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Apple granted patent for digital page turns

Apple officially owns the digital page turn.

In a patent granted by the US Patent Office, the Cupertino firm earned the rights to the page-turning animation, originally filed in December 2011 as the ornamental design for a display screen.

As first reported by Apple Insider, the patent, titled "Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface," covers the digital page curl effect achieved when a user swipes his or her finger across the screen to turn the page. It also points to vertical swiping, moving the top or bottom portion of the page, not just the side, like a real bound book.

Apps like iBooks, or the Maps and Calendar features, already take advantage of the "page curling" motion in iOS.

The patent seems laughable to some, including The New York Times's Nick Bilton, who wrote in a blog post that he swears he's seen similar animation in Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons.

"This is where readers are probably checking the URL of this article to make sure it's The New York Times and not The Onion," Bilton wrote.

Cupertino fought for this patent with the argument that its page-turn technique uses a special type of animation that other page-flipping applications or eBook readers don't.

Bilton pointed out, though, that Apple often goes after what seem to the public like ridiculous patents - the glass staircase in its retail stores or the packaging of its iPhone. But the company actually lost a recent fight against reinvigorated social network

MySpace over their music app image: both use a double-note imposed on an orange square background.

The new page-turn patent is one of 38 awarded to the company this week. Among others: "Polyphonic note detection," "Low-profile power adapter," and "Skin tone aware color boost for cameras."