Public patches are general patches made available to all LispWorks customers. These are typically released in bundles of multiple different patch files; each file has a number as its name. For example,
patches/system/0001/0001.nfasl (for PowerPC Mac OS X)
patches\system\0001\0001.ofasl (for x86 Windows)
patches/system/0001/0001.ufasl (for x86 Linux)
patches/system/0001/0001.ffasl (for x86 FreeBSD)
patches/system/0001/0001.64nfasl (for PowerPC64 Mac OS X)
patches/system\0001\0001.64ofasl (for x64 Windows)
patches/system/0001/0001.64ufasl (for amd64 Linux)
patches/system/0001/0001.pfasl (for HP-PA)
patches/system/0001/0001.wfasl (for SPARC)
patches/system/0001/0001.64wfasl (for SPARC 64 bit)
On receipt of a new patch bundle your system manager should update each local installation according to the installation instructions supplied with the patch bundle. This will add files to the patches subdirectory and increment the version number displayed by LispWorks.
You should consider saving a new image with the latest patches pre-loaded, as described in Saving and testing the configured image (Mac OS X), Saving and testing the configured image (Windows) or Saving and testing the configured image (Linux), or Saving and testing the configured image (non-Linux UNIX).