Apple's patent is about a safe deposit box for securing important user files. In one aspect, when a user drags-and-drops a file representation onto a safe deposit box icon, the file is secured. In another aspect, when a user selects the safe deposit box icon and verifies his or her identity, the user could access secured files through a safe deposit box window.
Advantages perceived by this invention include first and foremost that files could be securely stored and that copies of important files could be automatically generated and protected. In addition, file loss could be minimized; confidential information within a file could be protected; users could more easily secure the files that matter the most to them; users could be provided with an interface for protecting valuables that mimics a physical safe deposit box at a bank, a personal safe, or another way of safekeeping valuables. And lastly, the safe deposit box interface could allow access to files for only short periods of time to minimize the risk of an unauthorized user viewing the files.
A key aspect of the Safe Deposit Box feature is that your files could be stored off site; perhaps using MobileMe or even another location you specify. "the user computer is also optionally coupled to one or more remote storage devices 412 through a network 414 (e.g., the Internet). The remote storage devices could be, for example, other computers such as a server bank or cloud storage."
It's thought that this could be one of the features Apple introduces in Mac OS X Lion.