In the course of AppleInsider's proprietary investigation into the iPod Hi-Fi and iPod Boombox trademarks, it came upon a patent filed overseas for a unique mouse design that sports a rotary dial.
The application was filed in September of 2002 and likely represents one of the company's initial design attempts at a multi-functional mouse. Apple, which refused to ship a multi-button mouse for over two decades, eventually did finalize a multi-functional, multi-button mouse that it introduced last year as Mighty Mouse.
The design of the mouse with rotary dial is credited to Brian Huppi of San Carlos, Calif. In providing a description of the device for the filing, Huppi said, "The rotary dial is configured to provide a control function (or functions) for performing an action (or actions) on a display screen. [...] The control function may be widely varied. For example, the control function may be used to control various applications associated with the computer system to which the mouse is connected."
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News source: AppleInsider