Apple patent round-up: Slide-to-unlock, original iPhone, solar powered iPhone

Apple has been granted several new patents this week, covering inventions and technology new and old

Apple has been granted several new patents this week, including two design patents covering the slide-to-unlock feature and the rounded corners of the original iPhone, as well as a patent relating to touchscreen technology that could collect solar energy.

The first of Apple's newly granted design patent covers the slide-to-unlock user interface asset.

The patent for "display screen or portion thereof with a graphical user interface" was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, having been filed back in September 2011.

The accompanying illustrations show the familiar rounded rectangle slide-to-unlock bar design that has been part of iOS since the first iPhone was launched in 2007, reports Patently Apple.

Apple has already accused rivals Motorola, HTC and Samsung of violating patents related to the slide-to-unlock feature.

Apple has also been granted a design patent for "the ornamental design for an electronic device, as shown and described." This patent covers the rounded corners found on the original iPhone, which were also the focus of patent infringement lawsuits between Apple and Samsung last year. The lawsuit resulted in a win for Apple, with Samsung forced to pay the company $1.05 billion for infringing several patents in its smartphones and tablets.

The US Patent and Trademark Office also granted Apple a patent that covers an invention that could bring solar power to the iPhone.

The patent, entitled "Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly," describes touchscreen display technology that would integrate a touch sensor array and solar panels featuring electrodes that could be used in mobile devices such as the iPhone to both collect solar energy and as an optical sensor.

The invention could benefit Apple should the company decide to launch its rumoured bigger iPhone, because it would allow for a larger, more power-hungry screen despite mobile battery limitations.

A 'traffic control unit' would be included in the solar powered device to decide whether energy generated should be sent to the battery for storage or used to run the device, reports Apple Insider.

Apple's iPhone 5 introduced the 'in-cell' display to the smartphone, but reports have suggested that interference problems with the new technology have led the company to reconsider the new touchscreen and seek alternatives.

See also:

Why Apple can't call the iPhone the iPhone.

iRadio: Buttons found in iOS 6.1 hint at upcoming Apple radio service

Siri on the Mac: Apple recruiting developer to bring Siri to the Mac

New patent hints at Apple Television set, report suggests three iTV models are in the works

Apple patent hints at virtual keyboard, advanced camera for future iPhone

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags iPadsmartphonesMotorolatabletsApplehtciPhonehardware systemsconsumer electronicso2

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashleigh Allsopp

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?