Having learned it’s lessons in Mac/Windows wars, Apple is very protective about the user interface innovations that has gone into an iPhone.
We, checked and found that iPhone IP is really well protected by Apple’s patent claims, that already became public last year. As time goes by and patent filing confidentiality periods expire, new Apple patent applications emerge that show even more patented things about the iPhone.
Remember iPhone’s cool intelligent keyboard? Looks like everything you know about it, is patented. And there’s quite a few things that you haven’t seen yet, too.
At least that’s what Apple’s patent application called “Keyboards for Portable Electronic Devices” claims (you can download 4MB patent pdf here ).
The patent application covers different multi-touch keyboard layouts, adaptive keyboard features, predictive text entry and word recommendation techniques, visual effects making text entry easier, multigesture icon selection and many more.
Of course, this is just a patent application for now. And there is a lot of prior art and current research for various keyboard arrangements, so it is not clear how many of the claims will be confirmed by the patent office.
But there are 136 specific user interface innovation claims in this virtual keyboard patent alone, so even if only a part of them are sustained in the end, a very important part of the iPhone functionality may be very hard for Apple’s competitors to copy.
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