By MacRumors Staff

Patent Articles


Apple Exploring New Glass Panel MacBook Keyboards That Could End Sticky Key Problems

Monday February 4, 2019 2:19 am PST by
Apple is exploring a new keyboard design that could eventually replace its butterfly switch MacBook keyboards and finally solve the problem of "sticky" or inconsistently functioning keys. Issues that Apple has acknowledged can occur with some current MacBook keyboards are widely believed to be caused by dust or other particulates getting lodged in the butterfly mechanism underneath the...

Apple Settles Lawsuit With Biometric Sensor Company Valencell That Accused it of Stealing Technology for Apple Watch

Tuesday January 22, 2019 2:08 am PST by
Biometric sensor company Valencell has reportedly settled a three-year-old lawsuit against Apple that accused the tech giant of stealing its technology for Apple Watch. Valencell filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Apple back in January 2016 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The lawsuit accused the Cupertino-based company of infringing on...
ipad iphone ios 8

Apple Wins Appeal in Wisconsin Patent Lawsuit

Friday September 28, 2018 7:49 am PDT by
Back in July 2017, U.S. District Judge William Conley ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation for infringing on a patent related to computer processing technology in the company's A7, A8, and A8X chips. Conley had added $272 million on top of an existing $234 million in damages that a jury ordered Apple to pay in 2015, around when the lawsuit...
siri voice

Siri at Center of Latest Patent Lawsuit Filed Against Apple

Friday July 6, 2018 11:58 am PDT by
Arizona-based speech recognition technology company AVRS, short for Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, Inc., has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on one of its patents with its virtual assistant Siri, according to court documents obtained by MacRumors. The asserted patent is U.S. Patent No. 7,558,730, titled "Speech recognition and...
apple patent apple watch 3

Apple Granted Patent for Apple Watch Wireless Charging and Band Storage Case

Tuesday February 27, 2018 4:49 am PST by
The United States Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent related to a "Case for wearable electronic device," and it's described as an accessory that would let users charge their Apple Watch while on the go while also storing a few extra bands (via Patently Apple). Similar to portable battery packs, or Apple's own AirPods case, users would charge the Apple Watch case itself, and...
energous wattup FCC approval

Apple Patent Filing Describes Wireless Power Transfer System That Can Prioritize Devices

Friday December 29, 2017 1:57 am PST by
Two days ago, we reported that Energous had received FCC certification for the company's first-generation WattUp Mid Field transmitter, which powers up devices at a distance of up to three feet away. As noted by VentureBeat, this week also saw two new Apple wireless power patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While the patents don't confirm anything on their...
apple 3d UI patent

Members of Apple's PrimeSense Team Patent Method of Interacting With Mac Using Hand Gestures

Tuesday November 28, 2017 5:20 am PST by
Apple today was granted a patent originally filed in August 2016, describing a method in which users would be able to control a Mac computer -- and potentially other devices -- using a "non-tactile three dimensional (3D) user interface" (via Patently Apple). The patent's inventor credits go in part to Amir Hoffnung and Jonathan Pokrass, two current Apple employees who joined the company from...
23185 28980 171010 Band 2 l

Apple Exploring Self-Adjusting Apple Watch Band Designs

Tuesday October 10, 2017 2:35 am PDT by
Apple is investigating designs for Apple Watch bands that self-adjust to fit the wearer's wrist using an integrated tensioner mechanism (via AppleInsider). A patent application granted on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes multiple designs that utilize such a system, which could one day replace magnetic clasps, velcro, and other fasteners used in current bands. Titled "Dy...
ipad iphone ios 8

Apple Ordered to Pay $506M to University of Wisconsin in A7/A8 Patent Dispute

Tuesday July 25, 2017 6:57 pm PDT by
U.S. District Judge William Conley today ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation for infringing on a patent related to computer processing technology used in its A7, A8, and A8X chips, reports Reuters. The $506 million total is more than double the $234 million in damages that a Jury ordered Apple to pay back in 2015, with Conley adding an...
qualcomm iphone 7

Qualcomm CEO Says Out of Court Settlement With Apple Could Happen

Monday July 17, 2017 6:03 pm PDT by
Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, and though the fight has escalated in recent weeks, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf today told Fortune that an out of court settlement is not out of the question."There's not really anything new going on," Mollenkopf said speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. About the Apple dispute, he...
sleep tracking patent

New Apple Patent Describes Sleep Tracking System With Bedtime Ritual Sensing and Power Nap Function

Tuesday June 27, 2017 5:48 am PDT by
A new patent filed by Apple in 2015, and published today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, shines some light on what the company could be working on in regards to sleep tracking technology and its recent acquisition of Beddit. Called "Adjusting alarms based on sleep onset latency," the new patent describes in detail a system that could receive data from devices like an iPhone,...
siri chatbot 2

Chatbot-Like Siri Patent Includes Intelligent Image, Video, and Audio Recognition Within Messages

Thursday May 11, 2017 6:21 am PDT by
A patent application published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office today details a new Apple service where users could make inquiries and talk with the company's AI assistant Siri through Messages (via AppleInsider). The new patent is similar to a filing the USPTO published late last year, but now includes deeper integration with audio, video, and image files. Similar to chatbots...
Screen Shot 1

Apple Exploring Electronic Tagging Solution For Easily Tracking Dietary Intake

Tuesday May 2, 2017 3:56 am PDT by
Apple is exploring an electronic tagging solution to make it easier for Apple Watch users to track their calorie and nutritional intake as part of a healthy lifestyle, as shown in a patent newly granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Many of today's healthy eating and diet-based food apps require users to manually input nutrition information into their mobile devices, whether by...
apple airpods patent

New Patent Describes Waterproof AirPods Case That Could Double as iPhone or Apple Watch Charger

Monday April 10, 2017 5:00 am PDT by
A new patent filed by Apple last year, and published recently by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, details a future iteration of the AirPods charging case that could simultaneously recharge the wireless headphones as well as an iPhone or Apple Watch. In the patent, Apple has visualized an AirPods case that, when placed flat on a surface, could turn into an Apple Watch charging pad...
Screen Shot 4 e1488886008905

Apple Face Detection Patent Hints at Possible PrimeSense Tech Headed For 'iPhone 8'

Tuesday March 7, 2017 2:27 am PST by
Apple was awarded a patent today that details a method of detecting faces in a digital video feed through the use of depth information. Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the document describes how face detection algorithms could identify the presence of faces in a live video when people in the scene are located at different distances from the camera. To reduce processing...
touch patent

New iPhone Patent Suggests Touch ID May Live on in a Different Form

Thursday February 23, 2017 2:42 am PST by
One of the more contentious iPhone 8 rumors we've seen recently is the claim that with the removal of the Home button, Apple will ditch its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology and replace it with another form of bio-recognition hardware. While several possible alternatives have been put forward – such as iris scanning, facial recognition, and even a combination of technologies –...
avatar patent app

Apple Patents Avatar Creation App That Can Place Digital Versions of You in Messages and FaceTime

Tuesday February 21, 2017 5:32 am PST by
Apple today has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding an "avatar editing environment," which is the company's patent terminology for a Mii-like app that users can visit to craft a digitized likeness of themselves to use throughout the Apple ecosystem. The patent was originally filed back in October 2011 but was just published by the USPTO today (via Paten...
Screen Shot 5

Apple May Crowdsource iPhone Damage Data to Make Future Screens More Resistant to Cracks

Thursday February 16, 2017 2:35 am PST by
Cases of cracked iPhone screens are certainly nothing new, and occur often enough to have earned a separate service fee in Apple's AppleCare+ program. According to one study, half of mobile users globally have experienced at least one cracked smartphone screen in their lifetime, and at least 21 percent of smartphone owners currently have a cracked screen. Presumably with this in mind, Apple is ...
smart keyboard patent

Apple Explores Smart Keyboard With Siri, Share, and Emoji Keys

Wednesday February 15, 2017 7:13 am PST by
Apple recently filed a patent application containing drawings of a Smart Keyboard with "Share" and "Emoji" keys, and a key that can be used to both search and invoke Siri, suggesting it may be exploring a new version of the iPad Pro accessory to be sold alongside next-generation models. The drawings show that pressing the "Share" key would bring up a share sheet on the iPad Pro with options...
Screen Shot 1 1

Apple Exploring Fingerprint Sensing MicroLED Displays Sans Touch ID

Tuesday February 14, 2017 1:54 am PST by
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent that describes a display capable of reading a user's fingerprint without a dedicated Touch ID sensor (via AppleInsider). The patent is interesting given current rumors swirling around the iPhone 8, which is expected to do away with the home button and integrate Touch ID directly into the display, but perhaps more noteworthy is the...