A design patent, to be exact, meaning: You can't make a brazen copy of the iPhone and iPod Touch's "ornamental design," or else you'll get sued to death. Of course, this isn't just about crude knockoffs.
Apple recently applied for a patent for "movement-based interfaces for personal media devices," which means a more advanced accelerometer and movement gestures for the iPhone.
According to a recent patent filing, Apple has considered implementing security that allows an iPhone to automatically contact authorities when stolen.
Apple's filed a patent on their upcoming iPhone instant messaging app, detailing exactly what it's going to look like and how it's going to behave. While most of the images show an iChat-esque (and current SMS-like) interface, there are some interesting tidbits we picked up from the text. One, there's mention of…