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Apple wins several design patents

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Apple has won patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office involving the Mail app, the Mac OS X interface, Time Machine and multi-touch displays.

Patent number D629419 involves an icon in the Mac OS X Mail app. Bas Ording and Steve Jobs are the inventors. Patent number D629396 is for a Bluetooth headset (since discontinued). The inventors are Bartley Andre, Bartley Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer. Patent number D629412 is for a user interface for a computer display (involving part of Mac OS X’s drop down menus). Imran A. Chaudhri is the inventor.

Apple has also won a patent (number 7856424) that involves its Time Machine backup feature. The patent is for systems and methods for providing a user interface including earlier versions of data. In one implementation, computer program product is provided. The computer program product generates a user interface. The user interface includes a view display area for presenting a current view and a history view display area for presenting a history view associated with the current view. The history view includes one or more first visual representations of corresponding earlier versions of the current view. The user interface also includes an input control for initiating a restoration of the current view according to at least a portion of an earlier version of the one or more earlier version. The inventors are Pavel Cisler, Mike Matas, Gregory N. Christie, Marcel Mwa van Os, Kevin Tiene, Gene Zyrl Ragan and Scott Forstall.

Two other patents won by Apple involve multi-touch displays. Patent number 7855718 is for multi-touch input discrimination. Techniques for identifying and discriminating between different input patterns to a multi-touch touch-screen device are described. By way of example, large objects hovering a short distance from the touch-surface (e.g., a cheek, thigh or chest) may be identified and distinguished from physical contacts to the surface. In addition, rough contacts due to, for example, ears and earlobes, may be similarly identified and distinguished from contacts due to fingers, thumbs, palms and finger clasps. Wayne C. Westerman is the inventor.

Patent number 7856605 is for a method, system and graphical user interface for positioning an insertion marker in a touch screen display. The marker that’s displayed on a touch screen may be moved by a user via an insertion marker placement aid. The insertion marker placement aid is displayed on the touch screen after a contact with the touch screen is detected. The insertion marker placement aid provides visual feedback to the user, indicating that the insertion marker is subject to repositioning by the user. When the contact is moved across the touch screen, the insertion marker and the insertion marker placement aid is moved in accordance with the movement of the contact. When the contact is broken (i.e., no longer detected), the insertion marker placement aid is removed from display and the insertion marker comes to rest. The inventors are Bas Ording, Marcel Van Os, Kenneth Kocienda, Richard Williamson and Scott Forstall.

— Dennis Sellers

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