updated 11:24 am EST, Tue November 27, 2012
The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a pair of new patents. Of the two, the most significant may be Desktop widgets for presentation in a layer, essentially documenting the widgets dashboard users can pop up in OS X. The feature dates back to OS X Tiger, and grants quick access to a collection of simple but custom-picked apps like a calculator or sticky notes. The patent also mentions that widgets can be installed from an online repository, and/or fetch their source data from the Internet, such as in the case of a weather widget.
The other covers the design of the icon for Siri, iOS' voice command system. The graphic is credited to Apple's Freddy Anzures and Alessandro Francesco Sabatelli; the patent application was submitted on October 4th, the same day that Siri was announced for iOS 5. The technology started out as a third-party app, but the developer was quickly bought by Apple.