New Apple invention would employ multi-axis haptic feedback based on device orientation

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2016

A new patent filing by Apple, which surfaced Tuesday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database, provides yet another indication that Apple’s engineers continue work on perfecting haptic feedback in its products. According to the filing, the company has invented a multi-axis haptic feedback solution capable of producing vibrations in different directions, based on whether a user holds the device in portrait or landscape orientation. Read More

 

Foldable Samsung tablet/smartphone hybrid aka “smartlet” appears in patent filing

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

Last month, Bloomberg ran a high-profile story about Samsung’s alleged initiative, code-named Project Valley, that would bring a pair of fully bendable Galaxy phones to market in early-2017.

Subsequent supply chain reports have since backed the story partially as it became public knowledge that Samsung has allocated north of $7 billion into boosting production of flexible OLED panels.

As Patently Apple noted today, a new patent application sheds more light on the South Korean conglomerate’s interest in creating a technology that would allow a smartphone or tablet to fold in half when not in use. Read More

 

New invention paves the way for iPhones that’d optimize UI for left-handed users

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 28, 2016

The Apple Watch is designed for both left and right-handed use via a switch that prompts it to optimize the watchOS user interface for left-handed users. A similar feature could be headed to future iPhones as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) a few days ago awarded the firm a patent for “Electronic Devices with Hand Detection Circuitry” that might let a future iPhone detect how it’s being held and tweak the Home screen and other aspects of the iOS user interface for left-handed users. Read More

 

Beijing court orders iPhone 6 sales ban over patent infringement, Apple to appeal ruling

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2016

Apple just hit yet another roadblock in China with news that the Beijing Intellectual Property Office (BJIPO) has ordered the company to halt sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on the grounds that the Apple handset copied the design of the 100C smartphone, which is being produced by Shenzhen Baili, one of China’s phone vendors.

Apple has confirmed that it will challenge the sales ban by appealing to the Beijing Higher People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Court. Read More

 

Magic Leap has been awarded design patent for a Star Wars-like VR headset

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2016

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap, which created the Leap Motion Controller for the Mac, has been awarded a design patent today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a virtual reality headset which looks like a Star Wars helmet or something straight out of the Robocop movies. According to Andy Fouché, Magic Leap’s Vice President of Public Relations, the patent does not represent the finished product. Read More

 

Apple’s just been granted a patent for a MacBook with embedded cellular connectivity

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

The United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) today granted Apple a brand new patent which seems to address a longstanding complaint among MacBook owners: the machine’s lack of an embedded cellular connectivity.

Titled “Electronic device with dual clutch barrel cavity antennas” and originally filed for in the second quarter of 2015, the invention describes using additional wireless circuitry for cellular data via cavity antenna structures that are not present on current MacBooks. Read More

 

Apple granted a patent that’d allow advanced car control via your iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on May 24, 2016

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday granted Apple a patent that could be a perfect fit for Project Titan, its not-so-secretive electric car project.

The proposed invention outlines an advanced vehicle access control system that would permit an iPhone to do things like open your car doors, start or shut off the engine for specific time frames and for specific duration of time, adjust and activate personalized car settings and more.

“The feature set described in this invention went far beyond anything that could have been conceived working with CarPlay,” explains Patently Apple, which first caught wind of the granted patent. Read More

 

VoIP-Pal slaps Apple with $2.8 billion lawsuit over patent used in FaceTime and iMessage

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016

Voice over IP (VoIP), a technology for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the Internet, is at the heart of an unbelievable $2.8 billion patent infringement lawsuit that VoIP-Pal, a Bellevue-based company, filed this morning against the iPhone maker.

“We are confident the current good will on both sides will result in a favorable outcome for all parties involved,” said VoIP-Pal CEO Emil Malak in a prepared statement. Read More

 

Apple’s vision of a streamlined clarification process for when Auto-Correction makes mistakes

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 29, 2016

There probably isn’t a single iPhone user on this planet that hasn’t experienced the “joys” of the Auto-Correction feature interfering with their messaging. Auto-Correction mistakes often produce hilarious miscommunications (there’s a website for that).

Whether or not you’re a heavy typist, you’ll appreciate that Apple’s been researching ways to improve Auto-Correction, according to a patent application that surfaced yesterday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database.

Cryptically titled “Device, method and graphical user interface for visible and interactive corrected content,” it envisions highlighting auto-corrected words in an iMessage for the recipient and a built-in Messages feature for streamlining the process of clarifying what the sender meant. Read More

 

Apple patents hybrid wireless/wired earbuds for iPhone that are magnetically detachable

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2016

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for magnetically detachable earbuds for an iPhone that could work in both wired and wireless mode. The invention is of particular interest in light of the rumor that the next iPhone will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of Lightning-enabled and wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The proposed device would use two cables, one to connect the headphones together in wireless mode (like the connecting cable found on the Beats Solo2 wireless headphones) and the other to connect the headphones to a host device in wired mode. Read More

 

Apple’s $120 million patent victory against Samsung overturned

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2016

An appeals court on Friday ruled that Samsung won’t have to pay Apple $119.6 million for infringing its patents, reports Bloomberg. The court found two of Apple’s patents, including one for its slide-to-unlock feature, to be invalid and a third wasn’t infringed.

Today’s ruling overturns a verdict reached by a California jury in May 2014, which found Samsung devices to infringe on Apple’s patents. It also upholds a decision to make Apple pay Samsung $158,400 in damages for infringing on its video compression patent. Read More

 

Apple patent would use Apple Watch to intelligently adjust iPhone alert volume on the fly

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2016

Apple has been researching software solutions that would tap into a user’s Apple Watch to intelligently adjust an iPhone’s alert volume on the fly, by monitoring and comparing ambient sound samples.

Filed for with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) back in 2014 and published on Thursday, the patent application titled “Volume control for mobile device using a wireless device” outlines volume control adjustments by having a Watch’s built-in microphone sample an alert generated on an iPhone to “detect a distinct contribution corresponding to the audible alert.” Read More

 

Apple researching pressure-sensing Touch ID with 3D Touch type functionality

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2016

Apple has filed for a new patent application, which surfaced this morning in the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database.

It reveals that the Cupertino firm is seeking to add pressure sensing capability to the iPhone’s Touch ID button while hinting at the possibility of enabling 3D Touch-like functionality by way of applying various degrees of pressure to the Home button.

Titled “Force-sensitive fingerprint sensing input,” the invention describes adding a resistive element having a mechanically resistive force to the Touch ID button—such as an elastomeric material, spring or similar component—which would then be able to measure the depression. Read More

 

Apple ordered to pay $625 million in VirnetX patent suit

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2016

Apple has been ordered by a federal jury in east Texas to pay $625 million for patent infringement, Reuters reported late Wednesday. The jury found the iPhone maker guilty of using VirnetX’s security technology without its permission.

More specifically, Apple was found guilty of willfully infringing on technology found in VirnetX Holding Corp’s patents related to virtual private networking protocols, which Apple uses in its FaceTime and iMessage apps on iPhone and iPad. Read More

 

Apple granted a patent which could help get rid of iPhone’s embarrassing camera bulge

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2016

Apple has just been granted a very cool patent that promises to solve the protruding camera lens on the back of the iPhone 6/6s series. The invention basically calls for packing a spherical photosensor and lens array in a tiny package.

The patent No. 9,244,253 for a “Small form factor high-resolution camera,” which was published Tuesday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reduces the distance between the CMOS sensor and the lens by making the sensor curved, a technique used in astronomical telescopes and instrumentation. Read More

 

VirnetX seeking to extract $532 million from Apple in patent infringement retrial

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2016

Patent holding firm VirnetX yesterday told a federal jury that Apple should be slapped with a $532 million fine over an alleged patent infringement pertaining to FaceTime, iMessage and VPN technologies used in its products, which is nearly 45 percent higher than an initial damages award vacated last year.

According to Bloomberg, the notorious patent troll “keeps moving the boundary, asking for more and more and more,” said Apple’s lawyer. Read More

 

Apple fine tunes patent that outlines a possible future iPhone with a wraparound display

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2016

Samsung has popularized and mainstreamed so-called phablets, then Apple followed suit by making its iPhones bigger. And with last year’s release of the Galaxy S6 with a curved screen, legitimate questions arose as to whether Apple should engineer an iPhone with a wraparound display.

Before you jump straight to the comments, consider Apple’s patent applications for an “Electronic device with wrapped display,” which surfaced Thursday in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database. Read More

 

Apple working on magnetic Watch band that doubles as stand, protective case

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2016

Apple is working on a new magnetic band for its Apple Watch that could transform into a stand, or protective case. The project, first spotted by AppleInsider, was brought to light in a patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.

Aptly-named the “Magnetic Wristband,” the invention calls for a Milanese-style band consisting of two straps made from malleable material. These straps feature a series of magnets embedded in various polarity patterns that allow them to interact in unusual, but useful ways. Read More

 

Patents hint that broadcast TV and presence detection features may be coming to Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2015

Apple is researching a pair of interesting new features to give its fourth-generation Apple TV some new smarts and make the box more TV-like. Titled “User detection by a computing device” and “Input device & user interface interactions”, these inventions outline a fresh new user interface for changing channels on an iOS device and a presence-aware remote to keep playing content as long as someone is in the room. Read More

 

Apple wants additional $180 million in supplemental damages from Samsung

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2015

Apple wants a Christmas present from Samsung in the form of an additional $180 million in supplemental damages (damages for infringements after the cutoff date of the jury trial), FOSS Patents reported this past weekend.

The iPhone maker on Christmas Eve filed a motion seeking the additional $180 million on top of the initial $548 million settlement that Samsung has agreed to pay to Apple (though a reimbursement may be demanded later). Read More

 
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