All around the world info! For all the technology/innovation enthusiasts out there this is the place for you. Fresh ideas from smartphones, pc's, to tablets.... we have it right here!

Posts Tagged: patent


Google files for slide-to-unlock patent as Apple battle heats up

The search giant’s patent application provides for an unlocking method that also lets users perform at least one command, like placing a call or opening an application.

Who would have thought a simple slide-to-unlock gesture would be so important?

Google last week saw a patent it filed for back in 2010 published that describes a manner in which users interact with a smartphone—or PC—to unlock the device and perform at least one command. According to the patent filing, the commands can be anything from placing a phone call to opening an application.

The publication is a key step in Google acquiring the patent, since it establishes full prior art for any other patent applications that might pop up worldwide.

Unlike typical unlocking mechanisms, which bring users back to the last screen they had opened before locking the device, Google’s technology immediately brings users to their desired activity. Since Apple already owns a slide-to-unlock patent, it appears that the added functionality might be Google’s way of securing this patent.

Google’s Android partners are under attack from Apple, which recently hurled lawsuits at Samsung over its alleged violation of the slide-to-unlock patent in its line of mobile devices.

Just yesterday, Apple won a key ruling in a German court that said Motorola Mobility is violating Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent in several of its mobile devices. The court offered Apple the chance to enforce a permanent ban on Motorola’s devices, but the iPhone maker would need to put up a bond to secure any revenue losses Motorola would incur in the event the ruling is overturned by a higher court.

"Today’s ruling in the patent litigation brought by Apple in Munich, Germany, concerns a software feature related to phone unlocking in select Motorola devices sold in Germany," a Motorola spokesperson told CNET yesterday in response. "Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature. Therefore, we expect no impact on current supply or future sales."

Google is in the process of closing its $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility acquisition. So, Apple’s continuing battle with Motorola impacts Google far more than it previously has. And now that Google might soon have its own patent, it might respond with a shot over Apple’s bow. After all, isn’t that how all these patent lawsuits have played out?

"We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with," A Google spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement. "Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications."

You can follow us on Twitter, like our page on facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest Tech-news, Lets GET IT IN!


Apple wants to file patent lawsuit against Kodak, fully aware that Kodak’s bankrupt

Poor Kodak just can’t catch a break these days. Nearly a month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcyand mere days after shuttering its digital camera business, the sputtering company now finds itself the target of no less a behemoth than Apple. Yesterday, Cupertino’s legal team asked a US Bankruptcy Court for permission to go after Kodak on two legal fronts: with a patent infringement lawsuit in a Manhattan district court, and a corollary complaint in the ITC. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s patent suit focuses on technologies that Kodak uses in its line of digital cameras, printers and digital picture frames. Unfortunately for Kodak, printers are one of the product areas it recently decided to focus on, as confirmed in last week’s restructuring announcement. Salt, meet wound.


These two companies, of course, have been involved in an ongoing ITC battle over Kodak’s image transfer technology, with the latest salvo coming last month, when the camera company launched a fresh batch of litigation against both Apple and HTC. If the bankruptcy court grants Apple’s request, the company will head straight to court, in the hopes of obtaining a block against Kodak’s allegedly infringing products. Kodak, meanwhile, could file a request to hold off the district level case until the ITC ruling comes through, though Apple said yesterday that it would press forward, regardless. The company was also quick to point out that it’s not legally bound to request permission to sue a court-protected bankrupt company, but did so “out of an abundance of caution,” which is really considerate, if you think about it.

You can follow us on Twitter, like our page on facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest Tech-news, Lets GET IT IN!

Source: Engadget


Patent Reveals Apple’s Plan to Bring Multi-User Face Recognition to iOS Devices

A patent filed by Apple outlines a unique way of using facial recognition that’s energy-efficient and couples with a multi-user environment for devices like the iPad.

The patent outlines a very interesting way to implement a low-energy version of facial recognition alongside presence detection.

The problem with facial recognition is two-fold. First, analyzing images is computationally heavy work, which can hit a portable device’s battery hard. Secondly, for more reliable recognition, controlled lighting situations are necessary, which doesn’t work with portable devices since they’re used inside and outside. Apple is trying to solve both these problem with the patent.

How do they work around these problems? Well, possibly through focusing on a “high information” part of the face and picking out a few different and important features.

In some cases, the high information portion includes eyes and a mouth. In some other cases, the high information portion further includes a tip of a nose. Processing the captured image could include detecting a face within the captured image by identifying the eyes in an upper one third of the captured image and the mouth in the lower third of the captured image.

[…] Additionally, processing the captured image could further include vertically scaling a distance between an eyes-line and the mouth of the detected face to equal a corresponding distance for the face in the reference image in order to obtain the normalized image of the detected face.

By narrowing the relevant focus for criteria, that cuts down on the computational issues. Then, focusing on specific points as criteria to compare to the reference photo (captured when setting up facial recognition) will further make the process more efficient than traditional feature correlation matching.

Because this implementation is energy-efficient, this could be active all the time. Feasibly, you could bring your iPhone out of stand-by, point the camera at you and it would automatically unlock, not unlike how it works on Android. The difference lies in the computationally inexpensive method used.

Apple also outlines how this could be used in conjunction with a previous patent they filed for presence detection. Presence detection uses various types of radiation emission - such as sound, light, or radio waves - to detect the presence and distance of someone nearby similarly to how sonar/radar works. This could automatically activate the component that works with facial recognition, and then unlock your device and prepare it for you.

Facial Recognition Patent illustration

Another big feature of this patent is that facial recognition could be used to identify one of many users that are configured with an iOS device. It could then load that user’s personal configuration.

For example, to comply with such personalized configurations, the iOS device could modify screen saver slide shows or other appliance non-security preferences.

An iPad could be configured to work with a family, and each person’s settings - such as wallpaper, application data, and so forth - could be brought up upon unlocking.

Lastly, the patent looks at the fact that Apple’s implementation could tap into the GPU to minimize computational overhead, and that it could potentially be used to see how attentive a person is to the device. This last piece would probably be used to prevent photos from successfully unlocking the device (like what happens with Android devices). The patent explicitly mentions that it would work with MacBook (and desktop Mac OS X) as well as iOS devices likeiPhoneiPod Touch, and iPad.

You can follow us on Twitter, like our page on facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest Tech-news, Lets GET IT IN!


Apple wins patent victory over HTC, which faces looming import ban

In a high-profile legal victory for Apple, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled today that HTC has violated two of its patents.

HTC now faces an import ban on some of its products, but that will not take effect until April, giving the company’s partners time to figure out alternatives, according to a report at AllThingsD.

Apple claims HTC's phones illegally use patented features found in the iPhone.

Apple claims HTC’s phones illegally use patented features found in the iPhone.

(Credit: Apple)

Today’s ruling follows a preliminary decision in June that HTC had violated two of the 10 patents that Apple claimed were at issue in its March 2010 complaint.

HTC will now face significant pressure to reach a settlement with Apple.

The latest development is a major blow to HTC, which has made strides in building market share and a brand with its line of Android-powered smartphones, many of which feature the company’s own Sense user interface. HTC was the first Android supporter that Apple chose to target, signalling the growing threat of Google’s software to iOS and the iPhone franchise.

In a statement when the complaint was originally filed, then-CEO Steve Jobs, who died this fall, said: “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

Technology companies in recent years have increasingly used the ITC to settle their disputes because the process is seen as more efficient than the federal courts. In addition, the threat of a embargo on products typically forces companies to settle quicker.

HTC is considered the most vulnerable legally of the Android partners because it lacks a robust portfolio of patents that act as a potential shield. HTC this year purchased S3 Graphics, largely because of a collection of patents that the ITC administrative law judge recently determined were used illegally by Apple.

Twitter, like our page on facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest Tech-news, Lets GET IT IN!


Patent Wars: Even With Victories, Samsung Prepares For More Battles By Setting Aside $200 Million

It appears that the tide of victory after victory in the patent war with Samsung is slowing to a halt for Apple. Samsung continues its forward push with a few recent wins up its sleeve. We told you about both the Australian and U.S. victories earlier this week and it appears that the Samsung legal team is optimistic about a victory in Paris as well.

The case will be ruled upon December 8th and they will be ruling on Samsung’s request to completely ban the sales of Apple’s iPhone 4s in France. An unnamed Samsung executive was quoted to say, ”If we win in Paris as well, that’s truly a big blow to Apple.”

While Koh, the California judge that ruled on the U.S. patent case ruled in Samsung’s favor, she did go on to write that Apple would likely prove infringement by Samsung on one if its tablet patents but Apple hadn’t shown that it was likely to overcome Samsung’s claims to the patents’ validity.

This victory couldn’t come at a better time for the Korean company as the Holiday season is in full swing. The Samsung executive expressed this by saying, “We are ready to aggressively sell the Tabs.” Samsung welcomed the rulings with an official statement that suggested that Apple’s arguments lacked merit. It was written:

“We are confident that we can demonstrate the distinctiveness of Samsung’s mobile devices when the case goes to trial next year.”  

While this patent war is far from over, it appears that Samsung is holding its own in the battle. Apple will probably make an attempt at appealing the ruling and Samsung knows it. The CEO of Samsung Choi Gee-sung said that they set aside some $200 million for the next year to respond to the ongoing legal battles with Apple. This is a decent chunk of change and it shows that Samsung is ready to go toe to toe with Apple.

So with that, it appears that Samsung is continuing to push forward in the patent wars. I know everyone is getting sick of reading these articles, but these cases are paramount for shaping the way smart phones are designed here in the future. It’s too early to tell who will be the supreme victor in these patent wars but one thing is for sure, Apple’s no longer steam rolling through each victory.

You can follow us on Twitter, like our page on facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest Tech-news, Lets GET IT IN