Apple was granted four patents today by the US Patent & Trademark Office. Following isa summary of each.

Patent number RE41,922 is for a method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display. It involves producing a translucent image over a base image created on the display screen of a computer system by a selected first application program, and conducting image operations either on the base image created by the selected application program with reference to the translucent image produced, or conducting image operations on the translucent image with reference to the base image of the first application program.

The first application program runs on a central processing unit (CPU) of a computer system to produce a base image, and another application program referred to as the overlay program is run to produce the translucent image such that portions of the base image which are overlapped by the overlay image are at least partially visible through the translucent image. There is also a mechanism for blending the first video data and the second video data to produce a blended image on the screen assembly. The inventors are Michael L. Gough, Joseph J. MacDougald, Ginan D. Venolia, Thomas S. Gilley, Greg M. Robbins, Daniel J. Hansen and Adhay Oswai.

Patent number 7,830,395 involves the virtualization of graphics resources. Graphics resources are virtualized through an interface between graphics hardware and graphics clients. The interface allocates the graphics resources across multiple graphics clients, processes commands for access to the graphics resources from the graphics clients, and resolves conflicts for the graphics resources among the clients. The inventors are John Stauffer, Bob Beretta and Ken Dyke.

Patent number 7,831,784 is for managing purgeable memory objects. A system and method of managing purgeable memory objects includes a LIFO and/or FIFO queue for volatile memory objects, which can be emptied at a rate that matches the speed of a page queue. The inventors are Heiko Gernot Albert Panther, James Michael Magee and John Samuel Bushell.

Patent number 7,831,199 involves a media data exchange, transfer or delivery for portable electronic devices. Methods and systems that facilitate data delivery to electronic devices are disclosed. One aspect pertains to data delivery to electronic devices that are portable, such as, mobile devices. In one embodiment, one mobile device discovers another mobile device within its vicinity. The mobile devices can then wirelessly transmit data from one mobile device to the other. The mobile devices, or their users, can control, request or influence the particular data content being delivered. The inventors are Stanley C. Ng, Andrew Bert Hodge, Anthony M. Fadell, Jeffrey L. Robbin, Robert Edward Borchers, Chris Bell and Eddy Cue.