updated 12:55 pm EDT, Wed April 21, 2010
Company claims 15 new patents in total
The USPTO has officially granted 15 new patents to Apple, covering several different areas of technology. A full five of the patents involve the design of the iPod classic and the third-generation iPod nano, reflecting how long it can take to get a submission approved. Filings for the iPod designs were originally submitted in the third quarter of 2007.
One major patent covers the concept of a color correction sensor, commonly known to photographers as a white balance sensor. The Apple scheme relies on a diffusion dome, which directs light towards a sensor, used to adjust for color casts in a given camera image. Incoming light is compared to the quality from a standard or other reference benchmark.
Apple has also won a patent on using a portable media player as the remote control for a media server, which in turn outputs audio to a stereo system. This is currently possible through the combination of iTunes, AirTunes and the Remote iPhone/iPod app.
The remaining patents cover relatively low-level ideas, such as voltage regulation, compatibility within a serial bus, and a heat transfer mechanism using a liquid-metal thermal coupling.