Apple has been ordered to shell out $532.9 million to a patent troll after apparently infringing on intellectual property with iTunes features related to data storage and managing access through payment systems.
The fee was awarded by a Texas court, and was positioned between the $852 million Smartflash was seeking in damages and the $4.5 million Apple had argued for.
One concept of how an Apple Pen stylus might look. Photo: Martin Hajek
Steve Jobs famously hated styluses — but as of late there’s been more and more to suggest that the forthcoming 12-inch+ iPad Pro could sport an optional, Apple-created pen to help act as an input device.Today, there’s a bit more fuel to the fire in the form of a newly published Apple patent application, describing an “active stylus” concept.
And, you know what, the more I hear, the more I’m convinced this could wipe away the bad memories of the dumb styluses of old.
Apple’s patent cover a Wikipad GameVice-style accessory capable of attaching to your iOS device. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
What is it with Apple and the gaming-related patents as of late?
Just weeks after the publishing of an Apple patent showing a concealed gaming joystick capable of being hidden in future iPhones, today the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office has revealed another Apple invention related to a snap-on gaming controller for iOS devices.
As with the joystick patent, the idea here is to allow gamers to fully capitalize on the present golden age of iOS gaming, without having to block parts of the screen using their fingers for multitouch controls.
As we use our iOS devices for more and more tasks in daily life, a big question facing Apple is exactly how to squeeze more functionality out of limited screen real estate. The iPhone 6 Plus and the rumored 12-inch iPad Pro offer the simplest answer to this conundrum: make the devices bigger.
But a new patent application published today offers another potential way around the problem, without compromising the gorgeous one-button simplicity of Apple’s mobile devices.
Filed in August 2014, the “Configurable Input Device” patent application describes how Apple may consider incorporating sensor regions for user input on the back of iPads, thereby opening up a whole new way of using your favorite apps.
Plenty of money’s at stake in the latest lawsuit Apple is wrapped up in. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC
Ericsson’s former CEO has gone on the record as saying his company should have taken the iPhone more seriously when it arrived back in 2007. Today, everyone takes the iPhone seriously — and there are the lawsuits to prove it.
In the latest of these, Apple and Ericsson are suing each other after failing to come to an agreement about the pricing of Ericsson-owned patents used by Apple.
Apple is claiming Ericsson is chasing excessive royalty rates, while Ericsson is holding out for more cash.
Could this be your next iPhone? Photo: Yes It’s Funny
The so-called Bendgate incident might have done Apple no favors in 2014, but according to a new patent published today, Cupertino is far from done when it comes to flexible iPhones — this time, purposely so.
Apple’s newly-granted patent covers an invention related to flexible housing for future iOS devices. As described, these devices would be capable of being bent or even folded with no damage to the internal components.
To pull this off, Apple would likely ditch the milled aluminium used in current iPhones for more easily deformable materials such as soft plastics and fiber composites able to withstand repeated flexing.
Apple may build smoke detectors into future Macs and iOS devices, according to a patent application published Thursday.
As users move toward the smart home, courtesy of services like Apple’s HomeKit, the idea is that Macs, iPhones and iPads could intelligently monitor for signs of a fire and trigger various mechanisms accordingly.
This could mean sending users a text or email alerting them of the danger, calling 911 for emergency assistance, or even activating fire suppression equipment.
A patent published today shows that Apple is investigating new halogen free, flame-retardant materials for use in its devices.
According to Apple, only about 12% of plastics currently contain flame retardants. An increased use of such materials would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and help reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices as a result.
Halogenated flame retardants have been found to be effective in many plastics, but these are increasingly regulated as a result of environmental concerns. Since sustainability is a big topic for Apple, the company therefore wanted to discover a material that would possess similar fire-retardant qualities, while also not being damaging to the environment.
Tuesday’s patent describes a material with these qualities, that also produces only negligible amounts of toxic substances while burning. As per Apple, the material could be used in devices including the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad.
A new patent published Thursday describes a way of using the iPhone’s geo-location capabilities to intelligently monitor and control certain car functions, based on “geofences.”
Likely pairing with Apple’s vehicle-based OS, CarPlay, the patent notes how your car could be tracked in relation to your iPhone — with appropriate signals, sent using Bluetooth LE, to execute functions like locking your car and arming its alarm when you are a certain distance from the vehicle.
That’s based on a recently published patent application from Microsoft showing how the company has investigated a finger ring as a possible future wearable device. Microsoft’s impressive-sounding wireless ring could be used as an input device either to control a cursor on a mobile device such as a tablet, smartphone, or even a head-up display like Google Glass.