Feeds

Apple is granted a patent on the rectangle. No, really

Hey, you can still make one if it has sharp corners

Thinking of making a thing that is portable, has a display and is rectangular with rounded corners? Well, DON'T! You'll be infringing Apple's new design patent.

Apple already owns a design that describes an iPad-like slab with rounded corners, patent US D627,777. Now it's got another one and it's much simpler: behold US D670,286.

Filed in November 2010, '286 was published by the US Patent Office on 6 November this week. The scope of the patented design is defined by the eight submitted diagrams, which show a thin rectangular iPad-like device with rounded corners. Here it is:

Apple's design patent covers the solid black line

You can look but you can't touch copy this

The solid black line outlines the aspect of the design that is now patented. Broken lines are just added for context. So, essentially, that'll be just a rectangle with rounded corners protected, then.

The previous design patent was more detailed, and included various ridges and trim around the iPad, rather than this latest all-encompassing filing that just simply patents a rectangle with non-sharp corners.

It took 15 of Apple's finest to come up with this particular shape; iPad engineering manager Jody Akana, the late Steve Jobs and Sir Jony Ive are among those credited with creating the design.

Apple's protected rectangles are often used as a example of PATENTS GONE MAD, but it's no match for this gem from the US Patent Office Hall of Fame, "a method of exercising a cat", which describes the use of handheld laser-pointer for keeping friendly felines fit as a fiddle. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.