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'patent' Articles

Modular Band Links Could Expand Functionality of Future Apple Watches

Apple continues to explore how wristbands might augment the feature list of future smartwatch models, as shown in a new patent granted today. First picked up by AppleInsider, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published details on Apple's designs for "Modular functional band links for wearable devices", which first surfaced last April. The patent describes a band made of a series of modular links containing electronic components, which are attached to each other using a flexible conductive material. A number of possible uses are mentioned for the linked design, including batteries, speakers, kinetic power generators, haptic feedback devices, and more. Biometric sensors are also covered, such as blood pressure monitors and sweat sensors. The modular accessory links are arranged serially across a power circuit and communications bus, with module control achieved by way of a unique identifier assigned to each link. In one example, an audio signal is sent from the timepiece through the chain of linked modules and activates only those modules assigned with a particular identifier. Other examples describe links being used as external ports for interfacing with off-device components such as expandable memory modules. In most of the embodiments, the modular links connect to a 6-pin diagnostic port on the watch. As always, there's no suggestion that the invention should be expected to appear in a finished product, but the patent does highlight Apple's continuing search for ways to expand the capabilities of a future Apple Watch or other wearable beyond the

Apple vs. Samsung Lawsuit Over iPhone Design Officially Reopened

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday reopened a longstanding patent lawsuit related to Samsung copying the design of the iPhone nearly six years ago, following an order of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, according to court documents filed electronically this week. The court will seek to determine the exact amount Samsung owes Apple for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen. The previous $399 million damages judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court last month. Apple's damages were calculated based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing Galaxy smartphones, but the Supreme Court ruled it did not have enough info to say whether the amount should be based on the total device, or rather individual components such as the front bezel or the screen. It will now be up to the appeals court to decide. Apple last month said the lawsuit, ongoing since 2011, has always been about Samsung's "blatant copying" of its ideas, adding that it remains optimistic that the U.S. Court of Appeals will "again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right."The question before the Supreme Court was how to calculate the amount Samsung should pay for their copying. Our case has always been about Samsung’s blatant copying of our ideas, and that was never in dispute. We will continue to protect the years of hard work that has made iPhone the world’s most innovative and beloved product. We remain optimistic that the lower

Haptic Feedback Wrist Band Could Make for Thinner Apple Watch

Apple is looking at ways to offload the Apple Watch's haptic feedback mechanism from the device's chassis to the wrist strap, according to a new patent application. Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by AppleInsider, the patent application for a "Band attachment mechanism with haptic response" describes a band capable of alerting the wearer to incoming alerts and other notifications. Applied to Apple's timepiece, the proposed design would serve to reduce the thickness of the chassis by transferring the linear actuator assembly to the bottom or the side of the wearer's wrist. The document describes a hardware component outside the main casing that is able to move laterally and side to side relative to the watch chassis, with other embodiments able to move up and down or rotate around the axis, in contrast to existing embodiments which are limited to back-and-forth movements. This would allow the outside mechanisms to reproduce the various movements of Apple's Taptic Engine, such as taps and shakes, with further variations possible depending on the integrated haptic subsystem. The patent goes on to describe ways in which haptic devices could be embedded in the smartwatch band, such as within the strap buckle or spring bars, presumably receiving motion instructions via a hardwired connection. Perhaps in contrast to some of Apple's other products, making the next-generation Apple Watch thinner would likely be welcomed by users. Locating the actuator outside the casing would also likely make haptic feedback more noticeable to

Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement in Germany and the U.S. Following Licensing Disagreement [Updated]

Nokia today announced that it has filed several complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on Nokia patents. Nokia's lawsuit stems from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. Apple this morning filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands. According to Apple, Nokia's failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties. From Apple's complaint:With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.Nokia's own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: "Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several

Apple Loses Labor Code Violation and Core Wireless Lawsuits

A federal jury for the U.S. District Court for Northern California today found Apple to be infringing upon a pair of wireless patents owned by Core Wireless, a patent holding firm with a large portfolio of more than 1,200 patents and applications, originally filed and later acquired from phone maker Nokia. Core Wireless was awarded $7.3 million in damages as part of the ruling, which Apple is likely to appeal. In its complaint, Core Wireless argued iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads infringe upon its patented wireless technologies, according to court documents filed electronically. Core Wireless, in a statement following the verdict, said the patents-in-suit — U.S. Patent No. 6,633,536 and U.S. Patent No. 6,477,151 — "provide innovations that improve battery life and signal quality in mobile phones.""We are very pleased with the verdict," said John Lindgren, Conversant's CEO. "We appreciate the efforts of the court and the jury. This confirms the strength of the Core Wireless portfolio, especially following our success against LG earlier this year in two cases in the Eastern District of Texas."Meanwhile, Apple lost another lawsuit this week when a San Diego Superior Court jury reached a verdict in favor of a group of former Apple Store retail employees, who accused the company of failing to provide timely meal and rest breaks, wages due upon ending employment within the required time, and accurate wage statements. California Labor Code dictates that employees must be provided with at least a 30-minute meal break when the work period is more than five hours, and

Supreme Court Reverses Apple's $399 Million Award in Samsung Phone Design Lawsuit [Updated With Apple Statement]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Samsung in its longstanding smartphone design lawsuit with Apple, reversing a $399 million damages judgment awarded to Apple by a lower court. The case will now return to the U.S. Court of Appeals for further proceedings. Supreme Court judges unanimously decided they do not have enough info to say whether damages paid to Apple should be based on the total device, or rather individual components like the front bezel or the screen. It urged the U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider the $399 million penalty Samsung paid in 2012.Absent adequate briefing by the parties, this Court declines to resolve whether the relevant article of manufacture for each design patent at issue here is the smartphone or a particular smartphone component. Doing so is not necessary to resolve the question presented, and the Federal Circuit may address any remaining issues on remand.The lawsuit dates back to 2011, when Apple successfully sued Samsung for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen. Apple's damages were awarded based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones. Calvin Klein, Dieter Rams, Norman Foster, and over 100 other top designers backed Apple in August, arguing the iPhone maker is entitled to all profits Samsung has earned from infringing designs. They cited a 1949 study showing more than 99% of Americans could identify a bottle of Coca-Cola by shape alone. Update: Apple has provided a

Apple Exploring Possibility of Foldable iPhone With Flexible Display

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent on Tuesday that shows the company has been researching a foldable iPhone design that uses a flexible OLED display. First spotted by AppleInsider, a patent titled "Flexible display devices" describes an iPhone design that folds in two when not in use, reminiscent of the old clamshell cellphones Motorola used to make in the 1990s. Apple's version utilizes a number of flexible parts including an OLED and a hinged metal support structure, made in one example of a nickel and titanium alloy known as nitinol, which has special elastic properties. Flexible polymers are used in alternative embodiments. Apple envisions that the upper housing could include cameras, display controllers, speaker modules and light sensors, with the lower section of the chassis containing microphones, CPU and graphics processor, along with vibrating and other typical smartphone mechanisms. The two sections connect via a single- or multi-shaft hinge that allows them to rotate relative to each other, while flexible printed circuit boards keep the connection intact. The flexible display meanwhile runs over the two sections and includes extra material to support two or more folding configurations. Apart from the the more familiar clamshell folding system, the patent describes how the display could fold outward, allowing both halves of the screen to remain accessible when the phone is closed shut. This second configuration also includes clips for fixing to the user's clothing. Later in the patent, Apple explores other more

Apple Explores Potential Chat Interactions With Siri in Messages Threads

Apple is looking into integrating its Siri virtual assistant into the company's Messages platform, according to a patent published today, enabling the AI to provide directions, retrieve movie times, and assist with peer-to-peer payments, among other potential uses. Picked up by AppleInsider, Apple's application for a "Virtual assistant in a communication session" appeared on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website on Thursday, and details a system in which iMessage users can invoke Siri from within chat threads to get answers to relevant queries, complete scheduling tasks, and more. One scenario describes an instance in which users chatting amongst themselves bring Siri into the conversation simply by including it in the group thread. Using semantic analysis, the AI detects when it may be of help to complete a task and pitches in accordingly - such as finding a place to eat nearby, and telling the user how long it will take for their friends to arrive. Although Siri's responses don't appear to other users, the assistant is able to parse their messages in order to work out whether it can help with a task. For instance, in another example, the user asks "Siri, help us schedule a meeting," in a group chat thread and the AI cross-checks open calendar dates for the present users to suggest a potential meeting date and time. Participants can then vote for a preferred time and place, after which Siri schedules the meeting in everyone's calendar. In another example, chat members are notified that a user is utilizing Siri and are asked if they would like to

Apple Patent Hints at Next-Generation AirPods With Biometric Sensors

Apple today was granted a patent that essentially updates an older wearable sports and health tracking device invention with features similar to those found in the company's new AirPods wireless headphones. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent on Tuesday with the title "Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets", which AppleInsider notes is nearly identical to a patent of the same name granted in 2014. However, the new document adds some new details hinting that Apple may be planning on integrating the technology into a forthcoming version of the company's AirPods. The patent describes an earbud-based fitness monitoring system which integrates an advanced biometric sensor that can detect physiological metrics including temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels and more, through skin contact and via built-in motion sensors. The updated document does away with references to a head gesture-controlled user interface and replaces them with details of a UI that users interact with via voice and touch. The newer invention allows users to touch areas of the headphones to trigger controls such as changing music track or invoking Siri. Alternatively, users can speak commands through a microphone, which are then processed by the headset or sent to a host device such as an iPhone. The changes bear clear similarities to Apple's recently delayed AirPods, which include embedded infrared and motion sensors for controlling various system functions. AirPods automatically detect when they are removed from the ear and can

The Next Generation Apple Watch Could Identify Users by Their Heart Rate

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an invention today that suggests the next Apple Watch could identify its owner simply by checking their heart rate. Apple's patent application is titled "User identification system based on plethysmography" and describes how a pulse oximeter is used to determine the biometric signature of a user's cardio rhythms. This data could then be used to identify the wearer and unlock the watch in a manner similar to Touch ID on the iPhone. The system works similarly to existing monitors, by projecting light on the user's skin and measuring how much of it is absorbed and reflected back to the device. The measurement can then be used to determine the amount of blood present in the vasculature. According to the patent, the data gathered by the two photosensors is either stored or compared against previously saved information to positively identify the user. In an associated patent also published today, the invention is extended to take in data from motion sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine user movement. Certain gestures, for example raising the device from waist height to head height, trigger the authentication process. AppleInsider notes that the system could replace Touch ID during Apple Pay payments and further reduce the watch's reliance on iPhone, although it's unclear if heart rate data can be a unique enough identifier to ensure the same level of

Apple Patent Integrates Ambient Light Sensor Directly Into iPhone's Display

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple another patent that could help the company create a bezel-free, edge-to-edge display for future generation iPhones. The new patent describes "electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors" and specifically refers to methods by which the company could stack the iPhone's ambient light sensor underneath the display, instead of next to it on the iPhone's bezel (via AppleInsider). In the patent, there are a few configurations through which Apple could execute the technology. One showcases the light sensors -- which help the iPhone detect the ambient light in a room or outside -- integrated directly above the touch-sensitive layer of the display (figure 6), while another has the sensor placed next to the touch-sensitive layer without intersecting it (figure 9). The patent notes that the methods of executing this technology aren't limited to just light sensors, but could be used for "a proximity sensor, or any other sensor." In a typical device, a light sensor is laterally displaced from an active display region of the display along a front face of the device. Additional space is therefore provided in common devices at the top, bottom, or side of the active display area to accommodate the light sensor. This can result in an undesirable increase in the size and weight of the device, if care is not taken, displays may be bulky or may be surrounded by overly large borders. It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices with light sensors and displays. In the

New Apple Patent Describes Fingerprint Sensor That Could Work Through Display

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent that describes a Touch ID sensor which could effectively detect and read a user's fingerprints through other components of the smartphone, "such as display stacks and touch screens" (via AppleInsider). While going unspecified, the technology aligns with the current rumors for the iPhone 8, which is expected to eliminate the Home Button for good and integrate various pieces of the smartphone directly into the display, including Touch ID. Described in the new patent, there are many reasons Apple is looking to integrate Touch ID into the iPhone's screen, "not the least of which is an interest in avoiding assigning valuable surface space exclusively to an component that may only be used briefly during the process of identifying the user." But the company still had to face multiple issues when building the new technology, namely a "blurring of the electric field" that brought about a loss of resolution of the fingerprint images as they were being transferred through the space between the Touch ID sensor and the iPhone's screen. To combat the gap between where the user places their finger, and the technology reading the fingerprint data under the display, Apple's patent proposes the use of electrostatic lenses, which are described as including "one or more patterned conductive layer(s)." In an example laid out by the patent, the position, relative voltage, and shapes of the patterned conductive layer or layers can be altered to shape the electric field specifically associated with the user's

Apple Ordered to Pay $22 Million to Patent Firm Acacia Research

A federal jury in Tyler, Texas has ordered Apple to pay $22.1 million to patent firm Acacia Research for violating U.S. Patent No. 8,055,820, related to cellular network technologies, according to court documents filed electronically this week. The monetary award is a running royalty for Apple's infringement through March 2016. The jury said Apple did not prove with clear and convincing evidence that any asserted claims of the patent are invalid as obvious or based on improper inventorship. Apple's infringement was found to be willful, which in patent litigation means the patent holder can request that the judge enhance the damages by up to three times, or up to roughly $66.4 million in this particular lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in January 2014, accused Apple of selling multiple products that infringe upon the patent, including the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini 2. U.S. Patent No. 8,055,820, titled "apparatus, system, and method for designating a buffer status reporting format based on detected pre-selected buffer conditions," is highly technical and at one point was assigned to Nokia. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Boost Mobile were also named as defendants for selling the infringing iPhones, but none of the carriers were named in the jury verdict. U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell presided over the case in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, a popular region for non-practicing entities like Acacia Research and VirnetX to bring patent litigation against companies like Apple. Acacia

Apple Researching Forensic Data Capture in Cases of iOS Device Theft

Apple is investigating ways that future iOS devices could store the biometric details of suspected criminals in cases of theft (via AppleInsider). An Apple patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes "Biometric capture for unauthorized user identification", by using an iPhone or iPad's Touch ID feature, camera, and other sensors. The proposed system augments typical Touch ID verification by capturing and storing information about a potential thief after six fingerprint unlocking attempts have failed and the wrong passcode is inputted 10 times (after which a "cool down" period or a complete data wipe is activated, depending on user setting). In another variation, a single failed authentication triggers the capture of fingerprint data and the device takes a picture of the user via the front-facing camera. In yet other embodiments, the system can be configured by the user to enable or disable various triggers and scenarios in which the biometric capture protocols are activated. The patent also specifies how other data could be logged in the background to supplement the biometric capture, including time stamps, device location, speed, air pressure, audio data, and more. Flowcharts illustrate different implementations of the security system. After capture, the data is stored either locally on the device or sent to a remote server for evaluation, while purges of data are activated when the system determines that it is no longer required. In suggested uses that are likely to be controversial, Apple describes how the server-side

Apple Patent Details Visual-Based AR Navigation Device

Apple has been granted an augmented reality navigation patent stemming from its acquisition of AR startup Flyby Media earlier this year (via AppleInsider). The patent was published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under the title "Visual-based inertial navigation", and describes a system that allows a consumer device to position itself in three-dimensional space using data from cameras and sensors. The system combines images from an onboard camera with measurements gleaned from a gyroscope and accelerometers as well as other sensors, to build a picture of the device's real-time position in physical space. The patent notes that visual-based inertial navigation systems can achieve positional awareness down to the centimeter scale without the need for GPS or cellular network signals. However, the technology is unsuitable for implementation in typical mobile devices because of the processing demands involved in variable real-time location tracking. To overcome the limitation, Apple's invention uses something called a sliding window inverse filter (SWF) that minimizes computational load by using predictive coding to map the orientation of objects relative to the device. The system could be used in a navigational AR device that overlays an output image with location-based information. One scenario describes how the technology could be used to pinpoint items in a retail store as a user walks among the aisles. Another describes the use of depth sensors to generate a 3D map of a given environment. Whether or not Apple uses the patent in an

Patent Granted: Steve Jobs' Remote Control App For a Yacht

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted a patent application that details a remote control device for a marine vessel, a concept that Steve Jobs was originally credited the inventor of (via PatentlyApple). The patent, titled "Remote motion control using a wireless mobile device", was filed in 2013 and has just been granted, now registered under Apple and Savant Systems. Savant is a manufacturer of luxury home automation systems and worked with Jobs on the late Apple co-founder's super yacht, named the Venus. The patent describes a general-purpose device with a touchscreen, similar to an iPhone, which executes an application that remotely controls a vehicle (e.g. a marine vessel, such as a yacht). The device communicates wirelessly with an interface linked to the vessel's electronic control system, which collects environmental and system status information like wind speed and water depth from a series of sensors. The control system also transmits and receives signals to the vessel's subsystems, such as throttle controllers, transmission, and rudders, enabling it to maneuver the vehicle remotely over the wireless network. The patent goes on to describe the application's packet delivery and user interface module, as well as a network health monitor that enables and disables functional control. The touchscreen displays status information for the vessel and shows which controls are engaged, among other subsystem data. Jobs' super yacht was designed by Philippe Starck's design company Ubik and built by Headship. Jobs died in October 2011,

Apple Sued Over iPhone's Proximity Sensor in New Patent Troll Lawsuit

511 Innovations, Inc. is the latest patent troll to file a complaint against Apple with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, claiming that the iPhone's proximity sensor infringes upon five of its patents. The asserted patents¹, filed between 1999 and 2012, relate to various methods for measuring optical characteristics of an object, such as color spectrums, translucence, gloss, and position detection. 511 Innovations is a Texas-based non-practicing entity that does not appear to sell any sensor-related products, but instead seeks to enforce its patented technologies through litigation. Eastern Texas is a common district for patent holding firms to target larger companies like Apple, which has fought similar lawsuits from VirnetX, Dot 23, VoIP-Pal, and others in recent years. The small firm acquired the asserted patents in 2013 from JJL Technologies, which claims to have sold world market-leading spectrophotometers, according to court documents filed electronically this week. It then licensed the patents to Spectral Sensors, whose website has been "under construction" since 2013. Further complicating things, JJL Technologies had acquired the patents itself from LJ Laboratories. 511 Innovations has demanded a jury trial and is seeking damages in the form of a reasonable royalty, plus interest and fees, in addition to a permanent U.S. sales ban on iPhones and all other infringing products and services. Legal battles of this nature can prove costly. Last month, Apple agreed to license Cover Flow- and Time Machine-related patents from Mirror World

Apple Countersues Caltech and Settles With Dot 23 in Patent Lawsuits

Apple and Broadcom have jointly filed counterclaims against the California Institute of Technology in an ongoing Wi-Fi-related lawsuit, denying any alleged infringement of the technologies and urging the court to invalidate the asserted patents, according to court documents filed electronically this week. Apple argued that Caltech did not file the lawsuit until May 26, 2016, more than six years after the publication of the 802.11n wireless standard, and thereby the time limit to collect damages has passed under U.S. law. It also argued that Caltech does not make, use, or sell any product that practices any claim of the asserted patents. Caltech's patents, granted between 2006 and 2012, are highly technical and relate to IRA codes that utilize simpler encoding and decoding circuitry for improved data transmission rates and performance. The technologies are implemented in both the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards used by many Apple products. The asserted patents include U.S. Patent No. 7,116,710, U.S. Patent No. 7,421,032, U.S. Patent No. 7,916,781, and U.S. Patent No. 8,284,833. In a May 2016 court filing with the U.S. District Court for Central California, Caltech accused Apple of selling various Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models, along with other Wi-Fi products, that incorporate those IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and thereby infringe upon the four asserted patents in question. Apple provided a series of other defenses, including Caltech's failure to disclose prior art, which is any information or evidence that might be relevant to a

Apple Faces Patent Lawsuit Over iPhone's Battery Technologies

Somaltus, LLC has filed a complaint against Apple today in an Eastern Texas district court, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing upon its 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies. The small Frisco, Texas-based firm also filed lawsuits against Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba over the same patent. The lawsuit claims that the iPhone 6s and any similar devices sold by Apple infringe upon U.S. Patent No. 7,657,386, titled "Integrated Battery Service System," and seeks unspecified monetary damages or, alternatively, a running royalty on sales of infringing devices from the time of judgment going forward.Defendant sells, offers to sell, and/or uses telephones including, without limitation, the iPhone 6s (the "Product"), for example, and any similar devices, which infringe at least Claim 1 of the ‘386 Patent. On information and belief, the Product includes a battery service system including a processor (e.g., the A9 chip), which is configured to receive signals from connectors coupled to a battery (e.g., the Product's rechargeable lithium-ion battery).Specifically, it appears that the infringement claim at least partially relates to the iPhone's process of charging in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity, and then adjusting to trickle-charge mode above 80% capacity.On information and belief, the processor executes the control codes to continually adjust a charge level to the battery. The Product has a charging system according to which the system operates in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity and then adjusts

Apple Pays $25 Million in Settlement Over Cover Flow, Time Machine Patents

Apple will pay $25 million to settle a patent lawsuit with Network-1 Technologies' subsidiary Mirror World Technologies and license its patents, the companies announced today. The patent (No. 6,006,227) dates back to 1999, covering a system that stores documents in a stream ordered chronologically, similar to Apple's Cover Flow or Time Machine. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will receive a fully paid up non-exclusive license to the '227 Patent for its full term, which expired in 2016, along with certain rights to other patents in Network-1's portfolio. Network-1 will receive $25 million from Apple for the settlement and fully paid up license.The technologies described in the patent were developed from the work of Yale University computer scientist Professor David Gelernter and his then-graduate student Dr. Eric Freeman in 1996. They then founded Mirror Worlds LLC, which began a long-running legal fight with Apple over the patent. In 2010, Apple was hit with a $625 million judgment over the patent. A year later, Apple won a reversal of the decision and the judge closed the case in Apple's favor. In 2013, Mirror Worlds was purchased by Network-1 and the company acquired Mirror World's patents. Network-1 describes itself as a company "engaged in the development, licensing and protection of its intellectual property and proprietary technologies." Last year, the company also reached a settlement with Microsoft for $4.6 million over the same