It was only last week -- Friday to be exact -- when the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled against Finnish cell phone giant Nokia in its epic patent battle with Apple. Now, like a bad penny, the Finns are back for another round.
It’s been relatively quiet on Apple’s patent battlefront, but this week the CEO of Eastman Kodak spoke out on his company’s dispute against Cupertino and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion over digital camera technology, claiming the suit could produce upwards of $1 billion in royalties if they win.
If you hate cables like we hate cables, you're going to love what Apple may be planning to do with your cables. Now, say that five times fast. If a new patent filing is any indication, Apple's engineers are looking at methods for transfering data and power via a single magsafe cable. That could mean less under desl tangled messes for everyone... well, everyone that uses a Mac.
Computer users have had decades to get comfortable with the notion of noodling with a mouse and keyboard for gaming and churning out work. If a freshly filed Apple patent is any indication, however, our long-term relationship with the the most basic of human interface devices could soon come to an end. It seems that the company's engineers have been tinkering with the notion of incorporating touch gestures into future iterations of their keyboards, making the need for a mouse moot.
There's never a dock connector cable around when you need one. Alternately, many of us have been faced with the frustration of having one on hand, but no computer or wall socket to plug it into, leaving our precious iOS devices to die from a lack of power after a long day away from our Macs. Fortunately, thanks to a new patent awarded to Apple this week, the days of figuring out how to charge our iPods and iPhone away from home could be coming to an end.
No one can argue with the fact that this was a banner year for Apple product launches. According to The Wall Street Journal, our favorite Cupertino-based company was also a high roller where filing patents was concerned too. In 2010, Apple managed to win 563 patents. Still, considering the fact that they only won a paltry 289 the year before, and a measly 186 patents in 2008. Still, given that most of us haven't patented, well anything, we feel a golf clap is in order.
Despite the lackluster response thus far to Ping, Apple’s first attempt at social networking, newly revealed patents show that the company isn’t stopping there -- someday, your iPhone may be used for social networking during shopping trips as well.
Steve Jobs wears one style of glasses. One. His iconic John Lennon-style shades are as much a part of his mystique as his Levis 501s and black mock turtle neck. Were Jobs to appear at an Keynote without any of these essentials on his person, the earth could very well spin of its orbital axis and hurtle into the sun. Apple understands that such a cataclysm could effect their bottom line. That's most likely why they filed a patent for a glasses-free 3D projection system.
Now that Apple has successfully built its iOS empire and is armed with multiple patents to defend the technology, the company is beefing up its arsenal with an army of patent lawyers to fight Nokia, Motorola and HTC in court.
It’s a sad fact of life, but we’re a litigious society -- and when it comes to technology patents, it seems like the lawsuits are flying fast and furious, with Apple now countersuing Motorola. If you’re having trouble keeping it all straight, here’s a handy cheat sheet to keep things in check.