The patent isn't for the tablet itself, it's for a way of making digital ink recognition from a pen better. It's all about recognising full phrases, rather than separate ink strokes. When the full phrase has been entered, the phrase is passed over to the handwriting recognition bit, and not before.
But the word "Tablet" appears 58 times in the filing, which sounds promising and could mean that Apple wants to go with handwriting recognition and a stylus in the iPad after all, having shunned it in the iPhone.
Would you prefer to write on an Apple tablet, or use an onscreen keyboard like the iPhone? Let us know in the comments box below.