The patents, first reported on Friday by technology blog Engadget, relate to having a disk drive on the bottom of a notebook. Today, disk drives on Apple MacBooks are accessed through a slot on the front of the machines.
One of the patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is for an access system for a portable device. "The portable computer is accessed through an active user interface on the bottom surface of the portable computer," the application, dated Jan. 25, says.
The other application, also dated Jan. 25, is for a disk drive media access system that would apparently prevent the disk from falling out of the drive.
Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.
A potential benefit of a bottom-loading disk drive would be a thinner notebook. However, there's no indication of Apple's plans for the patents, or whether the technology would eventually make its way into products.