Lodsys recently attempted to get a percentage of transactional income from a number of iOS developers, citing a patent on in-app purchases. Apple has subsequently -- and loudly -- told Lodsys to go home, but the whole ordeal's left us with patents on the brain. Patent applications are filed for every single thing that could possibly be patented, so they can give you a glimpse into the future plans of your favourite company. This is done for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that if they don't patent it, a competitor -- or patent holding company/troll -- might file for, and be awarded, the patent, leaving a company in the unfortunate position of having to pay to use their own invention. When they announced the iPhone in 2007, Apple proudly boasted of filing for 200 patents for the device, promising to aggressively defend them.