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

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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  • mrmaia
    Apple. Patents. I see a dark tomorrow.
  • eternalkp
    3D apps? yeah right
    they can't even make a proper map
    and they have been working on it since 2004
  • Syntax21
    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.
  • 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.
    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.
  • Kami3k
    No more patents should be given to Apple, period.
  • LukeCWM
    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?
  • nuvon
    If these patents are just ideas, no actual devices to demonstrate it actually works, then they are just plain imaginations!
  • rohitbaran
    Somewhere in a dark corner, innovation is crying.
  • robochump
    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!!!