Apple Goes Gangbusters With New Patents

In the last week alone, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has landed 52 new patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One very interesting one is for a “smart garment” that may signal a coming expansion of the Nike+iPod line it markets jointly with Nike (NYSE:NKE), electronista reports.

The “smart garment” patent, filed in early 2010, refers to sensors attached to shoes or clothing that can do such things as read wear patterns, detect body heat and tell users when an item’s performance has degraded. The combination of “smart garment” capabilities with the iPhone’s ability to read position, altitude and velocity point to some interesting possibilities for the Nike+ line.

Other notable patents awarded to Apple in the past few days include the company’s second patent for Apple TV, which allows programs to be recorded directly from cable; a revised trackpad for notebooks that includes secondary zones and what looks like another try by Apple to design a headset for the iPhone.