Tagged With patents

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Apple's automatic shotgun approach to patent filing means we get all sorts of weird and wonderful insights into the imaginations of the company's designers, who have come up with everything from "sick vapes" to phones made entirely from glass. The most recent patent appears to err on the more conventional side of design, proffering a contraption that combines a phone or tablet with a notebook "shell".

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Last week, the US Patent and Trademarks office handed down a decision in one of the most high-profile patent cases of the century. In a one sentence ruling, an appeals board granted the rights to the powerful gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, while leaving the door open for rival CRISPR pioneer UC Berkeley to file a new patent to lay claim to those same discoveries.

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With so much information online, coders can cook up scrapers to gather all sorts of data and present it in an interesting format. Even a topic as boring as patents can become a curious novelty just by looking up the ones expiring, say, today and making them browsable to the world at large. And that's Expatents in a nutshell.

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We get it Samsung, it's hard playing second fiddle to Apple. You owe them a billion dollars from a four-year-old patent lawsuit, because the Samsung Galaxy was a lot like the iPhone. Another time you got a smartwatch to market, and then Apple descended from the clouds of Cupertino to declare to the world that it has revolutionised mobile electronics with the creation of a truly revolutionary smartwatch, and everyone lost their damned minds. That's a rough life you got there buddy.

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The thumbwheel was the signature feature of BlackBerry's original handsets, and while touchscreens have made them mostly obsolete, the Apple Watch proves there's still a place for physical dials. But is Apple finally planning to introduce that rotating crown to the iPhone or iPad? A recently published patent suggests that the company might be considering it.