Feeds

Apple patents OS X Dock

Do you hear war drums?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Apple has patented the OS X Dock, nearly a decade after the operating system made its public debut with a new slant on the taskbar.

The late arrival isn't due to a lack of initiative, however. Apple applied for the patent December 20, 1999, and it was approved by the US Patent Office only yesterday.

Apple summarizes the Dock as a "user interface for providing consolidation and access." The patent (available here) puts a particular focus on the Dock's ability to magnify icons to a predetermined size when the cursor is near, the user's ability to rearrange icons, and the way it overlaps the desktop and active windows. Other touches such as indicating which applications are running, label tiles appearing on mouse-over, and the ability to drag and drop files into applications on the Dock are also described.

The patent credits inventors Steve Jobs, Bas Ording, and Donald Lindsay.

Apple has regarded the Dock as the focus of OS X's user interface from the beginning. There can be little doubt Cupertino is happy to have its hands on the legal rights.

The big question here is: What's next?

Historically, Apple hasn't exactly been shy about pursuing legal action against those it considers infringing on its patent portfolio. This could be bad news for imitators such as ObjectDock, RocketDock, Avant Windows Navigator, and others.

An Apple spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment. We'll just have to put our ears to the ground and listen for war drums sounding from Cupertino. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.