If you can patent a black rectangle as phone, you can patent a smaller one as a watch. At least according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has awarded Apple a design patent for its new wearable.
The patent details the basic looks of the Apple Watch: the curved rectangle of the body, the sensors on the back, the button and crown, and the notches for the strap. All very straightforward. It's worth noting this is just for the design, though, and limited to America too. So Apple doesn't (yet) lay claim to patent rights for the smartwatch as a concept, and you can expect to see cheap knockoffs on sale abroad too. Still, never let a little paperwork get in the way of Apple world domination. [USPTO via CNET via Verge]