A Patent Troll by the name of Dynamic Hosting Company is suing Apple for infringement regarding visual voicemail. Wikipedia notes that in 2007, Apple's iPhone was the first cell phone promoting this feature. Yet according to this patent troll, their recently purchased patents predate the iPhone's use of visual voicemail. Other companies that Dynamic Hosting Company has sued over the years include Xerox, Casio, Google, Samsung, Epson, Canon and others.
Yesterday Apple's filing for a trademark for their Apple Pay logo surfaced at the European Patent Office. Apple also inadvertently revealed this past week in London that Apple Pay is being prepared to run in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.
Today the Hong Kong Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for the revised Mac Logo that debuted with Yosemite. It's also the logo found on OS X Yosemite's dock representing the Finder. The graphic above illustrates the evolution of the Mac Logo over the years.
Although it's Nov 19, the US Patent and Trademark Office just published a document sent to Apple dated Sept 26, 2014 that basically states that Apple may be out of luck for CarPlay, a trademark noted as being filed in early August. According to the letter, Carplay Enterprises had already filed for the trademark a year earlier with the mark relating to computers in cars. Is it lottery time for Carplay Enterprises or will Apple dream up a new trademark? Well, it's actually a weird case in that USPTO missed a small clue that was kind of important.
The BBC's report lost its way early on. To make Apple the villain, they show Apple's success and then turn it against them. Apple has designed and created some of the greatest flagship stores in the world, especially in London as their report presented. Fans of Apple products and consumers looking for a great retail experience appreciate the incredible detail found in the architecture of these stores. They appreciate the Genius Bars when looking for device problem advice, repair and replacement in a friendly environment. For an optional $100/yr., buyers of new products could actually be professionally trained in how to use their products. Only recently have other companies even tried to emulate the Apple Store experience and still can't achieve it. Somehow, fans of products that are the best in the world are still being insultingly vilified as being fanatics and cultists. Just saying those words within the context of a documentary shows the mindset of the producers of this so-called documentary.
Yesterday's BBC documentary has certainly ignited a battle of words. Our report titled "Apple Vehemently Disagrees with the BBC's Televised Report called Apple's Broken Promises" received heavy response from across the pond (UK). Today, in an email to about 5,000 staff members across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both he and the chief executive were "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way." Our report presents you with Apple's full email response to this documentary.
A new report today is claiming that twenty-six McDonald's restaurants in Columbus Georgia are now testing Apple's iBeacons. The plan is now ready to move to more stores in the southeast in the coming months ahead.
On Monday we reported that the BBC was going to air a special called "Apple's Broken Promises" on Thursday. Prior to the special airing later this afternoon in North America, the BBC wanted to get their story out before others. They begin their report by stating that "Poor treatment of workers in Chinese factories which make Apple products has been discovered by an undercover BBC Panorama investigation." Apple immediately responded by telling the BBC that they strongly disagreed with the program's conclusions.
While Apple has already filed for trademarks regarding their new Apple Pay logo and updated Passbook icon reflecting Apple Pay, it was only today that they filed for "Apple Pay" the actual brand name. Apple's first filing for this trademark was made in Europe. In other Intellectual Property news today, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple two new Registered Trademarks covering "iPad Air" and "True Tone."
A supply chain rumor site in Taiwan is claiming today that Microsoft is planning to mass produce a head-worn virtual gaming device in 2015 and is expected to showcase the product as early as the E3 gaming show in June next year. The rumor supports a number of game centric patent pending inventions that Microsoft has on record. Our report provides you with more details on this new rumor and Microsoft's gaming patents.
On December 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that may interest some. The first reveals the details behind their invention that debuted with iOS 7 regarding emergency calls made with Siri. Technically, this is another patent fulfilled. The second patent application that we cover in this report reveals that Apple has revisited their invention relating to an oddball charging tower for iDevices. Specifically, Apple has rewritten their patent claims which prioritize the important aspects of their invention.
On December 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new unlock option being devised. The new method would involve Touch ID and the addition of a combination lock code using finger motion. While using Touch ID, the user would additionally move or shift their finger in various directions to hit a particular code sequence to unlock their devices. Apple illustrates two methods for this new virtual combination unlock feature in their patent filing.
On December 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their third 3D app invention that will allow users and/or artists to customize a 3D model. The designs could be changed, re-defined, re-drawn, smoothed or otherwise deformed so that the asset may have a seamless transition with the remainder of the model. This could also apply to create avatars for future games.
This past summer Apple was granted a patent for flexible displays with unique functionality. One of the noted unique properties was that it could allow the display of an iPhone or future TV, for instance, to act as a speaker. Audio would simply go through the display, illuminating the need to build speaker grills on devices. Esthetically speaking, that would be something that Apple's industrial designer Jony Ive would love to boast about. As crazy as that invention sounded at the time, we find out today that Corning actually has this type of display in their lab.
According to a Japanese report published late yesterday, the Tokyo District Court heard the first arguments in ShimanoManufacturing Co.'s lawsuit against Apple. The Tokyo-based electronics component maker is demanding compensation from Apple to the tune of US$8.5 million over alleged infringements of Shimano's patent for a precision component embedded in the joint of the power adapter for Apple's laptops. Apple's response in court was to deny they infringed Shimano's patent. They additionally denied that they were using their market dominance to bully Shimano, arguing that the Japanese subcontractor was the one being unreasonable in their business partnership. Yet in light of Apple's very public case with GTAT where Apple was painted as a bully and noted as being oppressive and burdensome as a business partner, some would argue that Apple has a history of bullying suppliers and that playing nice guy in court isn't going to play very well in this or any future case brought against them.
Earlier this month we reported that the biggest factors that keep Chinese smartphone makers out of the West – and even developed countries in Asia like South Korea and Japan – are carrier subsidies, patents, and cultural stigma. On December 10 we learned just how true that statement was. With Xiaomi experiencing dramatic success within China, they had set their eyes on their next market target: India. Yet that plan was dealt a blow with the Indian High Court banning Xiaomi from selling, importing and advertising smartphones in their country. That single event has now inspired a powerful Xiaomi competitor within China to attack them on that same front.
Bloomberg's reporter Tim Higgins broke the news that Apple has halted online sales in Russia due to "extreme" ruble fluctuations. Tom Giles reporting on Bloomberg TV tells us that the story is unfolding.
Earlier this month we posted a report titled "Intel is on a Roll of Late with Wearables and they Just Might be Powering Tag Heuer's First Smartwatch in 2015." In an earlier October report we reported that Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH's watch division stated that Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch was "too feminine" and suggested it wouldn't stand the test of time. At LVMH's headquarter today in Switzerland that they started on their smartwatch project four months ago in the hopes of challenging the Apple Watch later in 2015.
Last month a report from market research firm Strategy Analytics noted that Samsung Electronics' smartphone market share in North America fell from 36.2 percent to 24.8 percent between the second and third quarters of this year, hitting a record low since the third quarter of 2012. Apple, meanwhile, increased its share by six percentage points to 33.9 percent. A separate report claimed that Apple was the world's number one smartphone vendor by revenue in Q3. Now a new report from Chitika is reporting that not only is Apple clobbering Samsung in North America for web traffic, they're also beating them handily in respect to App traffic/usage rates.
In September we reported that copycat Samsung was racing to integrate PayPal into their next Gear smartwatch so that they could match the Apple Watch's use of Apple Pay. Now a new rumor is claiming that Samsung is discussing a possible deal with a payments startup called LoopPay.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover we focus on two of the most outstanding granted patents issued today covering Touch ID and Apple's future Lightning based audio connector. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Yesterday represented an important milestone in regards to litigation concerning the U.S. Government's attempt to use a search warrant to compel tech companies such as Microsoft and Apple to obtain and turn over email of a customer stored in Ireland. That's because 10 groups filed their "friend of the court" briefs in New York yesterday.
Recently MasterCard teamed up with Gwen Stefani to widely promote Apple Pay on TV and now Apple is revealing more Apple Pay partners that will be coming on board shortly or that have already joined. The list includes SunTrust and Barclaycard in addtion to ten more banks including TD Bank North America and Commerce Bank that will back the new form of payment sometime today. The addition of TD opens the door for Apple Pay debuting in Canada in the future. With the new additions, Apple says it supports the cards that represent about 90 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the United States.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's use of a parallax interface that began with iOS 7. Apple only tapped into a tiny fragment of their 3D user interface invention. Our 3D and Future Interface archives show you Apple's ongoing work in this area of interface design. A recent rumor hinted that Apple may utilize a new 3D display in the future, but for now it's just a rumor. Apple's last detailed 3D UI interface patent application was filed in 2012. Samsung, the fast follower, also has a similar patent application now on record.
A month ago we posted a report titled "Microsoft Looks to Sway More Apple Fan Business their Way" that covered Microsoft's upcoming new app called Sway. Word is that while Sway is new, it won't be replacing PowerPoint as many have surmised. It's a way for employees, consumers and students alike to easily put together a presentation without any formal training with PowerPoint. It's going to be a better tool for the mobile crowd to snap presentations together. The news today is that Sway is ready for Apple fans with Macs or iDevices with a simple sign in.
It's being reported late this afternoon that GT Advanced Technologies Inc. Monday won bankruptcy court approval of a settlement with Apple Inc. that wards off the threat of litigation over a failed effort to produce large quantities of scratch- and shatter-resistant smartphone screen materials.
One time Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki, co-author of "The Art of Social Media" discusses Apple's transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook and what he sees for the company in the year ahead. The interview revealed Kawasaki only recently switched to the iPhone out of necessity.
After Samsung's profits fell by more than 60%, Gartner's latest smartphone report rubs it in that Samsung's market share in China dropped a whopping 28.6% year-over-year with Xiaomi hammering them without mercy. In respect to worldwide sales, Samsung still rang in as the number one volume leader proving volume without profit is simply a useless stat. They're king of nothing. While Apple's market share grew in Q3, we'll have to wait for the stats covering Q4 to know how much the iPhone 6 advanced the market share needle point for Apple.
Today the BBC has announced that a new TV programme called "Apple's Broken Promises" will be airing shortly on the net after it's been broadcast on BBC TV. It's not going to be a very Apple friendly programme to be sure. Whether any part of the BBC's special programme will borrow from China Labor Watch's report titled "Two Years of Broken Promises," is unknown at this time. The BBC is scheduled to air this special programme this coming Thursday.
Last week we reported that the Indian High Court banned Xiaomi smartphones for infringing Ericsson's patents. Every smartphone company could sell their phones a little cheaper if they didn't have to pay for of the Standard, Essential Patents that make up a standard smartphone. But the advances in smartphones that we enjoy today are based on patented technology that makes each phone work properly. Xiaomi's big move outside China is now in trouble for trying to skip on paying royalties. This is an interesting case considering that we just learned that Xiaomi only made 1.8% profit margin in 2013 according to a recent Reuters report. Paying royalties will force higher pricing and Ericsson may only be the first of many to follow that will force patent issues abroad. You could be sure that Samsung will be challenging Xiaomi, as Samsung's sales of smartphones have plummeted due in large part to Xiaomi winning the low and mid-level markets they once had. But Xiaomi isn't sweating it out. They'll figure it out and still march on around the globe swallowing markets whole because of their philosophy that most are missing.
Here's an interesting gift idea for next year. It's a smart traveller's carry-on suitcase that called a Bluesmart. It's a high-quality case that a user can control from their iPhone. From the app a user can lock and unlock it, weigh it, track its location, be notified if they're leaving it behind and more. More importantly perhaps, is that the owner will be able to charge their phone 6 times over with its built-in battery.