Apple was granted a number of patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Tuesday morning, the most interesting of which concern Apple’s television software and a new method for packaging touchscreen technology.
In United States Patent 8,243,017, “Menu overlay including context dependent menu icon,” Apple describes ways to display onscreen menus and video for its Apple TV set-top box. What’s most interesting about this patent, which was originally filed in 2006, is that the patent illustrations show that the Apple TV either was originally designed to work with cable TV, or that Apple is primed to collaborate with cable providers in the future.
The set-top box (described in the patent as a “video device”) would employ a number of elements that are already familiar to users of TiVo and other DVRs, such as the ability to record live TV. Some of the shows included in patent diagrams include The Late Show With David Letterman, as well as circa-2006 favorites like King of Queens, Lost, and The O.C. Apple’s aspirations to include live network content may have died after networks like CBS declined a deal with Apple to stream content over its set-top box.
….but what we *really* want to know is: who is Dave interviewing in this patent illustration? We think it looks like the security guard from Goodfellas who helped set up the Lufthansa heist.
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