The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published a series of 22 newly granted patents for Apple. One of these patents was awarded to late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. That patent was related to organizing episodic TV content on Apple TV. As the figure below points out, Apple has patented an environment where television content at a higher level interface can be broken down into corresponding episodes. Before Steve Jobs passed away, he told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he wanted to invent a television set that would be seamlessly synced with all devices and with iCloud and would have the “simplest user interface you could imagine.”
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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Posts
The United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple today. The patent filed is for face and presence detection that can be used for helping iOS more secure. The technology would allow a user to unlock his or her device by simply looking at it. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) has this feature already, but it does not always work. The webcam on the front of the Apple iOS devices would analyze the mouth, nose, and eyes, to determine if they are indeed the owner of the device. [Patently Apple]
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has rejected Oracle’s patent claims against Google. On December 20th, the U.S. Patent office issued a rejection in the reexamination of Oracle’s U.S. Patent number 6,192,476. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had rejected 17 out of the 21 claims about the patent in discussion including 7 of the patent’s independent claims. Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google in 2010 over patents and copyright infringement within Java over the Android operating system.
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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened an exhibit last week that focuses on the patents that listed Steve Jobs as an inventor. The exhibit is located in the atrium of the Patent office’s Madison Building headquarters. The free exhibit has a portrait gallery and a theater. The Steve Jobs exhibit has 30 giant iPhone display panels that displays the front pages from over 300 patent and trademark filings that has Jobs’ name on them. The exhibit will be run through January 2012. [MacRumors]
Facebook is suing a number of entities in a trademark infringement case that addresses owners of sites that are typos of Facebook’s domain. As Bill Hartzer and Elliot’s Blog report, Facebook is suing “typosquatters” like Cyber2Media, FB Promotions/Freebie Promos, YourTick and more (25 named defendants in total) who have registered typos of Facebook’s domain. The social network filed the suit with a request to get the entities to either be relieved of their rights to the typo domains or to transfer those domains into Facebook’s property, as well as compensation for damages.
Apple finally won its patent on the iPhone, filed in December of 2007, and may now legally rule the market of capacitive touch-screen phones. PC Mag reports that the patent’s language is so broad that Apple possibly owns the concept of multitouch smartphones and even multitouch tablets. Intellectual property and patent experts predict that Apple will file lawsuits against competitors who make smartphones (like HTC, Motorola, Nokia, etc.) or competitors that run similar operating systems (like Android).
Walker Digital is an “invention” company that was founded by Price.com co-founder Jay S. Walker. Previously Walker announced that they are suing Facebook. Now the company is suing Zynga, Activision, and Activision subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment. The patent that Walker owns is called ‘DATABASE DRIVEN ONLINE DISTRIBUTED TOURNAMENT SYSTEM’ (patent #6,425,828). Some of the games in question of the patent are Mafia Wars (Zynga), Wolfenstein (Activision), Call of Duty (Activision Blizzard), and World of Warcraft (Blizzard). [TechCrunch]
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been given a patent that relates to a space-age metal alloy known as liquidmetal. The patent is not for an iPad enclosure or iPhone antenna. It is related to internal components of a fuel cell according to CultOfMac.com. Apple’s new patent is titled “Current collector plates of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys” and is patent #7862957. Mini fuel cells have the ability to power mobile phones for over 30 days and notebooks for over 20 hours without a recharge. [CultOfMac]