New York publisher takes Apple to court for infringing 'iBooks' trademark

Bloomberg has a story about New York-based books publisher John T. Colby suing Apple in federal court today over an alleged infringement of their ‘iBooks’ trademark:

Colby bought in 2006 and 2007 the assets of various entities owned by New York publisher Byron Preiss, who had published more than 1,000 hardcover and paperback books under the “ibooks” name starting in September 1999, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan today.

Patently Apple pointed in April of 2010 to Apple’s ‘iBooks’ and ‘iBookStore’ trademark applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Back then, Apple asserted a claim of priority for iBooks based on Trinidad and Tobago application number 41872, filed earlier that year, probably in an effort to have their ‘iBooks’ trademark claim granted ahead of any possible lawsuit.

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Patent indicates sophisticated remote surveillance for Find My iPhone

An Apple patent application which surfaced this morning in the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s database envisions advanced proactive measures that are likely to end up utilized in the free Find My iPhone service (which can locate stolen Macs, too). Entitled “Proactive Security for Mobile Devices” and credit to Apple engineer Hooman Borghei, the patent application sets the stage with the following description:

Mobile devices, such as phones and media devices, have a high risk of being lost or stolen. If a mobile device is stolen, the information contained on the device can be accessed. Various security methods have been developed to prevent unauthorized access of information stored on mobile devices. Some methods will encrypt the data to prevent access. Simple encryption ciphers can be broken and more secure encryption techniques are also more complex and thus require more resources that may not be available on some devices. Other security methods allow a remote wipe command to be sent to the mobile device over a network. The remote wipe command, however, wipes out all the data on the mobile device accept a boot file. This forces the user to have to restore the wiped data, which can be inconvenient and time consuming for the user.

So, what are the aggressive countermeasures Apple’s been exploring? For starters, they propose selective protection of your content stored on the device. This would kick in when someone enters an incorrect passcode. We are more excited, however, about cool remote surveillance capabilities, such as transmission of the images and sounds that your device secretly captures. This could go a long way towards helping one figure out the thief’s surrounding without them suspecting anything. Yeah, kinda like this guy. Warning: This article will self-destruct in T-minus thirty seconds…

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Yahoo unveils new search engine for iOS apps

Apple’s App Store is a nice venue to discover iOS software, but it’s far from perfect – especially when browsing its virtual shelves on your device. The iTunes Preview site – as well as other web and smartphone tools like AppShopper – all help find that needle in a haystack, but they also impose annoying limitations.

Not surprisingly, Google and Microsoft wouldn’t drill through their index in order to create a dedicated search page for mobile warez so Yahoo! took it upon themselves to fill the void (after all, they don’t have a mobile platform of their own to protect). Today, Yahoo! unveiled new search tools that help seek apps for your iOS device easier than ever before. The initiative consists of a dedicated search engine called Yahoo! App Search and an iOS app dubbed Yahoo! AppSpot.

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App income projected to exceed iTunes music sales within next three years

With flat music sales and booming app ecosystem, iOS app revenue should zoom past song sales by 2015 the latest.

By one estimate, iOS developers and record labels together have pulled some $16.6 billion in cumulative revenues on Apple’s iTunes content store since its inception, according to an interesting analysis by Asymco’s Horace Dediu. Even if it involves a lot of guesswork and peering inside the crystal ball, the author’s thinking is determined by known iTunes milestones and revenue data from Apple’s quarterly findings. For example, Steve Jobs told us at WWDC 2011 that Apple so far paid out $2.5 billion to app developers.

The combined “sales rate” is a remarkable $665 million per month. By the slope of the trend lines, it would appear that app income will exceed music income within three years. Another perspective is the number of downloads per device per month. This shows that the rate of consumption of apps is increasing and is now about six apps per device per month.

“Each iTunes account has ‘consumed’ about 67 songs but also 62 apps. Remarkable parity in such a short time. And the trend speaks for itself”, Dediu concludes. Plus…

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Mac App Store helped shape the layout of Apple's retail stores

Apple Store software wall at flagship Apple Store following June ’11 changes (Image: Jason C.)

The following is a guest post from reader Danny (@iDannyOcean):

Apple retail stores undergo several updates each year to refine the shopping experience for its customers.  These changes vary as Apple tries to continually innovate their stores, but one trend has been consistent; Apple is decreasing the presence of Mac software.

When Apple opened the doors of its first retail store in 2001 it had a substantial amount of Mac accessories and software.  The software section was comprised of aisles going down the center of store as recent as 3 years ago.  The Mac App store wasn’t released until January of 2011 but Apple began to shape the layout of their stores around its arrival beginning in 2008.  Personal setup tables and open floor space to accommodate more visitors have replaced rows of software titles:

It seems the amount of available Mac titles decreases with each visual “overnight” Apple retail conducts.  This trend was punctuated last night when Apple stores underwent an update and were left with one small section of Mac software. Apple is slowly shaping the public’s ways of installing software via a disc and promoting the use of their download-only Mac App Store. This trend will reach its summit this July when Apple’s next generation Mac operating system, OS X Lion, will exclusively be available through the App store.

The notion of delivering all Mac software via download makes sense for Apple for several reasons. First, their customers have grown accustomed to utilizing the App and iTunes stores for their media and iDevice applications.  The Mac App Store will help recent PC switchers feel comfortable installing software.  This helps decrease new user frustration. Second, it provides Apple more shelf and inventory space to sell Apple accessories, which bring in higher profit margins.

Finally, Apple will save a tremendous amount of money on software packages, shipping, bags, and paper receipts (which have been optional the last few years).  These savings can be passed to the consumer.  A great example of this is that OS X Lion will be available at launch for only $29.  No one should be surprised if this time next year Apple does not have a dedicated area to Mac software. Indeed, it appears Apple’s plan to reduce our dependence on optical drives began years ago, which is evident in the evolution of their retail stores’ layouts, Apple’s download only software releases, and MacBook Air.

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Facebook planning Instagram-y photo sharing

TechCrunch received numerous screenshots and documents outlining a brand new iPhone app from Facebook focused solely on photo sharing. The program is allegedly code-named either “Hovertown” or “WithPeople” and could be released either as a standalone download for iOS devices or integrated into Facebook’s existing iPhone app. Author MG Siegler says the screenshots look “amazing”, adding:

Either way, based on the images in front of us, the best way to think about it appears to be Path meets Instagram meets Color meets (Path’s new side project) With — with a few cool twists.  And obviously, it’s built entirely on top of Facebook’s massive social graph.

With an astounding six billion photo uploads each month and a total of staggering hundred billion photos (or about 150 photos per user on average), a photo sharing app from Facebook would easily become a smash hit. Count us officially thrilled.

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