Apple Patents

AuthenTec sells security division to Inside Secure for $48M

AuthenTec, whom Apple was rumored to be interested in buying for $350M, has just sold off their inside security division to Inside Secure for $48M. While we have our ideas of what Apple could be doing with AuthenTec and its list of patents, we can probably assume now that it is something other than their security technology.

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Apple wins patent that could potentially turn Apple TV into a cable box

Apple has just been granted a patent that it applied for 6 years ago that would allow them to turn the Apple TV into a cable box of sorts. This means instead of simply being able to stream content from iTunes, Netflix, and now Hulu, you'd be able to watch regular tv as well.

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Apple patent details an even smarter Smart Cover with a second display

A new Apple patent filed a little over a year ago with the US Patent and Trademark Office shows off a Smart Cover that would double as a secondary display and allow user input. As with other patents, no one knows if it'll ever see the light of day but it's definitely a neat concept.

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Apple patent shows removable back with swappable optics

An Apple patent recently published by the US Trademark and Patent Office shows a removable back that may contain interchangeable optics for the camera. It's unclear whether this patent would apply to either an iPhone, iPod touch, or different device yet to be released but it's a strong deviation from Apple's current strategy.

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Apple patents "Places" as a social networking trademark

While Apple and social networking didn't get off to a good start with Ping!, it appears Apple may be willing to try again with a new patent pointing to a social networking feature they are titling "Places". (Does this sound familiar to anyone else?)

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Regarding Apple including 3rd party app screens in 1st part app patent filings

Apple has begun filing patent applications for 1st party (i.e. Apple produced) iOS apps that include screen drawings of well known 3rd party (i.e. independently produced by developers for the App Store) apps.

Is Apple trying to steal the hard work and shatter the good will of App Store developers? Is Apple merely showing how App Store apps could hook into future Apple apps/hubs? Is it something in between?

Let's take a look after the break...

[Venomous Porridge, Thanks Dev for the tip!]

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Apple gets patents for iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design, applies for iPhone/iPad icon trademarks

Big week for Apple patent pr0n, as in addition to getting a patent for the original 2007 iPhone 2G design, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, et al are not being granted a patent for the 2008/2009 iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design as well. And not content with hardware alone, Apple has filed for patents on almost all their Home Screen and App Store icons (we couldn't find Calendar, which means its either too generic or we just couldn't find it).

So fair warning to all the iClone manufacturers without prior art or $40 billion in the bank -- start visual differentiation plans now.

As to the icons, at almost 1000x1000 pixels and with detail to match, it shows just how obsessive Apple is when it comes to their products and while other OS and devices may use the same app-launcher paradigms, they don't seem to be slaving over every last detail -- in art, consistency, multitouch panel quality, and touch detection software quality -- Apple is putting in. Just amazing. (Except for those diagonal stripes).

Gallery after the break!

[Patently Apple, GoRumors via Engadget]

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iPhone Patent Watch: Haptics, Biometrics, RFID, and... Karaoke?!

A slew of new Apple patent applications have come to light covering a rather odd range of functionality that may -- or may not -- make it into future iPhone software and hardware models.

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Patent Watch: Apple's 3D Multi-Touch... er... Skin?

Apple has had more success than anyone marketing multi-touch as of late -- we give you, the iPhone. But how far can even Apple push this technology? Right to the line? Past the line? Apple Insider sheds light on a new patent application that might just be way over the line:

portable multi-touch skins that can be wrapped around three-dimensional objects such as an iPod or steering wheel to provide addition GUI interfaces for those objects that can be configured via the touch skins themselves.

Too. Many. Jokes. Flooding. Blogsphere.

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