Apple patent would integrate Siri into Messages to assist with tasks via bot-style commands

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2016

You’ve been able to ask Siri to send messages on your behalf for a few years now and with iOS 10, Apple’s expanded Siri capabilities to third-party apps like mobile payments. But if a new patent for a “Virtual assistant in a communication session” that the company filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is anything to go by, the virtual assistant could soon be integrated deep into Messages, assisting users with peer-to-peer payments, scheduling dinner and providing other chat bot-style interactions within message threads. Read More

 

New Apple patent would embed light sensors into the display, hints at iPhone 8 technology

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 11, 2016

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded Apple a patent describing a process for embedding light-sensing sensors into a mobile display. The invention, titled “Electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors,” potentially paves the way for next year’s iPhone.

Apple’s new patent specifically mentions the ambient light and proximity sensors, which are found on the front face of the device, as being integrated into the display assembly.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and pundits in the know, like Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the iPhone 8—or whatever a 2017 iPhone (or Tenth Anniversary iPhone) ends up being called—should be a major design departure from prior models as it would supposedly get rid of the chin and forehead bezels by integrating Touch ID and the front-camera along with other sensors directly into the display.
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Apple granted patent for a Touch ID sensor that could work through an iPhone display

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 4, 2016

If you’ve been waiting for the next iconic design since the release of the black-clad iPhone 5, this year’s iPhone 7 probably feels like a slight disappointment. Apple is widely thought to have saved its best innovation and industrial redesign for the Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year which could embed the fingerprint sensor, FaceTime camera and sensors behind the display.

As revealed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has now been granted a patent for a fingerprint-sensing technology that could work through the display itself, paving the way for an iPhone with the full-screen face design. 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

 

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 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 exploring panic mode for Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Apple has submitted a new patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday that would make the iPhone more secure by allowing users to place their device in a lock-down mode simply by putting a certain finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Titled “fingerprint activation of a panic mode of operation for a mobile device,” it describes unlocking a Touch ID device with a specific finger to activate a special lock-down mode that would make personal data stored on the device inaccessible to the user, or activate different modes of operation based on the particular fingerprints. Read More

 

USPTO denies Apple’s petitions for review of VirnetX patents

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today denied five petitions for so-called inter partes review filed by Apple, which sought to challenged the validity of certain claims of three of VirnetX’s U.S. patents at stake.

The patent board has determined that the five petitions were not filed within the time limit imposed by the statute and therefore has declined to institute review of these claims between the parties involved. Read More

 

Apple researching a Home button that pops up and transforms into a thumb joystick

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2015

On any given Thursday the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would publish newly granted patents and patent applications and today was no exception.

We already told you about one invention for a technology that would make it possible to synchronize your fingerprint data between devices through iCloud in a secure manner.

And now, PatentlyApple points us to another Apple patent application describing a Home button that would pop up and transition into a tiny thumb joystick for playing games. Read More

 

Apple files patent stylus that can capture writing on any surface

By Jake Smith on Dec 30, 2014

Apple has been granted a patent by the USPTO on Tuesday that describes a stylus that will allow a user to write on any surface, and translate it onto their iPhone or iPad. The feature set is similar to the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, that works on Livescribe Dot Paper by using an onboard camera.

However, the technology Apple has applied for sounds more advanced and more seamless. Instead of using a camera and specialized paper, Apple’s stylus uses accelerometers and motion-sensing to activate only when picked up, its nib is pressed to paper, withdrawn from a dock or manually turned on by the user.  Read More

 

U.S. Patent Office rejects Apple patent Samsung was found to infringe

By Cody Lee on Aug 8, 2014

Apple and Samsung may have called a truce in patent litigation overseas, but here in the United States, they’re still locked in a heated battle. The two firms are wrapping up post-trial hearings from their 2012 meeting, and they’ve just begun post-trial activities for this year’s lawsuit.

This week a significant development has occurred, which could have a major impact in the ongoing fight. The US Patent Office has rejected several claims of one of the patents Apple asserted against Samsung in their most recent infringement trial, saying certain parts aren’t valid… Read More

 

Massive setback for Android: Apple’s ‘Steve Jobs patent’ reconfirmed for original iPhone

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 18, 2013

In a case of good timing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has reconfirmed a multitouch patent credited to Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs and the original iPhone design.

On the sixth anniversary of the iconic smartphone, the U.S. government reaffirmed the massive patent that was called into question in 2012.

Jobs was among the more than two-dozen people named in the massive 364-page patent filed in 2006.

The USPTO had issed a preliminary invalidation of the patent package, but now believes all 20 patents are valid… Read More

 

Apple researching audio hyperlinks technology to control devices from podcasts

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 8, 2013

Remember the hokey demonstrations of hypnotism, where people are given commands to honk like a duck when a bell rings? Substitute podcasts for the hypnotists and a hyperlink for a duck quack and you’ve got Apple’s latest patent application.

The application, published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, outlines a way to encode device commands in audio signals. While Apple uses the example of enhanced podcasts which embed commands to visit a webpage or view an image stored on your device, the technology is also seen as a way to include ads in the upcoming iTunes Radio service… Read More

 

Apple trademarks new green FaceTime logo

By Cody Lee on Jun 30, 2013

Here we are, nearly 3 weeks after Apple took the wraps off of iOS 7, and folks are still talking about the drastic redesign. The overall consensus seems to be that most people like it, but many are hoping that Apple will do some serious fine-tuning before its public release this fall.

In fact, rumor has it that the software isn’t nearly as far along as previous versions have been in their initial betas. So even the folks that are unhappy with iOS 7’s current state are optimistic that it will see big changes. But if this new trademark filing is any indication, it won’t… Read More

 

New Apple patents granted, covering multitouch, iPhone 5 and Lightning

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 18, 2013

Among the nearly 40 Apple patents granted today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are ones covering multi-touch technology, as well as designs for the iPhone 5 and the Lightning connector. The widest-ranging group of patents involves the multi-touch technology for the iPhone 5 and latest iPads and iPods.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, is given lead credit for designing the iPhone 5… Read More

 

Obama administration takes aim at patent trolls with legislative changes

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 5, 2013

After spending last week under the hot lights of Congressional investigators about its taxes, Apple hopes to switch gears and ask for government help fighting so-called patent trolls. Among the iPhone maker’s potential allies: U.S. President Obama, who reportedly plans to limit such costly legal nuisance lawsuits.

As part of the proposed plan the White House is expected to unveil, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would gain some teeth, requiring patent holders to disclose companies which actually own the technology, reports the Wall Street Journal… Read More

 

USPTO withdraws its objections to Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ trademark

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2013

We told you how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently turned down Apple’s trademark application for the iPad mini because its review team deemed the moniker as ”merely describing” the product. They also mentioned that other identities have applied for the ‘iPad’ trademark, meaning there’s a “likelihood of confusion between the marks.”

As it turns out, the USPTO has now withdrawn these two main objections, in turn allowing Apple to keep the ‘iPad mini’ trademark, provided it amends the filing with some interesting fine print. Jump past the fold for full details… Read More

 

USPTO again invalidates rubber-banding patent, Apple says not to worry

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2013

Having rejected Apple’s iPad mini trademark application last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has now dealt another major blow to the iPhone maker. For the second time, USPTO has invalidated the key claim of Apple’s so-called rubber-banding patent, an iPhone feature which bounces the user interface when a user scrolls content past the end of a page. USPTO last October ruled the invention invalid. On the other hand, while this “final” decision certainly has more weight than the first, Apple still has a few options left until the ruling becomes truly final… Read More

 

US Patent Office turns down Apple’s iPad mini trademark application

By Cody Lee on Mar 30, 2013

Apple’s been having some pretty bad luck on the patent and trademark front lately. It recently lost a trademark battle in Mexico for its world-renown ‘iPhone’ moniker, and it’s fighting a similar battle in Brazil.

And that bad luck continues this week with reports claiming that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has turned down the Cupertino company’s trademark application for its just-launched iPad mini… Read More

 
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