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Apple wins several patents for product design and more

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Apple has won several patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office. Two are for the design of the MacBook Pro line.

The inventors include Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.

Patent 8054299 is for a digital controller for a true multi-touch surface useable in a computer system (the iPad’s Multi-Touch control, in other words). Invented by Christoph H. Krah, it embodies an improved touch surface controller for controlling a multi-point touch surface such as a touch screen or a touch pad in a computer system is disclosed.

The improved touch system controller detects signal capacitance from the pixels in the touch surface digitally, and therefore is easier and simpler to implement then previous approaches relying on analog detection and processing. Specifically, signal capacitance is measured by measuring a number of clock cycles taken to discharge or charge the input node of a comparator. Embodiments of the disclosed touch surface controller are particularly useful in the context of detecting multiple simultaneous touches on the touch surface.

Patent 8055975 involves combined single error correction/device kill detection code. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a check/correct circuit coupled to a control circuit. The check/correct circuit is coupled to receive a block of data and corresponding check bits. The block of data is received as N transmissions, each transmission including M data bits and L check bits. The check/correct circuit is configured to detect one or more errors in each of a plurality of non-overlapping windows of K bits in the M data bits, responsive to the M data bits and the L check bits.

The control circuit is configured to record which of the plurality of windows have had errors detected and, if a given window of the plurality of windows has had errors detected in each of the N transmissions of the block, the control circuit is configured to signal a device failure. Each of K, L, M, and N are integers greater than one. The inventors are Brian P. Lillly, Robert Gries, Sridhar P. Subramanian, Sukalpa Biswas and Hao Chen.

Apple also won design patents for the Voice Memo icon (invented by Freddy Znzures) and the Cover Flow design (invented by Imran Chaudhri).

— Dennis Sellers

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