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Apple files for a patent on new iPad cover that displays information even when closed

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple files for a patent on new iPad cover that displays information even when closed
The USPTO on Thursday, published a new patent application from Apple entitled "Integrated visual notification system in an accessory device". The application details a new cover for the Apple iPad, that goes beyond protecting the device. The goal is the same as the newer smartphone covers offered by manufacturers like Samsung, LG and HTC, which is to give the user access to information even when the case is closed. Samsung and LG use a cutout which presents information on the phone's screen, customized to fit the cutout. HTC uses a series of dots that are cut out from the cover, and when backlit from the phone's screen, spells out information and images.

One case that Apple has filed the application for, presents notifications and alerts which means that the cover doesn't have to be opened so much. Using LEDs or other similar components embedded into the plastic flap of the case, Apple could alert users when they have received an email or a text message.The level of illumination could be controlled by the user. The lights might form words, like HTC's Dot View case, or they could be a notification to iPad users. More important messages could be signaled using a special icon, that would be seen near the top of the case.

Another version of the cover could feature a translucent flap, allowing light from the iPad screen to shine through, possibly even revealing important notifications from the tablet itself. Another option laid out in the patent application, would be a cover with LEDs covered with a panel of cutout forms with varying translucency. This could be used for a feature like a countdown timer.

The patent was first filled in 2012 and there is not guarantee that Apple will use the technology for a new iPad case.

Apple has filed an application for an iPad case that protects the tablet, but also notifies and alerts the user about emails, texts and more

Apple has filed an application for an iPad case that protects the tablet, but also notifies and alerts the user about emails, texts and more


source: USPTO via AppleInsider

26 Comments
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posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:02 22

1. DaHarder (Posts: 170; Member since: 10 Oct 2009)


Apple (again) trying to patent things that other manufacturers having been doing for years... *rolls eyes*

THIS is exactly why patent reform is so desperately needed.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:12 5

3. icyrock1 (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


No, Amazon getting a patent on pictures taken with a white background is why we need reform. That wayyyyyyyyyyy out does this, and really shows how bad the system is.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:33 1

5. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Do you know how HARD it is to get get a patent? The specific process how something is done to achieve an end result is what is patented. Anyone can use photos with a white background, you just can't use the EXACT process Amazon uses so u don't rip off the look of their site. For example you can use a green screen all you want. Amazon uses a specific process that is detailed in their patent from the camera aperture, the lighting, the type of lens, the type of lights. It makes sense Amazon wishes to protect its brand image by acheiving certain look in their website - which in fact has become quite standard for merchandise imaging. Now is this patent enfoceable, probably not, Amazon won't go down chasing you if you sell your product on eBay with a white background. They will most likely go after a big corporate site either stealing their images and using them on their site, or outright copying the Amazon style photo - and it would be a big website - not just some mom and pop bulls**t that has no money to fork over, the trial would cost them more in litiagtion.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:41 6

7. icyrock1 (Posts: 303; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Wrong.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/06/how-amazon-got-a-patent-on-white-background-photography/

Also, that's the distance most professional shot from. It was allowed because there weren't any prior patents on : Taking. Fucking. Pictures. The fact it got approved shows just how oblivious the system is to what there giving "you own this now" tickets on.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:27

9. tedkord (Posts: 4955; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


No, he's right. The patent isn't on taking pictures with a white background, anyone can still do that. The patent is on the exact setup they use as far as lighting, etc...

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:53

12. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I like how all the bandwaggoners just like your comment without learnign both sides of the story. Its the nature of opinionated troll f**ks on the internet that think they know EVERYTHING but they don't know s**t. A patent secures the process to meet an end result as proprietary. If you use a different process to achieve the same result, you're not violating a patent. For example if I use the exact same recipie to make Coca-Cola as Coke does (which would be impossible since i can't import coca leaves) but for the same of argument lets say that I did copy their exact recipe, then I would be infringing on their patent. I can still make sweet sugary bubbly soda though. Get it?

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:17

4. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Phone arena trolls are all ignorant of how patents work *rolls eyes*, and don't understand their purpose. The joke is on you. Everytime you create a new path to achieve the a result, you can patent the technology. I can invent a phone case made of specific materials only I know of, and patent the process by which the phone case is made - JUST because phone cases already exist doesn't mean that I am excluded from protecting my intelectual property by creating a *NEW* type of case that achieves the results other cases can do but its either cheaper, or more efficient, or it displays information on a special way, etc.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:32 4

10. tedkord (Posts: 4955; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


In theory, you're right. In practice, patents that are extremely general and broad are being granted, such that Apple was granted Slide to Unlock, which grants them rights to any gesture with graphics that follow the gesture.

Another issue is being able to tack on, "on a phone" to an existing patent.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:50

11. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Have you READ the patent papers? Do you know what it TAKES to get a patent on something???? Its not like copywriting a song or trademarking a logo. You have to submit schematics, charts, specifics its a whole tedius process. Why you require this patent, how your patent is different from other inventions that currently exist, if other similar devices exist, you have to show all these things before a patent is granted, and costs a ton of money to file it, too.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 20:30 4

13. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3333; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Yes, the patent process is highly biased in favor of large companies that have money and staff to do all these things.

With "first to file" replacing "first to invent", there is now a tremendous incentive to steal IP and hand it off to the internal patent team to write up all the documents, pay the big fees, and get the patent. Because there is no more "first to invent", the big company can then sue the little company out of existence.

There is basically no check of prior art for patents submitted by big companies as the system is nothing more than a racket now.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:23

14. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


What in the Corporate United States of America doesn't favor large corporations???? Either way, if you invent something, you should make a budget to file the patent right away. That is beside the point as to the validity of a patent, or why patents are filed in the first place - which people here dont' seem to comprehend, value, or even understand. They just see the end result of a patent and say "Oh, that already exist, Apple are trolls!!!" NOOO They're not patent tolls, you can patent a new PROCESS to make a current invention, or to reach a certain end result. They have a problem with Apple patenting THEIR intellectual property that THEY create and modify as a company. They protect their inventions from the moment they are conceived in Cuppertino up until they are on the assembly line. For example ALL Apple employees that have access to sensitive company email or data have to change thier passwords EVERY WEEK. Wheels already exist but lets say that I invented a cheap bullet proof, puncture proof tire that can be fitte onto any car. I am 100% entitled to a patent on my super tire. Am I inventing tires? Am I inveting wheels? NO. Those things already exist everyone knows that. Do you f**king people get it now???

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:37 5

15. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


You do realize that Apple has patented ideas/processes that they originally did not create, but were first to patent, right? And that Apple likes to hide itself behind patent trolling companies such as Rockstar, right?

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:43 3

17. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


This patent troll POS company should be eliminated , Rip.

Hate patent trolls and dictatorship companies. Another is MS.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:45 1

18. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Google does the same s**t LOL .... And Im sure you mean eliminated, they're all Illuminated by the Secret Societies already ;)

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:48 3

19. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I have nothing against Apple products, but immensely with the company

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:54 2

21. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I have nothing against Apple products, but immensely with the company

A company that does what all CORPORATIONS do... get a life dude. Corporations do evil s**t. There's not one holy one. Look at Samsung, they have put out American factories out of business by straight up stealing Pioneer's patents. But youll be here raving about Samsung and you hate Apple. Apple does a lot of good things as a company. They focus on protecting the enviroment by making highly recyclable, energy efficient products, and also by moving some of their manufacturing operations to the US to create more US jobs. Everyone has their good and their bad sides in business - business is war. DOn't be such a baby.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 22:17 2

22. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Good point
Well said and non biased

+1

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:51 2

20. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


"You do realize that Apple has patented ideas/processes that they originally did not create, but were first to patent, right? And that Apple likes to hide itself behind patent trolling companies such as Rockstar, right?"

You make it sound like some evil plot to take over the world. Think of how this works behind closed doors. Apple hires a legal team (attorneys - yea those guys) "Better Call Saul" and they charge a nice little retainer to do all the "legal work" for Apple. In turn, all the Apple engineers hand over their designs to Saul Goodman and his team of honest lawyers (tsk tsk) look up which of these designs have been pattented, and which have not. The ones that have not been filed become filed, the ones that are not filed then are moved into licensing. Apple must pay licensing to anyone who's patents they borrow/use in any products. Lets say, vibrating batteries. I personally know the guy who invented the mechanism that makes ALL cell phone batteries vibrate. For 70 years, all cellphone makers must pay him royalties for using this litty nifty invention. (filthy rich, this guy) Now is it Apples fault for other companies NOT filing their pattents, being lazy, putting them on the market, not acquiring the proper legalprotections for their inventions. NOPE!!! It only cost a few grand to patent something - and if you are too eager to show it off before you secure your invention, you have 1 year to file from the moment you show it off. If you didn't file THEN you have nobody to blame but yourself.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 22:33 2

23. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3333; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


The overall cost is typically a lot more than a few grand to get a patent. If you are a small business, then you can file a patent for some few thousands of dollars, but only a few times. The legal work that goes into making the material for the filing, though, is often far more costly than the filing fee.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 21:38 2

16. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Everything in this country favors big corporations, because big corporations have their tentacles in every facet of our government...

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 08:31

24. iampayne (Posts: 243; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


And Google has proven there are so many different ways to unlock a phone including gestures, pattern unlock, face unlock, etc. Slide to unlock is a completely valid patent to go after someone for, especially since no other phone at the time of the OGiPhone was using that specific unlock gesture. Most phones (smart) like blackberrys and Window mobile phones were using end key and star to unlock. Even with slide to unlock there are so many other ways to slide. Like Windows Phone has you slide from the bottom up.

posted on 13 Jun 2014, 22:37

25. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3333; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


The "slide to unlock" patent should NEVER have been granted. It is basically taking a sliding lock from the real world and adding "on a touchscreen". This is not something new and novel.

The US patent office is just a racket for big companies and patent trolls. As patents are now "first to file", the patent office should be shut down as it no longer delivers any benefit to the people.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 20:43

26. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Again you are using end result to judge how a particular technological advancement works. You don't talk to a touch screen and say hey, slide to unlock touch screen. Abracadabra! Code needs to be written in order for this to happen and this code gets submitted to the pattent office for the patent to be granted. This is essentially the intelelctual property the code that MAKES a touch screen 'swipe' and then unlock. Remember, before Apple got their hands on touch screens all you could do on them was click and point at stuff... you couldn't swipe, or pinch, or tilt and rotate... that was all at some point code that had to be written by an R&D team. I swear your ignorance is pathetic, and it shows in your comments, what is sad the rest of the little Droid trolls will drool at anything that is anti-apple just to get their root_boner.sys standing up straight.

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:04 7

2. Bjray (Posts: 97; Member since: 29 May 2014)


I swear if this patent is passed...

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 18:34 2

6. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Swear youll go read a book and learn something!

posted on 12 Jun 2014, 19:21

8. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6584; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Yeah espeically when it's on TV's already.

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