patents March 4

Apple applies for and gets awarded patents for everything under the sun, and patents don’t always translate to shipped features. Disclaimer aside, the iPhone maker was recently awarded a patent for a potentially useful feature that could help you avoid areas with weak cellular coverage when planning your trip with navigation in Maps.

The USPTO awarded Apple with a patent (via Gigaom) to analyze routes between two locations and “employ an algorithm that considers wireless network signal strengths along those routes.”

In other words, because your iPhone can collect and measure cellular signal data and many iPhone users anonymously share travel data with Apple, there’s potential for Maps to know which routes problematically contain dead zones and suggest lengthier routes with better signal. expand full story

patents January 14

In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad. expand full story


patents December 11, 2014

The USPTO has today published an Apple patent application for a flexible display which deforms when touched to provide tactile feedback. Actuators beneath the display would create bumps or ridges in the display to simulate buttons and other virtual objects. The patent also describes a speaker and microphone that could work through the display, potentially making for sleeker and more water-resistant devices.

Electronic devices may be provided that contain flexible displays and internal components. An internal component may be positioned under the flexible display. The internal component may be an output device such as a speaker that transmits sound through the flexible display or an actuator that deforms the display in a way that is sensed by a user. The internal component may also be a microphone or pressure sensor that receives sound or pressure information through the flexible display. Structural components may be used to permanently or temporarily deform the flexible display to provide tactile feedback to a user of the device.

The display described would be sensitive to both touch and pressure …  expand full story

patents December 2, 2014

Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line.

Macworld reports that the company published a letter online yesterday that was originally sent to Apple back in September in order to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. expand full story

patents November 28, 2014

Steve Jobs may have passed away more than three years ago, but he is still having patents awarded today as applications work their way through the system and old patents are renewed with updates. MIT Technology Review notes that of the 458 patents credited to Jobs, almost a third of them have been awarded since his death in October 2011.

Since his death in 2011 from pancreatic cancer, the former Apple CEO has won 141 patents. That’s more than most inventors win during their lifetimes.

His patent documents act as a record of Apple’s history, says the site …  expand full story


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