Patently Apple reports
that Apple has picked up a major patent from the USPTO
for a long list of mutitouch gestures. The gestures all involve moving two or more fingers on a multitouch surface, and cover everything from cut and copy shortcuts to global search and find and replace motions. I'm sure creative types could probably come up with at least a few other ways to ways to move your fingers on a surface, but this one's pretty far-reaching. PA also notes that almost all of these gestures were picked up by Apple as part of their Fingerworks purchase
-- while (as far as I know) not all of these gestures eventually made it to the iPad
, we can probably expect to see them show up in the future.
Also picked up from the USPTO includes a patent for adjusting the tempo of music played by an iPod, possibly even according to some body metric (like putting a strap on your arm to measure your pulse by using Nike+), one patent for antenna structure, and a few different patents dealing with digital files and folders. As always, just the fact that Apple is patenting these ideas doesn't ever mean that we'll for sure see them in future updates of software or hardware. But watching these patents is a good way to keep an eye on what's coming out of Apple's R&D departments.