Apple patents cover iPad Smart Cover, voicemail messages, more
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Apple patents cover iPad Smart Cover, voicemail messages, more

Several Apple patents have popped up today at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Following is a summary of each.

Apple has been granted two more patents (numbers 8143982 and 814983) for its iPad Smart Cover. The patent is for a foldable accessory device. A magnetic attachment mechanism and method is described. The magnetic attachment mechanism can be used to releasably attach at least two objects together in a preferred configuration without fasteners and without external intervention. The inventors are Andrew Lauder, Matthew D. Rohrbach, Daniel J. Coster, Christopher J. Stringer, Florence W. Ow, Jiang Ai, Jonathan P. Ive, Elivs M. Kibiti, John P. Ternus and Sean D. Lubner.

Patent number 8145196 is for the creation and management of voicemail greetings for mobile communication devices. Per the patent, a user of a mobile communication device can create and manage multiple voicemail greetings. In one aspect, a user of a mobile communication device can create customized voicemails. The customized voicemails can be assigned to specific contacts (or groups of contacts) known to the mobile communication device. The customized voicemail greetings can also have controlled expiration dates. In another aspect, customized voicemails can be assigned to incoming calls in real-time. The inventors are Policarpo Wood, Alan Cannistraro and Kourtny Hicks.

Patent number 8144192 involves flexible touch sensing circuits. Per the patent, one or more multi-touch skins can placed along three dimensions of an object. The one or more multi-touch skins enable multi-touch inputs during the operation of the object. The multi-touch inputs can be tracked to monitor the operation of the object and provide feedback to the operator of the object. The one or more multi-touch skins can further enable gestures for configuring and operating the object. The one or more multi-touch skins can also be used to implement any number of GUI interface objects and actions. A multi-touch skin that measures the force of a touch in one or more directions is also provided. The inventors are Steve Porter Hotelling and Wayne Carl Westerman.

Patent number 8144159 is for a partial display updates in a windowing system using a programmable graphics processing unit. Techniques to generate partial display updates in a buffered window system in which arbitrary visual effects are permitted to any one or more windows (e.g., application-specific window buffers) are described. Once a display output region is identified for updating, the buffered window system is interrogated to determine which regions within each window, if any, may effect the identified output region. Such determination considers the consequences any filters associated with a window impose on the region needed to make the output update. Ralph Brunner and John Harper are the inventors.

Patent number 8144295 involves a common bus design for a TFT-LCD display. Embodiments of the present invention provide for a FFS TFT LCD with a high refresh rate without limiting the aperture of individual pixels. More specifically, embodiments of the invention provide for the use of common bus lines to reduce the effective resistance of the common electrode and to therefore allow for higher refresh rates of the display. Furthermore, the common bus lines can be positioned in such a manner so that they do not further reduce the aperture of the display. More specifically, the common bus lines can be positioned above or below existing elements of the display that are already opaque. Thus, adding the common bus lines need not reduce the aperture. The inventors are Shih Chang Chang and John Z. Zhong.

Patent number 8143851 is for a a power source with multiple cells connected in parallel to a common node or power supply point. The individual cells within the power source may also have a dedicated controller for each of the individual cells such that the dedicated controllers are connected on a one to one basis with each of the respective individual cells. The inventors are Thomas Charles Greening, William Athas and Steven Charles Michalske.

Patent number 8144474 involves portable computer structures. The portable computer structures may include connector structures. The portable computer may have a case. A portion of the connector structure may be formed by the case of the portable computer. The portable computer may have a circuit board with grounding spring-loaded pins which electrically ground the circuit board to the case of the portable computer. The portable computer may have an optical disk drive that is form fitted to mount to the portable computer case. The inventors are John Raff, Stewart Shannon Fields, Ron Hopkinson, Bartley K. Andrew, Chris Ligtenberg, Mi Zhou, Paul J. Westerberg, Brett W. Degner, John Brock, and Michelle Rae Goldberg.

Patent number 8144475 is for electronic components coupled to circuit boards. The present invention can facilitate the coupling between electrical components and a circuit board after the circuit board is inserted into a housing of an electronic device. An electrical component can be integrated with a flexible circuit of another electrical component. The flexible circuit can be electrically and mechanically coupled to the circuit board after the circuit board is inserted into the housing. Alternatively, electrical contacts can be disposed on a body of the electrical component and a complementary set of electrical contacts can be disposed on the circuit board. When the circuit board is disposed within a receptacle of the electrical component, the electrical contacts on the electrical component are coupled directly to the electrical contacts on the circuit board. The inventors are Douglas Joseph Weber, Pinida Jan Moolsintong, Robert Sean Murphy and Stephen Brian Lynch.

Patent number 81445261 involves ejectable component assemblies in an electronic device. Electronic devices are provided with ejectable component assemblies that can be substantially flush with the external surfaces of the housings of the devices, despite variations in their manufacture. The ejectable component assemblies may include connectors coupled to circuit boards of the devices, and trays that can be loaded with removable modules, inserted through openings in the housings of the devices, and into the connectors for functionally aligning the removable modules with the circuit boards. The ejectable component assemblies may also include ejectors coupled to the housings of the devices for ejecting the trays from the connectors and, thus, from the devices themselves.

Patent number 8145604 is for a method and apparatus for relocating an active file system. Relocating a file system journal within a partitioned memory space is described. In one embodiment, a method, which involves relocating an active file system journal, includes writing the changes for relocating the metadata structures into the new file system journal before the file system journal is activated so that journaling remains active during relocation and the corresponding file system remains consistent throughout the relocation. Mark S. Day is the inventor.

Patent number 8145928 involves methods and systems for power management in a data processing system. In one embodiment, a data processing system includes a general purpose processing unit, a graphics processing unit (GPU), at least one peripheral interface controller, at least one bus coupled to the general purpose processing unit, and a power controller coupled to at least the general purpose processing unit and the GPU. The power controller is configured to turn power off for the general purpose processing unit in response to a first state of an instruction queue of the general purpose processing unit and is configured to turn power off for the GPU in response to a second state of an instruction queue of the GPU. The first state and the second state represent an instruction queue having either no instructions or instructions for only future events or actions. The inventors are Joshua de Cesare, Bernard Semeria and Michael Smith.

 
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