The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover one of the original Touch ID inventions regarding on-chip security against fraud, tampering and viruses. Apple was also granted a series of design patents covering Apple Watch and more. 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: Secure Off-Chip Processing such as for Biometric Data
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to secure data processing, and more specifically to methods and apparatus for securely employing resources external to a secure biometric data acquisition system to assist with storage and processing of acquired user biometric data.
In many systems, measures are taken to protect the acquired biometric image data, enrolled data, and the comparison and analysis process, often stored and processed on special hardware, from fraud and improper tampering and use. Often this protection involves isolating the secure biometric data acquisition, storage, and analysis elements from the host system's processor and memory, which are often not secure, and are vulnerable to compromise from such attacks as computer viruses, hacking, etc. Therefore, systems which resist compromise by computer viruses and other security attacks and in which the comparison and analysis process takes place on specialized hardware resources are often referred to as secure biometric data processing systems.
As data provided directly by secure biometric data processing systems is protected against tampering, fraud, viruses, etc., such data is referred to herein as trusted data. Data provided by data processing systems other than the secure variety may have been tampered with, contain viruses, or otherwise be compromised in such a manner that a biometric match result may not be trusted. Accordingly, data provided by sources other than secure biometric data processing systems is referred to herein as untrusted data. Apple's invention provides solutions to these concerns.
Apple's granted patent 9,361,440 was originally filed in Q4 2007 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The lone inventor of this patent is acknowledged as Alan Kramer who has invented patents for Apple, Authentec, STMicroelectronics, Whirlpool, Bank of America and others.
Granted Patent: Liquid Resistant Acoustic Device
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to acoustic devices, and more specifically to liquid resistant acoustic devices. Patently Apple originally covered this invention in February titled "Apple Patent Reveals Water Resistant Improvements Coming to Future iDevices." See our original report for details.
Last year we touched on an iFixit special report showing that Apple continues to advance water resistant design factors. And although Apple has many designs on water resistant, rumors continue to surface that Apple is aiming to deliver full out waterproofed devices. Until such time, Apple continues to experiment with new water resistant ideas and concepts. Apple's granted patent 9,363,589 was originally filed in 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple Granted Several Design Patents Today
Apple was granted several noteworthy design patents today. One of the designs covers a display structure used at retailers like Best Buy who offer an Apple store-within-a-store kiosk area. Apple was also granted another Apple Watch design patent for the overall "Wearable Device," and the "Remote" part of Apple's EarPods and headphones.
The last design patent of interest relates to Apple Watch and in particular the display. What could be interesting here is that although the design is about the display, Apple is showing us various angles of the Apple Watch and in particular the inside of the Apple Watch in FIG. 4. What's curious about FIG. 4 is that it differs in construction from that we're able to see in this iFixit teardown. While the design is close, it's definitely different in addition to not illustrating the digital crown. In the big picture, this could mean nothing or it could be that we're seeing a next-gen version of the Apple Watch. Unfortunately design patents don't provide us with any detailing to assist us in determining the nature of the design we're being presented with.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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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 Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 6pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.