Apple has again been awarded a boatload of new patents, but one stands out for its obsolescence.
The US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent on a filing that dates back to 2008 on the integration of a camera into a mobile device. Interestingly, the patent also includes a standalone camera built into a small, rectangular device that would allow for quick photo-snapping.
The patent itself is much of what customers would expect from a camera-focused filing, describing the ways buttons, a lens, and the camera body all interact to snap photos. Indeed, there is nothing ground-breaking in the patent. Instead it describes a simple camera technology that was likely part of the first iPhone in 2007.
Apple's cameras, along with those that have been bundled into devices by other companies, have come a long way in the last several years. While the technology described in this patent filing won't make its way to any more devices, the fact that Apple has secured it after six years of waiting is good news for a company that continues to pad its patent portfolio.
Like many other companies, Apple files for patents at a rapid clip. In the technology industry, quickly securing an invention with a patent is the best way to ensure no other company gains an upper hand. As recent history has shown, such patents arm companies to launch lawsuits or defend against them.
(Via Patently Apple)