The documentation describes the technology as "a wireless data processing device" periodically switching on and transmitting location data.
"The embodiments of the invention described below add an additional layer of security to locate devices" when "the product has been lost/stolen and subsequently switched off," the patent's documentation explains the technology's applicability.
The tracking feature may be an added security measure for the next generation of iPhones and other devices.
The patent raises additional privacy concerns regarding the company's products. Apple was among the first tech companies accused of sharing user information with the government after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden started leaking classified documents about the NSA secret surveillance program PRISM in 2013. The leaked documents showed that the agency used a backdoor surveillance program to gain remote access to Apple's mobile iOS system and track user data without detection.
Amid fears that data stored in the United States would be stolen by the NSA, earlier this month Apple announced plans to build two new data centers in Europe. The company said that they will commence operations in 2017.