Apple wins patents for MacBook, iPod touch, Expose, more
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Apple wins patents for MacBook, iPod touch, Expose, more

Several Apple patents have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office, including design wins for the MacBook, iPod touch and Mac OS X's Expose feature. Here's a summary of each.

Patent number D617,807 is for a graphical user interface for a display screen or a portion thereof (the iPhone touch). The inventors are Greg Christie, Elizabeth Caroline Furches and Bas Oring.

Patent number D617,792 is for the design of an electronic device (the MacBook). The inventors are Bartley K. Andre, Daniel J. Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard P. Howarth, Jonathan P. Ive, Duncan Robert Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas B. Satzger, Christopher J. Stringer, Eugene Antony Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.

Patent number 7,739,617 is for a computer interface having a virtual single-layer mode for viewing overlapping objects. In other words, Expose. A computer-human interface provides a mechanism to manage the available space of a computer display in a manner that facilitates navigation among multiple windows that are overlaid upon one another. The interface includes a user-selectable mode in which the windows are rearranged, and resized if necessary, so that all open windows can be simultaneously viewed within the area of the display, thereby enabling any one of the windows to be easily selected for access.

In effect, the presentation of the windows is "flattened" so that all windows appear at the same virtual depth, rather than overlapping one another. With this approach, there is no need to minimize windows in order to access one that is overlaid by another, thereby enabling the user to keep the content of all windows visible and accessible. Subsets of windows can be repositioned in the same manner, or all windows can be removed from the display area for access to desktop objects. The inventors are Bas Ording and John Louch.

Patent number 7,739,151 involves the reservation of digital media items. It involves techniques for interacting with an online media store using a first device to identify a digital media item of interest to a user of the first device, using the first device to store an interest indicator for the digital media item of interest at the online media store, and subsequently interacting with the online media store using a second device to purchase or preview the digital media item of interest as identified by the interest indicator.

Additionally, ring tones and graphics associated with the digital media item of interest can also be purchased. The inventors are Joe Hayashi and Kevin Saul.

Patent number 7,739,604 is for a method and apparatus for managing windows. In one aspect of the invention, a method to manipulate a window includes: receiving input of dragging an item to a first window in a first state in which the first window is not completely accessible on a first screen; and bringing the first window from the first state to a second state in which the first window is more accessible or completely accessible on the first screen before the item is dropped. In one example according to this aspect, the first window is brought to the second state in response to a first determination that the first window contains a target location for the item.

The first determination is in response to a predetermined input which is one of: a) a determination that the item has hovered around a location in the first window for a predetermined amount of time; and b) an input of pressing a key while the item is being dragged in the first window. The inventors are David Anthony Lyons, Patrick Earl McClaughry and Dan Walkowski.

Patent number 7,739,298 involves using a calculation expression to define and control access rights for records in a database. The techniques can be implemented in a database program operating on a computer system. The database program can provide a Graphical User Interface that can be used to conveniently define calculation expressions that limit operations on the records of the database. The calculation expression can be defined for a user or group of users with respect to a particular operation that can be requested to be performed on the records of the database.

The calculation expression can be defined based on fields of the records, as well as other information, for example, various state variables of the database (e.g., date, time, number of records, etc.) The calculation expression can, in turn, be evaluated with respect to each record to determine whether a request to perform an operation on that particular record should be granted or denied. The inventors are Christopher Crim, Stephen Iremonger and L. Lee McIntyre.

Patent number 7,739,363 is for a configurable offline data store. In one embodiment, the method includes receiving a request for a first set of one or more records from a client application, wherein the first set is remotely stored. The method further includes determining a second set of one or more records that is associated with the first set, wherein the second set is remotely stored. The method further includes fetching over a network the first set and the second set from a server data store unit; storing the first set and the second set in a client data store unit and providing access to the first set and the second set when the network is not operational. The inventor is Bruce Gaya.

Patent number 7,739,410 involves synchronization methods and systems. Bookmark synchronization methods, systems and computer readable media are described. One exemplary method includes storing a mapping relationship between a first topology for bookmarks of a first web browser on a host and at least one of an intermediate topology and a device topology for bookmarks of a second web browser on a device and storing a mapping relationship between the device topology and at least one of the intermediate topology and the first topology, and synchronizing bookmarks on the device with bookmarks on the host. Systems, computer readable media and other methods are also described. The inventor is Gordon J. Freedman.

Patent number 7,739,442 is for a macroscalar processor architecture. A macroscalar processor architecture is described herein. In one embodiment, an exemplary processor includes one or more execution units to execute instructions and one or more iteration units coupled to the execution units. The one or more iteration units receive one or more primary instructions of a program loop that comprise a machine executable program. For each of the primary instructions received, at least one of the iteration units generates multiple secondary instructions that correspond to multiple loop iterations of the task of the respective primary instruction when executed by the one or more execution units. Other methods and apparatuses are also described. The inventor is Jeffry E. Gonion.

Patent number 7,739,476 involves R and C bit update handling. In one embodiment, a processor comprises a memory management unit (MMU) and an interface unit coupled to the MMU and to an interface unit of the processor. The MMU comprises a queue configured to store pending hardware-generated page table entry (PTE) updates. The interface unit is configured to receive a synchronization operation on the interface that is defined to cause the pending hardware-generated PTE updates, if any, to be written to memory.

The MMU is configured to accept a subsequent hardware-generated PTE update generated subsequent to receiving the synchronization operation even if the synchronization operation has not completed on the interface. In some embodiments, the MMU may accept the subsequent PTE update responsive to transmitting the pending PTE updates from the queue. In other embodiments, the pending PTE updates may be identified in the queue and subsequent updates may be received. The inventors are Jesse Pan and Ramesh Gunna.

Patent number 7,739,156 is for a connector assembly. Per the patent, a A connector assembly is adapted for electrically connecting with a complementary connector along a mating direction includes an insulative housing defining a mating port, a number of contacts disposed in the housing, a circuit board located on a rear side of the housing and including a front surface facing to the rear side of the housing and an opposite rear surface, and a number of solder tails located behind the rear surface of the circuit board and electrically connecting the contacts with the printed circuit board. The inventor is David Tso-Chin Ko.

-- Dennis Sellers


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