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Apple Patents: Apple Awarded Data Related Social Networking Patent

Apple Patents: Earlier today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) yet another patent. There are not too many days that go by during which the Cupertino-based company doesn’t apply for or receive a patent.

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Here is the title of the patent (linked to the official page): Apparatus and method for efficiently managing data in a social networking service

Confused? Well, the abstract goes a long way in giving an overview of what this patent is all about:

“An apparatus, method, and machine-readable medium are described for managing data within a friend service. In one embodiment, a key/value data store can be used to provide an efficient and highly-scalable friend service database. Various techniques can be used to ensure data consistency between friend service data records. For example, in one embodiment, operations are detected which require updates to a plurality of related friend state records. A key may be generated to represent each of the operations and then used to create an entry in a write-ahead log database. In one embodiment, each entry in the write-ahead log database may specify the operation to be performed on the friend state records. If the plurality of friend state records are successfully updated, then the entry in the write-ahead log database may be deleted. However, if the plurality of friend state records are not successfully completed, then the entry is not deleted from the write-ahead log database. The friend state records associated with old entries in the write-ahead log database are checked for consistency and inconsistent records are repaired. In addition, optimistic locking techniques may be used in one embodiment to improve performance of the friend service database.”

Is it possible that this Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent could help with online stalking? While it is hard to imagine any tool that could completely rid of this, it is safe to say that this patent could go a long way in helping out.

Here is some more information on what the company calls “Stalker Count:”

“Stalker Count (stalkerCount): In one embodiment, each time a friend request is received by a first user from a second user, and the request is rejected by the first user, the second user’s stalker count is increased by 1. When the stalker count reaches a specified threshold (e.g., n attempts within a specified time period), no more friend requests are permitted from the second user to the first user. If the second user attempts to send a friend request to the first user, he/she may receive a message indicating that no more friend requests to the first user are permitted. Any additional requests may also be ignored (i.e., not registered within the databases 120-121). Various different values may be used for the number of attempts within a specified time period (e.g., 2 attempts, 3 attempts, 4 attempts, etc).”

This is definitely one of the more interesting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patents of 2013. Right now, the company may not be doing much with this patent. That being said, you never know what the future holds.

Do you believe that the company will eventually put this technology to good use? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Check back here for more updates on Apple Patents.

DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.

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