New Apple Patent Could Spell Trouble For Some Ultrabook Manufacturers
Apple’s patent arsenal continues to grow, and a recently awarded patent could hurt other Ultrabook manufacturers.
Hidden within a number of patents awarded to Apple in the past week is patent D654,072
described as “the ornamental design for an electronic device, as shown and described.” Well, the object shown and described happens to look a lot like a MacBook Air and half the MBA’s Ultrabook competitors.
The phrase “MacBook Air” is never used in the patent, but the drawings included portray a devilishly thin laptop with tapered edges. According to Patently Apple this is the sixth patent awarded to Apple regarding the MacBook Air since 2009. Among the several inventors listed in the patent are Jonathan Ive and the late Steve Jobs.
Apple’s phrasing in the patent might worry other Ultrabook manufacturers. The term “ornamental design” implies that the computers design is not necessarily a functional necessity, and that other manufacturers emulating it could find themselves victim to an Apple lawsuit. Apple reportedly already flexed its newfound Ultrabook muscle with reports of the company asking Pegatron to stop manufacturing the Asus Zenbook (essentially a brushed aluminum MBA).
Tim Cook in an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this week hinted that manufacturers attempting to emulate Apple’s MBA design could be in for tough times.
“Now, you see the industry at large trying to copy it in some way, but they'll find that it is not so easy."
Source: Patently Apple