The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Apple Applies for Metadata Management Patents

Apple Applies for Metadata Management Patents

by , 1:15 PM EST, December 30th, 2005

Apple Computer has applied for patents covering metadata management, according to Bill Slawski, who uncovered a series of Apple related patent applications in commenting on this writer's most recent column about spotlight tracking your file transfers in metadata. Two of the patents in particular seem to provide broad coverage.

One application makes some broad claims for a Web browser user interface that enables "a user to switch between displaying a file and displaying a feed related to the file."

The other applications make claims on managing metadata and indices. Those claims are also particularly broad; some might say incredibly broad. For example, the first claim of one application basically claims that Apple owns the ability to aggregate metadata from two or more programs for searching.  

Claim 1 of patent application no. 20050289133, states:

1. A machine implemented method of managing data, the method comprising: capturing metadata from a plurality of files created by a plurality of different software applications which execute on a data processing system, wherein the type of information in metadata for files of a first software application differs from the type of information in metadata for files of a second software application; searching the metadata from the plurality of files created by the plurality of different software applications."

If this patent application issues with the claims in substantially the same form, it could basically lock out all comers. It could easily impact Microsoft's ability to implement its search techniques if the patent claims issue as written. 

Of course, just because Apple made claims to that effect in the patent application, does not guarantee that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will issue the application as a patent with such broad coverage (or at all for that matter).

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what everyone will dig up by way of prior art and if these broad claims will survive.

Mr. Slawski provides a great list (with links) of all the patent applications.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated September 27th

Tue, 9:38 AM
macOS Sierra: Using Tapback in Messages
Mon, 6:38 PM
watchOS 3: Mickey and Minnie Mouse Can Now Speak the Time
Mon, 5:51 PM
iOS 10: How to Use Maps Extensions
Mon, 5:07 PM
TMO Background Mode: Interview with Founder & President of Bombich Software, Mike Bombich
Mon, 3:13 PM
iOS 10 Maps 'Overview' Buttons Moved to the Swipe-Up Drawer
Mon, 2:35 PM
A-Shirt Makes Apple-Inspired Shirts for Apple Fans
Mon, 2:32 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-26: macOS Sierra PDF Issues, Apple ID Two-Factor Authentication
Mon, 2:25 PM
Apple's iPhone 7 Invitation Refused by Bloggers
Mon, 2:01 PM
Avantree PowerHouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station
Mon, 1:28 PM
Stilo 6R Stylus Features Magnetic Body and Hybrid Tip
Mon, 10:40 AM
How to Stream the Clinton/Trump Presidential Debate on Your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
Sun, 12:06 PM
MGG 624: Sierra, APFS, Wi-Fi and Personal Servers
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!