The United States Patent and Trademark Office
If you want to know just how broken the patent system is, just look at patent D670,713
, filed by Apple and approved this week by the United States Patent Office.
This design patent, titled, “Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface,” gives Apple the exclusive rights to the page turn in an e-reader application.
Yes, that’s right. Apple now owns the page turn. You know, as when you turn a page with your hand. An “interface” that has been around for hundreds of years in physical form. I swear I’ve seen similar animation in Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons.
(This is where readers are probably checking the URL of this article to make sure it’s The New York Times
and not The Onion
Apple argued that its patented page turn was unique in that it had a special type of animation other page-turn applications had been unable to create.
The patent comes with three illustrations to explain how the page-turn algorithm works. In Figure 1, the corner of a page can be seen folding over. In Figure 2, the page is turned a little more. I’ll let you guess what Figure 3 shows.
Of course this isn’t the most seemingly obvious patent Apple has been awarded in recent years. The company has also been granted patents for an icon for music
(which is a just a musical note), the glass staircase
used in the company’s stores – yes, stairs, that people walk up — and for the packaging of its iPhone
The patent to own the page turn was just one of 38 patents granted
to Apple this week. Among the others there was a “Skin tone aware color boost for cameras,” “Location-based categorical information services” and a “Consistent backup of electronic information.”
The page-turn patent was filed in December 2011, but was approved this week. It claims three inventors: Elizabeth Caroline Cranfill, Stephen Lemay and Mikio Inose.
Apple in the past has filed multiple suits
against smartphone makers in the United States for infringement of other Apple patents.http://bits.blogs.ny...-the-page-turn/