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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. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      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.



      Personally I think that's valid. Although the terms were already in existence, Apple 'coined the phrase' if you like.
      Not really. The word app has long been used as a shortening of application such as in PortableApps.com
    1. lkailburn's Avatar
      lkailburn -
      Wowwww. Do not like
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by scottjl View Post
      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.
      Don't justify Apple's doing with "others would do it too".
      The thing is other company didn't and Apple did this numerous time in many different countries.
      This is not protecting it's intellectual rights, Apple did this to stop other company from making a tablet!
      If anything Microsoft should be granted the patent for tablet, MS started the whole thing Apple owes MS money for stealing their idea.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      the patent is under the design patents but it still shouldn't have been granted because design patent cover ornamental designs, like the shape of the Coca Cola bottle and other unique shaped products.

      another issue is it even goes against UPSTO's own design patent application guide:

      Quote Originally Posted by UPSTO View Post
      design patents to any person who has invented any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture
      Quote Originally Posted by UPSTO View Post
      Improper Subject Matter for Design Patents

      A design for an article of manufacture that is dictated primarily by the function of the article lacks ornamentality and is not proper statutory subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 171. Specifically, if at the time the design was created, there was no unique or distinctive shape or appearance to the article not dictated by the function that it performs, the design lacks ornamentality and is not proper subject matter. In addition, 35 U.S.C. 171 requires that a design to be patentable must be “original.” Clearly a design that simulates a well-known or naturally occurring object or person is not original as required by the statute. Furthermore, subject matter that could be considered offensive to any race, religion, sex, ethnic group, or nationality is not proper subject matter for a design patent application (35 U.S.C. 171 and 37 CFR § 1.3).
      and seen as a rounded rectangle is well-know and used in a lot of things and is not a unique design, this patent is invalid

      Edit: if Appl£ has patented a rounded rectangle that is plano-convex then maybe it won't be much of an issue

      Edit: I found this which could mean it's not for just a rounded rectangle
    1. Cokeman's Avatar
      Cokeman -
      Every monitor, and tv I have in my house is a rectangle with round corners.
      This patent should not be allowed. Apple didn't invent it that's for sure. Most phones are rectangle shape, rounded corners. Some are more rounded than others. This is going to be a huge mess if Apple actually pushes this.
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      There is a driod tablet that is the spitting image of a iPad! Only diff is a slot for memory cards! Can't remember it's name but was for sale in PC world here in the uk
    1. vietkool's Avatar
      vietkool -
      Apple tries to get money from whom ever violate their patten so next few more year they dont have to product any idevice but still make profit from sueing otther companies LOL
    1. errrick's Avatar
      errrick -
      Attachment 615361

      brace yourselves, pyramids are coming
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      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.
      Yep. ignorance and lack of understanding patenting and trademarks can mislead a lot of people...

      They are so biased its unbelievable. Either they favor apple or make them look bad, when in reality this is a basic patent most companies have. It's not the shape as much as design.
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      Old news!!!

      But hey - go Triangles!!!!!!
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      You know who should sue the sh!t out of Apple is the original tablet with rounded corners. First introduced in the 1950's and then in 1988 as a device with an actual LCD display that could play games with cartridges. Most of us have used it at one point in our life. The Etch a Sketch.

      Here's a link. Etch A Sketch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Sure its low tech. But how low tech will the iPad seem in 25 to 50 years.
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      Yep. ignorance and lack of understanding patenting and trademarks can mislead a lot of people...

      They are so biased its unbelievable. Either they favor apple or make them look bad, when in reality this is a basic patent most companies have. It's not the shape as much as design.
      Lol you kind of contradict yourself there.
    1. Reeiiko's Avatar
      Reeiiko -
      Maybe they should also patent each letter in the name: i, p, a and d.
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      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.
      apple and no other company should have been awarded a patent such as this--even more so with apple since they have a habbit of filing for and being awarded "broad and vague" patents so that any device infringes.

      all this will do is encourage apple to file for more frivolous and baseless patents in an effort to harm competition--cause lets face it, apple will do anything and everything to hinder competition.
    1. wiiwet's Avatar
      wiiwet -
      they need to charge the patent more like $10k annual fees each or no annual fee to patents that is open to anyone.
    1. svolam's Avatar
      svolam -
      This is a good measure. Because just in a few years every country in the world can start their own patenting laws and start suing US companies like Apple. I know that many Indian products were patented in and by US which is ridiculous. If they are going to allow patents for square, rectangle and circle, no one is going to accept those patents. First they must define what is the 'new and unique' thing about a patent application. It does not mean that if someone claims for the first time, they become the owners of that.