Sci/Tech Apple finally gets its patent on a rectangle with rounded corners

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member

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.

Read more here.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
This is ridiculous. How stupid has the world become that one can patent a form or shape. I really hope this is a joke or some kind of marketing gag with no actual influence.
 

Hatebreeder

So many apples
I'll create a tombstone in that shape and I get sued?
The shape itself is patented. So yes, you'll be sued.
I wonder what happens to all the paintings and frames that use round shapes. It's pretty common in pop art for people to use round edges.

This is fucking stupid. Fuck you Apple.
 

Dan

The New Helper.Net gives me great Anxiety... o.O;;
I...don't...understand...
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
My table is shaped like that. Oh god... my computer monitor, my computer's case... soap, calculator everything in my house is infringing!
 

Slapshot136

Divide et impera
I need to go patent the wheel before anyone else - perhaps I can also get a patent for the internet at the same time

edit: maybe I can just sue the patent office?
 

Nyph

Occasional News Reader
Lol overbroad patents are just going to destroy the patenting system. Wonder how long its gonna take though.
 
No matter where I read this news, no matter what language I read this news, there's been comments everywhere about patenting breathing/air. Wtf? Yes, patenting a design and something we need for living is very same thing.
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
No matter where I read this news, no matter what language I read this news, there's been comments everywhere about patenting breathing/air. Wtf? Yes, patenting a design and something we need for living is very same thing.
They are probably meant to patent one of the unidentified molecules that exists in 0.0008% of the air we breathe in.
 
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