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Apple nabs more patents for multitouch, iWork

Sixteen newly awarded patents mean we could soon see the results on iOS mobile devices and the iWork software suite.

A depiction of Apple's latest patent related to multitouch USPTO

As the patent battles and bubbles continue to grow, Apple has secured the rights to several more patents of its own.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a series of 16 patents now owned by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, according to Patently Apple.

Here's a rundown on some of the patents that stand out and where we could see them implemented within the Apple empire:

  • A multitouch related patent designed to reduce the manufacturing cost and performance of these types of displays. (Likely for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch collection, but possibly for a new Mac desktop series too?)
  • A patent for Numbers, the spreadsheet app within the iWork productivity software suite.
  • A patent for "Methods and systems for providing sensory information to devices and peripherals."(Possibly for iPhone/Mac accessories such as wireless keyboards and headphones)
  • An iOS camera-related patent about rotating the display orientation of a captured image.
  • A patent for a solar-powered tracking apparatus that includes a voltage converter and a controller coupled to the voltage converter.
  • A patent for a 3D video viewer for iMovie.
  • Patents for docking station peripherals in automobiles.

Some of these have taken awhile to get approved. A few seem rather useless at this point (an iPhone 3G dock?), although they still prevent other companies from using elements of the technology for other devices down the line. We all know how popular that kind of lawsuit is. It's questionable whether any of these will help Apple in any current legal battles over patents, but it could stave off some competition in the future.

This story was originally published at ZDNet's Between the Lines.