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Apple wins Smart Cover, Time Machine patents

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Apple was granted a bevy of patents on Tuesday including Smart Cover and Time Machine interface properties.

Apple won a total of 25 patents on Tuesday, representing a mix of software, hardware and GUI design applications.

One of the more recognized patents is the company's Smart Cover for the iPad which features a unique magnetic closure system that automatically powers the tablet on and off.

In the filing, U.S. Design Patent D658,186, a simple claim to the ornamental design for the cover and not the mechanics involved in interfacing with the iPad.

Prominently featured in the accompanying images are the fold points that allow the Smart Cover to fold into a tablet stand.

First introduced alongside the iPad 2, Apple's Smart Cover has become a hot-selling accessory that is compatible with the third-generation iPad.


Smart Cover
Smart Cover patent. | Source: USPTO


An application for Apple's Time Machine data backup program was also granted and describes a graphical user interface that allows a user to easily move between current data and previous saved versions of said data.

Included in U.S. Patent 8,166,415 are various UIs not currently used in Time Machine like the "Timeline Stack" which is basically a stack of tiled windows and the curious "Timeline Book" shown below.

Time Machine
Illustration of the "Timeline Book." | Source: USPTO


Other patents issued involve power adapter technology and design, various software patents including one involving iTunes rentals and electrical engineering properties.
post #2 of 15
Does the smart cover patent cover cases for the iPad alone, or tablets all together? Because it wasn't that long after the smart cover first premiered that Samsung's flagship tab had their own smart cover that blatantly ripped off Apple's design.
post #3 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoanderson View Post

Does the smart cover patent cover cases for the iPad alone, or tablets all together? Because it wasn't that long after the smart cover first premiered that Samsung's flagship tab had their own smart cover that blatantly ripped off Apple's design.

 

It is very unlikely (almost unthinkable) that the patent would cover only cases for the iPad. You always want to write your patents in generic form so that they have the broadest possible coverage.

In addition, if they tried to patent a case specifically for the iPad, that would suggest that they didn't think the patent applied to other tablets - which would raise serious questions about novelty.

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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #4 of 15

samsung would never rip apple designs/patents off..come on...ha

post #5 of 15
I just want to clarify that Samsung didn't manufacture the smart cover clone -- one of their accessory makers did -- but it was just another case of the competition trying to blur the line between iPads and everything else.
post #6 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoanderson View Post

Does the smart cover patent cover cases for the iPad alone, or tablets all together? Because it wasn't that long after the smart cover first premiered that Samsung's flagship tab had their own smart cover that blatantly ripped off Apple's design.

 

If you search Amazon, there are actually products that use the name "SmartCover" that functionally and visually duplicate Apple's SmartCover design. I think Apple will probably go after these people with a vengeance.

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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

If you search Amazon, there are actually products that use the name "SmartCover" that functionally and visually duplicate Apple's SmartCover design. I think Apple will probably go after these people with a vengeance.

Good. I'm all for healthy competition, and while I still think charging $70 for a smart cover is outrageous, you aren't really innovating when you buy an Apple product, dissect it, and build a 99.9% similar product and sell it under a different name for $10 less.
post #8 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

 

If you search Amazon, there are actually products that use the name "SmartCover" that functionally and visually duplicate Apple's SmartCover design. I think Apple will probably go after these people with a vengeance.

 

Depends. if it is for the iPad and they licensed with Apple to use the term and the style then they are in the clear. 

 

if not then yeah Apple will bring it on. If only because this has the real threat of becoming a generic term for any folding into a stand cover, any cover that does something to the tablet when you close it or both. kind of like how that Samsung related company treated it. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #9 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

 

Depends. if it is for the iPad and they licensed with Apple to use the term and the style then they are in the clear. 

 

if not then yeah Apple will bring it on. If only because this has the real threat of becoming a generic term for any folding into a stand cover, any cover that does something to the tablet when you close it or both. kind of like how that Samsung related company treated it. 

 

Since when has Apple licensed any of their design patents?

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #10 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

 

If you search Amazon, there are actually products that use the name "SmartCover" that functionally and visually duplicate Apple's SmartCover design. I think Apple will probably go after these people with a vengeance.

 

Indeed:

 

http://ozakiverse.com/

xAD26.jpg.pagespeed.ic.K4Teei1liF.jpg

Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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post #11 of 15
If you look at Apple's patent filing there are references to InCase.
post #12 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHD View Post

I'm sorry fb's but the Smart Cover is itself a copy of the InCase Convertible Magazine Jacket.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/03/apple-ipad-2-smart-cover-vs-incase-convertible-magazine-jacket/
 

Now all that needs to be done is Apple buy InCase to complete the Apple cycle.

 

So all you need to do is show that:
1. The InCase product was on the market before Apple filed for the SmartCover patent.

and

2. The InCase product uses the specific features shown in Apple's design patent.


If you can do both of those things, you could argue that the patent is not valid. Simply claiming that they look similar is not sufficient. And the fact that Apple specifically cites the InCase design in their design patent filing makes it almost impossible to invalidate the patent. The examiner had access to that product's information at the time the patent was filed, so arguing that they missed prior art won't work.

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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #13 of 15

The Smart Cover is a copy of InCase, no question about it.
 

post #14 of 15

Exactly what is being patented here?  The USPTO site won't show me any of the TIFs.

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 15

Apple now has a trademark on "smart cover" to go along with their patent.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/.a/6a0120a5580826970c0163062c03f2970d-pi

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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