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January 2014

Apple Invents Thinner SIM Card Tray Assembly for Future Devices

1. Apple Invents New slimmer SIM Card try design
Apple has filed many SIM Card related patents over the last three years with the last one surfacing in October 2013. Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published yet another SIM Card Tray redesign with an emphasis this time on a thinner design form factor for future devices such as an iPhone, a MacBook and/or one that is wearable.

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Apple Seeks Trademark for "Touch ID"

40. Trademark
The US Patent & Trademark Office officially published Apple's latest trademark filing for "Touch ID," which was filed earlier in the week. For those unfamiliar with Apple's Touch ID, it's a fingerprint recognition feature, that's currently available on the seventh generation of iPhone, the iPhone 5S. Touch ID is heavily integrated into iOS 7 allowing users to unlock their phone, as well as make purchases in the various Apple digital media stores. Apple's Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller announced the new Touch ID feature at Apple's iPhone media event on September 10, 2013. It's fully expected that Apple's Touch ID security feature will be integrated into additional hardware beyond the iPhone 5S sometime later this year. Report Updated at 1:15 PM PST.

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Apple Invents another Find Your Vehicle App for iPhone Users

30. Patent Application
Last April Apple revealed a patent pending application for indoor mobile location as it related to finding a vehicle in a parking structure. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals another parking related invention, except this time it's about finding your vehicle outdoors via a locked-in GPS feature. I had an incident of temporarily forgetting where I parked my car while Christmas shopping at a mega mall this year. I went out the wrong mall door and wasted 30 minutes before realizing my error. A simple app like Apple is proposing would have been great to have – even if you only use it once in a blue moon.

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Apple's iPad Air Targeted in new Patent Lawsuit

50. Patently Legal
Texas base patent troll Hilltop Technology LLC has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns Apple's iPad Air and other Apple devices using a capacitive touch display.

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Apple introduces us to a Major Financial System Beyond iWallet

1. Cover - Major Apple Patent Covering a Financial Systems Integration System
On January 30, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a major patent application from Apple that reveals a new financial Systems Integration System. Apple's invention relates to financing integration with an e-commerce marketplace, and more specifically, the present technology relates to a Financing Systems Integration system that allows customers to shop-and-checkout using a Loan ID. Apple currently has a treasure trove of inventions relating to a future iWallet system but this is a new beast all together. The patent filing illustrates that Apple is investigating the whole financial matrix and not just the electronic wallet side of the equation. Apple's patent dives into creating a system to handle all sorts of loans, from student loans to Business-to-Business loans and everything in between. Our report provides you with an overview of this massive system along with a wide array of patent figures presenting multiple flowcharts for varying loan scenarios. In one part, Apple's financial system almost hints of one day bypassing the credit card system entirely.

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Apple Exploring new Transparent Fiber Composite Materials for Future Devices Including Wearable Computers

1. Cover - Apple patent transparent fiber composite

On January 30, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Transparent Fiber Composite." Apple's invention relates to transparent composite materials, and more particularly to relatively transparent composites formed with fibers encapsulated in a resin. Apple has been experimenting with composite materials since 2007 as we detailed in a 2010 patent report. We reported on Apple working on nano-silica fiber coatings in 2013 as well. This is all part in parcel of research that Apple is heavily investing in so as to find new materials for future devices. The wearable computer is one such category that will be able to take advantage of composite materials such as the one found in today's patent filing. Composite materials could be lighter and bend more easily than traditional plastic or metal which is ideal for clothing, smartwatches or other devices like ski boards. While today's invention provides us with no knock our revelation, it does provide us with a view into the research that Apple is currently engaged in.

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Apple Continues to Advance the iPen in 3 New Detailed Filings

1. 3 Apple iPen Patents Published today Jan 30 2014
On Tuesday we were surprised to see that Apple was granted a new iPen patent pertaining to orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far. Today, three new iPen related patent applications were published by the US Patent and Trademark Office that cover many new aspects of this invention including a unique eraser function.

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Apple Reveals Smart Bezel Functionality for Future iPad

1. Apple patent force Sensors in iPad Bezel
On January 30, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible future iPad bezel that will allow for gesture and touch input detection through Force Sensing. This will allow for virtual buttons to be incorporated right into the iPad's bezel. Apple first revealed their initial work on force sensors back in July 2013 and various aspects of smart bezels in April and December 2011.

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Apple Invents Methods of Manufacturing Sapphire Windows

30. Patent Application
We first reported on Apple's possible leap to using sapphire crystal glass for future displays in March 2013. In June of that year we published Apple's patent application for a sapphire laminate fusion process. Then in late December we published a killer patent for a flexible sapphire display created with liquid-metal. Last week we reported on new techniques for using sapphire on iDevice displays and today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest sapphire related patent application covering methods for manufacturing sapphire windows.

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Apple's iPad Still King of Tablets, Despite Growing Competition

10. News
According to a new IDC report published this afternoon, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million units for the full calendar year 2013, which is up from 144.2 million units for the full year 2012 and represents a year-over-year growth rate of 50.6%.
And despite gains made by Apple's competitors this year, they were still unable to unseat the king tablets: the iPad.

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Korea's Communication Watchdog Fines Google $198,000

10. News
On January twentieth we reported that the Korea Communications Commission suspected Google of having collected personal information without authorization in the process of preparing the 'Street View' service and scheduled an administrative measure against Google. The Korean press now reports that Google was fined $US198,000.

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Apple Patents a Cellular MacBook with Backside Touch Controls, Solar Cells and Smart Glass

1AA. Apple patent covers solar, backside display touch panels and smart glass
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on a single invention that covers future devices that could incorporate several integrated technologies including smart glass or electrochromic glass, backside display cover touch controls and photovoltaic cells that could add a power boost to many devices such as a MacBook or iPad. According to a new research report published today, notebooks and Ultrabooks with built-in LTE connectivity will be a new product category that will gain a lot of traction over the next few years as LTE expands into China and other markets around the globe.

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Apple to Tap into Explosive 4G Smartphone Growth in China

10. News
During Apple's Q1 Financial Conference Call yesterday afternoon Apple's CEO Tim Cook noted that iPhone sales had doubled year-over-year in mainland China. Yet the bigger news was yet to come. Cook noted that iPhone activations so far in the past week since the China Mobile launch had been the highest ever in the country. He further noted that the iPhone only launched in 16 cities and that they should see the iPhone in more than 300 cities by the end of the year as China Mobile continues to upgrade to 4G. Supporting Cook's enthusiasm for dynamic growth for iPhone sales in China is a new study published today that states that 4G sales in China are going to experience an explosive 1500% uptick in 2014.

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Apple Granted 31 Patents Today Covering the Original iPhone Design Crediting Steve Jobs, the OS X Magnifying Dock Effect & More

20. GRANTED PATENTS
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Yesterday Apple announced their Q1 results which included an all-time quarterly record for iPhone sales of 51 million. Today the US Patent Office granted Apple a design patent for their original iPhone crediting the late Steve Jobs as one of the original inventors/designers. Our final granted patent report of the day also includes a full list of the remaining patents that were granted to Apple today.

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Apple Wins Patent for inventing iPen Orientation Detection

1. Cover - Stylus orientation detection grante patent - Apple
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus on one patent related to stylus orientation detection. While the late Steve Jobs wasn't a big fan of the "dumb stylus" of yesteryear that was basically a tiny plastic pencil, he knew that one day the technology would give rise to an advanced iPen. Apple has invested heavily in the modern iPen with over 20 patents to their credit thus far.

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Apple Patent Reveals Magnetic Add-On Camera lenses for iDevices

1. Apple Granted Patent for magnetic camera lenses for iDevices
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 31 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a new camera related patent. In 2010 Apple introduced a clip-on accessory designed to provide iDevices with zooming capabilities. Today's granted patent goes far beyond that simple concept and introduces us to a vastly superior add-on camera lens system for iDevices that will use a magnetic mechanism. According to Apple, the movement of the lens assembly by the voice coil motor may provide various optical functions such as autofocus, lens zoom, anti-shake, or a combination of such functions.

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Apple Sold 51 Million iPhones, an All-Time Record

10. News
On Friday we reported that Apple's new iPhones hit Samsung's Q4 Badly. On January 07, Businessweek estimated that Samsung had shipped 13 million units of their Galaxy S4 for Q4. Yet when the real numbers came in days later, Bloomberg reported that it was actually much, much worse at a measly 9 million units, down from selling 17 million in Q3. Today, Apple announced a record-breaking 51 million iPhones were sold in the holiday Quarter which clearly demonstrates that the new iPhone 5S was a smash hit this holiday season with consumers over rival products from Samsung and others. Report Updated with Conference Call Highlights 5:15 PST

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Penn State Research Sues Samsung for Patent Infringement

50. Patently Legal
The Penn State Research Foundation has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, and Samsung Display Co., Ltd.).

Continue reading "Penn State Research Sues Samsung for Patent Infringement" »


New Web Traffic Usage Stats Show iPad in Commanding Lead

10. News
Prior to Apple announcing their financials for calendar Q4 2013 later today, Chitika published a new tablet usage chart. Despite a quarterly and year-over-year share dip, Apple's iPad share rebounded to a level slightly ahead of its pre-Christmas figure of 77.3%, and its users still generate more than three quarters of all tablet-based Web traffic within the U.S. and Canada.

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Russia's Megafon Signs New 3 Year Deal with Apple

1. Magfone - Russia - Now selling iPhone
According to Euroset, Apple only holds 9 percent of the smartphone market in Russia. In October Apple signed on Vimpelcom,
the first Russian carrier to sign a new direct contract to sell the iPhone 5s and 5c. Today a second mobile phone operator is back on with Apple after a four year break.

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Apple Lining up their A8 Processor Suppliers for Q2

10. News
Supply chain news out of Taiwan today states that Amkor Technology and STATS ChipPAC have each obtained 40% of the total packaging orders placed by Apple for its next-generation A8 processor, with the remaining 20% will be taken over by Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE).

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Funny: Samsung Losing Patent War with Apple, Signs Cross Licensing Deal with Google

10. News
I thought I was reading the funny papers when I read about Google and Samsung having reached a global patent cross-licensing agreement today. The official Samsung blog announced that they reached a cross licensing deal with Google. The deal covers patents currently owned by the companies, as well as any filed in the next 10 years. 

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Foxconn Plans to Open Advanced TV Display Plant in US

10. News
In March 2013 we reported on news out of Taiwan that Hon Hai's Chairman Terry Gou secretly met with Apple executives earlier that month to discuss HDTV displays for Apple's future iTV. Flash forward, and today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hon Hai celebrated their fortieth anniversary today and Terry Gou told reporters on Sunday
that they plan to relocate capital-intensive and high-tech manufacturing to the U.S., its largest market. More specifically, they're evaluating a plan to build an advanced TV display manufacturing plant.

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Apple iWallet Services Team is Moving to the Next Level

1. iWallet
It was just a week ago that we reported on Apple's latest iWallet patent application that was published by the US Patent Office. It revealed a little more about a new security system being considered along with using iBeacon in iPhones to make in-store transactions easier with retailers. Apple's first true iWallet patent application surfaced in May 2010 discussing digital transactions made with future iPhones. Since that time Apple has filed many other iWallet patent filings that can you could explore in our extensive iWallet Archives. Apple's iWallet patents cover everything from shopping, parental iWallet controls, billing systems and much, much more. Late yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is expanding their iWallet team while discussing their future iWallet services with industry executives.

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Foxconn Successfully Tested Sapphire Covers for Future iPhones

1. Cover - Apple Sapphire, Foxconn report
Yesterday Patently Apple reported on a new patent application from Apple covering new techniques for using sapphire on iDevice displays. Today, it's being report that Apple OEM partner Foxconn has begun testing the assembly of sapphire substrate display covers for the iPhone in their
Lunhua factory in Shenzhen. According to Chinese-language Apple Daily report, Foxconn has packaged 100 sapphire substrate display cover phones. Despite the small number assembled, the report claims that it's is a huge development for Foxconn.

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