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Apple Granted 25 Patents Today Covering Siri, Smart Retail Store Packaging, Multitouch and Touch Screen Camera Functionality

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 25 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a second win for Apple's Siri this year, future smart retail packaging with wireless connectivity, another multitouch invention and iDevice touch screen camera functionality. We wrap-up our report as usual with a full listing of the granted patents issued to Apple today that we didn't individually highlight.


Apple Granted a Second Siri Patent This Year


Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to intelligent systems and more specifically for classes of applications for intelligent automated assistants. Of course, Apple's automated digital assistant is branded as Siri.


According to various embodiments of Apple's invention, an intelligent automated assistant is implemented on an electronic device, to facilitate user interaction with a device, and to help the user more effectively engage with local and/or remote services. In various embodiments, the intelligent automated assistant engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural language dialog, and invokes external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions.


In various embodiments, the system of the present invention can be implemented to provide assistance in any of a number of different domains. Examples include: Local Services (including location- and time-specific services such as restaurants, movies, automated teller machines (ATMs), events, and places to meet); Personal and Social Memory Services (including action items, notes, calendar events, shared links, and the like); E-commerce (including online purchases of items such as books, DVDs, music, and the like); Travel Services (including flights, hotels, attractions, and the like).


This Apple's second granted patent for Siri this year. Whether these granted patents will assist Apple in their current lawsuits (one, two) is unknown at this time.


2. Apple Granted a Siri Related Patent


Apple credits Thomas Gruber, Adam Cheyer, Didier Guzzoni, Christopher Brigham, Harry Saddler, Richard Giuli and Marcello Bastea-Forte as the inventors of granted patent 8,670,979 titled "Active input elicitation by intelligent automated assistant." Apple which was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was originally filed their application in Q4 2012. Last month's granted patent 8,660,849 was titled "Prioritizing selection criteria by automated assistant." To review today's granted patent with 27 claims, see Apple's patent.


While many Apple fans enjoy the current voice of Siri, others would prefer the voice of Scarlett Johansson who is currently starring in the movie "Her." Johansson plays the voice of the futuristic and highly advanced digital assistant called Samantha. I don't know about you, but I might be persuaded to use Samantha a little more, I mean Siri of course, if Johansson's voice was used. I doubt I'm alone on that one.


2b Scarlett Johansson in the Movie Help plays the voice of a futuristic Digital Assistant

Note to Scarlett: "Thanks for the photo, hope to have lunch with you again this Friday" -  (Yeah, in my dreams - ha!). But Siri-ously, Apple should consider offering "celebrity voices" for Siri. The late Steve Jobs knew to tap into big well known celebrity voices for Pixar Films and all adults fell in love with that angle to animated films. If Apple won't do it, I'm sure others will in the future.


Apple Granted a Patent for adjusting iDevice Camera Settings on a Touch Screen


Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to mage capturing electronic devices, having a touch sensitive screen for controlling camera functions and settings.


Apple's patent covers several methods for operating a built-in digital camera of a portable, handheld electronic device. In one embodiment, the device receives a user selection (e.g., tap, tap and hold, gesture) of a region displayed on the display screen (e.g., touch sensitive display screen). A touch to focus mode may then be initiated and an exposure metering area can then automatically be determined based on the user selection and displayed on the screen. Then a focus area can be automatically determined based on the user selection and an automatic focus scan initiated for the focus area. Next, the automatic exposure mechanism adjusts exposure parameters based on the metering area.


3. Apple granted patent figs 6,7 touch screen based camera adjustments


In another embodiment, the display screen is a touch sensitive screen and the user selection is one of a tap, a tap and hold, a single finger gesture, and a multi-finger gesture.


In another embodiment, an automatic detect scene change mechanism is executed. This mechanism can automatically monitor a luminance distribution of the selected region for each image captured by the device during the touch to focus mode. The mechanism automatically compares a first luminance distribution of the selected region for a first image and a second luminance distribution of the selected region for a second image. Then, the mechanism automatically determines whether a scene has changed by comparing first and second luminance distributions of the selected region for the respective first and second images. If a scene has changed, then the mode changes to a continuous automatic focus mode in which the exposure metering area is based on the full screen and the focus area automatically moves from the selected region to a center of the screen.


Apple credits Jeremy Jones, Nikhil Bhogal and Ralph Brunner as the inventors of granted patent 8,670,060 which was originally filed in Q3 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.


Apple Granted a Patent for Future Smart Packaging


Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to electronic media devices, and, more particularly, to active packaging for electronic media devices that allows power, data, or both power and data to be supplied to one or more electronic devices housed within the active packaging.




Apple's patent FIG. 7A shows us an example of an active packaging design. To provide power to electronic media device, Apple states that a wireless power receiver module may be built into or attached to the active package. For example, the antenna 714 may receive RF signals from an RF power transmitter and convert the received RF energy into direct current. The current may be used to power or charge the electronic media device while it's housed inside the active package.


Apple credits Michael Rosenblatt as the sole inventor of granted patent 8,668,519 which was originally filed in Q2 2013 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent. Apple filed for another smart packaging patent back in April 2013.


Apple Granted another Multitouch Patent


Lastly today, Apple was granted a patent today that generally relates to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portable electronic devices that display structured electronic documents such as web pages on a touch screen display.


Although we tend to get bored hearing about Apple winning yet another multitouch patent, it's always legally important for Apple to continually win intellectual property related to their iDevice revolution that began in 2007.


5. iDevice, multitouch patent

Today's granted patent number 8,669,950 titled "Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying structured electronic documents," was originally filed in Q4 2010. Apple's former VP of iOS software Scott Forstall, Greg Christie, Stephen Lemay, Imran Chaudhri, Richard Williamson, Chris Blumenberg, Marcel van OS and Andre Boule were credited for this invention.


The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today


  6. Apple's Remaining Granted Patents for Mar 11, 2014


130. PA - Bar - NoticePatently 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 Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.


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