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Apple granted 16 new patents

Including patents for video iChat, virtual keyboard and multi-touch error compensation

Apple (aapl) just added more than a dozen warheads to its stockpile of intellectual property holdings.

On Wednesday, the U.S Patent and Trademark Office published 16 newly granted Apple patents, including some that have been pending for more than seven years and several that would seem to apply to the iPad.

Patently Apple has the story, including patent numbers and a link to a search engine for accessing the patents themselves.

Apple generally uses its patents as a deterrent to intimidate competitors who dare take them to court. It rarely initiates patent suits itself; the notable exception are the lawsuits it filed last month against HTC for alleged violations of iPhone patents.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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