An official list from the US Patent and Trademark Office shows Apple have been granted 20 new patents.
Some of the patents cover a voice mail manager and integrated touch screens, with the majority covering the technical side side of things; such as is seen in the image below.
I’m not going to go into too much detail regarding the patents but in short the patent regarding the touchscreen could allow the screen to be manufactured using fewer parts and possibly less processing steps. It could also mean a display that is thinner, brighter and requires less power. The voicemail patent relates to Apple’s iOS “Voicemail Manager”, which allows users to easily access their voicemail.
What does this mean for Apple?
Well, the other day we reported that Apple blocked the sale of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 in Europe because it had infringed on one of their patents. This goes to prove in such a competitive market, patents are becoming more and more important.
As long as Apple stay ahead of the game and patent all their technology, it makes it difficult for competitors to keep up as they are forced to seek for alternative methods of regarding the technology involved.
If you want to read more about the patents full details can be found at Patently Apple.