updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed April 20, 2011
Others cover 'media processing systems'
Apple has scored four more patents beyond ones for activations and RFID technology, notes Patently Apple. The most crucial may be a design patent on the nitriding stainless steel band on the iPhone 4, a signature part of its construction. Numerous people are credited with the work, including lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive; also mentioned is CEO Steve Jobs, which may show the degree of the executive's micromanagement.
Jobs also shares some credit for a design patent on the original iPod touch, released in late 2007. The device was thicker than later Touches, and also had a more conspicuous rim lacking the volume buttons now standard on iOS handhelds. One corner of the back was made of plastic, a compromise in order to improve Wi-Fi reception.
More abstract patent wins -- User Interface With Menu Abstactions and Content Abstractions and Remotely Configured Media Device -- document the Apple TV. Of interest is a diagram depicting the Apple TV interface, but instead referring to the product as "iTV." Apple has so far avoided using the name, likely in part because of UK broadcaster ITV.