Apple patents for devices that dynamically change color may be disputed

Color Kinetics “doesn’t make LEDs, it does make software and control technology for programming light shows and mixing different colored LEDs,” reports Scott Kirsner for The Boston Globe. “The company holds 19 patents related to the control of LED lighting systems, and has filed for more than 100 additional patents. ‘We spend about a million dollars a year filing patents,’ says chief executive George Mueller. The company has two full-time patent lawyers in-house, and also works with the Boston firm of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks.”

“Apple Computer recently filed a patent application for a computer whose exterior would change colors, apparently after Color Kinetics had demonstrated their technology to Apple. ‘It covers a lot of our technology and a lot of patents we hold,’ Mueller says,” Kirsner reports.

Kirsner writes, “(Imagine that, though: a computer that would glow different colors based on how much of its processing power was being used. When it turned red, you’d know that a crash was imminent.) It’ll be interesting to see whether Color Kinetics can exact a licensing fee from anyone who blends colored LEDs. Says Simms: ‘We haven’t invested the fortune that we have in intellectual property without planning to defend it.'”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple to release new computers and devices that dynamically change color? – December 28, 2002


  1. I wanna know when Apple is going to release a pointing device directed by yr eye or head movements. That would make pointing on the PC GUI that much easier and faster, especially across large screens and keep yr hand oon the keyboard. Imagine how fast u can work or play Doom 3 with this device. Point and click/shoot becomes look and click/shoot.

  2. Re: Syncer’s comments on a pointing device

    IBM has the lead in this paticular field. They already have demonstrated an adhesive dot that you can put anywhere on your body (finger, forehead, etc). When you move, the receiver picks up the movement and moves the cursor accordingly.

  3. Jeff

    Thanks for the info. Are u involved in this field or device?

    A web search reveals several instituitions and companies already offering this ‘camera mouse’ primarily at people with disabilities. I don’t think it’ll take much to adapt it to everyday use. The technology is already there and it has the potential to improve the way we interact and control computers.

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