Over the past couple of weeks, Apple's been awarded a number of trademarks and patents and the US patent office have revealed details of a number of patents and trademarks that the company is applying for. From famous-face recognition to futuristic video glasses and the Apple start up Chime, we round up some of the best.
Sometimes the most food for thought comes from the patent applications Apple has filed. Amongst a collection of recently applied for patents, was software that could help you identify the celebrity at the next table in a restaurant.
Apple's patent application appears to describe new face recognition software that will be able to recognized famous people's faces, reports Patently Apple.
It could also be handy when you can't place the actor in a film but you know you have seen them in something.
Such technology could be indispensible for those of us who struggle to recognize acquaintances. Imagine being able to take a surreptitious photo of that person at a party who is reminiscing about the time you met (which you have no recollection of). Imagine what a quick search on Facebook could unveil.
The software will also be able to recognize famous objects such as a painting or a landmark.
Another set of patent applications from Apple reveal how Siri works with smart lists. The application suggests that "Siri will eventually be coming to the Mac," writes Patently Apple.
A patent that could relate to futuristic video glasses that integrate hidden audio sensors has also been filed. Apple states that the portable presentation device may be "any device that is meant to be worn by a user and that is capable of presenting media content to the user" writes Patently Apple.
This may be a "set of goggles that fit over the user's eyes with display and perhaps sound producing capability", the report adds.
Apple's Start up Chime sound, the noise that Macs make after booting up, is now a registered trademark of Apple.
On the trademark application, filed by Apple this June, Apple describes that the chime as "a sound mark consisting of a slightly flat (by approximately 30 cents) G flat/F sharp major chord."
Apple has used several different variations on the chime over the years, Gizmodo has all the apple startup chimes in history here.
On the theme of music, Apple was also granted the trademark for Smart Instruments in Garageband.
The phrase Briefing Room was also given to Apple as a trademark. This trademark application was originally filed in September 2010. The Briefing Room service is available in many of Apple's larger retail stores.
Apple's been less lucky with its application for the trademark Launchpad. The US Patent & Trademark Office has denied Apple the rights to Launchpad for the second time, saying that Apple hasn't provided "any new or compelling evidence," to lead it to register the trademark.
Apple has also been awarded a number of new patents that include one that details the design of the iPhone 4.
Also featuring in that collection of 27 patents is the iCloud logo. Details of Apple's embedded antenna. Patently Apple has the full list.
Apple has also been awarded a patent for the method by which caller ID pictures are assigned to incoming calls, more information is available from Apple Insider.
It's not just the iPad and iPhone that are gaining patent registrations. Apple has also won a patent for illuminated keyboards. The patent for "in-plane keyboard illumination" relates to the backlit keyboards on most Mac laptops, there's more details at Apple Daily Report.
Sometimes its other companies that believe they own the patents to technologies Apple uses. In some cases this isn't the company that actually developed the technology, but a 'patent licensing company' or 'patent troll' a company that has bought the patent with a view to obtaining money from infringers.
Digitech Image Technologies is suing Apple for using a Patent originally owned by Polaroid. Digitech has also filed lawsuits against Sony, Toshiba, Motorola, Asus.
Wi-LAN has filed patent infringement suits against Apple claiming that the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPad 3 infringe on their 3GPP LTE standard.