Several Apple patents appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office today. Here’s an overview. Patent number 7,720,354 involves embedded access for digital versatile disc (DVD) independent of DVD player software.

An operating system extension is used to implement embedded information on a DVD. The operating system extension examines DVD sector addresses requested from the DVD hardware. When address associated with an embedded link is requested, an application program that can run the embedded link is started, and the embedded link is provided to the application program. The system of the present invention has the advantage that it does not require modifying the DVD software program and thus can be used with a variety of different DVD software programs. The inventors are Freddier Geier and Stefan Bauer-Schwan.

Patent number 7,720,860 is for query result iteration. Systems and methods for processing an index are described. A pulse in an inverted index refers to a group of items that do not occur in any other pulse in the index. When processing a query against an inverted index in which pulses are present, the query is processed against a single pulse. The end of the pulse is determined based on the characteristics of the pulse and the linked list nodes that comprise the postings lists from which the index was generated. In some embodiments, index updates are applied to the query result obtained from a single pulse to provide an efficient and up to date query result. The inventor is John Martin Hornkvist.

Patent number 7,721,066 involves efficient encoding for detecting load dependency on store with misalignment. In one embodiment, an apparatus comprises a queue comprising a plurality of entries and a control unit coupled to the queue. The control unit is configured to allocate a first queue entry to a store memory operation, and is configured to write a first even offset, a first even mask, a first odd offset, and a first odd mask corresponding to the store memory operation to the first entry. A group of contiguous memory locations are logically divided into alternately-addressed even and odd byte ranges. A given store memory operation writes at most one even byte range and one adjacent odd byte range.

The first even offset identifies a first even byte range that is potentially written by the store memory operation, and the first odd offset identifies a first odd byte range that is potentially written by the store memory operation. The first even mask identifies bytes within the first even byte range that are written by the store memory operation, and wherein the first odd mask identifies bytes within the first odd byte range that are written by the store memory operation. The inventors are Tse-yu Yeh, Daniel C. Murray, Po-Yung Chang and Anup S. Mehta.

Apple was also granted patents for the trackpad on their notebook line, CoverFlow, the Universal Docking Station and its media player module.