Apple applies for patents tied to security, imaging, flash memory

Several patent applications filed by Apple cover a range of areas, from security to color luminance to flash memory.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Apple is trying to keep the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office busy with several patent applications made public today.

One application dubbed "Securing the Implementation of a Cryptographic Process using Key Expansion" covers a method of improving the security behind encryption keys, as documented by PatentlyApple.

Another patent application, known as "Spatio-Temporal Color Luminance Dithering Techniques" addresses a way for dithering an image, or scattering its pixels, by tweaking the overall luminance.

A third application called "Systems and Methods for Streaming Compressed Files via a Non-Volatile Memory" points to a way for non-volatile memory to decompress and directly stream media files.

And a fourth application dubbed "Automatic Discovery of Metadata" suggests a way to cut down on manually having to input metadata for your files. Instead of adding tags to documents, images, and other files, users could tap into other sources, including the Internet and social networks, to automatically add key metatags to files based on their content and other attributes.

Most of the Apple patent applications made public today were filed by Apple in late 2010; the one related to metadata was filed earlier this year.

None has not been granted yet. The applications, though filled with the usual patent and technical jargon and perhaps not too sexy on the surface, expose some of the thought process behind Apple's products.

"These are the kinds of patents that take care of all the tiniest of details behind Apple's most popular products, processes and manufacturing," PatentlyApple explained. "They might not represent the visionary side of Apple, but they sure keep the trains running on time."

Clarification at 7:55 a.m. PT: This story references applications for patents. Updated 8:45 a.m. PT with details on metadata patent application.