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Apple patents involve input devices, Bonjour, audio headset, more


Apple has been granted several patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office. Following is a summary of each.

Patent number 7910843 is for a compact input device, specifically input devices utilizing three conducting layers and formed on flexible substrates. The input devices may be formed using three or more conducting layers. By including three or more conducting layers, the diameter of the input device may be minimized. In addition, to improve the flexibility of portions of the input device mounted, some portions of the input device may be made to have fewer layers than other portions of the input device. The inventors are Fletcher Rothkopf, Jan Moolsintong, Joseph Fisher,Wendell Sander, and Erturk Kocalar.

Patent number 7912501 involves an audio I/O headset plug and plug detection circuitry. A single prong, multiple signal conducting plug and plug detection circuitry is provided. The plug may be electrically coupled to a stereo headset including a microphone. The plug may include four signal conducting regions arranged in a predetermined order along the length of the prong. Detection circuitry may be operative to determine whether a microphone type of plug (e.g., a four region plug including a microphone region and two audio regions, or a three region plug including microphone region and only one audio region) or a non-microphone type of plug (e.g., stereo plug) is inserted into the jack of an electronic device (e.g., mobile phone). Detection circuitry may also detect user activated functions performed in response to user activation of one or more switches included with the headset. For example, the headset may include a single switch for performing a function with respect to a microphone (e.g., end-call function). The inventors are Timothy Johnson and Achim Pantfoerder.

Patent number 7912963 is for “invitation to bind to a device” and involves Apple’s Bonjour technology. A server device sends a list of account holders together with an invitation to bind to the server. A client device can decide to present the invitation to a user for decision only if the client device finds a match between the list and the user. The inventors are Gregory Bjorn, Jeffrey H. Michaud, Kazuhisa Yanagihara anda Bertrand Serlet.

Patent number D634742 is a design patent for the iPod touch. The inventors are Andre Bartley, Daniel Coster, Daniele de Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthe Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.

— Dennis Sellers

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