37 More Patents for Apple, Jobs Listed as Inventor
|Written by Steve Brachmann
Posted: January 12, 2013 @ 11:09 am
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued 37 different patents to Apple Inc. on Tuesday, January 8, to protect different devices and computer systems developed by the electronics manufacturer. Some of these protect earlier generations of iPod and iPhone devices that have been sold for a few years. Others protect systems of transferring documents or advertisements among mobile device users. Some of these patent issuances are bittersweet for the company as former CEO Steve Jobs is listed as an inventor on a few of them.
A number of patents were issued this week protecting personal electronic devices already produced by Apple. These design patents cover both the first generation iPod Touch, with WiFi (D673947, D673949), as well as the iPhone 3G (D673948). Both items have been sold by Apple since 2008. Claim 1 of each patent simply states, “The ornamental design for an electronic device, as shown and described,” and a few diagrams of each device are also included.
Interestingly, Steve Jobs is listed as an inventor on all three of these patents issued this Tuesday. He is credited as one of at least a dozen credited inventors within each patent. He’s also one of the few to be reported as situated in Palo Alto; the clear majority of inventors were reporting from San Francisco. U.S. Patent No. D673949 was filed in June 2011, just three months before Jobs’ passing in October. The other two were filed in February of that year.
Operating computers typically enter a sleep state when left unused for a period of time. This saves resources normally used to run the processor, which conserves energy and prevents overheating. When this computer system entering a sleep state is has started a session with a larger network, the network state is often terminated by the computer going to sleep. This saves resources, but can interrupt programs running on the computer in the network state.
This patent describes a system of waking the computer from this sleep state to run programs on the network, and return to sleep when the program has finished. Power resources would be diverted to the fan controller and the network interface, but display, audio and other components would continue to be in the low-power state.
As claim 1 of the patent describes:
“A computer-implemented method comprising: establishing a network state for the computer, wherein the network state will expire in a set amount of time; setting a maintenance timer to expire prior to the expiration of the network state; placing the computer in a sleep state without terminating the network state, wherein placing the computer in a sleep state includes powering down a fan controller, wherein the fan controller includes processing logic that determines, using information from temperature sensors, whether to turn a fan on or off; powering up select components of the computer from the sleep state at the expiration of the maintenance timer, wherein the select components include a network interface, the fan controller, and a processor core and wherein the select components do not include a display, human interface devices, and audio components; renewing the network state; and powering down the select components of the computer to return the computer to the sleep state, and wherein the fan controller receives power during the renewing of the network state and receives no power during the sleep state.”
Selection of Text in an Unstructured Document
Digital document files are constructed a number of different ways for computer use. Highly formatted documents, like those produced by Microsoft Word or other word processors, define individual elements, like letters and characters, and establish a definite relationship between them. Other formats, like portable document format (PDF), are unstructured and have few defined elements. Although a human viewer can see text and images flowing logically, the document viewing program only reads the document as a design to be reproduced on-screen.
This system of defining text in unstructured documents is tailored for documents that may have to be read on many different devices. Unstructured documents like PDFs are optimal for mobile devices that don’t have the processing power of personal computers. This system takes the document, identifies different zones and displays the document so that it’s scaled to the device’s screen and all elements, such as tables or headers, display logically.
As claim 1 of this patent describes:
“A non-transitory computer readable medium storing a computer program which when executed by at least one processor defines a selection of text in a document, the computer program comprising sets of instructions for: receiving an unstructured document comprising a plurality of unassociated glyphs; associating sets of glyphs into a plurality of columns; creating a structured document from the unstructured document comprising a plurality of layouts and a flow of reading through the plurality of layouts, each particular layout comprising at least one of the plurality of columns and a reading order for the columns within the particular layout; displaying the structured document; receiving a start point in a first column in a first layout and an end point in a second column in a second, different layout, the second layout having an order value after the first layout; and defining a selection of text from the start point to the end point by using the structured document, the selection including (i) all glyphs after the start point in the first column in the first layout according to the reading order for the columns in the first layout, (ii) all glyphs of the columns of the intervening layouts between the first and second layouts according to the flow of reading through the layouts, and (iii) all glyphs that precede the end point in the second layout according to the reading order for the columns in the second layout.”
Media Content and Chat Integration
Media capture for recording events or lectures has been increasingly utilized as a means for distributing information to geographically diverse viewers. Often, these viewers are able to correspond with other viewers, and sometimes even the lecturer, if the media recording is coupled with a chat room client.
This Apple patent aims to take advantage of the chat room discussion accompanying the recording, which often proves to be valuable supplemental material. Instead of separating the media capture and chat room clients, this patent describes a system of integrating the discussion with the recording. This is done by uploading both the video recording and the chat room data, including user information and time code marks, to a media server. There, the two stores of data are compiled together and saved as a single file.
This system is described in claim 1 of the patent as follows:
“A computerized method comprising: receiving, at a production server, a request to initiate recording of media content of an event; controlling capturing of the media content by a capture machine in response to the received request; opening, at a chat server, a chat session among one or more persons that are listeners or viewers of the event being captured, wherein the opening is in response to the request to initiate recording of the media content, the chat session comprising one or more entries that include a chat input from the one or more persons and a timecode of the chat input; receiving, at the production server, a request to stop recording of the media content of the event; and combining, at a post processor system, at least a subset of the one or more entries of the chat session with the media content based, at least in part, on the time code of the one or more entries to generate a combined video content, the combining including storing, in a machine readable medium, at least the subset of the one or more entries of the chat data as caption data of the media content.”
Advertising Management System and Method with Dynamic Pricing
Mobile marketing is a new buzzword in the advertising industry, referring to the ability to access consumers connected to the Internet through their mobile device. Advertisements can be targeted to individual users based on collected profile information, which is useful for tightening marketing budgets. Mobile marketing is always operational and is predicated on the ability to deliver ads right to the consumer and not just hoping that they see a TV commercial or hear a radio advertisement at the right time.
Apple’s system described in this patent creates a multiple tiered system that can set dynamic pricing for advertising campaigns. Each tier allows marketers a certain number of advertisements and allocation parameters for targeting consumers. The cost of each tier would be set based on market demands; if more advertisers vie for a certain tier in the system, the price of that individual tier will increase.
As is described in claim 1, this patent is for:
“A method for allocating messaging slots for use in delivering messages to participating recipients within a mobile communications network during an allocated time period, the method comprising: partitioning recipients of the advertising messages into a plurality of target profile groups wherein each recipient is allocated to more than one target profile group; determining a total number of available messaging slots for each target profile group, each messaging slot enabling the transmittal of one advertising message from an advertising management system to recipients as a SMS, MMS, or WAP message, by multiplying the total number of recipients in each target profile group by the number of messages permitted to be delivered to each participating recipient per an advertising time period, and by the allocated time period; defining a plurality of tiers of available messaging slots for each of the target profile groups, each tier containing an available inventory of messaging slots and a cost for delivering a message associated with a respective tier, wherein a lowest cost per message tier has a highest available inventory and a highest cost per message tier has a lowest available inventory, each said tier having a priority for use in scheduling the delivery of the advertising messages; receiving from an advertiser parameters defining targeted recipients and a number of messages to be delivered; and the advertising management system assigning messaging slots to transmit a message to specific recipients based on availability of messaging slots, the advertising management system initially assigning messaging slots from a lowest cost per message tier with unallocated messaging slots and then progressing to the next higher cost per message tier with available messaging slots to assign any of the number of messages to be delivered which were not assigned in the lowest cost per message tier due to all of the messaging slots in the lowest cost per message tier having been filled, and creating a transmitting schedule for messages to the allocated recipients, wherein the availability of the messaging slots in each other target profile group to which the specific recipient is allocated is decreased by a determined weight calculated based on the percentage of total recipients belonging to each target profile group.”