This is the kind of thing you're unlikely to bother patenting if you weren't planning on using it. Yesterday, an Apple patent for a curved battery design surfaced from the USPTO. Will the next iPhone be curved rather than a dead-straight slab like it is now?
The battery patents describe "curved battery cells for portable electronic devices" and "non-rectangular batteries for portable electronic devices." The battery itself reminds me of the HTC Legend with that chin.
Anyway, who knows whether Apple will really make a curved iPhone, but the non-rectangular battery technology would definitely fit well in the rounded corners of the iPad. You've got to fit that big old cell in there somewhere, so anything that helps cram it into non-usable space for chips and screens is a massive bonus. After all, it's not like a quantum leap in battery capacity and technology is just around the corner. [USPTO, 2 via Apple Insider via TechRadar]