patents

Apple Granted ‘Periscope’ Compact Zoom Lens Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for a compact camera that uses a set of prisms to "fold" light and compress the amount of space needed for a telephoto lens. This type of lens is typically referred to as a "periscope" lens in smartphones.

Court Rules Against Photog Who Patented the Online Distribution of Sports Photos

Back in August 2014, we reported on the legal battle between photographer Peter Wolf and a company called Capstone. Wolf had received three patents on a method of distributing sports photos online. The problem was, the patents described common workflows that countless photographers use around the world.

The latest development today will have those photographers resting a bit easier: the courts have ruled that the patents are invalid because they aren't inventive enough and because they simply describe convention steps that many people use.

Four of the Top Five 2012 Patent Holders Make Cameras

The folks over at Chipworks have come out with an interesting infographic that shows the top U.S. patent holders in 2012, and compares them to the same list from 2000. Beyond just gawking at the increase in the sheer number of patents held by each company, we were pleased to see camera manufacturers making a strong showing.

Kodak Patents Acquired by Group That Includes Apple, Google, and Facebook

One chapter in the saga of Kodak's escape from bankruptcy has come to an end. The company announced today that it has completed the sale of its valuable imaging patents for $525 million to a group of Silicon Valley companies. The deal involves more than 1,100 patents related to the capturing, manipulating, and sharing of digital photographs.

Apple Patents Method of Generating HDR Photos from Single Exposures

High dynamic range (HDR) mode is becoming a standard feature in newer digital cameras and smartphones. By snapping multiple photographs at different exposure levels, the camera can automatically generate an image that captures a greater range of light and dark areas than a standard photograph. However, the technique does have its weaknesses. Artifacts appear if any changes occur in the scene between the different shots, which limits the scenarios in which the technique can be used.

Apple wants to overcome this issue by implementing an HDR mode that only requires a single exposure. A recently published patent shows that Apple is well on its way to doing so.

Rivals Apple and Google Team Up in Bid for Kodak’s Valuable Imaging Patents

Yesterday we shared some news courtesy of the Wall Street Journal that Kodak had received a generous bid for its patent patent portfolio of over $500M. This was good news for Kodak, seeing as $500M was the mark the company had to hit in order to receive $830M in exit financing that would play a crucial role in helping Kodak dig its way out of bankruptcy.

However, all we knew at the time was that the bid was being put forth by a "consortium of bidders" out of Silicon Valley. Well, as it turns out, that consortium is being led by none other than the unlikely team of Apple and Google.