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

 

Apple is researching iPhone technology that could anticipate your actions

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 26, 2013

Wouldn’t it be great if your iPhone could learn your behavior, noting you hold your handset with both hands when texting and always use a 45-degree angle when making calls?

That’s essentially the purpose of a newly-discovered Apple patent covering an “intuitive portable electronic device.”

The patent, filed in 2011, polls an array of sensors onboard your smartphone, permitting an iPhone to adjust its behavior without you making the adjustments. Imagine your usually annoying ringtone changing to a bit of Brahms when the phone detects your bedroom’s lower light levels… Read More

 

Apple wins patent for improved haptic feedback

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 19, 2013

The use of haptic feedback in smartphones is increasingly commonplace, however until now Apple has shied away from using the technology in its multitouch devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. However, the prospect is now open for a multitouch keyboard that provides consumers a tactile response, according to an Apple patent grant by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Apple first applied a filing for the invention back in 2009 to solve the problem of multiple haptic signals interfering with each other, thereby confusing users. Apple outlined a way to localize the haptic feedback by using secondary sensors which cancel-out the confusing signals. In this way, when an iPhone owner hits the ‘L’ key, he won’t also receive a vibration under the ‘K’ key of a virtual keyboard… Read More

 

Apple patent focuses on ending blurry iPhone photos

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 14, 2013

Don’t you wish you could avoid the usual routine after taking photos with your iPhone: sifting through shots to eliminate the ones where your thumb is perfectly exposed – but your special someone is blurred beyond recognition. Your worries may be over, as a new patent reveals Apple wants to make you a better camera phone photographer. The camera Apple outlined in the filing is designed to continuously capture and store images in a buffer until you release the shutter.

Your mobile device takes from there to automatically scan the buffer, rate the pictures just taken using a number of parameters and present you with the best image… Read More

 

Forget the iWatch, Apple is researching iHuman – a wearable computer

By Ed Sutherland on Feb 12, 2013

Have you followed the talk of a possible iWatch from Apple, an all-glass iOS device supposedly putting a smartphone on your wrist? That would be small potatoes compared to a whole network of sensors turning your body into a walking, talking Apple device.

In an 84-page filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the iPhone and iPad maker describes what it calls a “Personal items network.” Covering you head-to-toe, sensors would detect movement, temperature – even track how fast your heart beat when watching certain television shows, according to a Tuesday report… Read More

 

Apple won more than a thousand patents in 2012, Samsung 4x as many

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2013

Ah, the patent mess. Nothing gets faboys and haters more worked up than Apple’s inventions (or ‘inventions’, depending on your point of view). This is especially true for the submissions that cover the most obvious of ideas, like the rectangular iPad design Apple successfully asserted against rivals.

According to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and published last Thursday by IFI Claims, Apple has been awarded a total of 1,135 patents in 2012. This ranked the company 21st among all of the observed companies worldwide, a 68 percent increase. In 2011, Apple ranked 39th with 676 patents.

This notable rise probably means Apple’s ‘lifelong skier’ and chief lawyer Bruce Sewell and his team have been submitting patents at a more rapid clip in order to protect Apple’s business. Another take: patent offices around the world could have simply granted more Apple patents in 2012 (not all submissions get greenlit) than in 2011… Read More

 

US Patent Office invalidates another key Apple patent

By Cody Lee on Dec 19, 2012

We’ve seen the United States Patent and Trademark Office reject or invalidate a few important Apple patents in the last few months, including one covering the infamous ‘rubber banding‘ UI feature, and one covering the iPhone.

Today, the USPTO added another key patent to the list, tentatively declaring Apple’s US 7,844,915 invention — widely referred to as the pinch-to-zoom patent — invalid. It’s just a preliminary decision, but it’s still a fairly big deal… Read More

 

USPTO preliminary invalidates key Steve Jobs iPhone patent

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2012

The ultimate smartphone patent which covers the intricacies of the iPhone’s touch screen heuristics has been preliminary invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reveals the FOSS Patents blog which covers intellectual property and litigation in the technology industry.

That’s bad news as USPTO in October also invalidated the famous rubber banding patent, Apple’s other prized iPhone invention. Now, all is not lost because many patent claims that are rejected at the early stage do ultimately survive, though the prospect of loosing the iconic multitouch patent is without any doubt a major concern for Apple, even with plenty of other multitouch-related patents the company now holds… Read More