Turns out that USPTO is not the only go to authority for major patents that Apple gets, but also China’s patent regulatory organism has a say. This week China’s Patent and Trademark office granted Apple 3 design patents regarding the Apple Watch.
The patents have to do with the rotary styled “Friends Screen” on the smartwatch, as shown in the images embedded within the article. That menu holds 12 of your closest family and friends, arranged within a circle, to imitate the points of a clock. The Friends screen is triggered by pressing the physical button on the watch (not the crown one).
Users can rely on the digital crown to scroll through the people on the list and if their contacts also have Apple Watch models, they can send out heart beats and all sort of cute drawings, plus emoticons, pictograms and more. Apple’s approach to this menu remains unique in the smartwatch world, without a parallel in the Android world.