Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Patents Portables Apple

Apple Granted Broad Patent On Wedge-Shaped Laptops 326

Nick Fel writes "Apple has been granted a broad patent (PDF) on the wedge-shaped design of the MacBook Air. The design has been copied by most ultrabooks, and their manufacturers are likely starting to feel a little uneasy about the news."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Granted Broad Patent On Wedge-Shaped Laptops

Comments Filter:
  • Look-and-feel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:48PM (#40260091)

    I thought it was determined in Apple v. Microsoft (windows) that you cannot patent or copyright the "look and feel" of software or hardware?

  • Re:Awesome... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @02:06PM (#40260309)

    (1) What "icon" is KingBenny talking about? I don't see any.

    (2) Excellent point. The Constitution provides for "limited exclusive rights" for inventors/authors to promote production, but history is now showing that it has the opposite effect of stagnating creativity (and locking-up control in a few megacorps) for 20 or 100+ years. Thomas Jefferson was right to propose amending the constitution to insert a time limit on copyrights/patents.

    "Article 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding -- years, but for no longer term, and no other purpose."

  • Re:Awesome... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by djchristensen ( 472087 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:28PM (#40261327)

    Without some sane form of protection (current system != sane), you run the risk of the copycats making most of the money, leaving true innovators struggling to fund future innovations. Say you owned a company and spent several years developing the best widget since sliced bread, then some Chinese company immediately cloned it and sold it for half what you could sell it for, would you still be railing against IP protections? I think not.

    That doesn't mean you should be allowed to get a patent on some painfully obvious idea, but that's an issue with implementation, not with the actual concept of IP protections.

  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:41PM (#40261469)

    The summary is complete bullshit, this patent is a design patent, a very narrow patent on the exact look of the macbook air, not a broad patent on a "wedge shaped laptops".

  • Re:Awesome... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:45PM (#40261517)

    Wedge laptops before the air? name a few please.

    The real neat concept of the air is to have a small narrow board across the back of the computer with all the components. The thin front half of the air is a thin battery pack (like a cell phone) instead of traditional thicker packs found on most laptops. Seriously look up the inside of an air. Its pretty innovative, there isn't even a separate "drive" area, the ssd storage is directly on the board.

    That said, I don't think apple should care if other companies copy this. They should look at it as validation they are doing something well.

    Disclosure, I wasn't a apple fan until I got an air a few months ago. yea yea blah blah apple is expensive can get same cpu ram blah blah for half price. I like it, and being a good programmer I can more than afford it. i don't use a mouse (usually laptop is not on a desk), the LARGE multitouch input and gestures save me a ton of time. And name me one 13" laptop I can get for the same price, weight, and screen resolution(and quality). My work laptop (windows 7) is 17" and has a lower resolution.

  • Re:Awesome... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rilister ( 316428 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:05PM (#40263889)

    I think you're arguing that Apple shouldn't be allowed to patent their designs because they are too simple, right? Their 'efficiency' is the problem. I can't imagine how you'd decide whose designs are 'complex enough' to be worthy of protection.

    I've looked at this patent 3 times and I don't see how you decided that Apple are doing what you say they are: it's honestly just a set of pictures of their product. There's no 'claims'. In the text they describe it as "an ornamental design". I think you're saying that it's not ornamental because it's too simple, but what can be done about that? Disallow simple design from any protection? Force Apple to add curlicues?

    At the end of the day, the decisions on infringement are made by a court based on whether it would cause confusion with customers. On the issue of wedge-shaped computers, there is plenty of prior art (passim) that means this is not a 'wedge-shaped' land-grab, and wouldn't work if it was. Design patents do not include prior art searches, AFAIK.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus