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  • Apple Secures Patent for Design Envisioned by Jobs and Ive


    If you thought that Apple's appetite for passion wasn't going to stop with the 1,136 patents that Apple took possession of in 2012, you're right. Apple has just secured a patent for a glass-on-metal trackpad design partially envisioned by the late Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, the man who serves as Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design and is often described as the "spiritual successor" for Steve Jobs.

    Granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Patent No. D674382 is known only as "Portable Computer." But apart from this altogether vague title, the patent application does point to some specific information regarding what Apple has actually obtained here.

    What Apple has secured, in essence, is a patent for a glass trackpad to be placed on top of an aluminum unibody enclosure (think MacBooks). Despite this relatively simple design, documents show that Apple has been angling to secure this particular patent for more than four years now.

    It should also be noted that Jobs and Ive are not listed as the lone inventors of the aforementioned design. Thirteen other names are tacked on to the patent application. They include: Bartley K. Andre, Daniel J. Coster, Daniele De luliis, Evans Hankey, Richard P. Howart, Duncan Robert Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas B. Satzger, Christopher J. Stringer, Eugene Antony Whang, and Rico Zorkendorfer.

    The patent filing can be reviewed in full here.

    Source: USPTO (via Apple Insider)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Secures Patent for Design Envisioned by Jobs and Ive started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      How the heck could they have patented this? I could have thought of this. It's just like having a glass touch screen but instead it's a trackpad. The aluminum makes no difference. Should I go patent putting computers on aluminum tables?
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      How the heck could they have patented this? I could have thought of this. It's just like having a glass touch screen but instead it's a trackpad. The aluminum makes no difference. Should I go patent putting computers on aluminum tables?
      Dude people think of everything but unless you actually patent it it doesn't matter who thought of what first.
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      pretty dumb.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Not sure why people get upset about patents. That's the way big business works. Apples track pad works 10000000x better than any trackpad on windows.

      If you invent something and is something I see no reason not to patent it. As stupid as I seems but these little things are what make a product vision come together.

      As a consumer it seems silly and petty, as a business person anytime you can prevent someone else from using your ideas is better.
    1. td1439's Avatar
      td1439 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      How the heck could they have patented this?
      You're talking about the company that's patented rounded corners and the color grey. This at least is a product that had to be developed. Simple, sure, but it combines function and design in a specific way. Not every patent Apple gets is ridiculous.
    1. REMED1AL's Avatar
      REMED1AL -
      I get the impression the glass track pad is more than it appears. Initial guess is it will double as a screen and may offer quick links just as our pull down menu on the iPhone does now a bit like a constant home screen on any site that can be modified by the app in use.

      Later development will probably replace the keyboard as well and act and a "control" panel. When mixing music your the glass track pad becomes a sound board. While in word it will be a keyboard with access to all formatting at your finger tips. While playing your favorite game it will be a 1-off control center. While playing a flight simulator your glass screen becomes cockpit controls. Just a thought.

      The great thing about the iPhone is it very much becomes what ever you want it to be at the time and still multitasks all the other stuff. This would begin to move computers into the same direction. Rather then use a program that works with the OS rather than become it. The keyboard, track pad and entire device become focused on the task at hand while still maintaining all other things.
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by td1439 View Post
      You're talking about the company that's patented rounded corners and the color grey. This at least is a product that had to be developed. Simple, sure, but it combines function and design in a specific way. Not every patent Apple gets is ridiculous.
      I agree that a patent for how exactly it works should be perfectly permissible. I haven't looked into it elsewhere; however, the way this article prevented it, it seems like a simple design patent for glass trackpads on aluminum. Which is ridiculous.

      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      Apples track pad works 10000000x better than any trackpad on windows.
      No
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      I'm ticked that mmi is just as ignorant and tries portraying apple as some patent troll because it appeals to other users.

      Do none of you know what a business is? Hell if you guys saw all the patents the government owned you would flip but all you see are apples and you think it's a big deal but once you realize EVERY business patents all their ideas/visions you won't flip..
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Isn't this what the Magic Trackpad is, already; aluminum body w/ a glass surface???
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      I'm ticked that mmi is just as ignorant and tries portraying apple as some patent troll because it appeals to other users.

      Do none of you know what a business is? Hell if you guys saw all the patents the government owned you would flip but all you see are apples and you think it's a big deal but once you realize EVERY business patents all their ideas/visions you won't flip..
      Not really. I'm quite clear on my position that the entire patent system is messed up. Apple isn't the only one abusing it. This is a forum about them however, and that's what we're discussing.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post

      No
      Great argument. And yes they do

      Pc track pads are sluggish, and there multi touch is a joke. Apples track pad is smooth precise and the multi touch is second to none.

      I was a big track pad hater until I got a Mac. Now it's all I use
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      Great argument. And yes they do
      In case you didn't notice my argument was satire on your just as terrible argument.

      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      Pc track pads are sluggish, and there multi touch is a joke. Apples track pad is smooth precise and the multi touch is second to none.

      I was a big track pad hater until I got a Mac. Now it's all I use
      I assume you've tried every PC trackpad out there? Mine is precise, smooth, and the multi touch works great. I believe that there are some things on the mac where the multi-touch is smoother, but that is just software. I've used some applications where the multitouch on the trackpad works just as fine.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      In case you didn't notice my argument was satire on your just as terrible argument.



      I assume you've tried every PC trackpad out there? Mine is precise, smooth, and the multi touch works great. I believe that there are some things on the mac where the multi-touch is smoother, but that is just software. I've used some applications where the multitouch on the trackpad works just as fine.
      Well it was a statement and one I beleive to be correct. Every Mac trackpad is good but most are crap on windows. I've never came across one that is a fluid, smooth and precise. Then again I haven't had many laptops.

      But yes for the most part track pads that come on pcs suck in comparison to apple track pads.

      This is my personal opinion and your entitled to your own as well
    1. Gamemaster77's Avatar
      Gamemaster77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      Well it was a statement and one I beleive to be correct. Every Mac trackpad is good but most are crap on windows. I've never came across one that is a fluid, smooth and precise. Then again I haven't had many laptops.

      But yes for the most part track pads that come on pcs suck in comparison to apple track pads.

      This is my personal opinion and your entitled to your own as well
      What do you mean by fluid, smooth, and precise? For using it to zoom in and stuff? That's all software.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gamemaster77 View Post
      What do you mean by fluid, smooth, and precise? For using it to zoom in and stuff? That's all software.
      Idk how else to explain it. Using the trackpad in general with anything. Any program, navigation, scrolling.

      Yes I is software but its also the ability for hardware to talk to the software through drivers. Osx driver architecture and also fact that osx is built to work with one set of hardware is what makes the apple trackpad better.

      You can argue that you can't say the apple track pad is better if it requires osx , but hardware is only as good as the software it's used on and visa versa.

      Apple track pad is the first trackpad I enjoy over a mouse. I've only been a Mac user for a year now and a trackpad user for less. My girlfriend has a pretty powerful 2300 dollar laptop and the trackpad is a joke in comparison.

      Not saying that some pcs have good trackpads but apple track pads are just dead on.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      Isn't this what the Magic Trackpad is, already; aluminum body w/ a glass surface???
      That is correct sir.