Apple has been working on new ways to let users know more about the battery life of their devices, and it seems that the company plans to add even more related features to iOS. The US Patent & Trademark Office this week granted Apple a patent for a new system that can predict and warn the user when the iPhone battery is expected to run out.
USPTO Stories April 6
USPTO Stories April 1, 2016
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 …
USPTO Stories March 31, 2016
Yesterday we detailed an Apple patent showing work on a stackable Smart Connector plug of sorts. Today we get a look at a similar invention aimed at making the I/O on future devices more versatile with Apple’s invention of a “Universal Magnetic Adapter” that could allow for more future-proof devices using only a single port. As pictured in the drawing accompanying the patent above, the technology allows for a single port that uses magnetic inserts as adapters for your various devices. Or in other words, MagSafe for everything using a single port and adapters for the various connectors.
In its patent, Apple describes the problem with the current mess of adapters and cables users have to deal:
USPTO Stories August 8, 2014
In a new twist to the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the specific part of Apple’s auto-correct patent that Samsung was said to have infringed, reports FOSS Patents. This effectively means that Samsung was ruled to have infringed a patent that is no longer valid.
The trial found that Samsung infringed three of the five patents Apple claimed, including a specific element of its auto-correct patent which described a particular method of offering corrections or completions. Samsung had unsuccessfully argued at trial that this approach had been used by others before Apple, and therefore could not be patented. The court rejected this argument, but the USPTO has now agreed with Samsung … expand full story
USPTO Stories July 15, 2014
Apple is refused Touch ID trademark by USPTO – has six months to respond
Patently Apple reports that the US Patent & Trademark Office has refused Apple’s application for a trademark in Touch ID. The decision – made in May but only now made public – is because another company already holds a trademark for Kronos Touch ID, and there is a “likelihood of confusion” given the very similar names.
USPTO states that “Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant.
In this case, the following factors are the most relevant: similarity of the marks, similarity of the goods and/or services, and similarity of trade channels of the goods and/or services.
A search of the USPTO trademark database shows that the Kronos Touch ID trademark also related to a fingerprint recognition system, and that it has held the trademark since 2001:
Apple only applied for its trademark in January of this year:
Apple has six months to respond to the USPTO with a suggested remedy, otherwise the trademark application will be treated as abandoned and it would be forced to rename the feature. As we can’t imagine this happening – especially as we expect Touch ID to appear on iPads in the fall – it seems most likely that Apple will be heading over to Kronos’s offices, check-book in hand …
USPTO Stories August 22, 2013
The US Patent & Trademark Office today published a new Apple patent application (via PatentlyApple) that details a flexible material that could be used as a hinge to create a seamless enclosure for devices like the MacBook, for example. Apple details a technical process of using specialized machinery to laser cut “flex apertures” and interlocking features in a rigid material to allow it to bend and function as a hinge. On top of creating a seamless enclosure, Apple claims the process would allow it to reduce the size of devices that are often increased due to traditional hinge solutions. Imagine if the enclosure of a MacBook didn’t include that black plastic hinge and instead appeared to be a seamless piece of aluminium connecting the display to the bottom half of the unibody.
While MacBooks might seem like the obvious application for Apple’s invention, it also notes the usual list of devices that could potentially use the technology including everything from smartphones to televisions and game consoles. The patent also shows the material being used on headphone cables to allow a flexible connection from the cable to the earbud to prevent damage, and on what appears to be an iPad Smart Cover-like accessory: expand full story