Apple's acquisition of 18 patents from content management specialist Maya-Systems offers tantalising hints about its plans for iCloud.

Apple acquired 18 patents from the content management specialist Maya-Systems last year, the Canadian firm revealed yesterday. Neither side has stated precisely what technologies the patents cover, but Maya's areas of interest offer tantalising hints at Apple's plans for iCloud and content sharing offerings.

Maya-Systems is known for a product called I Am Organised, which allows users to store, view and share documents, emails and photos in the cloud. (For more info on this offering, we've embedded a promotional video below.) The firm describes the interface as being 'axis-based', meaning users can organise documents according to axes that relate to specific projects or document types. These can be collapsed or sub-divided at will.

Since the decline of MobileMe (and particularly since its closure in June last year) Apple has been vigorously pushing its successor iCloud storage system, with mixed success; it's been widely embraced as an easily accessible resource for previously purchased Apple products such as apps or iTunes tracks (pleasingly, version 3 of iBooks makes it easy to download previously purchased ebooks from iCloud). But it's yet to catch fire as an all-purpose storage system.

We're into the realm of speculation now, but axis-based content management is Maya's hobbyhorse and specialist subject, and it's hard to imagine that Apple would have pounced for patents covering any other area. So perhaps we can expect to see development of the iCloud offering - or perhaps even an entirely new cloud-based document management system - following Maya's axis-based principles.

Via Apple Insider

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