Feeds

Apple scores 'power connector' patent

Priapic IP

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Apple was recently granted a patent for a device it calls a "power connector."

However, the device is so substantially similar to a standard automotive 12-volt power plug - in less health-conscious days called a cigarette-lighter adapter - that the penetrating intelligence of the US Patent and Trademark Office would surely not grant a patent for it if that were, indeed, its sole purpose.

After all, the USPTO defines a patent - or, more specifically, a utility patent, as "a new, useful, and nonobvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof."

A connector designed to draw power from a car's 12-volt plug is certainly neither new nor nonobvious - even when it's defined as an "ornamental design."

Apple power-connector patent illustration

Apple's power connector

Our puzzlement at this patent faded, however, when we viewed the images submitted with the application.

Patent #D585375 is clearly an industrial-strength rubber johnny.

But Apple claims it to be a power connector - but it's neither a new nor nonobvious one, so how could it be patentable?

Then we realized that Cupertino's puckish consumer-electronistas could simply be toying with the Queen's English, offering alternative and euphemistic meanings for the terms "power" and "connector."

After all, a French letter has nothing to do with Gallic postal service.

The exceptionally concise patent filing gives no clues other than its title as to the device's intended us. It does, however, list among its 16 inventors Apple's premier designer, Jonathan P. Ive.

And come to think of it, Mr. Ive is most often referred to by his nickname, Johnny.

We rest our case. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
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.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.