The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover we focus on two of the most outstanding granted patents issued today covering Touch ID and Apple's future Lightning based audio connector. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Apple Granted Two Touch ID Patents
Apple has been granted a pair of Touch ID related patents today that cover their fingerprint sensing systems and enrollment process using synthetic fingerprint images.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below is a schematic illustration of a fingerprint sensing system; FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a synthetic fingerprint image displayed on a display device; FIGS. 3 and 4 are schematic illustrations of a synthetic fingerprint images displayed on an iDevice display during the initial portion of an enrollment process.
Apple notes that the data generated by a fingerprint sensor may be encrypted for security purposes and processed using a secure processor. A fingerprint match to a known fingerprint image may also be determined by the secure processor. In this manner, fingerprint data may be kept secure and may not be exposed unencrypted or unsecured to non-secure processors.
Apple further notes that fingerprint sensors may be smaller than the fingerprint, and a user may be required to roll, swipe, or otherwise move their finger to expose different regions of the finger to the fingerprint sensor in order for the system to obtain a complete fingerprint image.
Apple credits Byron Han and Craig Marciniak as the inventors of granted patent 8,913,802 which was originally filed in Q2 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's 28 granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent. Apple was issued a second granted patent with the same name covering another round of 20 patent claims differing from the other patent. To review those claims, see granted patent 8,913,802. For more on Touch ID click here.
Apple Granted Patent: Lightning Connector for Audio
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to connectors such as audio connectors and data connectors and in particular to low profile audio connectors and data connectors that can be used in place of standard audio connectors currently used.
Apple's invention is designed to replace today's TRS styled audio plug connectors with a lighting styled audio connector for future EarPods and even Beats-styled headphones. This is a part of their MFi Program. It was reported by the Verge in September that Philips is the first to introduce headphones using Apple's Lighting connector.
Apple credits Albert Golko, Arthur Brigham, Roger Chen and Alice Yang as the inventors of granted patent 8,911,260 which was originally filed in Q4 2011 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Today's patent covers 29 patent claims.
Apple's Mac Mini Granted a Design Patent
While Apple was granted five design patents today, the most important is the one covering the Mac Mini (D719,561). Apple dropped the Mac Mini's DVD drive back in 2011. The others cover iOS icons and/or minor interface elements such as the iPhone's keypad.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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