Apple Patents Discuss Digital Government ID

Two new Apple patents discuss methods for replacing paper documents with a digital government ID, and how they could be verified.

US Patent applications numbered 20190325125 and 20190327228, both titled “Identity Credential Verification Techniques,” follow previous reports of Apple hoping to make iPhones central to ID security.

The two new patent applications separate out the functions of such systems into the creation or collection of a user’s identity details, the later authentication of that ID, and then the user’s ability to provide this detail on request.

I’m normally all about privacy but personally I look forward to the day when such documents are digital.

U.S. Supreme Court Sides With Apple Over University of Wisconsin

For several years Apple has been in a patent fight with the University of Wisconsin. But recently the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a bid by the university to reinstate its legal victory over Apple.

The licensing body, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), filed suit in 2014, alleging infringement of a 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit” to help speed the way processors carry out computer program instructions. The patent was developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students at the university, located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Future Apple Headphones Could Tell Which Ear They’re In

New patents reveal that future Apple headphones could tell which ear they’re in using machine learning.

Apple notes that “During operation, capacitive sensor electrodes may be used by the control circuitry in capturing capacitive sensor ear images that are processed by a machine learning classifier. The machine learning classifier may be used to determine whether the headphones are being worn in a reversed or unreversed orientation.

Qualcomm Owes Apple $1 Billion Rebate Payment

A federal judge recently ruled that Qualcomm owes Apple almost US$1B in patent royalty rebate payments.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Thursday ruled that Qualcomm, the world’s biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, was obligated to pay nearly $1 billion in rebate payments to Apple, which for years used Qualcomm’s modem chips to connect iPhones to wireless data networks.

Patent Threatening Podcasts Invalidated (Again)

A patent that was an existential threat to podcasting was affirmed as invalid by a court in a case brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Key claims of the patent had already been invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the EFF’s case was brought to hasten the appeals process. The group announced this week that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled unanimously to uphold that decision. The patent holder—Personal Audio—can still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case hasn’t received a ton of headlines, but whether or not they know it, the millions of people who enjoy podcasts should rejoice.