Apple has been granted several patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office, including one filed in 2005 that points to such upcoming devices as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Patent number 7,800,592 is for a handheld device with multiple touch sensing devices. The inventors are Duncan Kerr, Steve Hotelling and Brian Huppi.
Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a handheld electronic device. The handheld electronic device includes a first touch sensing device located in a first region of the hand held electronic device. The handheld electronic device includes a second touch sensing device located in a second region of the hand held electronic device. The second region is at a different location than the first region of the hand held electronic device.
"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a hand held electronic device. The handheld electronic device includes a housing. The handheld electronic device includes a display located on a first side of the housing. The hand held electronic device includes a touch sensing device located on a second side of the housing. The second side is opposite the first side.
"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a hand held electronic device. The hand held electronic device includes touch sensing devices located on different sides of the device. The touch sensing devices are configured for mode and feature selection input.
"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a handheld electronic device. The hand held electronic device includes a housing. The hand held electronic device also includes a sensor arrangement disposed underneath an outer surface of the housing, the sensor arrangement being configured to detect the presence of an object on at least a portion of the housing.
"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method for operating a handheld device. The method includes determining if a user is touching the handheld device. The method also includes determining the user based on the user's touch. The method further includes configuring the handheld device based on the user.
"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a user determination method for a handheld device. The method includes providing baseline hand signals. The method also includes generating a current hand signal when a user grabs the handheld device. The method further includes comparing the current hand signal to at least one baseline hand signal. The method additionally includes determining a characteristic of the user based on the current and baseline hand signals."
Apple has won several other patents, as well, including:
Design patent D624,072 for the iPhone 3G/3GS. The inventors are Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs.
Patent D624,072 is for the iPod touch. The inventors are Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.
Design patent D624,090 is for an icon for a portion of a display screen (their iOS device's music icon). The inventor is Imran Chaudhri.
Patent number 7,798,831 involves connector assemblies. A headset connector assembly that includes a connector plate, a casing, and electrical contact members is provided. The connector plate can have a first mating surface, a second mating surface, and at least two apertures existing between the first and the second mating surfaces. The casing can have a first side in contact with the first mating surface and a second side. The casing can include a protruding cavity member for each of the at least two apertures. Each protruding cavity member can extend from the first side and be constructed to fit within one of the at least two apertures. Each protruding cavity member can house an electrical contact member. The inventors are Emery A. Sanford, Evans M. Hankey, Christopher D. Prest, Way Chet Lim and Toshihko Kato.
Patent number 7,800,520 is for a method and system for entropy coding. A method and system are provided for encoding a plurality of integers with variable-length code tables constructed by combining a plurality of structured code tables. Each code table has an associated set of integer values; the sets are disjoint and exhaustive, so that every integer appears in exactly one set. An integer is encoded using the codebook associated with the set in which the integer appears. The inventors are Ken Kengkuan Lin and Mitchell Howard Oslick.
Patent number 7,801,906 involves a system and method for storing and retrieving file names and files in computer memory. The invention receives a request to store a file having a filename written in a first text encoding, converts the filename into a Unicode filename and stores the Unicode filename and the file into memory. The invention then sets a flag, associated with the memory, indicating that a first text encoding has been used. To retrieve a Unicode filename, the invention receives a request to locate a Unicode filename from memory. Next, the invention uses a predetermined text encoding to convert the filename into Unicode. The invention then searches for the Unicode filename in the memory. If the Unicode filename is not found, the invention uses a next text encoding from the set of text encodings which have been used, to repeat the conversion and searches the memory until the Unicode filename is identified. Lastly, the Unicode file is retrieved. The inventors are Mark S. Day, Donald Brady and Deric S. Horn.
Patent number 7,802,099 is for a method and apparatus for establishing a secure connection. One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that establishes a secure connection with a peer. During operation, the system obtains an identity for the peer. Next, the system looks up the identity for the peer in a local store, which contains identities for trusted peers. If this lookup fails, the system asks a user if the peer can be trusted. If the user indicates that the peer can be trusted, the system establishes a secure connection with the peer. The inventors are Douglas P. Mitchell and John C. Hurley.
Patent number 7,802,196 involves a method and apparatus to accelerate scrolling for buffered windows. In one aspect of the invention, a method to scroll a buffered window on a data processing system includes: determining a second region of a second pixel image of a window in a frame buffer, which corresponds to a first region of a first pixel image of the window buffered in a window buffer that is scrolled from a first position to a second position in the first pixel image of the window in the window buffer; and scrolling the second region in the frame buffer to synchronize the second pixel image in the frame buffer with the first pixel image in the window buffer. In one example according to this aspect, the second region in the frame buffer is scrolled using graphics hardware; the frame buffer is located inside a video memory under control of the graphics hardware. The inventors are Ralph T. Brunner, Haroon Sheikh and Peter Grafagnino.
Patent number 7,802,120 is for methods and apparatuses for dynamic power control. Exemplary embodiments of methods and apparatuses to dynamically redistribute power in a system that includes a plurality of subsystems are described. A load profile of the system is identified. The power is redistributed between the subsystems while tracking the load profile. The load profile may be an asymmetric, or a balanced load profile. The load profile is identified based on a utilization factor for each of the subsystems. In one embodiment, the power used by each of the subsystems is sensed by one or more sensors or predicted or estimated. A utilization factor, which may be a ratio of the actual power used by the subsystem to the power allocated to the subsystem, is calculated. The load profile is determined using the utilization factor of each of the subsystems. A power weighting arrangement between the subsystems, for example, a power distribution table, is selected based on the load profile. The inventors are David G. Conroy, Michael Culbert and Keith A. Cox.