Haroon Q. Raja · Nov 14, 2012 at 07:00 am

Patent System Fail: All your Rectangle with Rounded Corners are Belong to Apple

In a move for which no level of facepalm can suffice, the USPTO granted Apple a patent for a rectangle with rounded corners last week. Regardless of how ridiculous it may sound, sadly it’s true. According to patent no. D670,286, design rights for a “portable display device” with an external shape that is a rectangle with rounded corners are now owned by Apple.

See for yourself:

Apple Rounded Rectangle Patent D670286

Note that only the solid line is part of the patented design; the dotted lines serve as mere reference, or more likely influence, to make it look more like a patentable product, but who exactly are they fooling here? The USPTO, apparently.

What makes it even more inexplicable is the fact that design patents are almost always quite specific, to the extent that anyone else would really need to replicate that particular design in order to infringe upon it. In this case however, nothing else but the rounded cornered rectangular shape is patented—no buttons, no back shape, no screen shape, not even the radius of the rounded corner. This in itself raises questions about the practical validity of this patent, and whether those in charge of putting a stamp on this patent application were under the influence or in the reality distortion field.

As most of you may know, this isn’t the first time Apple has resorted to something like this. The company has had a history of getting overly broad and non-essential patents, trying to license them to its competitors, and taking to court those who fail to comply. Such broad patents awarded to Apple in the past were at times deemed as invalid by the USPTO after further investigations but the damage was done by that time, in form of import bans on competitors for the products initially declared as infringing. In the end, it’s the consumers who suffer from all of this.

So what should be the course of action from here? As discussed recently by egzthunder1 in The Weekly Apple Fail Update, both the USPTO and the US justice system should take cues from the UK, extract their heads from their rears, and take a closer look at what is being examined before awarding a patent or a ruling. Untill that happens, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that Apple doesn’t start taking all tablet and smartphone manufacturers to court for infringing upon this one.

[Source: The Verge]
_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
TAGS:

Haroon Q. Raja

HQRaja is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Entrepreneur | Explorer | Mathematics Teacher | Web Developer | Technology Enthusiast Blogging: Founding Editor HQTech.co | Editor at AddictiveTips | Writer at XDA-Developers Portal Visit my Website | Subscribe on Facebook | Follow on Twitter | Add me on Google+ View HQRaja's posts and articles here.
GermainZ · Mar 30, 2015 at 02:41 pm · 3 comments

DexPatcher: Patch Android APKs Using Java

You've probably seen or installed modified applications, be it a patched dialer for your resolution or a custom WhatsApp version with added features. How do developers do that, though? A lot of the time, the applications' source code isn't even available, so how does it all work? We'll see that first, then take a look at a new tool that aims to make the process much easier, and finally compare it to the popular Xposed framework to see how they...

XDA NEWS
Emil Kako · Mar 30, 2015 at 01:53 pm · 2 comments

Is Cloud Storage Ready to Replace External Storage?

With more and more OEMs ditching SD cards on their flagships, cloud storage is becoming even more important in the mobile world. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive have already become widely adopted by the majority of smartphone users, but is cloud storage ready to replace external storage? Let us know your thoughts below.

DISCUSS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Mar 30, 2015 at 11:20 am · 1 comment

M9: Is Throttling a Non-issue? Can’t We Trust Benchmarks?

When the first reports of the M9 overheating came to light, many forum users began a collective joke-round calling the phone a popcorn machine, a grill, and other unoriginal remarks that we’ve seen with every device that presents sign of overheating, from gaming consoles to graphics cards. In this sense, the internet is not very inventive, and the cycle of rehashed jokes re-surfaces on different products every year or so. This time it was the M9’s turn and it was...

XDA NEWS
Share This