Friday, May 30, 2008

Engadget on "the iPhone patent" - (it's an application, guys)

http://www.engadget.com/2008/05/30/the-iphone-patent-steven-p-jobs-inventor/

Originally spotted by CellPassion: http://cellpassion.mobi/2008/05/29/apple-gets-iphone-patent-shows-off-gps-and-video-conferencing-modules.aspx


You can see it for yourself here: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20080122796&OS=20080122796&RS=20080122796

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:at a computing device with a touch screen display,detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display,applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device; andprocessing the command;wherein the one or more heuristics comprise:a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command;a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command;a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from a displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items;a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying the respective item in a set of items to displaying a previous item in the set of items;a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to display a keyboard primarily comprising letters; anda heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to show a heads up display.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

D569,874 - DVD Burn Graphic Design Patent

On May 27, 2008, Apple was issued a US Design patent on a sequence of images that appear to match those used in iDVD for initiating a DVD burn. The patent is notable for having Steve Jobs as second inventor.







United States Patent
D569,874
Wasko , et al.
May 27, 2008
User interface for computer display

CLAIM The ornamental design for a user interface for computer display, as shown and described.
Inventors: Wasko; Timothy E. (High River, CA), Jobs; Steven P. (Palo Alto, CA)
Assignee: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Appl. No.: D/211,306
Filed: August 13, 2004

2008-05-27 Newly Issued Apple Patents

1
D569,874
User interface for computer display
2
7,380,116
System for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration
3
7,380,014
Reliable real-time transport protocol
4
7,379,956
Encoding and decoding data arrays
5
7,379,075
Method and system for the representation of color and other attributes in bitmap fonts

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2008-05-22 Newly Published Apple Patent Applications

1
20080116089
Gift card carriers

Claim 1. A gift card carrier, comprising:

a panel for carrying a gift card,

the panel comprising a recessed portion sized and dimensioned to receive a gift card therein so that the gift card appears to be flush mounted when the gift card is positioned inside the recessed portion of the panel.


2
20080116088
Gift card carriers

Claim 1. A gift card carrier, comprising:

a panel having a surface with a hardware image disposed thereon,

the hardware image representing at least a portion of a hardware device,

the portion of the hardware device that is imaged on the panel including a display region of the hardware device,

the display region of the hardware image defining an area for mounting a gift card.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Apple's take on the Wiimote?

The most interesting newly published application this week seems to be 11/594,342 (20080106517). It describes a remote controller quite reminiscent of the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote.

Independent claim 8 essentially describes accepting light from a photodetector and relative motion data from a motion detector to determine an absolute position of the remote.

On the surface, this sounds similar to the Wiimote's combined use of accelerometers and detection of light from the Wii light bar. It is unclear how this would fair against earlier Nintendo filings, given the 11/6/2006 filing date and no apparent claim to earlier priority.

2008-05-08 Newly Published Apple Patent Applications

1
20080109865
Dynamic adjustments of video streams
2
20080109533
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DISTRIBUTING COMPUTER FILES ACROSS A NETWORK
3
20080106548
Continuous random access points
4
20080106517
3D remote control system employing absolute and relative position detection
5
20080106288
Circuit boards including removable test point portions and configurable testing platforms

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2008-05-06 Newly Issued Apple Patents

1
D568,338
Media device
2
D568,297
Dock insert
3
D568,291
Ear phone
4
7,370,216
Conserving power by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor
5
7,369,987
Multi-language document search and retrieval system
6
7,369,699
Methods and apparatuses for restoring color and enhancing electronic images

Igoe IP synopsis of '699 method:
Determine averages of at least two of center, surround, and whole of a color channel for the image, excluding substantially white or black pixels; Scale color signals based on the averages to generate signals weighted according to a distance to a selected point in the image.

Monday, May 5, 2008

AAPL & JAVA?

(Note: While this blog will focus on Apple intellectual property, and specifically patents, I will occassionally delve into wider business matters. This is such a post.)

With Sun Microsystems losing nearly one quarter of its value, lowering its market cap to around $10 billion, it becomes interesting to consider whether an Apple / Sun combination would make sense. Key factors:

  • Apple has nearly $20 billion in cash. A Sun acquistion could likely be performed for well below that amount.
  • Sun has a wide server and storage product line. Apple is comparatively limited with XServe.
  • Sun and Apple both have an open standard / open source leaning on the server side.
  • Sun has enterprise sales and service forces that Apple lacks.
  • Sun and Apple are geographically close.
  • Fake Steve Jobs would be happy to see My Little Pony dethroned.

If Apple is serious about an enterprise push, a Sun acquisition could make sense. As corporate desktop users insist on a Mac desktop option, the limitations of Microsoft servers in a mixed environment will become more apparent. A migration to Macs on the corporate desktop will create demand for a more open server infrastructure with better cross-platform support. Sun, especially in Apple's hands, could provide such an infrastructure.

However, would Apple's strengths in industrial design and marketing truly enhance Sun's offerings? I actually suspect so. Having spent a short time working with XServe admin tools, I came away impressed with how much simpler administration was than with corresponding Microsoft or Linux products. Ease-of-use is important in the server room, too.

Apple must have some plans for that pile of cash. If a move to enterprise offerings is on the horizon, it could get an early start with a large cup of JAVA.