Apple: Patent Round Up

  • September 4, 2012

Its Tuesday, our usual patent round up day. Here is a list of of some of the patents that was granted to Apple on 4th September 2012 by the USPTO.


Patent 1. –  Touch screen liquid crystal display (8,259,078).

This was filed on June 8, 2007. I  will not be surprise if this patent surface in lawsuits in the future. 

 Patent Background

There exist today many types of hand-held electronic devices, each of which utilizes some sort of user interface. The user interface can include an output device in the form of a display, such as a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), and one or more input devices, which can be mechanically actuated (e.g., switches, buttons, keys, dials, joysticks, joy pads) or electrically activated (e.g., touch pads or touch screens). The display can be configured to present visual information such as text, multi-media data, and graphics, and the input devices can be configured to perform operations such as issuing commands, making selections, or moving a cursor or selector in the electronic device.

Recently work has been progressing on integrating various devices into a single hand-held device. This has further led to attempts to integrate many user interface models and devices into a single unit. A touch screen can be used in such systems for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Additionally, multi-touch capable touch screens can provide a variety of advantages for such a device.

Heretofore, it has been assumed that touch screens, whether single touch or multi-touch, could be produced by fabricating a traditional LCD screen, and disposing a substantially transparent touch sensing device in front of this screen. However, this presents a number of disadvantages, including substantial manufacturing costs.

Summary of the Invention

According to one embodiment of the invention, an integrated liquid crystal display touch screen is provided. The touch screen can include a plurality of layers including a first polarizer, a first substrate having display control circuitry formed thereon (e.g., a TFT plate or array plate), a second substrate (e.g., a color filter plate) adjacent to the first, and a second polarizer. The touch screen can further include at least one touch sensing element disposed between the first polarizer and the second polarizer and not between the substrates. The touch sensing element can include one or more touch sensors formed on the second substrate.

The touch sensors can include, a first plurality of touch electrodes formed on the second substrate, a dielectric deposited over the first plurality of electrodes, and a second plurality of touch electrodes formed on top of the dielectric. The touch and drive electrodes can be formed from patterned indium-tin oxide (ITO). The touch sensors can also comprise active circuitry, including, for example, thin film transistors (TFTs). The substrates may be either glass or plastic. The touch electrodes may be part of a mutual capacitance or a self-capacitance arrangement.

In another embodiment, an electronic device incorporating an integrated LCD touch screen is provided. The electronic device can take the form of a desktop computer, a tablet computer, and a notebook computer. The electronic device can also take the form of a handheld computer, a personal digital assistant, a media player, and a mobile telephone. In some embodiments, a device may include one or more of the foregoing, e.g., a mobile telephone and media player. 


Touch screen liquid crystal display (8,259,078)


Patent 2. Method and system for dynamically populating groups in a developer environment (8,261,246). 

The Invention

Improved techniques for automatic (or dynamic) updating (or maintaining) of file groups in a developer environment that stores and executes files are disclosed. The automatic update to file groups can occur when additional files are added to or removed from the developer environment. The automatic update to file groups can also occur when previously stored files are otherwise altered. 


 Patent 3 Multi-point representation (8,261,191)

The Invention

Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several images in the set but not all the images in the set. After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images. 


Patent 4 – Systems and methods for providing context-based movie information (8,260,640)

The Invention

Systems and methods are provided for generating context-based movie information. For example, a movie application on an electronic device can obtain show times of a movie from multiple movie theaters. In some embodiments, the movie application can combine one or more show times into a single time slot in order to condense the number of show times that are displayed. Furthermore, the movie application can provide slot labels corresponding to each time slot based on one or more context-sensitive factors (e.g., current time of day, current location, one or more upcoming calendar events, and the like). As a result, the movie application can provide a user with a condensed view of the most accessible show times based on current context. 


Patent 4 – Variant streams for real-time or near real-time streaming to provide failover protection (8,260,877)

The Invention

Methods and apparatuses provide real-time or near real-time streaming of content using transfer protocols such as an HTTP compliant protocol. In one embodiment, a method includes providing multiple redundant locations that provide media content to client devices using alternative streams. To implement failover protection, a first server device or first content distribution service creates a stream, or multiple alternate bandwidth streams and generates playlist file(s). A second server device or second content distribution service creates a parallel stream, or set of streams. A client attempts to download the playlist file(s) from a first uniform resource locator (URL) using a first stream associated with the first server device or the first content distribution service. If a client is unable to download the playlist file(s) from the first URL, the client attempts to switch to an alternate stream associated with another URL. 


Patent 5 System and method for peer-to-peer communication in cellular systems  (8,260,337

The Invention

Systems and methods are provided for delivering both PMP communications, for example standard cellular communications via a base station, and also delivering P2P communications, for example, communications between two mobile stations, using the same spectral resources for both types of communication. 


Patent 6 – Hybrid antennas for electronic devices (8,259,017)   

The Invention

A portable electronic device is provided that has a hybrid antenna. The hybrid antenna may include a slot antenna structure and a planar inverted-F antenna structure. The planar inverted-F antenna structure may be formed from traces on a flex circuit substrate. A backside trace may form a series capacitance for the planar inverted-F antenna structure. The antenna slot may have a perimeter that is defined by the location of conductive structures such as flex circuits, metal housing structures, a conductive bezel, printed circuit board ground conductors, and electrical components. Springs may be used in electrically connecting these conductive elements. A spring-loaded pin may be used as part of an antenna feed conductor. The pin may connect a transmission line path on a printed circuit board to the planar inverted-F antenna structure while allowing the planar inverted-F antenna structure to be removed from the device for rework or repair.

Patent Background

This invention relates generally to electronic devices, and more particularly, to antennas for electronic devices such as portable electronic devices.

Handheld electronic devices and other portable electronic devices are becoming increasingly popular. Examples of handheld devices include handheld computers, cellular telephones, media players, and hybrid devices that include the functionality of multiple devices of this type. Popular portable electronic devices that are somewhat larger than traditional handheld electronic devices include laptop computers and tablet computers.

Due in part to their mobile nature, portable electronic devices are often provided with wireless communications capabilities. For example, handheld electronic devices may use long-range wireless communications to communicate with wireless base stations. Cellular telephones and other devices with cellular capabilities may communicate using cellular telephone bands at 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz. Portable electronic devices may also use short-range wireless communications links. For example, portable electronic devices may communicate using the Wi-Fi.RTM. (IEEE 802.11) bands at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz and the Bluetooth.RTM. band at 2.4 GHz. Data communications are also possible at 2100 MHz.

To satisfy consumer demand for small form factor wireless devices, manufacturers are continually striving to reduce the size of components that are used in these devices while providing enhanced functionality. Significant enhancements may be difficult to implement, however, particularly in devices in which size and weight are taken into consideration. For example, it can be particularly challenging to form antennas that operate in desired communications bands while fitting the antennas within the case of a compact portable electronic device.

It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide portable electronic devices with improved wireless communications capabilities.


Patent 7 – Location-based network detection (8,259,652)

The Invention

A mobile device establishes communication with a number of wireless cellular networks at particular locations and records the locations and network information associated with the wireless cellular networks. The network information can be used to narrow a search for an available wireless cellular network from a plurality of potentially available wireless cellular networks when the mobile device is operating at a stored location. In one aspect, a Radio Frequency (RF) receiver on a mobile device can receive a broadcast radio signal from a transmitter and use the signal to determine an approximate location of the device based on a known location of the transmitter. A match between the approximate device location and wireless cellular network transmitters in communication range of the mobile device can be used to narrow a search for wireless cellular networks.


Source: USPTO.

Posted by | Posted at September 4, 2012 10:12 | Tags: , , , , , ,
Storm is a technology enthusiast, who resides in the UK. He enjoys reading and writing about technology.

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