Yesterday

AAPL: 153.61

-0.26
Stock Chart

Apple is no stranger to lawsuits from patent trolls, having been a target numerous times in the past. Now, the company has been hit with a trio of patent infringement lawsuits from Uniloc, a non-practicing entity who has filed the suits in the patent troll-friendly Eastern Texas District Court. Uniloc alleges that Apple infringes upon its patents with AirPlay, autodial, and battery charging…

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May 25

AAPL: 153.87

0.53
Stock Chart

Apple has patents for virtual keyboards on MacBooks dating back as far as 2009, but a continuation patent application published today shows that the company is still exploring the idea.

A virtual keyboard was of course a headline feature of the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, and Apple also introduced the feature to the latest MacBook Pro models in the form of the Touch BarPatently Apple illustrated the patent using a Lenovo Yoga Book, showing what is in effect a giant Touch Bar replacing a physical keyboard.

If the idea fills you with horror, as it does me, we may not need to worry too much …

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May 23

AAPL: 153.80

-0.19
Stock Chart

Apple and Nokia today announced that they have agreed a settlement to a patent lawsuit that began in December. The companies said they have moved from adversaries to business partners, settling all litigation.

Nokia will provide network infrastructure services to Apple, Apple will stock Nokia’s Withings products once again in Apple Stores and pay ongoing license fees to use Nokia’s intellectual property.

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9to5toys 

May 22

AAPL: 153.99

0.93
Stock Chart

Apple has been accused of violating the patents of a Boston-based company through its launch of Apple Pay. Universal Secure Registry CEO Kenneth Weiss says he ‘was the first in the space, and the secure payment technology that he developed goes right to the core of Apple Pay.’

In an interview, Weiss says that the patents cover all three key elements of Apple Pay.

Kenneth P. Weiss, received 13 patents for authentication systems that use a smartphone, biometric identification such as a fingerprint and the generation of secure one-time tokens to conduct financial transactions.

While it’s not unusual for more than one company to be simultaneously working on the same technology, Weiss says that in this case both Visa and Apple were aware of his technology four years prior to the launch of Apple Pay …

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May 16

AAPL: 155.47

-0.23
Stock Chart

Apple has today been granted patents for two headline features expected from the iPhone 8: an edge-to-edge display, and a Touch ID button embedded into the screen.

The edge-to-edge display patent has the rather mundane heading ‘Reducing the border area of a device.’ It describes how a mostly-flat display can have a curved border area allowing it to wrap around the sides of the device …

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May 11

AAPL: 153.95

1.32
Stock Chart

An Apple patent published today describes using iMessages instead of voice to interact with Siri in environments when speaking wouldn’t be practical.

This could span both ends of the spectrum, from very noisy environments like construction sites, where your voice cannot be heard, to very quiet ones like libraries, where you would disturb people by speaking. It would also be useful for people who don’t feel comfortable talking to their phone in public …

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9to5google 

April 8

AAPL: 143.34

-0.32
Stock Chart

A patent application from Apple details the possibility of a future AirPods case design doubling as a wireless charging dock for the iPhone and Apple Watch. The patent was part of a dump of 250 Apple patent applications from the US Patent Office late last month and discovered by Patently Apple

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April 4

AAPL: 144.77

1.07
Stock Chart

One of the most common complaints about Apple’s recent MacBook Pro lineup has been the lack of MagSafe. Apple’s magnetic charging solution was a staple of MacBooks for many years, but the company did away with it with the switch to USB-C. Now, however, a patent hints that Apple is working on a way to integrate MagSafe with USB-C.

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I wondered soon after the launch of the 2016 MacBook Pro whether Apple might have plans to bring the Touch Bar and Touch ID to a new Magic Keyboard. A new Apple patent application shows that the company is at least exploring the idea.

As ever, the language of the patent is dense, but the illustrations include a standalone keyboard as well as a laptop one.

In some embodiments, the device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

As I noted previously, this would seem to address the greatest weakness of the Touch Bar …

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electrek 

March 28

AAPL: 143.80

2.92
Stock Chart

March 27

AAPL: 140.88

0.24
Stock Chart

The back-and-forth patent lawsuits between Apple and Nokia could be about to get more interesting. Nokia is seeking access to documents from Samsung’s patent battles with Apple to assist its own case.

Apple sued Nokia last year, claiming that the company had deliberately excluded some patents from an agreement between the two companies, subsequently transferring five of them to a patent troll which unsuccessfully tried to extort $100M from the Cupertino company. Apple seemingly filed the lawsuit in an attempt to head off any further such attempts …

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March 23

AAPL: 140.92

-0.50
Stock Chart

As perhaps further evidence of Apple exploring ways to make its entry-level products more affordable, a patent published today describes using an iPhone as the brains of a MacBook-style dumb terminal. As usual with patents, the language is dense, but the illustrations make clear the concept.

An electronic accessory device, comprising: an operational component that provides an output to a user; a housing carrying the operational component, the housing having a recess; and a control interface coupled to the operational component and configured to receive a control signal from an electronic host device when the electronic host device is positioned within the recess and coupled to the control interface, wherein the electronic accessory device is inoperable without the electronic host device being coupled to the control interface.

The idea itself is not a new one, and is similar in essence to a currently-available HP product …

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March 16

AAPL: 140.69

0.23
Stock Chart

Earlier this year, we outlined a few possibilities as to what could come to Apple’s AirPods with future iterations, noting specifically of more advanced fitness features. Paving the way for such improvements, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published three patents that it has granted Apple related to new fitness and biometric features for earbuds…

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9to5toys 

March 13

AAPL: 139.20

0.06
Stock Chart

Earlier today, we told you about Apple’s all-new HomeKit accessories webpage where the company lists out a variety of products that are compatible with its HomeKit platform.

While over 100 products across 15 categories can be found on that webpage, one notable exclusion is the Withings Home Plus…

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March 2

AAPL: 138.96

-0.83
Stock Chart

March 1

AAPL: 139.79

2.80
Stock Chart

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made a decision today to throw out the verdict of a two-year old legal case against Apple based on data storage patents. The original verdict reached by a Texas jury stuck Apple with $533 million in damages.

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9to5google 

February 28

AAPL: 136.99

0.06
Stock Chart

Apple has filed a number of patent applications for different ways of embedding a fingerprint reader into a display, and one of these has today been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple first applied for the patent in 2015.

In addition to allowing Apple to eliminate a separate Touch ID sensor, the patent also explains how embedding the reader into the screen can make for a more seamless experience …

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February 23

AAPL: 136.53

-0.58
Stock Chart

All signs are pointing to Apple’s iPhone 8 arriving with new technologies that will replace Touch ID as we know it. So far the predicted possibilities include an optical fingerprint sensor, facial and gesture recognition, a next generation on-screen capacitive touch method, and as we reported last year when Apple filed the patent, ultrasonic imaging. More details have just come out about how sound imaging technology will work in a patent filed today by Apple.

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February 16

AAPL: 135.35

-0.17
Stock Chart

If there’s one thing worse than damaging your iPhone or iPad by dropping it, it’s when that damage is a cracked screen. While you might be able to ignore a scuff to the casing, you’re going to see cracks in the screen every time you use the device.

Apple appears to be aiming to make screens more resistant to cracking by exploring a method of automatically detecting cracks, asking users to confirm them and then sending diagnostic data to the company to help it understand the type of impacts that cause them …

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electrek 

February 14

AAPL: 135.02

1.73
Stock Chart

With everyone expecting the iPhone 8 to feature minimal bezels, a key requirement to realize that vision would be to remove the chin housing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. While an iris scanner has been rumored as a replacement for fingerprints, Apple is also not short on options for embedding a fingerprint reader into the display.

We’ve previously seen Apple patents for two different methods of doing this, and a patent granted today describes a third …

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