Patent

Apple considering 3D camera technology for the iPhone?

AppleInsider has discovered patent applications showing that APple may be interested in including dual rear-facing cameras and additional sensors for a new 3D image technology in mobile devices such as the iPhone.

The hardware-based system would be an improvement over recent Android devices that include 3D camera technology due to software that takes "guesses" at how to conduct stereo disparity compensation on 3D images. The more guesses needed to process these images result in loss of quality and artifacts.

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Future iPads to use light, flexible "knitted" material? [Patent watch]

Another interesting Apple patent has made its way out of Cupertino, this one explaining a process in which Apple would use new "knitting technology" to create a flexible material for use in iPads and other products. The material could be made from not only metal fibers but glass fibers or other types of materials as well.

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Apple working on a more social way to buy and share apps [Patent watch]

Based on a recent patent filing, it looks as if Apple may be looking at even more ways to buy and share apps. This approach would be a bit more social as it would allow your friends to share applications with you that they think you may enjoy. This could work through the network, through a cloud service, or through IR.

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New Apple Patent Points to Scrollable Menus and Toolbars in iOS, Mac OS X

A new Apple patent was just revealed that suggests iOS (and the upcoming Mac OS X Lion) could have scrolling menus and toolbars The idea would be that users could bring up menus and toolbars that apply to whatever application they're in, scroll through them, and select a command from the toolbar itself.

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Apple Sues HTC for Patent Infringement

Apple announced today that they are suing Windows Phone and Android hardware manufacturer, and Sense UI developer, HTC for patent infringement. The suit, filed in US District Court in Delaware, alleges violation of "20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware". Says Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

This harkens back to Steve Jobs' original introduction of the iPhone at Macworld 2007 when, as a keynote bullet point, he stated emphatically about the iPhone -- "boy did we patent it."

HTC, who produces the Android G1, MyTouch, and Hero and the Nexus One hardware for Google, and a variety of Windows Phones including the Touch Pro 2 and HD2 has built their own multitouch solutions, even when Google was reticent to implement the technology themselves. Curiously, Apple has yet to go after Palm, perhaps due to Palm's equally impressive mobile patent portfolio. Likewise, does going after HTC allow Apple to go after Android and Windows Phone without taking on Google and Microsoft?

More on this as it develops. Also keep an eye on our sibling sites, Android Central for more from the HTC angle.

UPDATE: Gizmodo has the full list:

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Apple Exploring Contacts on the Home Screen - Apple Patent Watch

The Apple patents keep on rolling out and today the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office accepted Apple’s filing for a patent that would allow for contact icons to be placed on the home screen, along with the ability to invoke apps, retrieve and display contacts information, or dynamically display related information all tied to an individual contact.

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blockquote>"The icon can also be used to invoke one or more applications that are personalized to the contact. The icon can be modified to display information related to the contact. In one aspect, an icon associated with an entity can be temporarily displayed on the mobile device based on the proximity of the mobile device to the entity."

This is pure speculation on our part but it's possible you will see this patent come to life in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0. Hopefully when January 27th comes we all will see what is in store for the future of the iPhone OS.

Now please excuse me while I go add a few more contacts on the home screen of my Moto Droid, since it's been doing that for a while. ;)

One more screen shot after the break!

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Apple Being Sued for iPhone Infringing Four Digital Camera Patents

Apple is no stranger to lawsuits, and today is no exception as St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants have slapped them with a lawsuit that claims the iPhone infringes upon four of their digital camera patents that St. Clair currently holds. The four include the ‘459, ‘219, ‘010 and ‘899 patents.

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Why Nokia is Suing Apple Over the iPhone

Engadget's resident legal gadget eagle, Nilay Patel, has put together a great, depth analysis of Nokia's recent lawsuit against Apple and the iPhone over patent infringement.

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Nokia Sues Apple Over iPhone GSM Patent Infringement

Out sibling site NokiaExperts.com brings word that Nokia is suing Apple in Delware court. Why-for?

ten patents related to GSM, UMTS, and WLAN standards that Nokia states they established after investing more than EUR 40 billion in R&D over the last 20 years. Nokia stated that they have successfully entered into license agreements including these patents with approximately 40 companies, including virtually all the leading mobile device vendors, allowing the industry to benefit from Nokia’s innovation.

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