Patent filing reveals Apple’s work on gesture-based passwords

By Cody Lee on Apr 17, 2014

 The US Patent and Trademark Office published a pair of interesting Apple patent applications yesterday. The filings are titled ‘Gesture entry techniques,’ and together they describe a device-unlocking feature that involves a user drawing a custom pattern on a screen by connecting illuminated dots.

Apple filed for the patent in late 2012, several years after Google introduced a very similar feature in Android. It would appear, though, that the iPad-maker’s version of the gesture-based password is at least slightly more advanced, as it can account for swipe speed, use of invisible dots, and more… Read More

 

Apple patent ditches GPS for Wi-Fi to better determine location indoors

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

Apple has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday that will help its Maps app better track your location indoors.

The patent describes a technology that temporarily ditches the GPS sensor, and uses Wi-Fi access points, location databases, and other sensors to determine your location where the GPS sensor may not be as accurate, Apple Insider first reported. Read More

 

Samsung exec: we didn’t copy Apple’s iPhone, we just had better marketing

By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014

Apple is claiming in the latest patent trial on-going in a California court that Samsung ripped off its iPhone to become the top-smartphone maker in the world, while Samsung says it was just pure marketing genius that helped turn the smartphone tide over the years.

Todd Pendleton, the chief marketing officer for Samsung’s American division, became the first Samsung executive to take the stand on Monday in the latest patent spat. He explained that marketing Samsung’s phones as the “Next Big Thing” helped it beat Apple, HTC, and BlackBerry, who in 2011 all held a lead over the South Korean electronics giant.

“I think people knew Samsung for televisions,” Pendleton told the court, when reminiscing on 2011. “But in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for.” Read More

 

Apple calls in expert to explain why it deserves $2 billion in damages from Samsung

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

The high-profile patent trial between Apple and Samsung wages on, with Apple on Tuesday calling in a damages expert Chris Vellturo to speak to the jury. The MIT-trained economist’s job was to help the company explain why it deserved the damages it’s asking for.

For those who missed it last week, Apple is asking the court to award it $2 billion ($2.19B to be exact) in damages from Samsung for infringing on 5 of its utility patents. And according to Vellturo, that amount is fair based on a mix of lost profits and owed royalty fees… Read More

 

Internal Apple slides explain why it thinks iPhone growth is slowing

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

Despite posting 50+ million iPhone sales last quarter, Apple’s stock slid some 6%. As impressive as the numbers were, they still fell short of Wall Street expectations and reaffirmed fears of slowing growth. Apple’s YoY (year-over-year) iPhone growth is now down to just single digits.

The question is why? And Apple has a pretty good idea of what the answer is. According to some internal documents brought to light by the ongoing Samsung trial, the company attributes the slowing in iPhone growth to consumer want for larger, cheaper handsets and other factors… Read More

 

Steve Jobs email reveals past Apple TV ideas: apps, ‘magic wand’ remote and more

By Cody Lee on Apr 5, 2014

We’re only a few days in, but we’ve already learned a lot from the Apple-Samsung patent trial. With it being a legal proceeding, the public is given access to information it wasn’t previously privi’ed to by way of executive testimonies, corporate emails and other evidence.

In fact, earlier today a particularly interesting email surfaced from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The document, which was submitted as evidence in the case, features a list of things Jobs wanted to discuss at the company’s 2010 ‘top 100′ meeting, including the Apple TV… Read More

 

Apple engineer explains how the iPhone was designed for ‘normal people’

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

The Samsung trial marched on today, with Apple’s Greg Christie taking the stand. You might remember Christie, the senior software engineer, from this WSJ article last month, where he detailed some of the early stages of original iPhone development. And this afternoon, he did the same thing in court.

More specifically, Christie shared some new details on the development of the iPhone’s ‘Slide to Unlock,’ which is one of the patents that Apple’s accusing  Samsung of infringing. He said initially, his team wanted the handset’s display to be always on, but they quickly discovered it needed a locked mode… Read More

 

Apple settles patent infringement suit with Intertrust Technologies

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

Apple has reached an out-of-court settlement with Interest Technologies this week. The holding company, which is jointly owned by tech giants Sony and Philips, filed a lawsuit against the iPad-maker last year for allegedly infringing on more than two dozen of its patents on distributed computing.

The original suit didn’t layout specifically which patents Intertrust was accusing Apple of infringing, but the company counts digital rights management (or DRM) tech among its inventions. So it’s not too surprising that the two sides notified the court on Tuesday that a settlement had been reached… Read More

 

Apple seeking $2 billion in damages in new Samsung trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 1, 2014

As most of you know probably know by now, round 2 of Apple’s US patent battle with Samsung kicked off this week in a San Jose, California court room. The last time these 2 companies met on American soil, in the fall of 2012, Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages.

This time around, the iPad-maker is asking for twice that much. And although it’s using different patents, and going after different Samsung devices, it’s ultimately trying to prove the same thing as it did before: that Samsung intentionally copied its patented inventions… Read More

 

Apple’s ‘transparent texting’ tech aims to make it safer to walk and text

By Cody Lee on Mar 30, 2014

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application entitled ‘Transparent Texting’ that Apple filed in late 2012. In it, the company proposes to replace the background image of messaging applications with a live video feed from the device’s camera.

This effect would create the illusion that the device has a transparent display, allowing users to see what lies in front of them while they are texting. The goal of the invention is to make it safer for iPhone (and other mobile device) users to text and perform other functions while walking…
Read More

 

BlackBerry wins injunction against Typo keyboard case

By Cody Lee on Mar 29, 2014

BlackBerry won a key victory yesterday in its fight against Typo. A federal judge agreed with the Canadian company that the iPhone keyboard case likely infringes on their patents, and issued a preliminary injunction late Friday to halt sales.

For those that missed it, back in January BlackBerry sued the makers of the Typo iPhone case over patent infringement. The case features a built-in battery, and a physical, backlit keyboard that looks nearly identical to those used in BB devices… Read More

 

Apple engineer offers detailed look at development of original iPhone software

By Cody Lee on Mar 26, 2014

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting interview with Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie yesterday, in which Christie offers a detailed look at some of the events that led up to the original iPhone. Apparently the Cupertino company gave him permission to discuss the development process of the handset.

Admittedly, a lot of the things mentioned we’ve heard before—from book excerpts, court testimonies, etc.—but Christie does provide a few new details. For instance, he says at one point Jobs gave him and his team two weeks to come up with something or he would be reassigning the ‘iPhone software’ project to another group… Read More

 

Samsung removes standard-essential patents from upcoming Apple trial

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 9, 2014

Apple and Samsung will duke it out in the courtroom over technology patents later this month. As the second California trial looms (it begins March 31), the two technology giants have filed a stipulation with the United States District Court of California which narrows the second case, patent blogger Florian Müeller reported on his blog, FOSS Patents.

Under the stipulation, Samsung withdrew its asserted claims based on three standard-essential patents while Apple dropped all of its counterclaims relating to these patents… Read More

 

German court dismisses $2 billion patent troll suit against Apple

By Cody Lee on Feb 28, 2014

Earlier this month it was reported that Apple was getting sued for over $2 billion by known patent troll IPCom. The german company alleged that the iPad-maker violated one of its patents pertaining to priority access to channels for emergency responder.

But it doesn’t look like the suit will ever make it to trial. FOSS Patents is reporting that in a string of rulings handed down by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany today, two of IPCom’s suits against Apple and one against HTC have been dismissed… Read More

 

Samsung’s iBeacon is called Flybell

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2014

2014 could be the year we see indoor positioning and micro-location services become pervasive in our lives. Thank that to iBeacon, an Apple-designed new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence.

iBeacon technology can also be used by the Android operating system and chip makers like Qualcomm have taken notice and started churning out low-cost transmitters.

At its core, iBeacon lets iOS devices (or other hardware) send push notifications to other iOS devices in close proximity. Needless to say, fast-follower Samsung does not seem keen on supporting iBeacon in its products and instead is pursuing an in-house built solution.

According to a new patent application published by The United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO), the Galaxy maker’s iBeacon is called Flybell and is being described as a “wireless beacon and corresponding software”Read More

 

Apple researching headphones with head gestures that track fitness and health data

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2014

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published a new Apple patent No. 8,655,004 for a “sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets”.

The system could also employ head gestures to control various features and could be a nice companion for an Apple wearable device project.

The invention encloses integrated activity monitors in a set of headphones to pick up such health and fitness related metrics as temperature, perspiration, heart rate data and more… Read More

 

Apple top target for patent trolls, sued 92 times in 3 years

By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2014

Apple has taken much criticism over the years for its patent litigation efforts, for going after Samsung, Motorola and other companies for violating its intellectual property. But what many don’t know is that the iPad-maker defends itself against just as many lawsuits.

In fact, according to some recently filed FTC documents, Apple has been litigated against by PAEs (or Patent Assertion Entity, commonly known as a patent troll) 92 times during the past 3 years. And that’s just the number of cases that actually made it to a courtroom… Read More

 

German patent troll hits Apple with $2+ billion claim over standards-essential patent

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2014

Apple and its billions are definitely the favorite target of patent trolls around the world and this newest case just exemplifies the fact. IPCom GmbH, a German patent holding firm, is suing Apple for patent infringement and is seeking north of $2 billion in damages over the use of a standards-essential wireless patent pertaining to an emergency service standard.

The use of the emergency service standard is required by law in many countries around the world! A trial in this case is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11, before Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court… Read More

 

A list of devices and patents involved in upcoming Apple-Samsung trial

By Cody Lee on Feb 5, 2014

Ahead of their high-profile trial, scheduled to start in March, Apple and Samsung have submitted a list of all of the patents they are accusing each other of infringing, and applicable devices. Well this is a pared down list, trimmed by each side at Judge Koh’s orders.

This is the second time the two will meet in Koh’s northern California courtroom. The first time around, Samsung was found guilty of infringing on a few Apple patents and was forced to pay close to $1 billion in damages. This time, there may be even more at stake… Read More

 

University of Wisconsin takes Apple to court over A7′s performance-enhancing tricks

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

The University of Wisconsin via its patent-licensing arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company’s in-house designed A7 chip infringes the foundation’s patent designed to improve “the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors” by introducing a new process for allowing quicker execution of processor instructions.

It’s been reported Monday that Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, which acts as the primary engine driving the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, apparently uses this technology without permission… Read More

 
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