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Apple awarded feline-inspired patent

You know how a slice of bread always falls on the buttered side? Or how a cat, when dropped onto its back, always somehow manages to turn around mid-air and land on its feet?

Well, basically, Apple has been awarded a patent that does just that - makes sure its products, when dropped, land exactly how they want them to land.

Of course, this desired landing will be one that is the least likely to damage crucial components.

On Monday, U.S. Patent 8,903,509: "Protective mechanism for an electronic device," was awarded to Apple's Nicholas King and Fletcher Rothkopf.

The patent covers a device that can use its motion sensors to detect when a device is in free fall, calculate how much time it needs to hit the ground and then act accordingly to make sure no components (or no important components) are damaged in the fall.

There are a number of different methods listed in the patent, including a weight inside the device that can move and turn it around, motors like the one used for vibrations, or even including wings to reduce the impact velocity.

Also, listed are some amazing suggestions, like the device grabbing onto a headphones cable when it detects a fall, or the use of little gas cylinders to produce thrust and change angles, Ender’s Game style.

Of course, this is all hypothetical at the moment, but it could potentially mean we'll be seeing some kind of cat-like technology implemented in the iPhone 7.

Patent wars between tech giants have been going on for years - entire companies are being bought because of them - so it could also be interesting to see if Apple faces any disputes from this one. Your move Samsung.