This Is the Crap Tablet Apple Thinks Samsung Should Make

This image shows Apple lawyers’ wet dream for a Samsung tablet. It demonstrates one thing: the Apple lawyers who described it are imbeciles and/or clueless mischievous snakes. Just as much as Samsung’s product designers are unimaginative shameless cloning bastards. More »

Amazon’s gift card restriction patent: puts some thought in your otherwise thoughtless present

We all have that one friend or family member that’s nigh impossible to shop for, whether it’s because they have everything or like nothing. Gift cards are the quick and dirty solution to this gifting conundrum, but what if you don’t trust that special someone to make a purchase you’d be proud to call your present? Never fear, Amazon is here… with a new patent that lets you, the gift-giver, control which of the retailer’s wares can be bought with its gift cards. Of course, those who aren’t such control freaks can simply have the card make purchase recommendations instead. Plus, this gift card of tomorrow can also let you know what was bought with the card to give you some insight for future gifting occasions. Maybe then you’ll be able to give your mother-in-law something she’ll like, instead of just some repurposed retail cash.

Amazon’s gift card restriction patent: puts some thought in your otherwise thoughtless present originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 01:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Geek Wire  |  sourceUSPTO  | Email this | Comments

Apple Patent Uses 3D Gestures to Control an iPad

Forget relying solely on touch to control your Apple device. On future iPads, you may be able to control your tablet from across the room using 3D gestures, such as a swirl or swipe of the hand.

As suggested by a newly uncovered Apple patent, you would be able to manipulate and control graphical elements on your display, such as icons, media files, text and images. The gestures themselves could take many forms: geometric shapes (e.g., a half-circle or square), symbols (like a check mark or question mark), the letters of the alphabet, and other sorts of predetermined patterns.

One interesting application the patent highlights is video annotation and editing via a gesture-based toolbar. The toolbar would provide pre-set options for beginners, but would also allow more advanced users to customize their own gestures.

A previously discovered patent indicates that Apple could be working on an integrated projector for iDevices that would incorporate physical gestures as a method to manipulate a projected image. This newer patent, however, focuses more on the gestures themselves and other ways they could be used to control onscreen images and video. There’s no mention of Siri or combining voice control with physical gestures.

The 3D gesture-capturing method would employ a device’s front-facing camera. The iPad 2, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S all include a front-facing camera, so if Apple, say, decided to integrate this feature in an upcoming version of iOS, it’s possible that legacy iDevice models could employ the technology as well. That said, the patent does suggest that older iPhones may not have enough processing power for the gesture-capturing workload, as it shows a way to transfer video from the iPhone to an iPad for more advanced editing options.

The patent pre-defines a number of gestures, such as ones for facial recognition, a selection gesture and a pointing gesture (to identify a specific section of an onscreen image).

The patent was originally filed in mid-2010.

Image: Patently Apple

Apple Patent Describes Easy-to-Disassemble iOS Device

If you need to fix your iPhone, in the future it may not be so hard to do. Image: Patently Apple

Apple products are notoriously difficult to repair. Just check out iFixit’s teardowns: You often need special proprietary tools to get inside the devices, which usually score pretty low on iFixit’s 10-point repairability scale. But perhaps future iOS devices won’t pose so much trouble for the do-it-yourselfer, as a recent Apple patent describes a new construction that would make cracking open Apple cases far less headache-inducing.

The patent, unearthed by Patently Apple, describes a few different rear cases that could be slid, hinged or tilted to reveal what’s underneath. The casings would be locked in place with screws, latches, hooks or a combination of the three to ensure they wouldn’t pop open when they’re not supposed to.

Many Android devices are fairly easy to disassemble and repair, and often feature a backplate that slides or pops off so you can replace your battery or insert a SIM card. That concept isn’t new. But Apple is notorious for wanting to prevent users from mucking around inside its devices, both software– and hardware-wise. For example, 2011 batches of the iPhone featured redesigned screws that require an uncommon Pentalobe screwdriver instead of that normal Phillips-head screwdriver you have sitting in your tool drawer.

But perhaps this patent points to a new direction for Apple mobile products.

Indeed, because the new iPhone 4S is a world phone that includes both GSM and CDMA functionality, a more accessible chassis design would make it easier for frequent international jet setters to swap out their microSIM cards to take advantage of cheaper wireless rates abroad. Sprint sells its iPhone 4S units with the SIM unlocked, and Verizon can unlock it at your request after 60 days of ownership.

Do you wish you could more easily crack apart your iPhone to repair it yourself or potentially swap out the battery or SIM? Let us know in the comments.

Apple solar patent wants a sunny display light for your Sunny (De)light

Let’s begin with the usual disclaimer: Apple patent applications do not mean the outlandish technology will be arriving in the next iPhone, just that someone in a Cupertino basement cooked it up during a marathon “imagining” session (possibly while enjoying a cool glass of purple stuff). The company’s latest drawings-and-charts masterpiece concerns the construction and placement of photovoltaic cells and, more importantly, using the sun’s energy to illuminate a display. By using a mirror pointed at the sky, you could reflect some rays toward your screen to supplement an LED backlight, or by turning the top lid of your Macbook into a solar panel. Although we can see one minor drawback in using solar powered backlighting — if you have to point your display toward the sun, you’re gonna need some powerful shades.

Continue reading Apple solar patent wants a sunny display light for your Sunny (De)light

Apple solar patent wants a sunny display light for your Sunny (De)light originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 12:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Patently Apple  |  sourceUSPTO, USPTO (2)  | Email this | Comments

ITC judge says Apple did not infringe on HTC’s patents in initial case, more rulings still to come

HTC has since lodged some additional patent infringement complaints with the International Trade Commission, but an ITC judge has now ruled on HTC’s first complaint against Apple from back in May of 2010, finding no violation of the patents in question on the part of Apple. As FOSS Patents notes, however, the ruling hardly puts an end to the dispute between the two companies, and HTC certainly seems to be in it for the long haul. Its general counsel told CNET that “this is only one step of many in these legal proceedings,” and that, “we are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property.”

ITC judge says Apple did not infringe on HTC’s patents in initial case, more rulings still to come originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does Apple’s Patent Win Against Samsung Put More Android Devices at Risk?

There’s been gnashing of teeth between Apple and Samsung in courts across the globe for a while now, but Australia’s temporary injunction against the sale of a Samsung tablet is a huge win for Apple, and could be very bad for the Android platform.

A court in Australia ruled today that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 cannot be sold in the country because it infringes on two patents held by Apple relating to multitouch. Because the patents are so broad, other Android device makers could find themselves mired in similar litigation, FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller said.

The two patents in question describe a “multipoint touchscreen” and a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics.” (Steve Jobs is listed as an inventor of the latter.) The preliminary injunction could have drastic effects for Samsung, leaving the tablet “commercially dead” in Australia and causing the company to miss out on lucrative holiday sales.

Samsung commented in a written statement, “We are disappointed with this ruling and Samsung will be seeking legal advice on its options.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment for

Apple began battling Samsung in court over design-related patents in April. In that lawsuit, Apple claimed that similarities between Samsung’s products and Apple’s iPhone and iPad were so similar it was “beyond the realm of coincidence.” Apple has continued to sue Samsung in courts across the world, including Germany, The Netherlands and Australia. The launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was initially delayed in Australia, but today’s injunction makes it even more likely that the tablet may never reach Australian consumers.

There are currently more than 20 lawsuits in litigation between Apple and Samsung.

Mueller stated in a blog post, “I believe no company in the industry may be able to launch any new Android-based touchscreen product in Australia anytime soon without incurring a high risk of another interim injunction.”

In previous rulings — for example, when Apple beat Samsung in a Netherlands’ court battle regarding a page-turning patent — Samsung was able to simply re-engineer a function and issue an update (often barely noticeable to the average smartphone user), and skirt the issue. But today’s ruling is different, because it concerns a patent for key, intrinsic, product-defining features.

“Today’s ruling is the broadest win that Apple has got so far,” Mueller said in an interview with There’s not much Samsung can do but countersue, and Mueller feels, “It’s really unimpressive what Samsung brings to the tablet against Apple.” Samsung has yet to score any wins against Apple.

Apple is already in litigation with three major Android device makers: Samsung, HTC and Motorola. Mueller believes Motorola could soon overtake Samsung as Apple’s main target, given Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

As for non-Android devices — such as Windows Phone, webOS and BlackBerry models — they don’t have as much to worry about.

“Apple is careful to exclude Windows Phone; they own far too many patents,” Mueller says. And as long as HP owns webOS, it may be in a stronger position than Google as far as patent challenges. And BlackBerry, well, it’s likely that Apple doesn’t feel threatened by RIM as it’s on the decline. It would be a far more efficient approach, Mueller says, to just erode RIM’s market via retail sales of iPhones and iPads.

Mueller says that unlike Microsoft, which uses its vast trove of patents as leverage to raise cash, Apple uses patents as they were originally intended: to create a monopoly. “Apple really seeks and optimizes its products for differentiation. Apple takes a more exclusionary approach to patent enforcement,” Mueller said. Microsoft, by comparison, has established licensing deals with a number of manufacturers in order to score a cut of retail sales revenue. The latest example is PC manufacturer Quanta, the ninth OEM to pay Microsoft royalties for Android products.

Android makers are especially susceptible to litigation because they are late entrants to the market, and don’t have licensing deals or extensive patent holdings in place yet.

Apple granted injunction against Samsung in Australia, no Galaxy Tab 10.1s allowed in the land of Oz

Among the many battlegrounds in the legal spat between Samsung and Apple, the case filed down under has had some of the most action. Just over a week ago, Apple wanted nothing to do with Samsung’s attempt to settle the suit. Today, the crowd in Cupertino is glad that they rebuffed Sammy’s overtures, because the Federal Court in Australia granted Apple’s injunction barring the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from appearing in Aussie stores. That means that Sammy’s svelte slate will not be for sale (legally, anyway) in Australia unless it can convince the court that its tablet doesn’t infringe Apple’s patents at trial. You’ve won this battle, Apple, time will tell if you win the war.

Apple granted injunction against Samsung in Australia, no Galaxy Tab 10.1s allowed in the land of Oz originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Oct 2011 22:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intellectual Ventures takes aim at Motorola over alleged patent infringement

When Nathan Mhyrvold’s Intellectual Ventures firm isn’t striking licensing deals with technology companies, it’s usually suing them, and you can now add one more big name to that latter group. This time it’s Motorola, which IV says it has been in discussions with for “some time,” but which it has ultimately been unable to come to an agreement with on a license. A total of six patents covering a fairly wide variety of functions are included in the suit, which was filed in a Delaware federal court, although that’s just a small fraction of the more than 35,000 total intellectual property assets owned by the company. For its part, Motorola is remaining mum on the matter, while IV said in a statement that while its “goal continues to be to provide companies with access to our portfolio through licensing and sales,” it will “not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business.”

Intellectual Ventures takes aim at Motorola over alleged patent infringement originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 15:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink All Things D  |  sourceIntellectual Ventures  | Email this | Comments

LG seeks ban on South Korean BMW and Audi sales, sticks out its LED lit tongue at Osram

Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where we all just got along, people worked for the thrill of it, and knowledge was free? Yeah, fat chance dreamers. ‘Sue’, our new millennium’s most oft-used verb, is getting some heavy play at the hands of the tech industry. The latest court room combatants? Why, that’d be LG Group and Osram. You see, once upon a time LG was late to the LED patent game, and was content to fork over the cash to Osram for use of its tech. Skip to now, and the electronics giant’s claiming it can get its lighting goods elsewhere, picking from a plethora of relevant IP-holding companies and combining that with its own patents. Despite having already countersued Osram in July to prevent the import of that company’s allegedly infringing products into South Korea, LG’s gathered its legal arsenal once again to block the sale of Audis and BMWs throughout the entire country — cars that include Osram’s LED tech. It’s hard to imagine the courts would grant such a wide-sweeping ban on major auto players’ bread-and-butter. And all grandstanding aside, it’s more likely the two fisticuffing parties will come to some sort of revised financial agreement.

LG seeks ban on South Korean BMW and Audi sales, sticks out its LED lit tongue at Osram originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 29 Sep 2011 22:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Engadget Spanish, CarScoop  |  sourceKorea Times  | Email this | Comments