Claims company knowingly infringed on two 3D UI patents from 1996
Apple has been named in a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday by patent non-practicing entity (NPE, often nicknamed "patent troll") TriDim Innovations. The NPE accuses the iPhone maker of knowingly infringing on a pair of patents from 1996 that covers a 3D workspace user interface, and claims that the company's Cover Flow technology, bought from Steel Skies in 2006, violates the two patents. Time Machine and Mobile Safari in iOS 7 and 8 also use the technology.
Completely overturns 2010 court verdict
Apple has won an appeal in a patent infringement lawsuit over the company's Cover Flow, Spotlight, and Time Machine interfaces, Bloomberg reports. The case was first filed in 2008 by company called Mirror Worlds. Although the firm briefly claimed victory in 2010, in 2011, a judge overturned a jury verdict awarding Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages. With the latest ruling, a judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington has stated that Apple didn't violate the three Mirror Worlds patents which were the basis for court proceedings.
Likely abandoned design concept
Among a host of Apple patent wins today is an unusual design concept for the iPad, notes Patently Apple. Diagrams depict what is essentially a 3G iPad 1, but with the key difference of a USB port along one edge, situated near the SIM slot. Why Apple would abandon the concept is unknown, as it would have allowed for landscape docking or connecting multiple peripherals. The patent was originally submitted in Q1 2010 -- around the time of the tablet's announcement -- and credits Apple CEO Steve Jobs and lead designer Jonathan Ive among many others.
Current Cover Flow too inefficient, says Apple
Two notable patent applications by Apple have been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first, User Interface for Media Playback, relates to the Cover Flow interface used in iTunes as well as iPods and iPhones. The filing is in fact critical of the technology's current implementation, commenting that because of the size of icons, it's only possible to see "about one or two files before and after the selected file."
"Next generation" smart templates, artwork, more
Chronos has today released a major upgrade to Soho Labels, its design kit for letterhead, envelopes and labels -- featuring over 300 "next generation" smart templates, the addition of Cover Flow for previewing kits, font previews, a new Trim to Label command that acts like a quick preview, named placeholders, combo placeholders that can hold text and images, and 23 new iScrapKits offering over 1,300 new graphics.
Payments could reach as high as $625.5 million
Apple is fighting the outcome of Mirror Worlds' recent legal victory, Bloomberg now says. The company has asked US District Judge Leonard Davis for an emergency stay on the verdict, which could potentially result in a damage payment as high as $625.5 million. Despite earlier uncertainty, Mirror Worlds is believed to be claiming $208.5 million for each infringed patent.
Cover Flow, Time Machine cited as patent breakers
Apple is being ordered to pay at least $208.5 million in damages after losing a lawsuit to a company called Mirror Worlds, reports say. The latter party has accused Apple of violating multiple patents: three describing a "document stream operating system," and a fourth showing an information management system based on the document streams. The concepts involved are said to be nearly identical to those employed by Apple's Cover Flow and Time Machine.
Contactizer for Leopard
Object Decision has released Contactizer 3.6, an upgrade to its personal information manager. It features a new view that lets Leopard users view contact information as a series of "business cards" in Cover Flow -- designed to simulate users flipping through a paper Rolodex. The upgrade, which is free to registered users of Contactizer 3 and above, brings full Leopard compatibility, along with a dozen other improvements. The personal organizer supports multiple-calendar syncing and sports an easily customized interface.
Cover Flow refinements
Apple recently filed for a patent, which appears to enhance the existing foundations of its Cover Flow technology on the iPhone and iPod classic. The patent application demonstrates the process of flipping through contacts, dates, pictures, and other information using both the default iPod scrollwheel and a square touchpad. The iPhone related diagrams show a user scrolling through Cover Flow items in the standard manner, as well as through arcing motions.