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Posts Tagged ‘ apple patents ’

iPod, iPhone and iPad – A Brief History of Apple iProducts

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Smartphones, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Early on in his career with Apple, Steve Jobs conceived the idea of a personal computing device that a person could keep with them and use to connect wirelessly to other computer services. Almost 25 years later, Apple and Jobs would upend the world of personal computing by launching the iPhone smartphone, and a few years later a tablet computer counterpart, the iPad. According to the most recent sales figures available from Apple corporate analysis website, the iPhone has achieved lifetime sales of 590.5 million units; Apple has also sold 237.2 million iPads in just over three years since the release of that product. The iPhone has retained mass appeal despite the presence of the iPad and Apple has even reverted to soft launches for new iPad products, evidence of the incredible hold that the iPhone still maintains over Apple’s core consumer base. In the near future, both the iPhone and iPad may exhibit bendable or rollable displays using plastic OLED screen technologies developed by LG Electronics, one of the suppliers of electronic components for the iPhone and iPad.

We’re inching closer to the holiday season and in today’s coverage of popular gadgets ahead of Black Friday, we’re taking an in-depth look at the development of Apple’s line of mobile computing devices from concept to reality. This story involves one of the most storied characters in the world of technology development and his long struggle to bring about his vision of a personal computing device.

It’s impossible for many people to go through their day without either interacting with their own mobile computing device or seeing someone else use theirs. Although the iPhone is certainly not the only smartphone on the market, its influence on the market cannot be denied. The electronics products developed by Apple and released during the 2000s restored the company to its earlier greatness in personal computing, perhaps even surpassing its heydey in the 1980s. Our readers may be interested to find out that Apple’s first mobile computing device came out many years before the iPod, the company’s first major commercial gadget success of the 2000s. It wouldn’t be until the end of the first decade of the 21st century, however, when Apple would finally launch the product that Jobs first imagined while taking a stroll through the research facilities of Xerox in the late 1970s.

The Cost of Not Having Patent Protection

Posted: Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Fatih Ozluturk | 37 comments
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Posted in: Anti-patent Nonsense, Authors, Business, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Patent Business & Deals, Patents

How many patent applications has your company filed today?

Facebook filed at least one patent application today, Oracle filed about 3, Google filed about 5, Microsoft and Apple filed more than 8 each, IBM filed nearly 30 patent applications just today. These are the recent averages per workday anyways. Currently Facebook has more than 450 pending applications, Google has about 3500, Oracle has 3700, Apple has 7000, and Microsoft has 30,000 pending applications. I picked these names to come up with the averages because these names have software heavy portfolios, the type of patents that have been feeling some pressure from both the anti-patent circles and from the Supreme Court – as has been amply covered by IPWatchdog.

If you are a typical new economy small tech company with software and internet centric technology or products, the number of patent applications your company filed today is probably zero. Of course filing and prosecuting patent applications is not cheap and that’s part of the explanation. However it is worth noting that most of the successful companies with software-heavy products, including those in the list above, have been filing patent applications from their very early days. An excellent recent article at IPWatchdog revealed that even an overtly anti-patent company such as Twitter has been indeed filing patent applications from its very early days and have been accumulating a large portfolio through further acquisitions. The fact is that patent protection is a hallmark of a successful innovative business, whether the product is software or not. So, it is startling to see the difference in attitude of the small innovators and the already successful large innovators when it comes to protecting their inventions.

Apple Patents Focus on Improving iPhone Functionality

Posted: Friday, Oct 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, Electronics, IP News, Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Software, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple, Inc., headquartered in Cupertino, CA, is an American multinational corporation which has earned itself renown in the last 15 years or so for its consumer electronics and computing products. The corporation is a regular feature of IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, and our most recent survey of Apple technology comes as the company is dealing with a bit of turbulence. A recent update to the iPhone operating system iOS 8 was pulled back after customers complaints about dropped cellular service spiked. The iPhone 6 was also the target of some backlash after customers questioned the tendency of the new device to bend out of shape. Since the iPhone 6 was released on September 19, Apple’s stock has dropped about $23 billion in value.

Regardless of Apple’s current business difficulties, recently published patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization show that the company is still trying to establish itself as a bastion of computing innovation. Below, we’ve explored three patent applications specifically directed at mobile devices, including one technology designed to predict a preferred driving route without any manual input. Improvements to personal digital assistants and graphical user interfaces for software programs are also discussed.

Apple is one of the stronger American companies in terms of intellectual properties held, and recent weeks saw the addition of many more patents in the field of consumer computing technologies. We discuss a group of patents related to improved graphical user interfaces, including one technology to help digital objects respond to touch inputs in a way that suggests physical interaction in the real world. Intelligent systems for telecommunications are another area of development focused on by Apple, including methods of determining chat session capabilities in a contact’s device.

Apple Seeks Patent on Lifestyle Companion Fitness System

Posted: Friday, Jun 13, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, Electronics, IP News, Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Smartphones, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

A giant in the world of consumer electronics development, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) of Cupertino, CA, also designs and develops much of the software and online services used by its devices. Recent communication between Apple and its headphone manufacturers suggest that the company may be trying to shift production of headphone jacks to adapt to the company’s Lightning port, an audio data port which could enable better audio specifications and smart headphones in years to come. Apple is also rolling out Swift, a new programming language for iOS and Mac OS X app developers designed to be easier to read and provide instant feedback.

We’re dedicated to providing in-depth analysis of innovations coming from the top developers of consumer electronics in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, and Apple is one corporation we return to again and again. Apple often makes waves in the media for its imaginative inventions expressed in patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Today, we’ve dug a little deeper to find other patent applications and recently issued patents which may be of great interest to our readers.

As always, we start with a close look at one featured patent application, and we were intrigued by one technology designed to encourage group completion of fitness activities. This lifestyle companion system can also suggest fitness activities to users based on personal interviews conducted by the system. Other inventions directed at personalized services, including a method of creating avatars reflecting a user’s current emotional state, are also described in a series of patent applications discussed in today’s column.

Apple Seeks Patent on Dynamic Playlist for Digital Content

Posted: Monday, Mar 24, 2014 @ 8:15 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Mobile Devices, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Few companies we cover here at IPWatchdog have as much sway in the consumer electronics industry as Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA. This multinational corporation, also heavily involved in the fields of computer software and personal computers, recently released a cheaper version of the iPhone 5C to Chinese and European markets. The company is also at the center of rumors that they may be in production phases for the new generation of iPhone 6 smartphones for release later this year or next. Not only interested in new markets for devices, Apple is also busy developing several revolutionary apps, including one designed to provide basic health and fitness functions for users.

The intriguing software and hardware innovations of this technology giant makes Apple a fun corporation to profile for our Companies We Follow series. We’ve picked out the most interesting patent applications and issued patents published by the USPTO and assigned to this California-based corporation. These inventions run the gamut from digital media systems to hardware improvements for handheld mobile devices.

We begin our look at Apple today by taking an in-depth look at our featured patent application, which describes smarter methods of building playlists for digital content, like songs. This system can dynamically update playlists based on a user’s changing taste or if another user with a compatible device walks into the room. We also picked up on a few other patent applications featuring revolutionary technologies, including one microphone headset component that enables voice processing by sending data signals through an owner’s bones and body tissues.

Apple Patent Applications Focus on Maps, Navigation Apps

Posted: Friday, Dec 20, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, is a major player in the growing global market for handheld mobile devices, and has gained a major share of the market through it’s iPhone and iPad devices. Over the past few years, however, the smartphone market has gotten crowded, and lot of litigation between Apple and one of its main competitors, Samsung. At the same time, a lot of interesting crossovers between Samsung and Apple devices have been being reported by technology publications from around the world. The vituperative relationship between the two companies has gotten even darker in recent days, with Samsung accusing Apple of race-baiting in order to win litigation.

This week on IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re taking a close look at both of these manufacturers, starting with Apple. We’ve compiled a great assortment of patent applications and issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to give our readers an idea of Apple’s recent developments in the mobile device world.

Today’s featured patent application describes a system of collecting movement data from mobile devices so as to better compile real-time traffic data for mobile users. This data collection would not interfere with normal use and provides a vast improvement on current methods of providing traffic data. We’ve also noticed a few other patent applications detailing mapping application improvements as well as a method for setting quiet hours on a device to prevent notification sounds at inopportune moments.

Apple Seeks Patent on iPhone No-contact Mode

Posted: Friday, Nov 1, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, is synonymous with consumer devices, and it currently holds a great market position within the electronic device industry thanks to two incredibly popular product lines, the iPhone and the iPad. Recently, Apple announced the the development of the iPad Air, an electronic tablet that some feel is a harbinger of the development of an iPad Pro version for business applications. Apple is also a well-known influencer in the music industry, thanks to its development of audio recording software. Many industry speculators expect Apple to come out with a 65-inch ultra high-definition television set that incorporates wireless connectivity with other device.

This week in IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re going back to California to highlight some of the more interesting patent applications and issued patents assigned to Apple from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As always, Apple has plenty in play here, and it’s easy to see the corporation’s focus on its line of handheld devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Our featured patent application today will be music to the ears of many iPhone owners by keeping that device silent at important times. This application would protect a system of designating parameters that would prevent a message notification to be forwarded to a device owner, such as sleep hours or if the phone is in a designated meeting room. Other patent applications discuss a construction method for iPads that better prevents light leakage, a task progress indicator that can convey rich details about a task as well as a method of embedding memorabilia from an author’s book signing into an electronic book file.

The Power of Portfolio: Strong Design Patents III

Posted: Friday, Aug 23, 2013 @ 12:59 pm | Written by Mark Nowotarski | 4 comments
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Mark Nowotarski, Patents

Editor’s note:  This is the third in a four part series on Strong Design Patents

MacWorld Conference & Expo 2007, San Francisco. Steve Jobs presents Apple’s phone.

In this series, we are looking at Apple’s design patents and their strategies for using them to protect the iPhone from being copied.  In the first two articles, we looked at The Power of The Broken Line, and The Power of Color.  In this article we are looking at the The Power of Portfolio.  In the patent industry, a “portfolio” is a grouping of patents that each protect different aspects of the same invention.   Patents are like shingles on a roof, there needs to be some overlap between them to provide complete protection.

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world.  It was an historic event.  He was immensely proud of what Apple had accomplished and he made it clear he was going to defend it.  Steve was passionate about both style and technology, so when he said “Boy have we patented it” he meant both design and utility patents.  We are focusing on design.

Apple Seeks Patent on Suggested Search Rankings Based on Social Network Contacts

Posted: Sunday, Aug 4, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Over the past few decades, few companies have been so associated with American technological innovation as Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA. In recent days, however, this personal electronics corporation has encountered some setbacks to their business. Along with further allegations of safety and workers’ pay violations at Apple’s Chinese supplier plants, the digital financial news website Fiscal Insider reported that Samsung has recently surpassed Apple in profits from mobile device sales in late July.

This week, as IPWatchdog returns to its Companies We Follow series, we check in with Apple Inc. to get an idea of what newly developed systems they hope will help them retain their lead in the electronics industry. Many of the recently published documents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, including both patent applications and issued patents, relate to software system improvements that Apple has developed. One patent application for a voice assistant that can analyze contextual data is specifically for mobile device applications. Two other applications are for more general computer systems: one which protects a system of suggesting search result rankings for online shopping based on a person’s social network contacts; another would protect a cleaner user interface for browser windows with multiple open web pages.

Apple is also interested in improving the hardware systems involved in their devices. One patent issued by the USPTO protects a removable hard drive for small form factor desktop computers that helps reduce the overall weight of the entire computer. A final patent application we feature today describes a system of accurately calibrating a mobile device’s magnetometer in response to interference from other electromagnetic fields.

Apple Seeks Patent on Gaze Detection Capabilities

Posted: Friday, Jun 7, 2013 @ 1:30 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, has been a regularly featured corporation in our Companies We Follow series. The multinational corporation has been a major name in consumer electronics and computer software, owing largely to the market success of the iPad and the iPhone. Recently, Apple has been making more moves into media application development, as is suggested by recent agreements with Warner Music and others to provide streaming radio services.

This week, we’re featuring a number of interesting new patents and published applications from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that have been assigned to Apple. A few of the applications we’ve chosen to profile include more efficient systems of detecting user inputs. One application describes a system allowing devices to enter a low-power mode based on user gaze detection, conserving battery power. Another application would protect a system for better facial recognition during photo processing of image files.

Other documents assigned to Apple showcase the corporation’s focus on aiding user communication and providing a more user-intuitive device experience. One application featured here was filed to protect a system of analyzing a user’s media preferences for gaming environments, while another improves a user’s ability to share a pinned location on a map with others.

Apple Seeks Patents for E-Learning App Optimized for iPad

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Apple Inc. of Cupertino, CA, is back in focus this week at IPWatchdog as we return to our regular coverage of technology companies that have patent documents regularly published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office after our Earth Day 2013 series. As usual, Apple has filed many applications and received patents recently from the USPTO that show what the company sees for the future of its iPhone, iPad and other digital device products.

This month, the USPTO has published many Apple patent applications that are specifically for improvements to the technology developer’s mobile devices. These include a more secure system of connecting an iPhone to a computer and two new applications, one for easily creating social groups among acquaintances and another for students who wish to enroll in online courses. Apple also wants to protect a system of pre-processing images to create and store thumbnails that are accessed by image applications.

One patent recently received by Apple grants them the legal right to protect a system of generating security codes for more security in connections between two or more devices.

Apple Patent to Replace the “Back” Button with “Page Snapback”

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | Comments Off
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Posted in: Apple, Authors, Companies We Follow, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, USPTO

This past week was another very prolific one for Apple, as the California-based electronic device developer received 35 patents and had another 36 applications published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many patent applications were concerned with the ways computer users interact with their systems, and we see a number of upgrades to graphical user interfaces coming for device address books and online stores. Of the patents issued to Apple, one protects a webpage retrieval method that can help browsers save a lot of time while searching for information on the Internet.