Custom Lego figures pay tribute to Steve Jobs

A two-pack of custom Lego figures has made late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs into Elvis Presley. Not appearance-wise, we mean. That would be super weird. But the new set, which comes courtesy of custom-Lego company FamousBrick, pays tribute to Jobs by showcasing both young and old versions of the tech legend. Jobs isn’t the first […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Likely Filed ‘tvOS’ Trademark for New Apple TV in November 2014

An overnight report from 9to5Mac claims the new operating system for the revamped Apple TV will be called „tvOS“, and it appears Apple may indeed have moved to trademark that term as long ago as November 2014.

A series of trademark filings for the name were made in mid-to-late May in a number of countries by a company called Television OnStream LLC, which appears to be a shell corporation created just days earlier and based out the Corporation Trust Center in Delaware. Apple commonly uses this tactic to hide its trademark filings, although many other companies employ similar strategies.

The mid-May timing is also interesting given it occurred just a few weeks ahead of WWDC where Apple was rumored to be introducing the new Apple TV until what appeared to be a last-minute decision to push back the announcement to this month.

All of the May trademark applications cite a priority date of November 2014 for a filing made in Jamaica, yet another of Apple’s typical strategies for hiding trademarks. Jamaica is a frequent location for Apple’s initial filings as the country does not publish an online database of trademark filings, making it difficult to track them down.

In another similarity to Apple’s previous trademark patterns, Television OnStream LLC conveniently shortens to an acronym of „tvOS“, much as Apple previously hid its „iPad“ trademark behind a company named IP Application Development.

One final similarity between the „tvOS“ filing and known Apple trademarks is the use of specific law firms to handle the filings. For example, Television OnStream used London-based firm Locke Lord to handle its Italian filing, and Apple used the same firm to protect its „watch OS“ trademark in Italy earlier this year. In Turkey, the same trademark lawyer handled both Apple’s „watch OS“ filing and Television OnStream’s „tvOS“ application, and in Mexico both companies used the law firm of Arochi & Lindner to handle their filings.

As is common with these filings, there is no concrete link between Apple and the new „tvOS“ trademark, but given recent rumors and a number of similarities to Apple’s past behavior in hiding trademark filings, it appears likely Apple is indeed behind the „tvOS“ applications.

(Thanks, Rodney and Lennart!)



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Samsung to Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court in Ongoing Patent Battle With Apple

Samsung is planning to take its ongoing patent war with Apple to the United States Surpreme Court, reports the San Jose Mercury News. In court papers filed today, Samsung said that by November it would ask the Supreme Court to hear its latest appeal.

„The questions present issues of enormous importance to patent litigation and the scope of innovation, especially in high-technology industries,“ Samsung’s legal team wrote in a bid to hold off paying Apple hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for the patent violations.

Samsung’s decision comes following a rejection from the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals last week, where the court refused Samsung’s request for a new trial. Samsung had asked the court to reconsider a decision earlier this year that left the company on the hook for a $548 million payout to Apple.

Samsung and Apple have been battling over patent infringement issues since 2012, when a jury ruled Samsung willfully violated several Apple patents, resulting in $1 billion in damages. Since then, Samsung has been fighting the ruling, and over the course of several appeals and a partial retrial, has gotten the damages reduced to the aforementioned $548 million total. If Samsung is successful, the Supreme Court could throw out another $400 million in damages.

Earlier this week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office invalidated a key iPhone design patent that was used in the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit, handing down a non-final rejection that Samsung could use in its appeal to the Supreme Court. Samsung also has the backing of technology companies like Facebook, Google, eBay, HP, and Dell, who have claimed the ruling against Samsung would „lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies.“

Samsung may, however, have difficulty getting the Supreme Court to hear its case. Of the thousands of cases that the Supreme Court is asked to review each year, it agrees to hear approximately 100 to 150.



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Egg freckles? Apple is working on handwriting recognition for iPad Pro

Steve Jobs may have been adamant that the iPad would never ship with a stylus, but more and more evidence is mounting that the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will do exactly that. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published…Read more ›

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Apple Watch is currently barred from going on sale in Switzerland

When the Apple Watch goes on sale April 24, one place it will be conspicuous in its absence is Switzerland: the spiritual home of the wristwatch, which Jony Ive famously (allegedly) said was “f**ked” due to the awesomeness of Apple’s…Read more ›



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Apple Patents Waterproofing Method ‘For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture’ [iOS Blog]

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a patent created by Apple, detailing a method for the extensive waterproofing of various components within a device, possibly an iPhone, thus creating a completely waterproof smartphone without the need of a special case (via Patently Apple).

Originally filed in September of 2013, the patent describes a „hydroponic coating“ to be layered onto integral parts within a device, like its printed circuit board. Apple describes achieving this using a „plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) process“ that would adhere the coating substance onto the surface of the printed circuit board in such a way as to not take up much additional room in the already small casing of a smartphone.

In the bigger picture, immersing electronic devices in water generally has predictably negative results. Through testing it has been determined that high voltage power components are more likely to short or malfunction after only brief exposure to liquids or moisture. More specifically, exposed metal areas having high voltage differentials in close proximity can easily experience short circuit events when corrosion or water immersion bridges the gap between such areas.

By providing an insulating layer or barrier around these highly susceptible parts, water resistance can be substantially increased without obscuring functional openings leading into a device housing of a particular electronic device. A thin hydrophobic (i.e., water resistant) conformal coating having a thickness between at least one and ten microns can be applied to a substrate using a plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) process. The PACVD process charges the surface of the substrate so that the coating can be bonded to the charged surface.

Though not completely waterproof as Apple’s new patent intends a device to be, Tim Cook recently stated that the company’s upcoming Apple Watch will in fact be a bit more water resistant than previously thought. He stated that he wears his personal Apple Watch everywhere, „even in the shower.“ If so, the Watch will be the company’s first device with such a water resistant claim.

While the patent doesn’t specifically state what device the waterproof process could be attributed to, it’s easy to see the company reasoning the method for use on iPhone and iPad. Although, like with all other patents, the practicality of a completely waterproof iPhone launching anytime soon is highly unlikely, it’s always an interesting glimpse behind the scenes regarding what the company may be considering for its future.




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