Apple Patents

Apple Patent Allows iPhone Users to Share Photos and Music With On-Hold Callers

An Apple patent filed in 2011 describes an "on-hold visual menu" that would allow iPhone users to share images, music and other personal content with an on-hold caller. The new feature would replace the boring days of listening to muzak or silence while you're stuck on hold. The diagram posted below shows that on-hold callers could pursue images, look up a person's location, watch videos and even access books while waiting for someone to take their call.

Apple Visual On-Hold

Users can of course customize what kind of content gets shared, and even select different settings for family members, friends or business calls. There is also an option to alert the caller that you're ready to resume talking, via an on-screen message or vibration.

What do Apple and Harley-Davidson Have in Common?

Besides being highly recognizable brands the world over, it turns out Apple and Harley-Davidson share an interest in one trademark. You may have heard of Lightning, Apple's 8-pin connector that debuted on the iPhone 5. Patently Apple has discovered European Union documents indicating that Apple acquired a partial transfer of Lightning from original owner Harley-Davidson.

Harley Davidson Archives

H-D Michigan Incorporated is the intellectual property arm of Harley-Davidson, which owned the Lightning trademark to cover various items including motorcycle electrical parts, turn signals, eye glasses and helmets. Lightning also covered television sets, computer game programs and more. According to the report, Apple seems to have acquired only those parts of the Lightning name relevant to its business.

Future iPhones Could Feature Automatic Zooming

Even after all of the patent battles over mobile device gestures, Apple is setting its sights on the future by looking beyond the touch screen alone. Future iPhones and iPads could feature a invention that would replace or supplement pinch-to-zoom gestures with other technology. A patent for the concept was filed by Apple in May 2011.

auto zoom patent Apple

The above diagram from AppleInsider shows how the automatic zoom system might work on an iOS device. Essentially content on the screen would dynamically resize based on the change in distance from the viewer's face. There would be two distinct modes of operation for the automatic zoom feature.

Apple Wins Big in Samsung Patent Case

Samsung is about to hand over a billion dollars in damages to Apple after being found guilty of infringing on several of the Cupertino-based company's patents. Weeks of drama ended in the jury awarding Apple with a major win that will impact tech company patent cases for years to come.

Apple wins court battle

Of course as AppleInsider points out, there are still a number of major patent suits around the world that have yet to be settled between the two companies. In this case, Apple won damages on not only its utility patents, but on design patents as well.

iPhone 5 Could Debut Apple's In-Cell Touch Screen

Apple has officially been granted a US patent for in-cell touch screen technology, which could make its way into the sixth generation iPhone this September. The iPhone 5 is expected to be slimmer than current models, coming in at under 8 mm thick. The in-cell display could reduce screen thickness by 0.5 mm or more.


AppleInsider reports that the design works by combining the liquid crystal display and touch sensing elements into a single structure, making some layers unnecessary. The same electrodes used for the display can sense touch at a resolution matching the display or by combining pixels, depending on the application.


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