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Apple is Granted New Patents for Multitouch & Trackpads

1. Cover, Apple Granted another Major Multitouch patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 35 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two multitouch related patents. The second patent covers a movable trackpad like those associated with the iPod Classic and the Apple TV remote. The first granted patent that we cover today is for yet another major multitouch patent covering contact tracking and an identification module for touch sensing.


Apple Granted Patent for Contact Tracking and Identification Module for Touch Sensing

 

Apple has been granted yet another major multitouch patent today. Apple's patent abstract covers the basics of their invention which states the following:

 

"Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device."

 

However, it should be noted that the basic abstract just cited is also used on other of Apple's granted patents regarding multitouch such as this one which was granted to Apple this past December.

 

Beyond the patent abstract, these patents also share the same verbiage in their "Summary of the Patent," which is 90% of the patent. What actually changes from patent to patent is the patent claims. While you'd have to read all of the patent claims in order to see the total difference between patents, the fact is that the main patent claims that clearly stand out as defining claims appear to found in numbers 1 and 28 as noted below.

 

Patent Claim #1: A method of generating a control signal of a computing system having a touch sensitive surface, the method comprising: obtaining motion information of a plurality of contacts, the contacts corresponding to touch devices on or near the surface at the same time, the motion information including a first value of a first component of motion that is one of translation motion, rotational motion, and scaling motion, and a second value of a second component of motion that is a different one of translation motion, rotational motion, and scaling motion than the first component of motion; determining an input activity; modifying the motion information to obtain modified motion information, the modifying including downscaling the second value with respect to the first value; and generating a control signal of the input activity based on the modified motion information.

 

Patent Claim #28: A non-transitory computer readable storage medium having computer executable instructions stored therein, which when executed by a computing system including a touch sensitive surface causes the computing system to perform a method comprising: obtaining motion information of a plurality of contacts, the contacts corresponding to touch devices on or near the surface at the same time, the motion information including a first value of a first component of motion that is one of translation motion, rotational motion, and scaling motion, and a second value of a second component of motion that is a different one of translation motion, rotational motion, and scaling motion than the first component of motion; determining and input activity; modifying the motion information to obtain modified motion information, the modifying including downscaling the second value with respect to the first value; and generating a control signal of the input activity based on the modified motion information.

 

2. Apple granted patent for contact tracking & ID Module for touch sensing

Patent Credits

 

Apple credits Wayne Westerman and John Elias as the inventors of this granted patent which was filed in Q2 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It should be noted that references listed in this granted patent go all the way back to 1998. To review today's 43 granted patent claims and extensive patent detailing, see Apple's granted patent number 8,441,453.

 

Apple Granted a Patent for a Movable Track Pad with Added Functionality

 

And lastly, Apple was granted a patent regarding a movable track pad with added functionality today. This patent basically covers the long standing clickwheel that Apple introduced with the original iPod. It's still used in the iPod Classic and Apple TV remote.

 

3. Apple granted patent for movable track pad - iPod

The patent also covers various MacBook trackpad button layouts, though Apple has already moved to the multitouch trackpad eliminating "buttons." Apple's Magic Mouse has likewise eliminated movable buttons. While the use of the technology seems to be thinning out at the moment, that's not to say the technology can't be implemented in future wearable computers and the like. For more on this granted patent, see Apple's granted patent number 8,441,450.

 

A Note for Tech Sites Covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.

 

PA - Bar - 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.

 

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