Apple files for new patents on Thunderbolt, iSight

The company is looking to get its hands on a host of patents related to Thunderbolt usage and its iSight camera.

Apple is hitting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awfully hard.

The USPTO today published a host of patent applications Apple has filed related to technologies it has been working on. Chief among them is a technology that would allow for better networking in Thunderbolt ports. According to the patent application, the technology focuses on daisy-chaining devices with Thunderbolt and allowing data to pass through each.

According to Patently Apple, which was first to report on the new patents, Apple's mention of "Thunderbolt" indicates that the technology is already in use. Apple currently uses Thunderbolt in its Macs and allows for daisy-chaining. The technology is also available in its aptly named Thunderbolt display.

Patently Apple found that the company had also filed for a patent related to haptic feedback, allowing users of touch-screen devices, like the iPhone and iPad, to "feel" when they touch something. The technology included in the patent can work on buttons and dials, along with other software features, and will work with a "linear vibrational motor," according to Patently Apple.

Apple also filed for a patent on an improvement to iSight Webcam technology, as well as three applications related to Flash memory.

Over the last several months, a host of Apple patent applications and awarded intellectual property have cropped up on the USPTO site. Just two days ago, in fact, Apple won a patent on a technology that would allow Web users to automatically skip audio and video commercials and go straight to media stored on their devices.

As with any patent or application, however, it must be noted that it's possible the technologies will never end up in the real world. Apple, like any other company, files for patents simply to ensure it owns the respective idea -- not necessarily to develop it and offer a technology to the public.

Read the full CNET Review

Apple Thunderbolt Display

The Bottom Line: The Apple Thunderbolt Display is an incredible-performing and beautiful-looking monitor with a superfast connection, and we recommend it if you own a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac. / Read full review

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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