, it's still interesting to read up on the evolutionary thinking behind this shift from the minds of Apple's engineers.  

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Apple Points to Writing on Future iPad with Optical iPen

1. Apple Points to Writing on Future iPad with Optical Pen
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two major patent applications from Apple relating to a future iPen. In our first report published this morning titled "Apple Sheds More Light on their iPen & Graphics Program," we covered Apple's push into specialized haptics for a future iPen. In our second report, we focus on Apple's consideration of using an optical based iPen. The unique angle taken by Apple's optical pen is a fascinating approach to determine a pen's location on a tablet surface. One of the secrets utilized in this approach uses invisible indicia.  

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Apple Sheds More Light on their iPen & Graphics Program

1. Apple Sheds More Light on their iPen & Graphics Program
On May 24, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that sheds more light on their future iPen and related graphics program. Apple continues to spend time and R&D funding on a future iPen device that's being designed to work with all of Apple's tablet-styled iDevices. The focus found in today's invention is twofold. Firstly, Apple is thinking of adding advanced haptics to the iPen so that the end user will be able to feel brush strokes and/or line thicknesses for example. Secondly, Apple is designing the iPen with a built-in mini speaker so as to provide users with various forms of audio feedback. To make all of this interesting and relevant, Apple sheds a little light on how their iPen will work with either a new graphics/paint program of their  own and/or with known apps such as Autodesk and Microsoft's Paint.  

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Apple Wins 23 Patents While New Hand Gesturing Peripheral is revealed for Macs within the Year

1. Apple wins 23 patents while new hand gesturing peripheral Set to Arrive within a Year
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 23 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today that mainly covered utility patents. The exceptions were granted patents for GarageBand and Aperture. What steals the limelight today is a new hand gesturing system peripheral set to attack the Mac Market within the next eight months. You'll be able to zoom into maps, enter a signature, play shooter games and play in 3D spaces in ways more natural than Apple's Magic Trackpad. And lastly, we present you with a phenomenal photo of Steve Jobs by one of the great photographers of our generation: Norman Seeff.  

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Fujitsu Develops "Driview" iPhone App for Car Navigation System

1. Fujitsu Develops Driview iPhone App for Stationary Car Navigation System
Japan's Nikkei Business Publications reported last week that Fujitsu Ten Ltd has developed a software application called "Driview" that displays video being taken by the camera of an iPhone onto the screen of two new Fujitsu car navigation systems due out this summer in Asia. The navigation systems superimpose icons on the video to navigate the driver to their destination.  

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Apple Reveals "Tap to Focus" Camera Feature Advancements

1. Apple Reveals Tap to Focus Camera Feature Advancements
On Thursday, US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed that future iDevices may in fact sport an advanced version of their current iOS feature known as "Tap to Focus." According to the patent application, Apple could add an additional dedicated processor to their architecture supporting the newly advanced multi-point gesturing. The feature will add other new functionality such expanding a given area of a photo for added emphasis. For the camera buffs amongst us, I think this may be a very cool feature in a future iPhone model.  

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An Old Apple Patent Doesn't Lend Credence to Retina Display Rumors Whatsoever

1. Old Apple Patent doesn't lend credence to retina display rumor
A report posted by Wired's Gadget Lab today stated that "It looks like we'll be getting MacBook Pros with Retina displays sooner than later — or at least that's what we've gleaned from a recently published Apple patent application and comments from an industry expert regarding Apple's supply chain." Someone is mixing things up and slapping lipstick on a pig. The patent application published today is simply a continuation of a 2007 patent and doesn't lend credence to retina-display Rumors.  

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Apple Focusing on Unitary Device Designs & Processes

1. Apple Focusing on Unitary Device Designs & Processes
On May 17, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple revealing a new manufacturing process. The main focus of this particular invention concerns the creation of devices with a unitary housing without seams or gaps. In March of this year we learned of Apple's use of ultrasonic welding in context with fastening parts within devices such as the iPhone. Today we learn of ultrasonic welding being used in conjunction with metal foil so as to create seamless form factors. It's the kind of stuff that keeps Sir Ive giggling in his sleep.  

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Apple Invents a Hybrid Business & Gift Card System

1. Apple Invents a Hybrid Business & Gift Card System
On May 17, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a newly invented hybrid business card and gift card system. For any company principle or representative attending large events and tradeshows, Apple's unique hybrid calling card and promo gift card is something that could make exchanging cards with new contacts a little more inventive, if not interesting. Who wouldn't want to receive a few new tunes or other gift by taking a business card at an event? It's a way to at least ensure that your business card doesn't get chucked in the garbage by day's end. But there's more to the system and our report details it all.  

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Apple Reinvents Speakerphone System for iOS Devices

1. Apple Reinvents Speakerphone System for iOS Devices
On May 17, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intention of reinventing the speakerphone system for iOS devices. Although not detailed, the fact is that the new speaker positioning could provide iOS devices with general superior sound, even when docked.  

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Apple Sued for Rotating Windows on iOS Devices

1. Rotatable Technologies v. Apple
Texas based Rotatable Technologies is suing Apple for infringing on a 1999 patent that they acquired titled "Display Method for Selectively Rotating Windows on a Computer Display." The lawsuit claims that Apple's iPhone and iPad tablets infringe one or more claims of their patent. Rotatable Technologies also launched a similar lawsuit against Nokia earlier this month.  

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Apple introduces the Steering Wheel Remote Control

1. Apple Introduces the Steering Wheel Remote Control
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-one newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The most surprising one of them all is one that snuck through the patent system until today. The newly granted patent, which has never been seen before, reveals a wireless remote control for a vehicle's steering wheel. At a time when local and federal laws are being drafted to enforce "hands free" operation of smartphones and other devices in vehicles, Apple's invention comes to the rescue to provide their customers with a sound solution. The design borrows from Apple's iPod clickwheel but with a new touch-sensitive design. Interesting enough is that one of the engineers working on this project was a principal designer at California's famous Frog Design.  

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Apple Wins Major Virtual Keyboard & Apple Store Design Patents

1. Apple Wins Major Virtual Keyboard & Apple Store Design Patents
Apple was first granted a design patent for their Upper West Side Apple Store in New York back in November 2011. Six months later and the US Patent and Trademark Office have granted Apple their second design patent for this same design. Steve Jobs has once again been posthumously credited as one of the designers. In addition to this, it should be noted that Apple has been awarded twenty-one granted patents today. Beyond the thirteen utility patents that we list covering such things as security, podcast management and the MacBook's Hard Drive, this report covers a major virtual keyboard victory for Apple which just might be one that Apple could challenge their many copycatters with.  

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Most Adults Uncomfortable with Current State of Mobile Etiquette

1.1 Most Aduts Uncomfortable with Current State of Mobile Etiquette
According to a recent survey sponsored by Intel on the subjects of "Mobile Etiquette" and "Digital Sharing," 9 out of 10 American adults believe that people are sharing too much information about themselves online, with nearly half of U.S. adults reporting that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of information shared. There's a lot of ground covered in this survey and some of the findings may even surprise you. If anything, the results of this survey will provide you with a unique fingerprint in time revealing the status of mobile etiquette in 2012. 

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Is Apple Thinking of Resurrecting MacDraw?

1. Is Apple Thinking of Resurrecting MacDraw
Two patent applications that were published in January and February 2010 illustrated how a future iteration of the Magic Mouse might support a new graphics and/or painting program from Apple. Today we learn, through a document filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, that Apple might be thinking of resurrecting MacDraw. Note: This report was updated June 13, 2012.

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Apple Makes Apple TV more Accessible to those with Disabilities Plus new Nike + iPod Patents Surface

1 - Apple Makes Apple TV more Accessible to those with Disabilities
On May 10, 2012 the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to Apple TV. More specifically, Apple's patent is about making Apple TV more accessible to those with disabilities. Additionally, new Nike + iPod patents have surfaced today from both Apple and Nike that claim that they've made improvements to the system while one last entry today briefly touches on new location based technology relating to beacon-based Geofencing.  

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Big Patent Day for FileMaker & 3D Object Recognition

1 - Big Patent Day for FileMaker & 3D Object Recognition
On May 10, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published several patent applications from Apple covering 3D object recognition and FileMaker database technology. This is by far the largest number of FileMaker patent applications published in a single day. This could bode well for new upgrades announcements at FileMaker's Conference in July.  

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Apple Wins Patents for Future MacBook 4G Antenna, Touch Event Processing, Mysterious Handheld & More

1 - Apple Wins Patents for Future MacBook 4G, Touch Events & Mysterious Handheld
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-one newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. This past Sunday we reported on a newly discovered European patent application from Apple relating to Display-Integrated Cellular Antennas for a future MacBook 4G and today Apple chalks up their thirteenth patent win on this hot trend. Other patents that Apple has been granted today relate to iOS touch event processing, a series of utility patents and a few design patents that cover the iPod nano's display module and a mysterious handheld device that never made it to market. It should be noted that Steve Jobs is listed as one of the designers of this mysterious design.   

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Apple Brilliantly Invents Display-Integrated Cellular Antennas

1 - Apple Brilliantly Invents Display-Integrated Cellular Antennas
Since the summer of 2010 Patently Apple has been covering Apple's patent applications regarding a strong trend towards the development of a future MacBook with cellular-data capabilities. Just this past week, Patently Apple has discovered yet another new patent application on this subject in a filing that came to light in Europe earlier this year. This time around, Apple has brilliantly invented cellular antennas that could be integrated into a MacBook's Multi-Touch trackpad or directly into the display of an iOS device like an iPhone. That's important if Apple decides to design a future iPhone with a metal back. Now that the iPad offers 4G, the idea of the MacBook offering similar cellular-data capabilities sounds not only reasonable but inevitable.  

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