A lot of companies have tried to imitate Apple’s trackpads because they kind of just melt into the rest of computer. They’re one of the most underrated features of the MacBook, but it’s going to be harder for companies to completely ripoff the feature now that Apple has a patent on it.
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Apple has always been against the stylus and touch-based devices that require one for input. Its iOS operating system was designed specifically for fingers — not pens, and Steve Jobs once said “if you see a stylus, they blew it.” But that hasn’t stopped the Cupertino company from working on one of its own.
A new patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office last week shows Apple’s work on an “Active Stylus,” a revolutionary new multifunctional stylus that’s designed to overcome the common problems with existing solutions.
While Apple fans will argue that Android copied iOS, it’s hard to deny that Apple didn’t take a little bit of inspiration back from from Android, too. Its Notification Center is an almost identical copy of Android’s — that’s easy to see no matter which side of the fence you’re on. In fact, Samsung’s now using this as another reason to sue Apple in South Korea.
Apple’s quest for litigation has resulted in a few wins and a few loses. However, it would seem the big picture isn’t looking so good for Apple. The very patents Apple has been attempting to assert in its litigation crusade are now coming under high scrutiny and slowly being invalidated.
Struggling Kodak has finally agreed to sell its digital imaging patents to Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation — two consortiums backed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others — for $525 million. Kodak will receive a portion of the money from 12 intellectual property licensees, with each licensee receiving rights to the patents, while another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which will then acquire the digital imaging patent portfolio, plus the new and existing licenses.
A U.S. court has today ruled that Apple’s iPhone infringes three patents owned by MobileMedia Ideas, a so-called “patent troll” jointly owned by Nokia, Sony, and Denver-based MPEG LA.
Qualcomm, the company that manufactures Apple’s baseband chips for iOS devices, has slammed the Cupertino company in an official ITC filing over its response to questions regarding the availability of injunctive relief over SEPs and criteria for FRAND royalty rates.
Qualcomm says Apple’s thoughts on the subject are a “sham,” that the company “should be ashamed of itself.”
One of Apple’s most prized software patents is commonly referred to as simply “the Steve Jobs patent.” The late CEO himself is listed as one of the key inventors in the patent’s documentation, and it was also referred to as “the iPhone patent” when it was approved back in 2009.
Apple has been using this famous patent in courtrooms to sue the likes of Samsung and Google’s Motorola, but now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has entirely invalidated the patent until further examination.
When a company like Apple is getting sued every other week, there’s no telling what they will and won’t try to patent and trademark in an attempt to protect their intellectual property. Apple already holds a patent on rectangles with rounded corners, and their latest trademark gives Apple exclusive use of the word “Retina.”
On December 4, 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple two Registered Trademarks. One trademark covers the word “Retina” while the second trademark covers Apple’s Game Center icon.
The thermonuclear patent war may have a silver lining under its mushroom cloud thanks to some recent talks between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility. It appears the two companies are seriously considering putting and end to their global patent disputes via arbitration.