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Apple Granted 28 Patents Covering an Active Stylus and a Design Patent for the iTunes Icon that Credits the Late Steve Jobs

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 28 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two main patents. The first covers an active stylus and the second one covers an emergency 911 system. The latter is designed to assist an iPhone user in case of an emergency such as a car accident. The iPhone would be able to call 911 automatically if the car came to an abrupt stop. Apple was also awarded a design patent today for their iTunes icon which credits the late Steve Jobs as one of the inventor/designers. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.


Granted Patent: Active Stylus


Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to a stylus that can act as a drive and/or a sense element in a capacitive touch system. Unlike conventional styluses which work passively by blocking electric field lines between the drive and sense electrodes of a capacitive touch sensor panel, the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both.



Accordingly, the styluses disclosed in this patent filing can be referred to as active styluses in comparison to conventional passive styluses. These active styluses can significantly improve stylus sensing on a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel without incurring significant additional cost. According to this patent, that translates to the "active stylus" being able to be used on Apple's iPhone and iPad which are directly listed as examples.


Apple's patent FIG. 2 noted above illustrates an exemplary active stylus for use with a capacitive touch sensor panel; FIG. 10 noted above illustrates the interaction between the active stylus and the touch sensor panel.


Patently Apple first covered this invention back on December 31, 2012 as a patent application report that you could review here. You can also check out Apple's other smart pen inventions in our associated archives.


Apple credits Jonah Harley and David Simon as the inventors of granted patent 8,928,635 which was originally filed in Q2 2011 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Granted Patent: Mobile Emergency Attack and Failsafe Detection


Apple's newly granted patent covers an invention relating to an iPhone set in "attack detection mode." While the device is in attack detection mode, certain events can cause the device to summon assistance automatically, even without further interaction from the device's user. For example, while the device is in attack detection mode, if the device's user ceases to interact with the device in a specified manner for at least a specified period of time, then the device can automatically place a telephone call to emergency services (e.g., by calling 911).


In another example, while the device is in attack detection mode, if an accelerometer contained within the device detects a sudden shock--due, perhaps, to the device being dropped on the ground--then the device similarly can automatically place a telephone call to emergency services. In certain embodiments of the invention, the mobile device can, after detecting a probable emergency situation using the techniques mentioned above, responsively and continuously emit a loud audible alarm through the device's speakers at maximum volume regardless of the device's current silence or volume settings, in an effort to attract help from other people who may be nearby.


Certain embodiments of the invention can enable a mobile communication device, such as a smart phone, to detect a probable automotive accident by using a global positioning system (GPS) and/or an accelerometer contained within that device. For example, in response to determining that the device had previously been moving at a particular speed beyond a specified threshold (e.g., 35 miles per hour), and then had suddenly stopped moving with a deceleration exceeding a specified threshold--such as would be unusual if a car's driver were merely coming to a stop at a sign or signal--then the device can estimate that the device's user has been involved in an automotive collision.



For more on this invention, see Patently Apple's patent application report first posted in March of this year.


Apple credits Robert Butler as the sole inventor\s of granted patent 8,929,853 which was originally filed in Q3 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Apple Granted a Design Patent for the iTunes Icon


Apple was granted two design patents today. The first covers the iTunes icon as noted below. That patent lists the late Steve Jobs as one of the inventors/designers.


4. iTunes icon granted design patent

The second design patent granted to Apple today relates to their iOS virtual keyboard.


The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today


5a Apple's  Remaining Granted Patents for Jan 6, 2014

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.


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.

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