Top patent applications from the companies you love [October 2012]

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies, Google, Microsoft

Welcome to this new monthly series here on Ghacks. Each month I'll be looking through all patent applications submitted by Apple, Google and Microsoft to find the most interesting applications from a user perspective. Patent applications may provide us with information about technologies that are already in use or will likely be used in the near future by the companies that applied for the patent.

Each patent application is described in one or two sentences that capture the main idea of the patent. Links point to the full patent application where detailed information are provided.



  1. Click disambiguation on a touch-sensitive input device - The surface of a touch-sensitive device may be used as a physical button, and this patent application describes a system how left and right-clicks can be distinguished.
  2. Ranking blog documents - Ranking blog documents based on relevance and quality of the documents. This may mean that the most relevant document may not be ranked first if another beats it because of its higher quality score.
  3. Customizing mobile applications - Describes a method to use user input to create a personalized application based on the user's preferences.
  4. Aggregating product review information for electronic product catalogs - A method to aggregate product data either by product identifiers if listed on a document, or by performing an Internet search to find an identifier that can be used.
  5. Mobile device-based bandwidth throttling - Moves the bandwidth throttling to the device based on instructions by the wireless provider. Currently, throttling is executed by the provider itself.


  1. Detecting script-based malware using emulation and heuristics - Running scripts through a virtual environment using emulation before it is executed on the user system.
  2. Phishing detection, prevention and notification - Among other things, detecting a phishing attack by parsing the web browser history and notifying the user via email or other forms of notification about it.
  3. Automated malware signature generation - Analyzing a file using various methods to determine whether it is malicious in nature. If it is, creates a signature automatically that anti-virus software can use to detect, block and disinfect.
  4. Self-sterilizing input device - Using a chamber and UV light to sterilize an input device.
  5. Remote disabling of applications - Revoking software licenses on machines, for instance those that get stolen so that the rightful owner of the license can use it on another system without having to purchase it anew.
  6. Taskbar media player - A system to control a media player via the taskbar.
  7. Reordering document content to avoid exploits - Reordering document contents to block embedded malware from being executed.
  8. Human user identification - Identifying human users with captchas.
  9. Speaker identification - Describes techniques to identify a speaker based on sample data.
  10. Using a proxy server for a mobile browser - Using a proxy server to improve the overall web browsing experience on a mobile client system by reducing the processing load on the device with the help of the server. Looks to me like an advanced version of Opera Turbo.

Would you like me to add another company to the list? Let me know in the comments.


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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