Patent filing doesn’t really mean anything as RIM files patents on a constant basis. The company has an incredibly inflated legal department, and if you’re an employee working on anything relatively unique, you will surely be submitting patents. That being said, RIM has filed a very relevant patent recently: a “multi-tap keyboard user interface” that will provide auditory feedback to BlackBerry users who are visually impaired.
With this auditory feedback system, a user can invoke applications by pressing a specific set of keys. Each key has a specific audio message, allowing a visually impaired user to navigate the device effectively.
We have seen a few software solutions that are geared towards helping the visually impaired use a BlackBerry and they’re very expensive. It would be really interesting if RIM gave the OS this software natively as it would save the visually impaired a great deal of money.