By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2017
A new patent application for “Wireless audio output devices,” published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), describes exactly how Apple’s new W1 chip inside AirPods enables zero-configuration Bluetooth pairing. In a nutshell, the charging case that comes with AirPods doubles as a physical pairing interface.
Aside from a built-in battery, the case features its own microprocessor and communications stack, a motion-detecting lid for starting the seamless pairing process with an Apple device and a physical button for manual Bluetooth pairing with non-Apple hardware, like Android handsets. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017
A new patent No. 9,543,364 for “Electronic devices having displays with openings” has been awarded to Apple this morning by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). First filed for in February 2015, this newly granted patent reveals more ways iPhone 8 will outclass Android rivals.
The invention would basically put some common components typically found on the front face of the phone behind the display assembly.
What components are we talking about?
Well, stuff like the earpiece, forward-facing cameras, Touch ID and various sensors. Integrating such parts behind the display assembly would help design a truly edge-to-edge device. Apple is thought to be working on such designs for its upcoming OLED-based iPhone 8 refresh. Read More
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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