June 22

AAPL: 95.55

-0.36
Stock Chart

Shenzhen Baili, the Chinese company that last week managed to win a Beijing patent office ruling that the iPhone 6 copied its own Baili 100C smartphone, is effectively defunct, reports the WSJ.

[Parent company] Digione had collapsed, brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors. Digione has been absent from China’s mobile-phone market for at least a year and Baidu has accused it of squandering its investment.

When the WSJ attempted to track down the company behind the alleged patent, it found no signs that it was still operating …

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June 21

AAPL: 95.91

0.81
Stock Chart

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled that a 2011 law designed to make it easier to defeat new patent trolls were legal. The law had been challenged by a company attempting to patent something which had long been done by other companies.

The case before the Supreme Court focused on a patent held by Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC that claims an invention for alerting drivers when they are speeding. GPS technology company Garmin brought a challenge at the Patent Office, which invalidated the Cuozzo patent after concluding its claims weren’t innovative when viewed against other prior technologies.

The ruling will be of particular benefit to Apple …

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June 14

AAPL: 97.46

0.12
Stock Chart

Apple was today granted a patent for what it describes as a ‘consumer electronic product [which] includes at least a transparent housing and a flexible display.’ The accompanying drawings show a device which has a display which completely wraps around the device – covering front, rear and sides – with only tiny bezels at the top and bottom.

While Apple uses generic language throughout most of the patent text, it does use the example of a smartphone in places, and the main drawing clearly shows an iOS device with a phone icon present, indicating that the company has an iPhone in mind.

If you’re wondering about one oddity in the drawings, there’s a reason for that …

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9to5toys 

June 9

AAPL: 99.65

0.71
Stock Chart

May 26

AAPL: 100.41

0.79
Stock Chart

Infamous patent troll VirnetX has formally asked a Texas court this week to order Apple to stop providing its FaceTime and iMessage features to customers. The request follows VirnetX’s victory in court earlier this year to the tune of $625 million, which the firm wants to see increased by $190 million or more, Law360 reports:

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May 25

AAPL: 99.62

1.72
Stock Chart

Earlier this week it was reported that an upcoming MacBook Pro refresh would bring a thinner design, Touch ID support, and an OLED touch bar above the keyboard. One of the longstanding requests by MacBook users, however, has been an option for cellular connectivity and now it looks like we might be one step closer to that coming to fruition. As noted by PatentlyApple, Apple has recently been granted a patent for a MacBook with cellular connectivity.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard whispers that Apple is working on MacBook with cellular connectivity. In 2011, a MacBook Pro with 3G connectivity and a SIM card slot from 2007 was put up for auction on eBay with the seller claiming it was an unreleased prototype model, but is it still possible that Apple is considering finally adding the feature?

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9to5google 

May 24

AAPL: 97.90

1.47
Stock Chart

May 23

AAPL: 96.43

1.21
Stock Chart

May 19

AAPL: 94.20

-0.36
Stock Chart

A patent published today suggests that Apple may have plans to allow the Apple Pencil to be used with Mac trackpads as well as the two iPad Pro models.

The patent was originally filed in 2014, when Apple referred to the Apple Pencil as ‘the stylus.’ Much of the text focuses on use of the stylus with a ‘touch screen display’ (aka an iPad), but several of the drawings show what appear to be a trackpad and iMac …

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electrek 

May 18

AAPL: 94.56

1.07
Stock Chart
Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild
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Concept designers have been creating renderings of bezel-free iPhones – where the display extends all the way to the edges of the phone – for years now. One major barrier to realizing this vision has, of course, been the Home button with its embedded Touch ID sensor.

Third-party companies have already developed transparent fingerprint sensors capable of being embedded into a smartphone display, and an Apple patent filed in March of last year but only published yesterday describes the exact same approach …

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May 12

AAPL: 90.34

-2.17
Stock Chart

A recent patent filed by Apple and discovered by PatentlyApple hints at ways in which Apple is planning to make its HomeKit platform smarter. The patent, published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is for an “automated environment” in which HomeKit would be able to track the routines of users and implement automated behaviors based on those habits.

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May 10

AAPL: 93.42

0.63
Stock Chart

Apple has today been granted a patent for an iPad Smart Cover with more smarts than usual: it incorporates a built-in display, and even a Wacom-style drawing tablet.

The patent illustrates a number of different ways the Smart Cover display could be used, from simply extending the iPad’s own display through text-only displays of things like reminders to a combined display and touchpad. Some of the options show the display acting as a full input device too, allowing both handwritten notes and drawings.

While we of course add our usual disclaimer that Apple patents way more things than it actually makes, two element of this patent have actually made it into production …

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May 5

AAPL: 93.24

-0.95
Stock Chart

Earlier this year Immersion Corporation, one of the leading companies in haptic feedback technology, filed a lawsuit against Apple over haptic technology used in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and Apple Watch. Today, the company has filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T in which it says the MacBook and MacBook Pro violate one patent relating to haptic feedback. Additionally, Immersion says the iPhone 6s infringes on three more of its patents not mentioned in the first lawsuit.

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9to5toys 

April 21

AAPL: 105.97

-1.16
Stock Chart

With Apple widely believed to be planning to drop the headphone socket in the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-connected and wireless headphones, a patent application published today describes how a single set of headphones could switch smoothly between wired and wireless modes without any interruption of playback.

There’s of course nothing new in headphones that support both wired and wireless use – many Bluetooth headphones come supplied with a plug-in audio cable that allow them to fall back to wired use if they run low on battery power or you just want the higher quality a wired connection typically delivers.

But switching between wired and wireless use typically has a couple of issues, and Apple’s patent aims to solve both of them …

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April 20

AAPL: 107.13

0.22
Stock Chart

Apple has agreed to pay $24.9M to settle a long-running lawsuit alleging that Siri violated a patent owned by a New York institute and exclusively licensed to a company in Dallas. The patent predates the launch of Siri by four years.

The Albany Business Review notes that Apple was sued not by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which holds the patent, but by Dallas-based Dynamic Advances, which licensed it. The company reportedly receives $5M now, and the balance after meeting unspecified conditions. In return, Apple gets a license to use the patented technology for three years.

The settlement means that the patent trial, due to take place in New York next month, will no longer proceed. However, that may not be the end of it …

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April 5

AAPL: 109.81

-1.31
Stock Chart

With Force Touch so far implemented on MacBooks, the Magic Trackpad 2 and the iPhone 6s (with 3D Touch branding), it’s no surprise that Apple has plans for the Magic Mouse to get in on the act.

The last update to the Magic Mouse, back in October, swapped the removeable batteries for a curiously placed Lightning-charged built-in one, and added a new pairing method – but as yet there’s no way to use Force Touch features. That looks set to change as Apple highlights the missing functionality in a new patent granted today …

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9to5google 

April 1

AAPL: 109.99

1.00
Stock Chart

A patent application spotted by Patently Apple suggests that the Apple Watch turning on its display as you raise your wrist could be just the first of many supported gestures. Pointing, waving and even extending pinky and thumb in a ‘phone me’ gesture could all be used to initiate actions on either the Watch itself or a paired iPhone.

While voice and touch input can be an effective way to control a device, there may be situations where the user’s ability to speak the verbal command or perform the touch gesture may be limited.

This [patent] relates to a device that detects a user’s motion and gesture input through the movement of one or more of the user’s hand, arm, wrist, and fingers, for example, to provide commands to the device or to other devices […] The device can interpret the gesture as an input command, and the device can perform an operation.

Apple gives a number of illustrative examples of such gestures …

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March 30

AAPL: 109.56

1.88
Stock Chart

The endless patent battles between Apple and Samsung took an interesting turn this week when Apple claimed that the most recent court ruling violated the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: the right to trial by jury.

Back in 2014, Apple was awarded $119.6M when Samsung was found to have violated three of the five patents in dispute. That award was overturned last month when an appeals court ruled that Samsung didn’t infringe one of the three patents, and declared the other two invalid.

The problem, explains Reuters, is that the appellate court didn’t just refer to the trial court record in reaching its conclusions, it also considered new evidence …

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March 29

AAPL: 107.68

2.49
Stock Chart

The Smart Connector Apple introduced on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and used again on the latest 9.7-inch model, may become more capable over time. An Apple patent granted today reveals possible plans to allow multiple devices to be simultaneously connected to the port, using stacked connectors.

Interestingly, while the much-loved MagSafe power connector was removed in the 12-inch MacBook, it seems that Apple hasn’t altogether abandoned the idea, as the patent describes using magnetic retention to stack the plugs – with one drawing showing what looks very much like a MagSafe Lightning plug …

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electrek 

March 21

AAPL: 105.91

-0.01
Stock Chart

The never-ending battle between Apple and Samsung over an alleged design patent violation is going all the way to the Supreme Court. Apple previously formally requested that the Supreme Court not grant the case a hearing, but the decision to hear the case was issued this morning.

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