Two Apple patents involving computer housing and map layouts have appeared at the US Patnet & Trademark Office.

Patent number 20110073575 is for a computer housing and involves the “unibody” design of recent Apple laptops and iMacs. A visually seamless method of joining a first piece of metal and a second piece of metal is described. The first piece of metal is placed in contact with an edge of the second piece of metal. In some embodiments, the edge includes a sacrificial lip.

The first piece of metal forming a junction area with the edge of the second piece of metal, applying a forging force to the first piece of metal, the forging force having an effect of creating an extremely tight fit up between the first and the second pieces of metal, welding the first and the second pieces to form an assembly and forming a cosmetically enhancing protective layer on the surface of the assembly, the protective layer obscuring any visible artifacts on the surface of the assembly, the obscured visible artifacts including any discoloration or discontinuity created by the laser welding. The inventors are Carlo Catalano, Derrick Jue, Brian Miehm, Takahiro Oshima and Masahige Tatebe.

Patent number 20110074811 involves a map layout for print production. Per the patent acomputing device includes a memory configured to store digital images. The computing device also includes a processor configured to execute instructions to perform a method that includes receiving a collection of digital images in which one or more of the digital images has an associated location.

The method also includes displaying a digital map that is defined by a geographic area that includes the associated locations of the digital images. The method further includes annotating the digital map to include one or more identifiers. One or more of the identifiers represents a group of the associated locations as determined from a scale associated with the digital map. Eric Hanson and Nikhil Bhatt are the inventors.

— Dennis Sellers