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Apple patents Siri microphone icon

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
After over a year of examination, Apple was awarded the design rights for Siri's microphone icon seen by iPhone and iPad users since the virtual assistant was first introduced in 2011.

Siri Icon
Source: USPTO


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple's ornamental design patent claim which shows a single line drawing of the floating microphone surrounded by a bezeled circle, and describes the property as the "front view of a display screen or portion thereof" showing the new design.

Apple designer Freddy Anzures and user interface designer Alessandro Francesco Sabatelli are credited as the icon's inventors, with the patent application first filed on Oct. 4, 2011, the same day that Siri was unveiled alongside the iPhone 4.

Apple's website refers to the icon in its Siri FAQ webpage:

The microphone icon lights up to let you know that Siri hears you talking. Once you?ve started a dialogue with Siri, tap the microphone icon to talk to it again.


Siri


The design itself is reminiscent of the distinctive ribbon-type microphones made by RCA in the 1940's, which were subsequently copied by various audio product makers like Crown.

RCA Type 77
Vintage RCA Type 77-DX microphone. | Source: Los Angeles Guitar Shop


Although still technically a beta product, Apple's Siri virtual assistant is one of the most well-known pieces of voice-recognizing technology seen on a modern consumer device. First debuted as the standout feature of the iPhone 4S, Siri is now available on the iPhone 5, the third and fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
post #2 of 15

That would be this one:

 

1000

 

Yee-hah.

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post #3 of 15
"...Oct. 4, 2011, the same day that Siri was unveiled alongside the iPhone 4."

"First debuted as the standout feature of the iPhone 4S..."

Pick one, not both

 

 


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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

That would be this one:

 

1000

 

Yee-hah.

 

lol. i'm sure samsung can argue that there is no other possible way to symbolize a voice recognition system than to use an icon resembling a vintage RCA microphone from the 1940's.

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

lol. i'm sure samsung can argue that there is no other possible way to symbolize a voice recognition system than to use an icon resembling a vintage RCA microphone from the 1940's.

Ah, But THEIRS doesn't have a circle around it, and that makes all the difference.

That's innovation!
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post #6 of 15

Patent?  Copyright or trademark, surely - how is an icon an invention?

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post #7 of 15

Hmm.

 

That icon has been used on Android by Samsung and others for voice recognition for years. It predates the use of the Siri icon by Apple for some time, being present certainly as far back as v1.5 Cupcake from April 2009:

 

 

 

The original Siri app icon was also a representation of an RCA mic, but looked a little different having a splayed base and supports at the sides:

 

post #8 of 15
Siri works great, hope Apple is still improving it, it works great.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Patent?  Copyright or trademark, surely - how is an icon an invention?

It's not a utility patent, it's a design patent:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent

 

This is just more proof that Samsung tries to copy just about every feature of Apple's products, no matter how trivial.

post #10 of 15

How soon before Apple files suit against RCA for past damages?

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

How soon before Apple files suit against RCA for past damages?

You win 10 internets.

 

The icon really isn't that iconic.

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post #12 of 15
Twice in one day? People are discussing a patent without reading the article.

The patent does NOT cover all representations of a 1940s mic. It’s more specific than that. Discussion of any old random 1940s mic icon is irrelevant.

(And nobody has decided to mention Apple's Voice Memos app, which was shown to the public on March 17, 2009, long before the original Siri app appeared in 2010. It’s had two icons plus the recording screen: 3 entirely different 1940s mic icons that don't match Siri's glowing disc.)
Edited by nagromme - 11/27/12 at 9:58am
post #13 of 15

The more patents the better. Whether they are utility or design, they are all insurance against future lawsuits.

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post #14 of 15
Surely they have obtained a TRADEMARK, not a patent. You can't patent an icon or an image.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheat Williams View Post

Surely they have obtained a TRADEMARK, not a patent. You can't patent an icon or an image.

 

Design patents are different from utility patents. They are useful when suing for "look and feel" encroachments. Just ask Samsung.

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