On March 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that Jony Ive and his team have a few more features for their Smart Cover. In August 2012 Apple revealed a mind boggling set of new possible features for the Smart Cover that ranged from inductive charging to built-in solar panels and the use of a flexible display to name a few of innovations being explored. Today's revelations are a little tamer but still interesting. Apple is considering adding physical soft buttons to the Smart Cover so that you could easily control your tunes. They're also considering a built-in window so that you could keep tabs on incoming email, text messages, stock quotes and more.
Apple credits Jonathan Ive, Duncan Kerr, Matthew Rohrbach, Steve Hotelling, Christopher Mullens, Martin Grunthaner, and Michael Cretella as the inventors of patent application 20130076614 which was originally filed in Q3 2011. To review Apple's patent claims and rich details, see this patent.
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A Word about Continuation Patents
It should be noted that the US Patent and Trademark Office did in fact publish a series of older continuation patents today dating back to between 20xx and 20xx. The continuation patents listed below are specifically referenced as such under the section titled "Cross-Reference to Related Applications." Generally speaking, this type of patent application contains modifications that Apple's legal team have made to the original patent claims in an effort to have the US Patent Office finally approve their invention. In general continuation patents don't represent any new developments from the original patent filing. Some websites mistakenly report on continuation patents as if they were new Apple filings to which they are not. Here are the older continuation patents that were published today by the US Patent Office:
1. Old 2010 Patent Filing: Conductive Frame for an Electrical Connector
2. Old 2008 Patent Filing: Hidden Sensors in an Electronic Device
3. Old 2005 Patent Filing: Portable Media Player as a Remote Control
4. Old 2010 Patent Filing: Sensor Fusion
Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.