Apple granted 36 patents covering Siri mic icon design, Lightning, widgets and more

Apple this morning has received patents covering more than three dozen different technologies, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. The company’s patent filings as of late are even inspiring parody treatments like the Apple alphabet patent. Among today’s grants are the filings describing ways to interface sports equipment with your iPhone, iPad or iPod, patents for Mac OS X dashboards and the MacBook keyboard and others seeking to protect icons and designs of popular software features.

Most people know of Apple’s long-time association with Nike and the Nike+ app that records your running routine. Earlier this year, the Cupertino, California company filed a patent to go one step farther, interfacing your iPhone with a treadmill, or other workout machine at the local gym. Now it appears that patent was granted. But, wait, there’s plenty more gadgets and gizmos Apple wants protected…

The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office granted Apple 37 patents today, according to PatentlyApple which is covering these things extensively on a daily basis.

In one instance, Apple was granted a patent for the Mac OS X  Dashboard feature, basically a method of organizing applications via widgets that was unveiled with OS X 10.4 Tiger in April of 2005. Apple applied for the patent in June 2011, making it the third patent the company owns regarding the Mac OS X Dashboard feature.

If you love working on your MacBook in the dark, thank Apple’s illuminated keyboard. The technology behind the keyboard is now part of Apple’s patent portfolio. The patent application was filed in 2008.

Among the passel of patents awarded Tuesday to Apple are several apparently aimed at thwarting third-parties cashing in on inexpensive Lightning cable alternatives.

What’s also intriguing is the timing: Although Apple didn’t admit the existence of the Lightning connector until September 2012, the package design patent applications were filed November 23, 2011, according to PatentlyApple.

Apple may have also received more ammunition in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung. The U.S. Patent Office granted the iPhone maker a patent on the Siri icon.

The Siri mic icon design is now a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Of course, it resembles the real thing quite a bit.

The final implementation of the mic icon in Siri on the iPhone.

The Samsung’s S-Voice feature shamelessly rips off Siri’s interface, per court documents Apple filed in June seeking to put a stop on Galaxy S III imports to the United States.

The S-Voice on the Galaxy S III features Siri-like graphics

Other patents awarded are a bit more esoteric, dealing with the nuts-and-bolts of the iOS interface, as well as other matters.

PatentlyApple has the complete list of Apple patents awarded today.

Just wondering, do you think stuff like the look of the Siri mic icon should be patentable?