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Apple Won a Patent Today for an Acquired Invention it never intended on Using

1 cover graphic tile apps


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we take a look at a patent that Apple acquired that conceptually was close to Apple's use of 'Apps' on the original iPhone. Apple may have acquired the patent to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit.


Granted Patent: Adding Tiles to a Graphical User Interface


Apple's newly granted patent covers an iPhone-like invention relating to having tiny Apps on a cell phone user interface. The patent filing called those tiny software applications 'Tiles.' Apple's patent abstract further noted that "A predefined key on an input device is selected to indicate to display available tiles. One of the displayed available tiles is selected and the user designates a location on the display of the content tiles where to place the selected displayed available tiles."


2 One of the original iPhone patents

Apple's granted patent noted that patent FIG. 1, as noted above, "is an 'exemplary' mobile communication device." Apple's patent FIG. 2 illustrates five different screen displays on a mobile communications device that may be used for adding tiles to a graphic user interface display; and patent FIG. 4 illustrates a logical flow diagram illustrating an exemplary process for adding tiles to a graphic user interface display.


This patent was acquired by Apple. With a little digging around, it was clear that the original owner of this invention was Zumobi Inc. of Seattle. Granted patent 9,846,750 was originally filed in 2007 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


It would appear that Apple Legal knew that the Tile concept was likely too close the iPhone's App centric UI and acquired it to avoid any legal wrangling to mar the iPhone's introduction.


Apple's granted patent 9,846,750 was originally filed in Q4 2007 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


14 Patent Notice Bar

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