Apple wants to give you new ways to communicate with Siri

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It's not as easy as you might think.
You may soon be able to access Siri inside Messages.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple wants to give users new ways to interact with Siri, according to a patent application published today.

The patent describes how users may be able to engage in text-based conversations with Siri using an app like Messages. This wouldn’t just be accessible to single users, but could also be drawn on by multiple users in a group chat, perhaps similar to the way that Google’s Gboard keyboard allows users to search without having to load up an app like Safari.

Apple scores $119.6 million from Samsung in ‘slide to unlock’ lawsuit

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iOS and Android are killing off the competition.
Samsung vs Apple lawsuits will never end.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Court of Appeals gave Apple another victory today in its five-year-long legal battle with Samsung.

Apple won its appeal in an 8-3 ruling that reinstated a previous patent-infringement verdict that awarded the company $119.6 million. The judges in the case said it was wrong for the three-judge panel to throw out the verdict in February and suggested Apple could be owed even more money.

Patent troll wants iMessage and FaceTime banned

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Apple's iMessage platform is in legal trouble.
Apple's iMessage platform is in legal trouble.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s most hated patent troll, VirnetX, has hit the iPhone-maker with more legal woes this week, after it requested a court in Texas to have iMessage and FaceTime banned in the U.S.

VirnetX was awarded $625 million in damages after a jury found Apple had infringed on the company’s patents with iMessage and FaceTime. Now the patent troll is asking for an extra $190 million on top of the injunction because it feels Apple’s just been too unreasonable.

Apple could pay $532 million for infringing on iMessage patents

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breaking-bad-huells-money-bed-640x360
Apple may have an unexpected payout on its hands.
Photo: Breaking Bad

Apple could owe up to $532 million for infringing on secure communication patents, used for both its FaceTime and its iMessage services — or at least it will if patent-holding entity VirnetX Holding Corporation has its way.

A lawyer for the firm told a court in (where else?) the Eastern District of Texas that, “Apple hasn’t played fair. They have taken Virnetx’s intellectual property without permission.”

Tiny shock absorbers could save you a fortune in iPhone repairs

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broken-iPhone-5
An avoidable disaster?
Photo: Cult of Mac

iPhones are pretty tough things, but despite all the Gorilla Glass and engineering magic Apple can throw at them, they’re still susceptible to broken screens when dropped.

That could change in future iPhone models, with a newly-published patent application describing an automated mechanism for protecting the iPhone display with a method straight out of James Bond.

Future iMac could project its own virtual keyboard

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minorityreport2
Typing on your next iMac could get a bit Minority Report, it seems.
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Future Apple devices could boast a smart projector accessory, according to a patent published today.

As one of 46 newly-published patents, the technology described would allow Apple to incorporate features such as a virtual projected keyboard into future iMacs.

Just like the iPhone’s UI, this could make it possible for Apple to feature a slightly different keyboard for each application.

Judge orders Samsung to stop ripping off Apple

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judge-orders-samsung-to-stop-ripping-off-apple-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201509Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge-and-Note-5-jpg

Samsung might soon be legally forbidden from continuing to rip off Apple.

In a 2-1 decision today, a federal appeals court ruled that the monetary damages another court ordered the South Korean company to pay Apple last year wasn’t enough; it also had to stop using those design elements that infringe upon Cupertino’s patents.

One of Apple’s key iPhone design patents is no longer protected

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iPhone design
Did iPhones change the way Samsung handsets looked? Yes. Case closed. Oh wait, there are lawyers involved...
Photo: Apple/USPTO

One of Apple’s key iPhone patents has been given a non-final rejection in the still-dragging-on Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit.

The reason? According to a new report, it should never have been granted in the first place, due to an issue with prior art and apparent “obviousness.”

Touch ID will let your Apple TV know which family member is watching

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Apple's new improved TV could be coming as early as this fall.
Touch ID could be the Apple TV's killer app.
Photo: Robert S. DonovanFlickr CC

Apple could opt to include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its new Apple TV remote, according to a patent application published today.

Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, this sensor wouldn’t be used for unlocking your device, but rather quickly making it aware of who is watching at any given time — thereby letting Apple’s long-awaited TV configure volume, screen brightness, and suggested channels on a person-by-person basis. Smart, eh?