September 12, 2006

In a U.S. patent application published last week, a technology developed by Stephen P. Hotelling (an inventor at Apple Computer, Inc.) was disclosed, potentially revealing details regarding a new Apple cell phone. U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 20060197753, entitled “Multi-functional hand-held device,” was published on September 7th and includes 22 claims on a hand-held electronic device and 1 method claim for a method performed in a computing device. The first claim of the application claims a hand-held electronic device which comprises a multi-touch input surface with a processing unit that is “capable of receiving a plurality of concurrent touch inputs from a user via said multi-touch input surface and discriminating a user requested action from the touch inputs,” along with a display device that is “configured to present a user interface.” The second claim is for a device as described in the first claim that includes two or more of the following functionalities – “PDA, mobile phone, music player, camera, video player, game player, handtop, Internet terminal, GPS receiver, and remote control.” Fig. 10A of the application shows a telephone of the present invention. This application claims the benefit of two earlier-filed provisional applications, and is related to nine other utility applications, many of which are assigned to Apple Computer, Inc. Although there does not appear to be any specific mention of an Apple cell phone on Apple’s website, a number of articles (including one from TheStreet.com as referenced below) reveal that an Apple cell phone may become a reality in 2007.

U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 20060197753: LINK
TheStreet.com Article: LINK
MacWorld Daily News Article: LINK
Apple Computer, Inc., “Hot News” Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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