patents Stories November 18

Jony Ive has long talked about the idea of an all-glass iPhone, dubbed “a single slab of glass” – and the company has now been granted a patent for a potential design, along with a glass Apple Watch and Mac Pro tower.

The illustration of the all-glass iPhone is the most detailed, showing displays on both sides, as well as functional touchscreen buttons on the edges …

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patents Stories November 11

The US Patent & Trademark Office this week published a new patent filed by Apple that reveals a privacy feature designed to show iPhone contents only through special glasses, so that only the owner of the phone can see what’s on the screen.

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A patent application published last month suggested that an Apple drone might be in the works. Two further drone-related patent applications have come to light today – with the original filings suggesting some attempt on Apple’s part to keep the work secret.

Patent applications are a matter of public record, and there are of course people who make a habit of scouring those filed by Apple in an attempt to get an early steer on potential new products. Apple appears in this case to have attempted to hide its applications …

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patents Stories September 24

The zombie-like remains of bankrupt wearables company Jawbone is suing Apple for patent infringement. The claim relates to the noise-cancelling features used in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max models.

Jawbone was once a successful company in the wearables and audio business, with its fitness bands sold in Apple stores …

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patents Stories September 8

A Chinese company has filed a lawsuit as it seeks an injunction to stop iPhone production in China, including the upcoming iPhone 13.

Xiao-i (whose full name is Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co) previously made an unsuccessful attempt to block sales of all devices with Siri in China, claiming that Apple’s intelligent assistant (IA) violated a “chat robot” patent the company owns …

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patents Stories September 7

Early last year, Apple applied for a patent for a curved glass iMac design, with one of the illustrations also suggesting the same design could be used for a display and dock for a MacBook.

That patent has today been granted …

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patents Stories September 2

A new report from Korea says that the iPhone periscope lens expected to debut in Apple’s 2023 lineup has hit a snag. Samsung has the most sophisticated technology for those, and Apple wants to use it, but there are patent problems with the optical image stabilization system the iPhone maker wants to include.

Periscope lenses are a way to allow longer optical zoom without having lenses that stick out farther from the phone …

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patents Stories August 24

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent to Apple for a dual-display MacBook with a virtual keyboard replacing the traditional keyboard and with the ability to wirelessly charge an iPhone.

As reported by Patently Apple, this patent was submitted three years ago, and only now has Apple won it.

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patents Stories August 16

Apple has won a partial victory over patent troll Optis, when a $506M award was reduced to $300M in a retrial over damages.

However, the battle between Apple and Optis continues, as the latter continues attempts to claim as much as $7B from the iPhone maker …

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patents Stories August 2

Slimmer chips could enable Apple to increase the size of battery fitted in iPhones and other devices, without affecting the overall dimensions.

A supply-chain report indicates that Apple will be increasing its use of a technology the company referenced in a patent last month …

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patents Stories July 12

Apple might leave the UK market if it is forced to pay too much money to a patent troll, after losing a case last month, says the company’s lawyer. The case relates to a claim by Optis Wireless, which initially won a $506M award against Apple in the US, before the judgment was overturned on appeal.

Optis – which bought some standards-essential LTE patents in order to make claims like this – then won a separate case against Apple in the UK, this time claiming billions rather than millions …

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patents Stories July 5

Apple seeks double-rejection of VoIP-Pal’s iMessage and FaceTime patent claims

Less than a month after Apple paid $440M to settle one FaceTime patent infringement claim, it was faced with another one, by VoIP-Pal. In this case, however, Apple is calling for a court to reject VoIP-Pal’s claims in the most unambiguous of terms …

patents Stories May 27

Need for patent reform highlighted by latest troll to sue Apple

The latest patent troll to sue Apple serves as a textbook example of the need for patent reform. A company called BillJCo, aka LBX Technologies, is essentially trying to claim ownership over the concept of short-range communication between devices using Bluetooth …

patents Stories April 21

AliveCor is accusing Apple of three counts of ECG patent infringement in the Apple Watch, and is seeking to block the importation of all Apple Watches into the US.

The company – which bills itself as “the global leader in FDA-cleared personal electrocardiogram (ECG) technology and services” – has also accused Apple of trying to eliminate the company as a competitor …

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patents Stories April 6

A new patent granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office today could bring another use to the U1 chip found in the iPhone. With the ultra-wideband technology, Apple Pay, based on your location, could know what card to select when the you’re in a store, for example.

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An Apple patent application seemingly shows a single device comprising a Mac Magic Keyboard and Trackpad, with Apple Pencil support across the entire surface of the device.

The combination could be an appealing one for a couple of reasons …

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patents Stories March 30

Along with Apple filing a patent for a reconfigurable solid-state MacBook keyboard today, the company has seen a host of other patents approved. One of the most interesting means future iPhones (and any other Apple device) could be made using the Mac Pro’s 3D cheese grater design.

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An Apple patent granted today describes a MacBook with a solid-state keyboard using an all-touch surface which can be reconfigured as the user desires.

A user working with numbers might opt for a large numeric keyboard, for example, while an artist might instead choose a large area for drawing …

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patents Stories March 23

Apple has long been on a mission to make MacBooks ever thinner, and a new patent granted today describes how a retractable keyboard could help.

Earlier patents suggest that Apple’s long-term goal is a completely solid-state keyboard, which uses electrostatic charges to allow users to “feel” keys so that touch-typing remains possible, and haptic motors to simulate key presses for the feel of a physical keyboard …

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patents Stories March 18

There have been multiple suggestions that Apple plans to adopt under-screen Touch ID for the iPhone 13, given that masks have greatly reduced the usefulness of Face ID. The company already has a bunch of patents for different ways to pull this off, and has today applied for an interesting new one.

Apple explains that optical fingerprint reading can be unreliable for two reasons, and explains how it would address these …

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patents Stories March 16

Infrared headlights could allow an Apple Car autonomous driving system to “see” three times farther at night than a human driver.

Apple was today granted a patent for the night vision system that combines visible light, near-infrared (NIR), and long-wave infrared (LWIR) sensors for a comprehensive view of what lays ahead …

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patents Stories March 12

For years now, we’ve been promised exciting new battery technologies that claim to dramatically boost battery life, and none of them ever seem to materialize. But a new Apple patent application describes a simple way to achieve a worthwhile increase in battery life with nothing more high-tech than a metal housing.

The invention is a little ironic, as it solves a problem Apple originally created back in 2015 with the batteries in the 12-inch MacBook, before subsequently adopting the same tech in the rest of the MacBook lineup …

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patents Stories March 11

The US Patent & Trademark Office today published a patent application from Apple relating to its smart ring project, which could be used with AR, VR, and MR applications. This is the latest evidence of Apple’s continued work in AR and VR.

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patents Stories March 9

An Apple Car patent granted today describes smart in-car lighting, able to intelligently determine what the occupants are likely to want or need at any given moment.

One example cited in the patent describes a frustrating experience we’ve all had …

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