patents

Apple aims at reimagining vehicle owner's manuals

Apple might be taking a stab at a new way to access vehicle owners manuals.

The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a patent application from Apple called "Identifying and Presenting Information Based on Unique Vehicle Identifier." According to the patent application, the technology would would identify all parts and part numbers in a car and beam that to a person's iPhone or iPad. With GPS technology included, it would also inform the car owner of the nearest dealership or car parts retailer to get the needed part.

To add a bit more flavor to … Read more

Apple patent points to next-gen Siri with sensors

Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, could be due for a dramatic overhaul, if a recently acquired patent is to be our guide.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published patent 8,677,377, "Method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant," which describes what is essentially a higher-end Siri that can provide automated assistance to people in a wide array of circumstances.

According to Patently Apple, the technology relies on software and a combination of sensors to identify where people are. In one embodiment, the patent shows how Siri, using information gathered from … Read more

Samsung envisions a phone you can unlock with a doodle

Samsung has filed a patent for a new feature that will allow a device to be unlocked by drawing a figure on the screen with at least one intersection point.

According to patent application US20140066017 filed over the weekend with the US Patent & Trademark Office, the Korean smartphone maker wants first dips at a "touch-and-drag operation" to unlock a mobile terminal while the device is in lock mode. The method includes tracking the touch-and-drag trajectory, where one or more intersections occur, to release a lock mode.

That effectively means the feature can be used while the device'… Read more

Twitter paid $36 million for IBM patents to avoid a lawsuit

Twitter paid a hefty sum for a group of patents acquired from IBM, according to a newly published Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Twitter paid $36 million to acquire more than 900 patents from IBM, shows the filing published Thursday by the government agency. IBM announced the agreement between the companies in January, though the transaction was actually completed in December. As of the end of last year, Twitter had a total of 956 patents and 100 patent applications, according to the filing.

Last year, IBM was banging the drums of possible patent-infringement against Twitter, saying that the company's … Read more

Apple eyes fingerprint sensors to connect various devices

Apple debuted its fingerprint sensor with the release of its iPhone 5S in September. Currently, the smartphone is the only Apple device that totes the security scanner. But, it looks like Apple may be looking into using biometric data to let users connect all of their devices for wireless pairing and cross-device communication.

An Apple patent application for "a system for wireless pairing and communication between devices using biometrics" went public on the US Patent and Trademark Office's Web site on Thursday. The tech giant originally applied for the patent on August 31, 2012.

The patent application … Read more

Apple fails to win permanent ban of Samsung products

Apple has lost the latest round in the ongoing patent war with archrival Samsung.

In the long-running feud between the two companies, Apple had filed a renewed request to permanently ban 23 Samsung devices found to have infringed on its patents. But early Thursday, Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request, ruling that the iPhone maker "has not established that it is entitled to the permanent injunction it seeks," according to a court document.

Still, all is not rosy for Samsung. Koh also upheld the $290 million in additional damages awarded to Apple by a jury last November. … Read more

IPCom's $2.2 billion Apple lawsuit tossed out

IPCom, a company that owns patents and asserts those in infringement trials, has lost in its bid to generate $2.2 billion in damages off Apple.

The company, which has been referred to by some as a "patent troll" because it doesn't actually make products but uses its patent portfolio as a revenue generator, was rebuffed on Friday by the Mannheim Regional Court, which found that Apple did not in fact infringe on two standard-essential patents brought before it by IPCom. The case also included a patent-infringement claim against HTC, which was also thrown out.

According to Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, … Read more

Apple, Samsung fail to make nice in settlement talks over patent case

Bust out your Samsung pennant, your Apple foam finger, or your Jony Ive bobblehead doll -- it looks like we're in for another patent trial.

In a legal filing Friday, the companies said that during the first week of February, Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun and other execs from the South Korean consumer-electronics giant met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and a clutch of his cohorts for a full day of mediated negotiation talks. The companies also spoke with the mediator by phone several times after the face-to-face.

"Notwithstanding these efforts," however, the filing reads, "the … Read more

Apple, Samsung reportedly fail to reach truce in patent wars

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Mobile head JK Shin reportedly met last week to hammer out an agreement to their long-running patent feud. The result? No agreement.

Neither company has fessed up to such a meeting. But ZDNet Korea and other sources claim the two execs met in the US after being ordered by the court to try to settle their legal differences amicably. The court reportedly wanted to see a settlement by February 19, but the bad blood between the two companies seems to have been too much of an obstacle.

The court could reveal its final verdict … Read more

Judge again denies Samsung an Apple mistrial over 'racist' remarks

Despite Samsung's protestations over "racist" comments by an Apple attorney, the Korea-based gadget maker has been denied for a second time a mistrial in a patent-related case.

On Friday, Judge Lucy Koh again admonished Apple's legal team over remarks made last November during closing arguments in the case, which involved determining the damages Samsung should pay for patent infringement. But she ruled that the remarks didn't influence the jury's verdict and that the verdict would stand.

"Particularly in light of...the high-profile nature of this litigation, the Court expresses its disapproval and disappointment … Read more