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Apple Patents Design of the MacBook Air

By - Source: USPTO | B 56 comments

We all know that Intel has not invented the Ultrabook - perhaps it invented the name, but certainly not the form factor (even if Intel says that Ultrabooks are not just about the size, but about the user experience.)

Apple just patented the design of the MacBook Air, which is really the image we imagine when we talk about an Ultrabook.

Patent infringements on ornamental designs are not pursued as often as technology patents, and it is unlikely that Apple would go after Intel as long as the chipmaker is delivering the hardware for its computers, but this patent surely is interesting in the light of Intel's $300 million fund to support the launch of its Ultrabook idea. Could go Apple go after Acer, Asus and Samsung, once those firms are releasing Ultrabooks? Possibly.

However, history has told us that PCs look different than Apple computers and there may not be really an issue as Ultrabooks are unlikely to resemble the visual appeal of the MacBook Air.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    tsnorquist , August 17, 2011 4:46 PM
    There seriously needs to be some patent reform in this country.
  • 20 Hide
    ionut19 , August 17, 2011 4:41 PM
    I have a question, how can you patent a generic screen, a generic keyboard and a generic touch pad?
    I asked my mother, "Do you see this laptop?" and she said "Isn't it like your sister's?", witch is a dell laptop . My sister does not have apple products and my mother is not an expert in tech stuff. So i would say, how can you patent a generic laptop design?

    I don't see anything different that stands out from other laptops.
  • 20 Hide
    HansVonOhain , August 17, 2011 4:21 PM
    Apple is one greedy ass company. They will sue anyone that remotely touches that shape or logo.
Other Comments
    Display all 56 comments.
  • 16 Hide
    icepick314 , August 17, 2011 4:16 PM
    don't forget to put buttons below the trackpad...

    problem averted!!!!!!!
  • 20 Hide
    mister g , August 17, 2011 4:17 PM
    and it is unlikely that Apple would go after Intel as long as the chipmaker is delivering the hardware for its computers

    Apple went after Samsung, the chip manufacterer of every one of Apple's iDevices. Since Intel is pushing the ultrabook design if Apple gets this patented and sues Intel I think there will be a huge falling out over this (hey Apple already uses Radeons in its Macs).
  • 20 Hide
    HansVonOhain , August 17, 2011 4:21 PM
    Apple is one greedy ass company. They will sue anyone that remotely touches that shape or logo.
  • 13 Hide
    Miharu , August 17, 2011 4:27 PM
    It's a copy of my old Dell except it's not slim as picture.
    The picture also look like a Netbook.

    Such patient shouldn't be accorded in first place.
  • 20 Hide
    ionut19 , August 17, 2011 4:41 PM
    I have a question, how can you patent a generic screen, a generic keyboard and a generic touch pad?
    I asked my mother, "Do you see this laptop?" and she said "Isn't it like your sister's?", witch is a dell laptop . My sister does not have apple products and my mother is not an expert in tech stuff. So i would say, how can you patent a generic laptop design?

    I don't see anything different that stands out from other laptops.
  • 5 Hide
    ulysses35 , August 17, 2011 4:45 PM
    Yet another reason not to buy apple products, what they sell you looks nice but doesnt perform as well as other manufacturers kit which usually costs less.

    The (cr)apple decide when they loose some of their market to sue everyone for patent infringement. Harldy an ethical move by a company that claims to be the be all and do all of the tech / audio world.
  • 20 Hide
    tsnorquist , August 17, 2011 4:46 PM
    There seriously needs to be some patent reform in this country.
  • 5 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 17, 2011 4:46 PM
    Quote:
    However, history has told us that PCs look different than Apple computers and there may not be really an issue as Ultrabooks are unlikely to resemble the visual appeal of the MacBook Air.


    Honestly, I never understood what's so "appealing" about MBs in general and MB Air in particular... it's just a boring white laptop. Asus VX series is WAY better looking.
  • 4 Hide
    DjEaZy , August 17, 2011 4:51 PM
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-intel-future-roadmap-macbook,12780.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ultrabook-notebook-fund-investment-capital,13207.html
    ... so intel don't copy it... read articles to see, what i think with that...
  • 15 Hide
    iwantamd7970 , August 17, 2011 4:54 PM
    So why can't the guy who made the clamshell laptop sue everyone else?
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , August 17, 2011 4:54 PM
    I'm really curious what's keeping any other manufacturer from putting obsolete hardware in an attractive case, dumbing down the UI and charging three times what the machine's worth.
  • 1 Hide
    captainnemojr , August 17, 2011 5:05 PM
    Wow, I'm going to get a kindergartner to draw me a generic picture of something and apply for a patent and get it approved. Is that a dog, a cat, or a horse? Oh well, you own the patent for all 3 now!
  • -1 Hide
    _Pez_ , August 17, 2011 5:14 PM
    Just Ridiculous !!! and of course apple is going after Acer. I knew it.
  • -2 Hide
    sunflier , August 17, 2011 5:22 PM
    How does Apple become wealthiest company? Good products? No. Clever Marketing? No. Local Apple Stores? No. Sue anyone who steps on their Patent toes? Yes!
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , August 17, 2011 5:38 PM
    ulysses35Yet another reason not to buy apple products, what they sell you looks nice but doesnt perform as well as other manufacturers kit which usually costs less.The (cr)apple decide when they loose some of their market to sue everyone for patent infringement. Harldy an ethical move by a company that claims to be the be all and do all of the tech / audio world.

    Especially since that is how they caught Their second wind (the Macs). They ripped off the Xerox Star, complete with single button mouse.
  • 3 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , August 17, 2011 5:40 PM
    Honestly, Apple isn't doing anything here that any other big technology company hasn't already done, or is doing themselves. So I just dot understand why people get so upset when Apple does it.

    Having said that, I will agree that patent system in this country needs a reform. Its old, outdated, and not ready for the technology world.
  • 9 Hide
    malikxaxu , August 17, 2011 5:51 PM
    The Patent Law provides for the granting of design patents to any person who has invented any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A design patent protects only the appearance of the article and not its structural or utilitarian features.

    So... before anyone rants about this, I suggest you take a look at ALL the figures included in the patent; there are 42 which explicitely define the design monopoly granted to Apple.

    BTW I am not an APPLE FANBOY and do not onw any Apple products.
  • 1 Hide
    bv90andy , August 17, 2011 6:14 PM
    Apple is really evil on this, they managed to ban the samsung tablet because it was also a thin rectangle. now they mean to say that they invented the thin laptop? It isn't an invention, or innovation, it's just the advancement of technology. I hope they go the way of Tim Langdel.
  • 1 Hide
    jecastej , August 17, 2011 6:20 PM
    Take it with reserves as I can't remember where I read it days ago. It was, Apple the one asking INTEL for higher efficiency processors and as a response INTEL created the 300 million initiative they called "ultrabooks". As I remember It was something like "if you don't provide us (Apple) with higher efficiency processors we are going to look else where (ARM or AMD?)". Remember the AIR was the first machine to include the low powered Core2 1.4 GHz INTEL mobile processor. But now Apple is pushing its entire line of Mac Books to be an AIR like form factor including 15' model rumors. Also Apple comment said they were looking for close to 10 hours constant use for most of their line.

    With respect of design I think every company should develop its own image and don't try to mimic others emerging designs. Arguing tablets or ultra-books have a default design is trying to ignore why we have a difference appearance and why it represents an advantage.

    Design have been a powerful distinction fundament of mayor civilizations and a great contribution. Today, design is key in the entire industry, so why go blind now with tablets or ultrabooks? Because, not for the best user experience or advantage most companies are chasing some Apple designs. I am sure in the next incarnations we will see key design differences in tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks. Saying this I think the SAMSUNG tablets look very impressive, even better than the iPad, I just can't ignore they are Apple based. I don't have an iPad or an AIR and I am not temped yet with tablets, with the AIR, not even.
  • 0 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , August 17, 2011 6:26 PM
    I think this patent falls under an obvious design therefore should not be granted. Apple can apply for it all it wants, it should not get this patent.

    Otherwise capitalism will be replace by monopolies made through the systematic undermining of the patent system. Patents are a good thing, but this patent application just takes advantage of the process to get an undeserved competitive market advantage.
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