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  • Apple Awarded Patent for Round-Square Rectangle, Yes, Apple Won a Patent on a Shape


    Mark today on your calendar as the day Apple reached the pinnacle in gadget design.

    The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent on the round-corner rectangle.

    Apple now legally owns the rights to Patent No. D670,286 which defines the shape of the first iPad and subsequently every other iPad, and tablet ever made. This is like a single baseball team patenting the shape of a baseball with the intentions of suing or extorting every other team for profit.

    If there is a single patent in existence that highlights the broken nature of the USPTO this is it. The patent is broad like the horizon is wide, and will certainly lead to some very perplexed judges and companies across the globe as they inevitably are faced with lawsuits stemming from the new patent, that is if Apple actually decides to use the patent. But, this is the company that is currently suing Amazon over the term App Store. Thank goodness Apple isn't in the grocery store business.

    Perhaps this development will start a patent trend where companies and individuals spam the USPTO with patent requests ever-increasing in their lunacy. Maybe then something will be done.

    Honestly though, I'm just excited for hexagon and oblique shaped tablets to show up.

    Sources: Gizmodo, Ars Technica, USPTO
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Awarded Patent for Roun-Square Rectangle, Yes, Apple Won a Patent on a Shape started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 36 Comments
    1. Modding life's Avatar
      Modding life -
      Wtf man this is crazy
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      you need to brush up on patent law before starting in with the snarky comments.. specifically a "design patent". this is nothing new, and companies apply for these every day. just typical apple bashing without understanding what you're talking about.
    1. Tony9592's Avatar
      Tony9592 -
      Quote Originally Posted by scottjl View Post
      you need to brush up on patent law before starting in with the snarky comments.. specifically a "design patent". this is nothing new, and companies apply for these every day. just typical apple bashing without understanding what you're talking about.
      Still a ridiculous patent.
    1. RokeSmoreMeefer's Avatar
      RokeSmoreMeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      If there is a single patent in existence that highlights the broken nature of the USPTO this is it. The patent is broad like the horizon is wide, and will certainly lead to some very perplexed judges and companies across the globe as they inevitably are faced with lawsuits stemming from the new patent, that is if Apple actually decides to use the patent. But, this is the company that is currently suing Amazon over the term App Store. Thank goodness Apple isn't in the grocery store business.
      There are already thousands of patents that perfectly highlight the broken nature of the USPTO. We don't need more.

      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      Perhaps this development will start a patent trend where companies and individuals spam the USPTO with patent requests ever-increasing in their lunacy. Maybe then something will be done.
      Have you been living under a rock for the last 20 years? This is already the status quo. Clearly nothing will ever be done.
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      I know nothing about patent law either. But whatever the ins and outs of it if the patent is ludicrous Apple is still not to blame. The patent system is.
    1. jmazz73's Avatar
      jmazz73 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tony9592 View Post
      Still a ridiculous patent.
      I agree. It also just opened the door for apple to start more lawsuits for other tablet makers using the same design. Guarteed Apple will go after Samsung first. Guess table mfg's will start having to design triangle or hexagon tablets
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      I know nothing about patent law either. But whatever the ins and outs of it, if the patent is ludicrous Apple is still not to blame. The patent system is.

      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post

      But, this is the company that is currently suing Amazon over the term App Store. Thank goodness Apple isn't in the grocery store business.
      Personally I think that's valid. Although the terms were already in existence, Apple 'coined the phrase' if you like.
    1. fatherq's Avatar
      fatherq -
      oh come on!! i certainly dont wanna see a triangle chop board in my kitchen..
    1. NakedFaerie's Avatar
      NakedFaerie -
      damn. I'm going to patent the shape everyone knows as a circle. Then I will sue everyone that eats an orange or has a car as the tires are circles.

      This is just pathetic. patenting a shape and getting it. I'm not sure which is more stupid Apple for doing it or the patent office for approving it.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Scott,

      You are right, under current patent law this is allowed; however, this is a prime example of why we need patent reform.

      I mean can you imagine Monsanto making GMO Corn, then claiming that they should be able to patent all Corn? Now this might sound ridiculous, but Monsanto tried essentially this, then when they only got the patent on GMO corn, they decided that if their product infected yours they could sue you to stop you from selling. Luckily we have now passed laws preventing them from doing that, in other words, we passed limited patent reform on GMO crops.

      The same holds true here, Apple modeled the iPad after numerous Sci-Fi products that were essentially tablets, which were rectangular and used rounded corners (see Star Trek, Planet of the Apes (I think it is), along with numerous others). Now, Apple wants to patent someone else's design. With the corn in the previous example, corn is God's or nature's design, in this case tablets are the design of various sci-fi writers. Additionally, there have been many other tablets before the iPad with a similar shape that were not successful, but were still put out there. So, there is no way that Apple should be allowed this patent and it can be challenged in court.
    1. Hillefied's Avatar
      Hillefied -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post

      ... The patent is broad like the horizon is wide, and will certainly lead to some very perplexed judges and companies across the globe as they inevitably are faced with lawsuits stemming from the new patent, that is if Apple actually decides to use the patent.
      I wonder how broad the patent is. Does it pertain to design elements of tablets, or does this encroach other peripherals like tablet PCs, netbooks, notebooks, ultrabooks, etc? It's a ridiculous thought that Apple could potential run themselves into the ground over patent wars and/or humiliate themselves when a judge throws their case out because the judge feels that its plain idiotic.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Good news for Dunder Mifflin/Sabre!!

      Also, false, Apple did not win a patent for "round-square rectangle". If you actually look at the patent you will see they are patenting the design in 3 dimensions, which includes the curvature of the back, not to mention the location and shape of the buttons and speaker grill. This patent is so unigue, it's not just the iPad in general, it's specifically the iPad 1!!

      So, I guess either the writers are really lazy in their research, or modmyi has been taken over the FanDroids.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      I know nothing about patent law either. But whatever the ins and outs of it, if the patent is ludicrous Apple is still not to blame. The patent system is.

      Yes, patent system is broken.
      But Apple is the one trying to exploit the system makes Apple just as guilty.
      And don't give me "if Apple did not do it others would", the thing is others didn't Apple DID.
    1. jerry69's Avatar
      jerry69 -
      its fairly simple..
      apple patented something every company and theirs have been doing for years.

      the baseball analogy is pretty accurate although extreme.

      cant wait for the first lawsuit to come out.. although im doubting it will,, i think its more for intimidation
    1. DannyZ83's Avatar
      DannyZ83 -
      So now companies will make tablets with sharp edges or start making square tablets with rounded edges?
    1. Jarolin Vargas's Avatar
      Jarolin Vargas -
      this isn't a patent for a shape. apple cant sue if someone made a sandwich with a rectangle shape and rounded corners. fix the title.
    1. scottjl's Avatar
      scottjl -
      yes. the patent system is broken. but look at apple's side of things. if they didn't put in for this patent to defend themselves (1) someone else could have put in for it and then sued apple or (2) company _______ could have produced a unit that looked exactly like an ipad physically and gotten away with it.

      all companies (that have a clue) file for the same types of patents, keeps the knock-off brands from duplicating something exactly.

      yes. it's sad that companies have to do things like this to protect themselves. but this is the system we're stuck with. it's sadder that "news" sites post this information up as troll "news" articles.

      disclaimer: i have a fair bit of experience with patents, copyrights and trademarks in the US.
    1. Dainelli's Avatar
      Dainelli -
      Are you sure Apple was granted a patent on the round corner rectangle?
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post


      Honestly though, I'm just excited for hexagon and oblique shaped tablets to show up.
      +1
    1. docmagoo2's Avatar
      docmagoo2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      damn. I'm going to patent the shape everyone knows as a circle. Then I will sue everyone that eats an orange or has a car as the tires are circles.

      This is just pathetic. patenting a shape and getting it. I'm not sure which is more stupid Apple for doing it or the patent office for approving it.
      Ah, but I'd defeat your case as oranges are roughly spherical and car tyres are cylindrical....