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Apple seeks to patent a device display with an integrated fingerprint scanner inside

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Apple seeks to patent a device display with an integrated fingerprint scanner inside
According to a recent patent application that Apple filed in with the USPTO, Cupertino might be working on a device display that is able to register your fingerprint and act similarly to the existing TouchID-enabled home button of the company's more recent devices, such as the iPhone 6/6 Plus, the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad Mini 3. Although the patent images accompanying the patent show us an iPad, it's plausible that if Apple's indeed developing such a tech it will inevitably land on some future rendition of Apple's most successful line of products - the iPhone family.

As per the patent description, this fingerprint-scanning display is able to register up to four separate prints simultaneously. This is courtesy of a thin fingerprint-sensing layer, rich in sensors, positioned either below or over the display of the device. In the end, Apple claims that its tech could evolve into a "a full panel fingerprint sensor".

It seems that the user will be able to "simply press a finger onto an icon placed on the display for scanning related to a user's ID". This hints us at some new plausible functionalities - for example, users might be given the ability to launch a certain app with their fingerprints only, thus preventing others from opening it. But of course, we're just speculating here. 

We should not rule out the possibility that Cupertino is just making sure that it will have the upper hand if someone else comes up with a similar idea. 


source: USPTO via PatentlyApple 

37 Comments
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posted on 06 Feb 2015, 02:57 8

1. kent-gaga (Posts: 497; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


did Apple actually make it happened or they just patented it and wait and sue the crap out of others who can latter make it real?

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:29 1

10. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 146; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Samsung was gonna do it with s5 but dint due to high cost...

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 07:50

20. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


i remember that samsung was working on this and has patents

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 04:30

16. vincelongman (Posts: 4150; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Well to make this Apple would need to make displays as well
But they don't make displays
They buy them from Samsung, LG, Sharp, Japan Display,...

So this is probably more to stop the other companies from implementing before them

But the other companies can still integrate displays and fingerprint readers
They cant use the same methods as noted in Apple's patent
Problem is I dont think Samsung, LG, Sharp, Japan Display have much knowledge with fingerprint readers

On another note, Synaptics integrated fingerprint readers in their new "precision touchpad"
Synaptics said they would be ready for phones soon

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:28 1

28. tedkord (Posts: 10609; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


They heard about Samsung working on it, and immediately filed a patent worded as nebulously as patent.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 02:57 9

2. boosook (Posts: 1429; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Why not patent the Time Machine as well? I thought you could patent only things that actually work, not ideas that *might* work in the future IF someone invents the technology needed to actually build them...

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 09:03

22. talon95 (Posts: 476; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)


No kidding. Apple doesn't design/manufacture squat when it comes to hardware so they shouldn't get to patent stuff just because they saw our posts over the last 3 years and want to lock everyone else out. Let a real company who actually invents technology, and doesn't just conceive of it, produce such and thing and sell it to all the phone manufacturers.

For all the praise Apple gets for nicely encapsulating a bunch of technology in a sweet package, they sure stifle a lot of innovation by locking down anything remotely similar, but potentially much better, and then leave their own product stagnant for years as long as the money is still rolling in. Motorola and Nokia should just take back all their "FRAND" essential mobile technology so that no one else can make a phone and laugh all the way to the bank like Apple does.

If you're a third part and willing to license the tech to anyone then I'm fine with it, but when you lock the tech away in one corner of the market and prevent it from being developed, that's pathetic. I'm not a doctor but I patent breathing, regardless of how much I know about anatomy or how many people have done it before me, and I choose to license it to everyone on earth except Tim Cook. Tough luck buddy.../s

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 09:20

23. kryme (Posts: 329; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Did google buy all patents from moto? So they will have a hand in the FRAND...???

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 02:57 5

3. lyndon420 (Posts: 3961; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


That last sentence most likely nailed it.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 02:59

4. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


There are apps which turn the screen into a so called finger print scanner. Even a palm scaner. This concept is already present, I dont think patent will be granted on a common concept. What apple is going to do is just inplementing the concept

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 04:11 4

15. magnanimus (Posts: 539; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Sorry to break it to you, those apps aren't real. They don't actually work. The technology to do this hasn't been revealed yet

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 07:41

19. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Its ok, No need to sorry, I know those apps are not real. Thats why I used the term "so called finger scaner". But my point is about the concept and idea, which is already in the market

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:32 1

29. tedkord (Posts: 10609; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


There was news about Samsung working on this almost 2 years ago. Someone else actually inventing something has never speed Apple from trying to patent other's work, and its never stopped the USPTO from granting it.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:11 9

5. LuckyS (Posts: 154; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)


One day Apple will patent apple.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:18 3

7. Kruze (Posts: 1285; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


Apple might patent Tim Cook as well.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:52 2

13. dimas (Posts: 1967; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


Apple: Thomas Edison of modern era.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:22

9. JC557 (Posts: 1321; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


They did trademark Apple or something like it. NYC came under fire from Apple quite some time ago about it. So did a pastry shop/ cafe in Europe (sweden?). So they did try...

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:58 1

14. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2746; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


You mean Apfelkind, a German cafe that was sued over their logo?
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/apfelkind-cafe-trademark-battle-apple-germany

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 05:47 1

18. LuckyS (Posts: 154; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)


I didn't know. This is ridiculous and has to be stopped. No one should be allowed to patent any natural shape, plant, animal, geometric figure, or technology which is created by merging two or more existing technologies.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:04

27. iampayne (Posts: 322; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


"one should be allowed to patent any natural shape, plant, animal, geometric figure, or technology"

Uumm do you mean "patent" or did you mean to say "trademark"? There is a huge difference. And from that list you're basically saying every sports team on the globe shouldn't be allowed to trademark their logo? Because their logos include natural shapes, animals, etc. If thats what you mean I won't argue with you just trying to clarify.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 12:30

32. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3889; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


It depends though. If you look at the case in Germany that Rebel linked to, that looks nothing like the Apple logo, the only similarities is that both have an apple in their logo. The same thing happened in NYC. They have been known as "The Big Apple" for longer than Apple has been in business. A few years ago they had a logo for tourism that had an apple in it. It didn't have a bite out of it, just an apple that looked nothing like any of the logos Apple has used, and Apple wanted them to change it as well. That's essentially trademarking the image of an apple, which cannot be done. The NYC logo can be seen in the article I linked below. Anyone who thinks Apple was justified in that case or the German one needs to be hit in the head repeatedly with a tack hammer if they think Apple was in the right there.

http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2008/04/apple_vs_apple

Now Apple can trademark their logo of the apple with a bite out of it, or the rainbow apple that they started out with, but Apple can't call foul when others use an apple that isn't one of those designs. Trademarking refers to specific designs, not designs in general.

So as far as sports teams logos, or any logos for that matter, trade-marking only refers to that specific design, not the subject of the logo in general. You can have a logo of a viking, but you can't use the specific logo of the Minnesota Vikings, with a head shown in profile in that style of art and using those colors. That's the difference.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:18 2

6. frydaexiii (Posts: 1429; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Oh for effs sake...Really? At least iPA has the right idea with the last line there now.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:21

8. vurobega (Posts: 45; Member since: 16 Nov 2014)


I think what they patented is the technology behind the screen scanner isn't it???
or does people can patented some great idea?!? if they can, it must be team on star trek
that will be so rich cause they has make so much device that become real this day...

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:39 1

30. tedkord (Posts: 10609; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Come on, now. This is Apple were talking about. They find out about the work of others, and try to patent it. In this case, the heard about Samsung working on exactly this, and they filed a patent on the CONCEPT, no actually tech. Here's the abstract from the patent :

"A fingerprint sensor is incorporated in a display stack in an electronic device. A single fingerprint can be captured at one time at a single pre-defined fixed location on a display. Alternatively, a single fingerprint can be acquired at one time at any location on a display. Alternatively, multiple touches on the display can be acquired substantially simultaneously where only one fingerprint is captured at a time or where all of the fingerprints are acquired at the same time. The fingerprint sensor can be implemented as an integrated circuit connected to a bottom surface of a cover sheet, near the bottom surface of the cover sheet, or connected to a top surface of a display. Alternatively, the fingerprint sensor can be implemented as a full panel fingerprint sensor."

Notice it's a nebulous, wide open description designed to cover any implementation of fingerprint scanning embedded in a display. This is a despicable company.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:44

11. Danini1112 (Posts: 50; Member since: 22 Jun 2013)


"We should not rule out the possibility that Cupertino is just making sure that it will have the upper hand if someone else comes with a similar idea."

Samsung already has a patent like that. Why you not even mention it...

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 03:51 1

12. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Yeah, I can patent the bridge from earth to moon.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 04:44

17. danielxxi (Posts: 183; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


Sony was patented this 3 years ago, you can googled it

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 08:22

21. nctx77 (Posts: 1760; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


iPhone 7 baby!!

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 09:36

24. rockers123 (Posts: 135; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Samsung already has a patent on it. PA pls mention that

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 09:47

25. rockers123 (Posts: 135; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-s5-corner-fingerprint-scanner-344704/

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:00

26. iampayne (Posts: 322; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


You fanboys are really funny. Did you even read the article before you decided to sound so cool. The word patent doesn't even show up in the article. The article is pure rumor. Unless of course your GS5 has a bezel-less frame, oh wait no it doesn't, or maybe no home button like the article states, wait it has one of those. But surely you can use it while wearing gloves.... A rumor is not a patent just fyi.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 12:39

33. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3889; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


But as others have mentioned here, Apple's patent submission isn't covering the actual way to make it happen, but rather the concept of it. You can't patent a concept, otherwise no one else could use a different implementation because the concept itself would be patented. What needs to happen is for them to show, specifically how their implementation is achieved. The schematics of each component used in the implementation, and how they work together to achieve the result. If it's only the general idea of how it will work, then that's patenting an idea or concept.

You can't patent a concept or an idea, you must be specific when applying for a patent.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 19:10

36. lyndon420 (Posts: 3961; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Uhmmm...first sentence, fifth word?

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 10:46

31. tedkord (Posts: 10609; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I think I'll file a patent of teleporting. Then, when someone actually invents it, I'll own it! I read that scientists have made breakthroughs.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 13:33

34. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Dang i should have patented the idea. Had this idea for about 3yrs now in my head but way to lazy to do anything about it.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 18:44

35. iLovesarcasm (Posts: 489; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)


Just like the old Steve Jobs, patent then wait for someone to do it.

posted on 06 Feb 2015, 19:16

37. lyndon420 (Posts: 3961; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


This supposed patent should be invalidated and reopened for application if it isn't in consumers hands within say 5 years from the date of application. I think that would be fair for the OEM's who would actually like to produce it rather than sit on it.

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