Germany’s top civil court today has ruled against Apple in a case pertaining to the company’s swipe-to-unlock input method. Judges in the case explained that swipe-to-unlock is not sophisticated enough to be awarded patent protection. This ruling falls in line with a similar ruling that favored Motorola back in 2013 (via Bloomberg).
Following a request for a rehearing of its battle with Apple earlier this summer, Samsung last week had its plea denied by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, putting the case on its last leg. Samsung was hoping that the federal appeals court would reconsider the U.S Federal Circuit Court’s decision to uphold damages from a 2012 ruling. Following last week’s rejections, Samsung’s final option would be to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now it appears that the company is doing just that.
Earlier this month, the United States Patent Office made a non-final ruling that one of Apple’s design patents for the original iPhone is invalid within Apple’s long-running lawsuit against Samsung, according to a report from FOSS Patents. This particular patent, as seen in the drawings above, references the overall design of the original iPhone launched in 2007. It is known as the “D’677” patent in court proceedings and legal documents. FOSS explains the reasoning behind the invalidation:
In its seemingly never-ending legal battle between Apple, Samsung earlier this summer asked a federal appeals court to reconsider the U.S Federal Circuit Court’s decision to uphold damages from a 2012 ruling. Today, San Jose Mercury News reports that the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Samsung’s request to have its case reheard.
In the latest news in the patent case that feels like it will never end, a number of tech giants have taken Samsung’s side in its appeal against the damages it was ordered to pay for infringing Apple’s patents.
It’s almost three years since Apple was awarded $1B in damages after a jury found that Samsung infringed five of its patents. $450M of that award was later vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – for a revised total of $930M. The US appeals court later ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone. The court now needs to once again revise the amount awarded.
The amount awarded in part reflected the profits Samsung was deemed to have made by infringing the patents, and it is this aspect that Google, Facebook, Dell, HP, eBay and other tech companies say is unreasonable … expand full story
Apple tends to patent every one of its inventions that could possibly be used in a future product, so it can be difficult to read the tea leaves on which ones will eventually translate to product features. A new patent from Apple highlighted by PatentlyApple today, though, describes a technology that would be a very welcome remedy to battery life issues. The patent covers applying solar cells to a touch display surface like a trackpad or iPhone to store power for the device: expand full story
A federal judge has overturned the $529.9M damages awarded against Apple for infringing on three SmartFlash patents in its iTunes software, reports Reuters. The judge said that while February’s verdict stood, the jury instructions may have “skewed” the jurors’ understanding of the appropriate level of damages.
SmartFlash, a patent troll which had originally sought $852M in damages for patents relating to methods of storing data and managing payment systems, subsequently went back to court to make the same claims against the iPhone 6/Plus and iPad Air 2 – products released after the award … expand full story
In a new patent application, Apple details an idea it’s experimenting with that would have Apple Watch users shake hands to exchange data (via PatentlyApple). The idea is simple. The patent application imagines two Apple Watch wearers exchanging data, such as contact information, for example, by performing common gestures like a handshake or a hug: expand full story
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has partially reversed the $930M verdict Apple won against Samsung in the long-running iPhone patent case, reports Reuters.
Apple was originally awarded $1B in damages, before $450M of that was vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M.
As spotted by Patently Apple, Apple was today granted five patents covering the form factor and overall design of the Apple Watch. The patent images show the near-invisible bezel, Digital Crown, contacts button, rear sensors and strap attachment slots.
The company was last month granted patents on three of its watch bands – the Sport Band, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet – and we’re likely to see many more watch-related patents granted in the coming months … expand full story
An Apple patent application published today shows that the Force Touch trackpad used in the 12-inch MacBook and latest 13-inch MacBook Pro could get more sophisticated in future versions. The patent describes how a mix of vibration and temperature could fool your finger into ‘feeling’ different surfaces, such as metal and wood.
For example, a glass surface may be controlled to have the temperature of a relatively cooler metal material and/or a relatively warmer wood material […]
In some cases, the temperature may be varied over time, such as in response to one or more touches detected using one or more touch sensors. For example, a metal material may increase in temperature while touched in response to heat from a user’s finger.
The patent describes how vibrations could be used to simulate a textured surface, such as the grain of a wooden surface … expand full story
Apple has been granted patents on three Apple Watch bands, just a few days before pre-order customers are due to start receiving their watches, reports Patently Apple. The three patents cover the Sport Band, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet, and are simply listed as “the ornamental design for a band, as shown and described” … expand full story
We created Vaptur (a play on the words “Video Capture”) to be a camera App with this built in capability.
As far as we know this is the first time that two screens (live and constant delayed) were set up in a camera for the sole purpose of allowing someone to record something after they see it live by using the record button to record what they see in the delayed screen.
The genius of this idea is that you use the “Record” button to grab video clips after they happen live, seconds after you decide they are worth recording. This is not video editing per say, but is live-clipping where you know ahead of time what is going to happen so you know just when to start and stop recording to get just the clip you want with no editing and in near real time. You could call it predictive recording because you can predict the ‘future’ of what will soon be happening in the ‘delay’ screen. In this way you “edit” or “live clip” live video by simply using the record button.
Here is how it works:
Start Vaptur™ and wait for something interesting to happen.
When you see something interesting happen, you can press the green Vaptur record button after you see it to record what you just saw as it appears again in the 8 second delay box.
Here is a video of how it works.
Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.
We just launched the App on April 7th after several years of R&D and development.
Promo Codes for Free App:
Code expires on May 6, 2015 and is redeemable only on the iTunes Store for United States. Requires an iTunes account, subject to prior acceptance of license and usage terms. To open an account you must be above the age of 13 and in United States. Compatible software and hardware, and internet access (fees may apply) required. Not for resale. Full terms apply; see http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/. For more information, see http://www.apple.com/support/. This app is provided to you by TrimVid LLC
If you were wondering why Apple has ignored the megapixel race and stuck to a modest 8MP camera in its latest iPhones when almost every other manufacturer is cramming in as many pixels as physically possible, it’s all about image quality. While more pixels allow you to blow up photos to larger sizes, that comes at a cost. Squeezing more pixels into a tiny sensor means more noise, reducing quality, especially in low-light situations like bars and parties.