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back to article Apple files 'iWatch' patent application

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent application that juices rumors Apple is working on a bit of wrist-wearable kit that hardware hypothesizers have dubbed the "iWatch". "Bi-stable Spring with Flexible Display" was revealed in the USPTO's weekly Thursday-morning application dump, and describes a snap-on …

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

I started reading without even looking at who wrote it. By the time I got to the end of the first short paragraph, I knew it was you. You have a certain style.

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Megaphone

Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

And yet, at the same time, no style at all.

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

But it'll still be 1/5th the price of the Apple version, with 3x the capailities ;O)

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Coat

"...with 3x the capailities"

Those aren't bugs they're capabilities! Of course MS might give'em a go in the nav department...

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

How would you know that a windows watch is a copy of apple's watch and not influenced by the many existing smart watches apple copied?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

> But it'll still be 1/5th the price of the Apple version, with 3x the capailities

but won't work

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

I don't know when Redmond has ever offered anything with 3x the capabilities. But I'm sure their version will come in a lovely sh*t brown color, like the inimitable Zune.

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

Didn't Nokia already CGI demo this on Youtube with teh Nokia 888?

Once again, Apple is bhind the curve

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Happy

Actually M$ have prior art with the SPOT Watch

The Microsoft SPOT Watch idea was ahead of its time in 2004.. but was “dumb” to think that people would want “free” information everywhere like weather and travel even if they couldn’t get a 3G internet connection (like almost everywhere in the USA).

Fast forward a decade, and the SPOT’s ARM-based system is tiny, and well the only smartphone UI that’ll work on a wrist is… err …erm…. A TIFKAM active-tile

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Re: In Redmond Microsoft fire the photo copiers up.

I hope the MS version comes with spell check

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Anonymous Coward

"The application, however, makes no mention of the device as being a timepiece – it is described, more generally, as a "wearable video device arranged to be worn by an end-user" on said user's wrist"

Of course it doesn't specifically mention it being a watch. That wouldn't be anywhere near generic enough for an Apple patent.

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I think that would get them solidly into "prior art" territory

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Just waiting for whoever invented snap bands to sue Apple.....

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Linux

I am concerned for the person wearing it when it catches fire. All Apple products do eventually.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/7881778/Apple-iPhone-4-catches-fire.html

http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/apple-notebooks/270887-my-macbook-caught-fire.html

http://cap-news.com/story.php?id=201203010

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So

Did that mean Apple bought Boeng?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So

.. or were involved in taking Dell private ?

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Anonymous Coward

Batteries fail, they're not made by Apple and are often made by Sony and others.

Look at the Boeing Dreamliner battery fire, is that Apple's fault too?

The batteries are very high capacity in modern devices and unstable when they get hot. Any small package with loads of energy in it is a potential explosive.

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Anonymous Coward

If they are unstable when they get hot that means Apple are expected to make sure they are sufficiently cooled. Sony may supply them but batteries don't often come with cooling built in. What you are saying is that Apple don't cool components enough for them to mitigate a "known" safety hazard.

Also, comparing something in no way related to Apple (Boeing Dreamliner) to something directly connected to Apple (they put the batteries in their products) is a sorry excuse for an argument. If you have a point to make then make it. Try to avoid hyperbole.

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Anonymous Coward

I assume if its kinetic/solar powered, the display is going to be fairly basic?

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Coat

given the energy requirements of the display and processor, the kenetic thingy will need to be moving constantly and vigorously.

A related thought occurs...how do you view pR0n on this when it's....errrr...."moving" all the time...?

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Simples you wear it on the other wrist ;)

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Paris Hilton

Optional

' Another nice touch is that the device is described as being self-powered by "a kinetic energy gathering component, wherein the battery can be trickle charged" '

Perfect for the typical Applyte, then.

Paris, because she can inspire more kinetic energy out of them.

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FAIL

This is worth a patent?

It reminds me of the Popular Science/Mecanics stories (from the 1950s - now) about the flying cars that are about to go on sale, or even the Star Trek technical manual.

Just a bunch of general discriptions with no details at all.

It's like someone said, "I just read about new flexable displays shown at CES, come up with something we could build with one... you've got 10 minutes".

Guess they didn't hear about the flexable batteries...

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Re: This is worth a patent?

My thoughts too - don't you have to make something to patent it?

I also wasn't aware Apple were into manufacturing displays, let alone flexible one. If computerised watches finally take off (something often predicted in visions of the future, when instead mobile computing converged onto phones) due to flexible displays, it'll be thanks to technology made by the likes of Samsung, judging by their recent announcements and demos.

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Re: This is worth a patent?

No.

It's just a flexible display glued to a bistable spring. It's hardly innovative. It's almost the definition of "obvious".

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Re: This is worth a patent?

The tech will be made by samsung et al. But the patent courts will hand the market to apple.

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Re: This is worth a patent?

"My thoughts too - don't you have to make something to patent it?"

If I understand it correcty, this is a US 'design patent', what the rest of the world would call a copyright. Our transatlantic cousins just like to use grandiose* words for things. And use the letter 'z' too much.

*or as they might spell it, grandioze?

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Vic
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Re: This is worth a patent?

> a US 'design patent', what the rest of the world would call a copyright.

Not so.

In the UK[1], this would be a "registered design". Copyright is something else entirely.

Vic.

[1] Most of Europe has very similar legislation, with slightly different names...

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Coat

iWatch on an appendage?

Wink wink, nudge nudge...

Shirley this is the ultimate tool for the fanboi voyeur?

Mine's the one with the pocket edition of the Karma Sutra...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iWatch on an appendage?

Of course - that kinetic energy has to come from somewhere. I suspect that's why those shake-to-charge torches were mainly bought by men too..

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MrT
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Heard in Birmingham...

..."Have you got the time on you, cock?"

With thanks to Jasper Carrott et al...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iWatch on an appendage?

I assume that it will be banned from the app store!

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Anonymous Coward

I'm guessing it won't be long now before Apple tries and patents the concept of time like the greedy fucks they are?

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Anonymous Coward

If you have a serious point, then make it.

If it was a joke, then it one that we have all read a hundred times before.

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@AC number two

There is an old adage that says, "many a true word has been spoken in jest."*

I'm sure that if Apple didn't have a history of trying to patent the obvious, or indeed things which are prior art, then they wouldn't come in for so much flak.

*Very old; for example in the 14th century, Chaucer wrote: "But yet I pray thee be not wroth for game; A man may say full sooth in game and play."

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Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

a few years ago nokia did a watch phone concept thing like this didn't they?

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Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

Yea, Nokia Morph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs

Same shit, different form factor.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

yeah - they've been yammering on about this since around 2006 i think:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3dF44XtHek

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/video/2008/feb/25/nokia.nanotechnology

http://www.concept-phones.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/nokia_888_2.jpg

Here's hoping its a huge success and Nokia get proper payments from Apple

(as opposed to the usual litigation garbage)

Paris: I bet she has great wrist action.

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Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

Oh dear... Is that not prior art? Flexible display that can be worn as a watch?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

"Oh dear... Is that not prior art? Flexible display that can be worn as a watch?"

Not stop Apple from copying then the fannybois on here proclaiming Apple are the most innovative company ever known to man.

Flame away ladies. I know you love a whinge.

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jai
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Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

Is that not prior art?

it seems like nearly every patent application that gets reported here gets a comment about there being prior art.

and yet still the patents continue

seems to me that the US Patents Office dont really care about prior art. is it really an important part of patents, or is it just a urban legend that prior art is a consideration?

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Re: Didn't Nokia have a video of something like this

I beleive the system in the US grants patents without considering prior art, but they can later be invalidated if prior art is shown. IMHO, this is the wrong way round, the thinking behind it is that it reduces the cost for the patent office, whose job it would be to check for prior art, thus allowing patents to be applied for and granted more cheaply and theoretically give the US a competitive edge.

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"so the flexible display as described in the application is described as being able to adjust the amount of information that it presents to the user based on how much of the display is viewable when worn."

In other words, bog standard UI window-resizing behaviour.

I look forward to a whole load of new patents where existing technology/ideas are taken, with "on a wrist" added. If you don't even have to make it, perhaps we should all get in on the action.

Of course watches that can communicate with Android devices already exist. And yes, didn't Apple already try to make a watch-ipod, which turned out to be a fail?

(Also wondering where they'll put the big light up Apple logo - can't have an Apple product without plastering Apple logos to advertise all over it.)

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Trollface

Bog standard

Yes, its exactly like when you connect an external display to your laptop then obscure part of that display with the laptop screen and the computer automatically adjusts the UI to take into account the bit of monitor that can't be seen.

All they've really done is think up a clever idea for multiple screen management that hasn't been done before and applied it to a single screen that can obscure itself by virtue of the boring fact that it can wrap around objects.

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Scotch Mist

Does Apple have a patent on it? I'm sure th USPO would happily grant it.

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Punish them.

This type of stuff would be laughable if juries were not awarding outlandish sums for infringing fake inventions.

As long as we reward companies like Apple for anything that sticks and fail to punish them for throwing stuff at the wall, they will continue to throw stuff at the wall and you, your friends and family will pay the price for it.

Given the severity of things like the actions of Monsanto, I personally feel no qualms about passing retroactive legislation to mightily punish players attempting to game the system.

In an age when we can literally print out new devices and can create a copy of any media in existence for any person that wants it at effectively zero cost, there is no place for rent-seekers. They do not create wealth. They destroy it.

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