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  • 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 [via CNET]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Apple Patent Could Spell Trouble For Some Ultrabook Manufacturers started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. baRRy boRRis's Avatar
      baRRy boRRis -
      You do realise that this patent is only for the front feet don't you?! Everything drawn in a dashed line is contextual and just for reference and excluded from the patent.
    1. fungusfeet's Avatar
      fungusfeet -
      Quote Originally Posted by baRRy boRRis View Post
      You do realise that this patent is only for the front feet don't you?! Everything drawn in a dashed line is contextual and just for reference and excluded from the patent.
      That's even more ridiculous than the orginal story, patenting feet!
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post

      The phrase “MacBook Air” is never used in the patent, but the drawings included portray a devilishly thin laptop with tapered edges.
      So make a devilishly thin laptop WITHOUT tapered edges. Problem solved! No?
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      So does this mean that nobody can make a laptop that's thinner and lighter than an apple laptop? Ornamental Design, WTF? this **** gets sillier by the day.
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      So does this mean that nobody can make a laptop that's thinner and lighter than an apple laptop? Ornamental Design, WTF? this **** gets sillier by the day.
      I would guess it's not so silly if you are a patent lawyer, and the document is worth multiple millions of dollars...
    1. AfterMercyFM's Avatar
      AfterMercyFM -
      I would like to see a MacBook Air/Pro that doesn't have a black bezel. (Bevel?) From the outside of the lid, edge to edge screen. Don't take our screen away from us. Keep the same sizes of the shells, just give us more real estate.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      I would guess it's not so silly if you are a patent lawyer, and the document is worth multiple millions of dollars...
      It might be, if Apple starts a lawsuit and fails, like they have a handful of other suites. That would be pretty funny IMO.
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Nope, still not silly at all. Litigious, yes. Silly, no. And, it wouldn't be "suite" (sweet) either - it would be suits (lawsuits).
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Quote Originally Posted by baRRy boRRis View Post
      You do realise that this patent is only for the front feet don't you?! Everything drawn in a dashed line is contextual and just for reference and excluded from the patent.
      Is this the case? If so major thread FAIL!

      I guess it's ok if Apple stops others from using their front foot design.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      Nope, still not silly at all. Litigious, yes. Silly, no. And, it wouldn't be "suite" (sweet) either - it would be suits (lawsuits).
      Typo, apologies. I would find it silly, anyway, as would the person winning the suit.
    1. syedsufyan's Avatar
      syedsufyan -
      Apple is so stupid and uncompetitive. What is the point in this patent besides stopping all means of competition?
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Yeah... Apple sure is stupid
    1. coltonbyu8's Avatar
      coltonbyu8 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AfterMercyFM View Post
      I would like to see a MacBook Air/Pro that doesn't have a black bezel. (Bevel?) From the outside of the lid, edge to edge screen. Don't take our screen away from us. Keep the same sizes of the shells, just give us more real estate.
      macbook airs dont have a black bezel. they have a gray one
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      Apple is evil.
    1. cypherstream's Avatar
      cypherstream -
      Wait, this just came out this week? That should exempt systems that were already designed before the patent (like the Samsung series 9). Otherwise, quick someone patent something as broad as the flat screen monitor and try to collect royalties from every single TV / Monitor company in existence!

      It's the great new way to get rich quick! Just ask TiVo or Apple!
    1. Alluziion's Avatar
      Alluziion -
      Quote Originally Posted by syedsufyan View Post
      Apple is so stupid and uncompetitive. What is the point in this patent besides stopping all means of competition?
      -Facepalm-
    1. shigh's Avatar
      shigh -
      In a lot of cases ive heard apple tries to communicate with companies first. Those companies refuse or ignore apple and then its "caged courtroom showdown!!!!!"
    1. richardjs's Avatar
      richardjs -
      Quote Originally Posted by syedsufyan View Post
      Apple is so stupid and uncompetitive. What is the point in this patent besides stopping all means of competition?
      Money, what do you think?? If they wanna use it, they must pay for it.
    1. Tony1979's Avatar
      Tony1979 -
      Quote Originally Posted by baRRy boRRis View Post
      You do realise that this patent is only for the front feet don't you?! Everything drawn in a dashed line is contextual and just for reference and excluded from the patent.
      Swanson misses this kind of thing all the time- just as he does with his typos and grammatical errors and then publishes them.
    1. td1439's Avatar
      td1439 -
      Quote Originally Posted by fungusfeet View Post
      That's even more ridiculous than the orginal story, patenting feet!
      Well, they've already patented shapes and colors. I'm sure their patents for things like "using electricity" and "communicating information" are in the works.