Patently Apple notes that among 25 Apple patents officially published by the USPTO today, one was a whopper. US patent number 8,223,134, which covers a "Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents," includes 30 separate claims in all. The patent was originally applied for in 2007 and the application was renewed in March of 2012.
As you might imagine, that's a pretty broad patent, which means this is a significant victory for Apple in the smartphone patent field. This patent covers almost all of the UI features of modern smartphones, including the displaying of documents on a screen, UI modules for a telephone, video player, camera, and browser, and even scrolling and a multitouch interface feature.
Just being granted this patent doesn't grant Apple immediate victory in all of the various current patent cases. But it does provide another plank in the platform that Apple's using to stage its defenses. Yes, the patent battles can get to be a little much after a while, but Apple did do a ton of R&D and other work to reinvent the smartphone and its market, and patents like this are designed to make sure Apple gets the credit it deserves for doing that. Maybe, by picking up an important intellectual property chit like this one, Apple can bring some of these ongoing patent battles to a quicker and easier close.
[via Cult of Mac]