Germany’s highest appeals court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2015

Germany’s highest appeals court has ruled that Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patents are invalid, VentureBeat reported Tuesday.

The ruling basically reaffirmed a 2013 decision in which the lower Federal Patent Court rejected Apple’s claims on the grounds of ‘prior art’. The German courts discovered that Apple’s slide-to-patent involves a similar technique as that featured on a smartphone released before the iPhone by a Swedish company called Neonode. Read More

 

Samsung to appeal to Supreme Court in Apple patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 19, 2015

As expected, Samsung is taking its patent battle with Apple to the United States Supreme Court. The San Jose Mercury News points to a new court filing from the company, which voices its intent to ask the Supreme Court to hear its case.

In 2012, Samsung was found guilty of infringing on multiple Apple patents and was ordered to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages. That amount has since been cut in half, but Samsung is hoping to get the sum further reduced. Read More

 

Court denies Samsung’s latest appeal request in ongoing patent case

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2015

The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Samsung’s request to reconsider the court’s decision to uphold damages awarded in its patent infringement case, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The damages amount to more than $400 million.

This is just the latest turn in what seems to be a never-ending patent case between Samsung and Apple. In 2012, a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s patents and awarded the iPhone maker $1 billion in damages, which has since been cut in half. Read More

 

Apple’s smudge-detection patent prevents an iPhone screen from accidentally turning off

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2015

When you bring up an iPhone to your ear to take or receive a phone call, the handset taps the built-in proximity sensor near the ear piece to detect that you’re holding your phone up and then turns off the display to prevent spray input from your face.

But sometimes a smudge from your finger can block the path of light back to the phone’s sensors, prompting the device to shut down the display because it thinks you’re holding the device near your head.

A new invention Apple was granted a patent for was published Tuesday by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), describing a smudge-detection method designed to prevent an iPhone screen from accidentally turning off due to smudges. Read More

 

Apple patents stylus that scans objects in 3D and simulates textures via haptic feedback

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is adamant that Apple is working on an advanced stylus accessory for a rumored 12-inch ‘iPad Pro,’ an assumption based in no small part on patent applications Apple has filed for in years past.

The latest indication that the iPhone maker is indeed researching styli technology comes in the form of a new patent application published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which proposes an advanced texture-sensing stylus design with a built-in camera. Read More

 

Apple engineers 2mm-long high-resolution camera that could be suitable for use in Apple Watch 2

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2015

9to5Mac recently learned from sources in the know that a second-generation Apple Watch will integrate a tiny camera into the top bezel for conducting FaceTime video conversations from your wrist. The report, short on details, has left many questions unanswered and prompted watchers to scratch their head in curiosity.

The logic goes: if Apple couldn’t develop a non-protruding camera for the latest iPhones, how on Earth is the company supposed to fit one into such a tiny wrist-worn device?

Having faced the very same engineering challenges, rival Samsung has taken the easy route by embedding a camera into a Gear’s band rather than the smartwatch’s body.

Though not the prettiest of solutions, it is in fact functional—to a certain extent. But can you really imagine a camera bulge on an Apple Watch band? Yeah, me neither. Thankfully, Apple appears to have shrunk a high-resolution camera into a tiny module that could fit inside an Apple Watch. Read More

 

Apple working on TV remote with built-in fingerprint sensor

By Cody Lee on Jul 23, 2015

The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published three patent applications from Apple relating to biometric input devices. As noted by AppleInsider, all the filings mention a device with a built-in fingerprint sensor that could be used in a future TV remote.

It’s not hard to imagine the biometric possibilities of a remote control for a TV or set-top box. The device would be able to identify users—paving the way for custom profiles, settings and parental controls—and could support multi-finger shortcuts and simple gestures. Read More

 

Future iPhones could get rid of unsightly antenna bands as Apple invents a new metallic material

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

In addition to a protruding camera, those antenna bands represent the most controversial design feature of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Blame the unsightly bands on the law of physics.

Though iPhones and cellular iPads and iPods would have decidedly looked sleeker without the bands, the radio waves cannot penetrate metal so an all-metal iPhone would be quite useless despite a stunningly seamless appearance.

But if a patent application Apple filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office is an indication, future iPhones could easily get rid of the antenna bands on the back as Apple has apparently invented a metallic looking material that doesn’t interfere with the functioning of RF antennas. Read More

 

Samsung asks appeals court to reconsider infringement ruling

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2015

Samsung on Wednesday asked the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision to uphold a ruling that will cost it $400 million in damages for infringing on Apple’s design patents, reports San Jose Mercury News. In a recent court filing, the company asks for a rehearing with a full 12-judge roster, rather than the 3-judge panel the court used last month.

In 2012, a jury ruled that several of Samsung’s products infringed on Apple patents, and awarded the iPhone-maker $1 billion in damages. That number has been reduced down to $548 million in various post-trial proceedings, and Samsung is trying to eliminate another big chunk—some $400 million—by getting the verdicts regarding design patent infringement tossed out. Read More

 

Apple patents hybrid ‘Fusion’ keyboard with gestures, forceful pressure and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for a hybrid multitouch keyboard that would incorporate touch-sensitive mechanical keys with two-position mechanical switches for activating tasks at different levels of pressure.

Titled ‘Fusion keyboard’, the U.S. Patent No. 9,041,652 explores a touch sensitive mechanical keyboard for detecting touch events and key depressions. Read More

 

Apple working on glasses-free 2D/3D display with adaptive eye-tracking

By Cody Lee on May 21, 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent application on Thursday entitled “Spatially interactive computing device.” The filing describes an advanced display system that can output both 2D and 3D images at the same time, without the need for specialized glasses.

More specifically, the display uses multiple layers to provide differing output to a viewer’s left and right eyes, as well as adaptive eye-tracking courtesy of a built-in image sensor. These technologies allow the display to produce 3D images to one user, or multiple images to different users, simultaneously. Read More

 

Court rules iPhone looks can’t be protected, adjusts Samsung’s $930 million penalty

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Monday, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it’s ruled that Samsung violated Apple’s design patents but did not infringe on the Cupertino firm’s trade dress intellectual property.

As reported by Reuters, the appeals court has now reversed part of Apple’s $930 million verdict versus Samsung, ordering that the penalty be adjusted accordingly. Read More

 

Touch ID could gain new gaming features, scrolling and more

By Cody Lee on May 16, 2015

Touch ID could get significantly more useful in future iOS devices, according to an Apple patent filing revealed this week. The filing, first spotted by Patently Apple, is extremely lengthy (combines several patents) and offers an overview of where Apple thinks fingerprint technology is headed.

One of the more interesting inventions is a portable touch display with integrated fingerprint sensors. So instead of touching the Home button, you could simply touch a designated part of the display to unlock your device or authenticate something. Apple says it could even offer tactile feedback. Read More

 

Apple awarded patent for Beats Mixr over-ear headphone design

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2015

Tuesday, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded Apple a new patent grant which covers the overall design of the Beats Mixr over-ear headphone.

As you know, the Cupertino company acquired Beats, the audio hardware maker and the streaming-music provider, back in 2014 in a transaction valued at $3 billion.

Officially titled “Audio listening system”, the patent covers the ornamental design for an audio listening system. As shown and described, it specifically details a design feature allowing users to rotate each driver up and behind their ear, a prominent feature valued mostly by DJs. Read More

 

Ericsson sues Apple in UK, Germany and Netherlands over alleged patent infringement

By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2015

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has extended its patent lawsuit against Apple to Europe, filing separate lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands over alleged patent infringement, Reuters reported Friday.

Ericsson is alleging that Apple has been using its patents without a legitimate license. It unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker over the same matter in the United States in February 2015.

The world’s largest maker of wireless networks, Stockholm-based Ericsson owns many patents covering 2G, 3G and 4G LTE cellular technology. Read More

 

Apple researching a new kind of social network for lifestyle-based groups

By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2015

You know what would be really cool? Another social network, one built by Apple. No, I’m not referring to yet another Facebook clone nor am I ironically nodding at iTunes Ping.

An Apple patent application published Thursday by The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) envisions a new kind of social network for lifestyle-based social groups. It would be iOS-exclusive, in that it would tap into the wealth of app, device and sensor data in order to determine your interests and help connect you with like-minded people in the vicinity. Read More

 

Apple granted design patent for Apple Watch, probably to be used in future lawsuits

By Jake Smith on May 6, 2015

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a design patent for the Apple Watch on Wednesday, covering the look and feel of the wearable that hit the market at the end of April.

The patent covers the entire design of the device, from the screen, sensors, charging apparatus, digital crown, and more. Like with all companies do, Apple filed for the patent to protect itself against competitors, so they can’t use an identical design. Read More

 

Chinese court says Apple isn’t guilty of Siri patent infringement, overturns previous ruling

By Jake Smith on Apr 24, 2015

“Siri, how does it feel to be a winner?”

A Chinese appeals court has put an end to a three year patent battle over Apple’s Siri voice recognition found on its iOS line. AFP reports that Apple has won an appeal in China over the patents, overturning an earlier decision that put Apple in the guilty chair. Read More

 

Apple awarded patents for Apple Watch Sport Band, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet designs

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2015

Innovation that went into conceiving, designing and engineering the Apple Watch extends to the bands, too. And as we count down the remaining days until Watches start shipping, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has just granted Apple a trio of patents covering designs for the most popular Watch straps, branded the Sport Band, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet.

Interestingly enough, all three patents are titled just “Band” and described as covering “the ornamental design for a band”. The newly issued patent grants arrived just one month following another USPTO patent award for the Watch’s Modern Buckle strap. Read More

 

Apple granted patent for iOS docking station with flexible Lighting connector

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2015

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published dozens of Apple patent grants on its website, among them an invention describing a docking station for portable devices with a flexible Lighting connector.

First revealed in March 2014 and then filed in October 2014, the U.S. Patent 8,986,029 titled ‘Dock connector with compliance mechanism’ outlines a compliance mechanism in the iOS device dock that flexes when the connector is stressed in order to pivot the connector at a point where the connector protrudes from the dock housing. Read More

 
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