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The USPTO Issues Three New Patents To Apple

The USPTO Issues Three New Patents To Apple

by , 10:00 AM EDT, April 23rd, 2003

Apple was granted three new patents yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office. These patents were all applied between 1999 and 2001, and all are programming patents.

The first was for a "System, apparatus and method for spatially sorting image data in a three-dimensional graphics pipeline."

Filed: August 20, 1999
Granted: April 22, 2003
From the patent's Abstract:

The present invention is a mid-pipeline sorting unit that sorts image data mid-pipeline in a tiled 3-D graphics pipeline architecture. The image data includes vertices of geometric primitives. The mid-pipeline sorting determines whether a geometric primitive intersects a region of a 2-D window. The 2-D window having been divided into multiple such regions. Upon determining which region of the 2-D window that the geometric primitive intersects, the mid-pipeline sorting unit stores the vertices that define the geometric primitive into a memory in a manner that associates each of the geometric primitive's vertices with the region that was intersected. [More]

In other words, this coding invention seems to make more efficient use of 3D graphics pipeline resources, specifically in regards to use with a 2-D window.

Next, Apple received a patent for a "Method and apparatus for improved duration modeling of phonemes."

Filed: February 22, 2002
Granted: April 22, 2003
From the Abstract:

A method and an apparatus for improved duration modeling of phonemes in a speech synthesis system are provided. According to one aspect, text is received into a processor of a speech synthesis system. The received text is processed using a sum-of-products phoneme duration model that is used in either the formant method or the concatenative method of speech generation. [More]

This invention seems to refine the text-to-speech technology employed by Apple.

Finally, Apple received a patent for a "METHOD FOR DYNAMICALLY DELIVERING CONTENTS ENCAPSULATED WITH CAPSULE OVERVIEWS CORRESONDING TO THE PLURALITY OF DOCUMENTS, RESOLVING CO-REFERENTIALITY RELATED TO FREQUENCY WITHIN DOCUMENT, DETERMINING TOPIC STAMPS FOR EACH DOCUMENT SEGMENTS." [See patent link for more information.]

Filed: November 29, 2001
Granted: April 22nd, 2003
From the Abstract:

A method for the dynamic presentation of the contents of a plurality of documents on a display is disclosed. The method comprises receiving a plurality of documents and providing a plurality of topically rich capsule overviews corresponding to the plurality of documents. The method also includes dynamically delivering document content encapsulated in the plurality of capsule overviews. [More]

This invention seems to create summaries for multiple topics found within a document. The several examples included in the patent all reference the ability to make a summation of an article that accurately reflects the contents of that article. Mac OS X includes text summary abilities.

The Mac Observer Spin:

These aren't huge, paradigm-shifting patents, but we always find it interesting to follow the patents granted to Apple. If any of the coding fiends out there have more insight on the exact uses of these patents, we encourage them to drop a note.

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