The US Patent and Trademark Office has published 35 newly granted Apple patents this week, covering face detection technology, an iPen, playback control on touchscreens, instant messaging, the iPod shuffle's design and more.

Apple on Tuesday was granted what is believed to be a re-examined patent that was already passed by the US Patent and Trademark Office 2011. It covers an 'iPen', described as a portable computer, which now has cellular and GPS capabilities too.

A second patent granted to Apple on Tuesday relates covers a technique that can select an orientation from which to perform face detection in a camera, reports Patently Apple.

Additionally, Apple also won a patent for an invention that aims to avoid luminescence shock, which causes temporary vision impairment when a display device comes on in a dark environment.

Apple's new playback control patent covers a system that would be able to detect tap combinations input by a users in order to carry out a particular playback operation associated with that combination. The system could be used to provide users with a way to carry out actions without requiring the display to light up, in order to save battery life.

Another playback related patent won by Apple on Tuesday relates to touch-sensitive user interfaces for controlling the playback of media, such as quickly scanning through media files, for example.

Apple's new instant messaging patent covers a "portable electronic device with a touch screen display [which] displays a list of instant messaging conversations including a group conversation."

Meanwhile, Apple has also been awarded five design patents, covering an in-store Apple product display used by retailers, the third- and fourth-generation iPod shuffle, and user interface designs relating to the Passcode screen and Settings.

Also this week, Apple's iPhoto icon for iOS became a Registered Trademark, and the company has also filed for seven other trademarks including Voice Memo, iTunes U and Audiobooks.

See also:

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