Apple granted patent for portable iTunes user interface

The iPhone maker locks up a patent for its portable multimedia device

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Thursday is a big day for Apple, and more specifically its portable iTunes user interface, which was just granted patent number 8188357 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The patent win in question is for "the graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player."

Does this sound like anything Apple produced in the past, such as the mobile version of iTunes, maybe?

What the patent protects

Here's what the patent application explains:

"In a portable multimedia device, a method, apparatus, and system for providing user supplied configuration data are described.

"In one embodiment, a hierarchically ordered graphical user interface is provided.

"A first order, or home, interface provides a highest order of user selectable items each of which, when selected, results in an automatic transition to a lower order user interface associated with the selected item," the description continues.

"In one of the described embodiments, the lower order interface includes other user selectable items associated with the previously selected item from the higher order user interface."

Apple's new patent number 8188357 credits the inventors as Jeffrey L. Robbin, Steve Jobs, Timothy Wasko, Greg Christie and Imran Chaudhri.

16 other patent applications from Cupertino also turned up on the radar today, including 81890017 (electro-mechanical shutter control), 8189429 (microphone proximity detection), RE43437 (a storage volume handling system that utilizes disk images) and 8190205 (for the design of a male plug connector in a media player).