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#1 (Spork)

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 22:37

There's been a lot of talk over the last couple of years — especially by Samsung during the course of its recent patent infringement trial — that Apple has obtained design patent coverage on rectangular devices with rounded corners. While that may not have been true before, it is now. The US Patent and Trademark Office issued patent no. D670,286 to Apple yesterday and it really does cover the outer edge shape of a device. There's no other way to look at it.

As we've explained before, the scope of a design patent is defined by the drawings, and the solid lines are what counts —the dashed lines are just there for context. As you can see below, the 'D286 patent has a lot of gratuitous context but just a single solid line defining what is being protected.

Previous design patents on the iPad and iPhone have included at least one additional feature in solid lines — like the home button, the back surface contour, the bezel shape,the side profile, or the edge-to-edge screen. This one ignores all of that and simply focuses on the shape of that peripheral edge. It's a broad patent. Really broad. Granted, an argument can be made that the horizontal and vertical lengths of the solid edge line in the drawings limits the patent coverage to a specific proportional design that excludes tablets with different aspect ratios, but you wouldn't want that to be your primary defense

Will Apple ever use this patent against its competitors? Maybe, but there's an inherent downside to asserting a patent like this: it's vulnerable to invalidity arguments. The narrower a patent is the harder it is to find prior art devices or publications that have everything you need to knock it out. Conversely, the broader the patent the easier it is to come up with something that a judge or jury (or even the patent office) can use to invalidate it. Even though Apple submitted hundreds of prior art documents while this patent was being reviewed by the USPTO, it sure feels like a weapon too fragile for battle. It could very well just be a let's-see-what-we-can-get patent with no real offensive future. We'll see.

http://www.theverge....rounded-corners


#2 Som

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 22:45

Posted Image

#3 Growled

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 00:13

That's just plain silly.

#4 Ice_Blue

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:23

There's been a lot of talk over the last couple of years — especially by Samsung during the course of its recent patent infringement trial — that Apple has obtained design patent coverage on rectangular devices with rounded corners. While that may not have been true before, it is now. The US Patent and Trademark Office issued patent no. D670,286 to Apple yesterday and it really does cover the outer edge shape of a device. There's no other way to look at it.

Read it at The Verge

#5 Pam14160

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:33

Darn, I hadn't really realized that Apple had invented the rectangle. . .go figure; again learning something new.

#6 redvamp128

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:36

Was already posted by spork...

http://www.neowin.ne...ounded-corners/


This is a case where the patent office needs to realize-- this has been patented before...


http://www.google.co...epage&q&f=false

Should be thrown out and that one is a patent from 1991

#7 redvamp128

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:39

http://www.google.co...epage&q&f=false


1991 Already done by someone else.

#8 Enron

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:41

This is great news!

#9 Open Minded

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:43

I read the title and thought this was going to be in the jokes and funny section.

#10 notuptome2004

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:44

So i am gonan just say it but i think we need to go and Paten all the other weird shapes before apples does .

Imagine the iPad 7 looking like a Stop sigh

#11 Buttus

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:48

i'm going to patent the shape of the oxygen molecule... now all you breathing things need to pay up!

#12 +virtorio

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:57

http://www.google.co...epage&q&f=false


1991 Already done by someone else.

Not the same, the short edges on that a totally curved.

#13 +Chris123NT

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:07

Now watch them go sue every single other phone manufacturer because they invented a shape LOL.

#14 redvamp128

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:34

Not the same, the short edges on that a totally curved.


Yes but enough - this would prove that there was/is prior art and the patent should not be made to stand

#15 richardsim7

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:35

Holy **** I thought this was going to be an article from The Onion. Wow...



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