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Patent roundup: video features, scroll wheel keyboard

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Newly published filings show Apple attempting to patent two important video decoding techniques as well as a scrolling technique that applies both to iPods and a possible keyboard.

Pulldown correction patent

The first and most recent patent, one for a unique method of pulldown correction, would simplify the process of determining the correct editing or playback mode for a given video clip.

By studying multiple frames of a given video, the method would compare differences between the two to judge the technical details of a clip without needing pre-inserted data. It could not only determine the intended frame rate (the common purpose of pulldown conversion) but also whether the source image is interlaced or progressive.

In some cases, the technique could restore the original qualities of a video, Apple says. An algorithm could determine that a video had been de-interlaced and automatically re-apply the effect to avoid problems during video editing.

DVD web system patent

Published on Christmas day, another patent for a DVD web system would enable two-way interaction between a web browser and a DVD.

Current DVDs can launch basic web links, but with the new patent a web browser could trigger different events on the movie disc through HTML code, such as site links.

Alternately, the browser could be trained to synchronize itself with the DVD, displaying content based on the disc in the drive.

Accelerated scrolling patent

Apple's third patent filing may be its most unique.

An application for a patent on accelerated scrolling addresses the concept of increasing scroll speed in software based on the speed of the user's physical input.

The invention is primarily meant to address the scroll wheel (and later click wheel) found on iPods from the original 2001 model onwards, the latter of which is held up as the reference model. Users of the music player can scroll through a linear list of music far faster than normal simply by increasing the speed of their own scrolling motion by a smaller amount, Apple indicates.

Unusually, however, the patent also shows a keyboard with a scroll wheel on the side as one of its examples, suggesting that users could use the same technique to navigate an operating system. Apple originally submitted the technology to the US Patent Office as early as September 2002 but has not had the patent revealed to the public until this week.

Other patents: iPhoto, MagSafe, more

In addition to the more specialized patents, patents have surfaced for some hardware and software features Mac users see in existing products.

Notably, a filing has at last appeared for the MagSafe connector found on the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Dubbed simply a magnetic connector for an electronic device, the invention covers a power connection that uses magnetic attraction to keep the cable in place while allowing an easy disconnect in the event of an accidental pull.

Apple has also patented iPhoto's retouching brush image correction and mosaic generation features, a means of giving word prominence during speech recognition, and color correction using a video card's acceleration features instead of the main system processor.
post #2 of 21
Did I miss something? I know about the screensaver mosaics - is this pending or does it exist in iPhoto now?
post #3 of 21
hmm, whats this about magsafe? maybe their updating it?
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Did I miss something? I know about the screensaver mosaics - is this pending or does it exist in iPhoto now?

it's probably pending if they just acquired the patent
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Assassin of Mac View Post

it's probably pending if they just acquired the patent

It would not be "pending" if they acquired an existing patent. It would simply be a patent.

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post #6 of 21
I'm always wondering how a patent can be acquired for the MagSafe connector after exactly these magnetic-held power connectors are standard on Japanese hot water (and hot tea) pots since more than 10 years. And exactly for the same reason: to automatically detach if necessary.....

Q-chan
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-chan View Post

I'm always wondering how a patent can be acquired for the MagSafe connector after exactly these magnetic-held power connectors are standard on Japanese hot water (and hot tea) pots since more than 10 years. And exactly for the same reason: to automatically detach if necessary.....

Q-chan

I'm pretty sure you can get a patent for existing things as long as your use is non-obious. They've been on electric frying pans and hot water pots, but no one ever thought to put them on computers before. That's the innovation.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I'm pretty sure you can get a patent for existing things as long as your use is non-obious. They've been on electric frying pans and hot water pots, but no one ever thought to put them on computers before. That's the innovation.

The use of Mag-Safe on just another electrical appliance does not sound very non-obvious to me.
post #9 of 21
I'm amazed no one has come up with a dongle to go between the older connectors so we can all have magsafe. female g4 to magsafe to magsafe to male g4. perhaps the torque against the case is critical.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-chan View Post

I'm always wondering how a patent can be acquired for the MagSafe connector after exactly these magnetic-held power connectors are standard on Japanese hot water (and hot tea) pots since more than 10 years. And exactly for the same reason: to automatically detach if necessary.....

Q-chan

Yes, I'm wondering about that myself. My chocolate fountain has one as well.

There must be something unique about Apple's.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I'm pretty sure you can get a patent for existing things as long as your use is non-obious. They've been on electric frying pans and hot water pots, but no one ever thought to put them on computers before. That's the innovation.

That shouldn't be good enough. It wouldn't be a unique application. It's still being used for the purpose it was invented for, interrupting power if the device, or cord, is jerked.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

I'm amazed no one has come up with a dongle to go between the older connectors so we can all have magsafe. female g4 to magsafe to magsafe to male g4. perhaps the torque against the case is critical.

Thanks for the idea, just back from the patent office ...

... just kidding
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #13 of 21
I really like the idea of a scroll wheel on a keyboard. It would mean that you could dispense with the mouse some of the time, and that's always an advantage. The present scrolling keys on the keyboard are too slow and not subtle enough.
If you try out a sroll-wheel movement with your finger on the right side of your keyboard, it seems more natural than on the iPod, which you have to hold of course, and is limited in size.
The more I think about it, the better it seems.
A keyboard version, together with the 'buttons' you have on the iPod scroll wheel, would enable you to navigate through most software without moving your hand.
Charko
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Charko
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post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

I'm amazed no one has come up with a dongle to go between the older connectors so we can all have magsafe. female g4 to magsafe to magsafe to male g4. perhaps the torque against the case is critical.

I think the issue here is that Apple is not licensing the actual magsafe connector out to any third parties. That's we haven't seen any third party power adapters either.

Unless someone finds a way to make one that is compatible, but does not infringe on their pattent, I would say we won't be seeing any magsafe compatible power connections from anyone but Apple.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-chan View Post

I'm always wondering how a patent can be acquired for the MagSafe connector after exactly these magnetic-held power connectors are standard on Japanese hot water (and hot tea) pots since more than 10 years. And exactly for the same reason: to automatically detach if necessary.....

Q-chan

the patent for that could have been exclusively for the tea pots, this one could be for use on a desktop or notebook. anyway, i think thats how they work
"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham View Post

the patent for that could have been exclusively for the tea pots, this one could be for use on a desktop or notebook. anyway, i think thats how they work

Not quite.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Not quite.

how does it work then?

and yes i have realised that there would be no need to put a mag safe on a desktop
"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham View Post

how does it work then?

and yes i have realised that there would be no need to put a mag safe on a desktop

It has nothing to do with which device it's connected to. The connector itself must be patentable.

If a computer required something special, such as shielding that was difficult to figure out, and so no one had come with a way to do it before, then that would be patentable. But, not the fact that it was connected to the computer.

So, you couldn't patent one for a toaster, one for my chocolate fountain, one for a coffee maker, unless each design needed to be special in some way that required some insight to design, and make.

If they're basically all the same, other than current capacity, size, and looks, then they are all the same from a patents viewpoint.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It has nothing to do with which device it's connected to. The connector itself must be patentable.

If a computer required something special, such as shielding that was difficult to figure out, and so no one had come with a way to do it before, then that would be patentable. But, not the fact that it was connected to the computer.

So, you couldn't patent one for a toaster, one for my chocolate fountain, one for a coffee maker, unless each design needed to be special in some way that required some insight to design, and make.

If they're basically all the same, other than current capacity, size, and looks, then they are all the same from a patents viewpoint.

aaa rite. i think ive got it now. cheers for the explanation. im a bit, well, rubbish at this patent malarkey
"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by aross99 View Post

I think the issue here is that Apple is not licensing the actual magsafe connector out to any third parties. That's we haven't seen any third party power adapters either.

Unless someone finds a way to make one that is compatible, but does not infringe on their pattent, I would say we won't be seeing any magsafe compatible power connections from anyone but Apple.

However here is the Magsafe for audio sockets/headphone http://www.tuaw.com/2007/10/07/replu...ur-headphones/. Probably the patent only applies to power cords.

I would like to see someone invent an adaptor for the MB/MBP power supply for iPod. Sometimes I don't want to power up my notebook to simply to charge my iPod, nor carry around two chargers.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charko View Post

I really like the idea of a scroll wheel on a keyboard. It would mean that you could dispense with the mouse some of the time, and that's always an advantage. The present scrolling keys on the keyboard are too slow and not subtle enough.
If you try out a sroll-wheel movement with your finger on the right side of your keyboard, it seems more natural than on the iPod, which you have to hold of course, and is limited in size.
The more I think about it, the better it seems.
A keyboard version, together with the 'buttons' you have on the iPod scroll wheel, would enable you to navigate through most software without moving your hand.


If you like scroll wheels on your keyboard than you should get the Logitech Dinovo Edge, it's got one on the side.

Some of these patents are lame using the GPU to apply color correction instead of the CPU!! Come on that's lame and a good example of why USPTO needs a huge overhaul. The stupid patent trolling lawsuits need to end. They shouldn't be able to get a patent for "the ability to transfer files from a server to another device" and then sue any and everyone for using the internet. BTW I'm not talking about apple here I'm speaking of patent trolls that get ridiculously obvious patents and try to sue the shit out of everyone. For example the NTP vs RIM lawsuit for $612.5 million, I believe now NTP is going after everyone else now that they one even though they never made a product and their patents got rejected!!
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