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Apple Wins Batch of Patents for iPhone, Apple TV and More

By - Source: Patently Apple | B 19 comments

One patent suggests that Apple will be working on making 3D apps compatible on the iPhone.

Apple has been awarded several patents pertaining to Apple TV, 3D apps on the iPhone, video conferencing, and more.
A total of 34 patent awards were granted from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One patent, which is touted as a "Content abstraction presentation along a multidimensional path," apparently relates to Apple TV and discusses digital video and audio players that can play content by the user.

"These various functions can often be grouped according to content types, e.g., movies, music, television programs, photos, etc.," the patent read. "The functions can then be accessed through various user interfaces that are typically arranged in a hierarchal manner, having a 'root' or 'home' user interface at the top of the hierarchy, from which the various context-dependent user interfaces are accessible."

Another patent is entitled "Video communication systems and methods", which refers to Apple's iChat videoconferencing. The patent suggests that it'll be possible to remove the background image found in a video stream and replace it with a different background.

A third patent, named "Generating a three-dimensional model using a portable electronic device recording," relates to 3D apps running on a smartphone such as the iPhone. Users could use the technology to record a video of a three-dimensional object and then view it in 3D.

During 2011, the smartphone industry -- especially Apple -- spent $20 billion on patents alone. The company had made headlines all year for its high-profile patent infringement suits against competitors such as Samsung and HTC.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    mrmaia , October 24, 2012 3:08 PM
    Apple. Patents. I see a dark tomorrow.
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , October 24, 2012 3:16 PM
    Does this mean all the settop boxes and smart HDTVs that have been on the market for years are all going away because Apple invented everything useful for the future?

    Nevermind that there's already a 3D smartphone on the market, Apple invented the concept of 3D apps too right?

    Oh yeah, you can change the background of a video the same way you can change the background of a photo or even a webpage. Nevermind that the concept of imposing images over backgrounds is standard in the television and movie industries, Apple invented that too!

    US Patent Office is the suck.
  • 14 Hide
    eternalkp , October 24, 2012 3:13 PM
    3D apps? yeah right
    they can't even make a proper map
    and they have been working on it since 2004
Other Comments
    Display all 19 comments.
  • 18 Hide
    mrmaia , October 24, 2012 3:08 PM
    Apple. Patents. I see a dark tomorrow.
  • 14 Hide
    eternalkp , October 24, 2012 3:13 PM
    3D apps? yeah right
    they can't even make a proper map
    and they have been working on it since 2004
  • 9 Hide
    Syntax21 , October 24, 2012 3:13 PM
    How do these concepts differ from what is in place by Roku and Nintendo? I don't see anything innovative enough to justify a patent award.
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , October 24, 2012 3:16 PM
    Does this mean all the settop boxes and smart HDTVs that have been on the market for years are all going away because Apple invented everything useful for the future?

    Nevermind that there's already a 3D smartphone on the market, Apple invented the concept of 3D apps too right?

    Oh yeah, you can change the background of a video the same way you can change the background of a photo or even a webpage. Nevermind that the concept of imposing images over backgrounds is standard in the television and movie industries, Apple invented that too!

    US Patent Office is the suck.
  • 5 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 24, 2012 3:17 PM
    mrmaiaApple. Patents. I see a dark tomorrow.


    Couldn't agree more. But hey, if there were nobody worshipping Apple and bulk buying their products the market would be different. I admire Apple for bringing competition but at the same time they are blocking it via patents. Oh well.. total market represents average user - and its not someone who wouldn't buy from one or another maker for real reasons.
  • 10 Hide
    Kami3k , October 24, 2012 3:34 PM
    No more patents should be given to Apple, period.
  • 6 Hide
    LukeCWM , October 24, 2012 3:58 PM
    The TV industry never has this problem. You don't see Panasonic suing Samsung for manufacturing plasma displays, and you don't see Sony suing Panasonic for manufacturing LCD displays. And you certainly don't see lawsuits out of "shape" or "appearance". All of them make 3D TVs for those that are interested, and all of them will make 4k when 4k becomes economical enough for the common household, supported by the availability of 4k media.

    All the brands make what all of the users want at the best price they can. And if one particular brand finds a way to make a better product or a cheaper product, the consumers vote with their wallets. They don't sue each other into oblivion or patent the most obvious things. If it works for the TV manufacturers, why can't the mobile device manufacturers behave the same way?

    Oh wait, Apple doesn't make TVs yet... Maybe the TV manufacturers will be forced to become just as vicious when Apple brings the fight to them... Isn't Apple great?
  • 6 Hide
    nuvon , October 24, 2012 4:35 PM
    If these patents are just ideas, no actual devices to demonstrate it actually works, then they are just plain imaginations!
  • 11 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 24, 2012 4:59 PM
    Somewhere in a dark corner, innovation is crying.
  • -5 Hide
    robochump , October 24, 2012 5:51 PM
    It is def a Patent war out there. Everyone gunning for each other so companies have to protect themselves as well as play fair with fellow competitors. Its hilarious to see all the iHaters saying no innovation when Apple literally changed the smart phone market and all electronic brands are influenced by Apple design. Keep up the laughs iHaters!!!
  • -7 Hide
    robochump , October 24, 2012 5:58 PM
    EDVINASMCouldn't agree more. But hey, if there were nobody worshipping Apple and bulk buying their products the market would be different. I admire Apple for bringing competition but at the same time they are blocking it via patents. Oh well.. total market represents average user - and its not someone who wouldn't buy from one or another maker for real reasons.


    Hah. You iHaters make it seem like Apple is the only company that files patents. ALL companies need to protect their expensive R&D development through patents. Believe it or not innovation would die without patents because every company would simply copy whatever is most popular, clone city (Hmmmm...I guess more than they already do from Apple...lol). But since Apple is hugely successful I can understand there is a funny underdog mentality that requires you to hate Apple. I am poud Apple is a US company :)  I was tired of buying all my electronic goods from foreign companies in the 80s & 90s.
  • 2 Hide
    bllue , October 24, 2012 6:15 PM
    Apple is the cancer of patents
  • 4 Hide
    LukeCWM , October 24, 2012 6:22 PM
    robochump I am poud Apple is a US company I was tired of buying all my electronic goods from foreign companies in the 80s & 90s.



    My dad posed an interesting question a few years back when he was picking out a new vehicle: What's more patriotic, a Chevrolet made in Mexico or a Toyota made in Kansas? So many nationalities are involved with designing and building anything, you can hardly make a claim of patriotism with your shopping these days.

    Back on topic, people aren't frustrated with technology companies applying for patents. Rather, we're frustrated with patent trolls that don't have a product for their patent yet still sue, or companies that patent an idea rather than an implementation of a product or part of a product. Patents should exist to protect the inventor's intellectual property, not to feed the lawyers and and spice up the competitive playing field by gambling with the earnings of multiple companies, pitting them against each other in what seems hardly more just than a game of chance.

    Previously, I had respect for Apple as a company. I've always preferred not to use their products, because I like options and flexibility (what some would call needless complexity) instead of one choice, but I acknowledged that they were easy for the non-technical consumer to use. But now, Apple disgusts me with their blatant patent trolling and suing over shapes. Instead of thinking "It's not right for me, but it's probably right for others", I'm now leaning closer to "They are abusing the system, and everyone should boycott them to show them it's wrong."
  • 2 Hide
    azraa , October 24, 2012 7:10 PM
    Oh guys, please check at the source from which Zak took this info.
    Cant stop laughing.
  • 0 Hide
    murzar , October 24, 2012 7:10 PM
    This is how 'Pandora's Box' began.
  • 0 Hide
    Richeemxx , October 24, 2012 7:58 PM
    This is the problem with how the USPTO operates. They don't have the time, money or likely even the knowledge, so search out prior art or products that are already in play. So they push through patents and say lets let the courts settle it. Then there is the convolution that occurs with "word games". Apple files for a patent on something like 3D on a portable media device, some other company already owns the patents for 3D recording on everything else but doesn't mention smartphone or some word by semantics and even though the original patent should cover it all Apple gets their way and then sue.

    Remove a background from video chat? There have been apps out there that have done that for years and years. Apple's patent might say something like chat on a portable device or some other crap while the other will say video chat via computing device

    Recording in 3d on a portable device?? Pretty sure that is out and has been for awhile. Any camcorder would be considered a portable device and Sony already has portable 3D recorders like the Bloggies. There are already 3D smartphones that do the same.
  • 4 Hide
    Vladislaus , October 24, 2012 8:09 PM
    robochumpBelieve it or not innovation would die without patents

    This takes the credit of being the most stupid comment today.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_knight33 , October 24, 2012 8:27 PM
    Sadly, with the recent change to U.S. Patent laws (so called "reform") the patent winner is determined on a "first to file" basis, rather than a "first to invent" basis. Companies like apple only need to hear of a good idea and rush to file it rather than have to actually implement it.

    Honestly, a lot of these patents should be getting rejected on the basis of being too vague. Reading Apple's patent win above, you'd think they just patented using 3d on anything other than a TV, and that companies will now have to pay licensing fees or else be accused of 'stealing Apple technology'...

    It's too open ended and non-specific. Multidimensional? Really? I can see Universal studios getting sued in the next decade for their "4D" movie rides simply because Apple used Multidimensional rather than Three dimensional.



  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 25, 2012 9:55 PM
    No more money should be given to apple. Buy an orange instead.