Portfolio of over 300 patents underscores Steve Jobs' attention to detail

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Steve Jobs' penchant for striking industrial designs, meticulous work ethic, and his influence on lives of all those living in the 21st century are exemplified in an unparalleled portfolio of more than 300 patents to which his name is credited.



Besides managing day-to-day operations while acting as Apple’s leader for the better part of his career, Jobs took an active role in the various development stages of most iconic products launched by the company, from the first Macintosh computer to the various generations of iPod, iPhone or iPad devices. Unsurprisingly, New York Times’ Miguel Helft recently noted that Jobs is credited as the “principal inventor” or “one inventor among several” on a record 313 Apple patents.



By comparison, Microsoft’s co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates is only listed on nine patents while Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin appear in just “more than a dozen Google patents.”



Apple isn’t likely to have added Jobs’ name on these patents in an attempt to “bolster the image of the visionary chief executive,” as some claim, Helft writes. As Standford University law professor Mark Lemley further points out, “if you put someone’s name who didn’t participate, your patent could be invalidated.”



To better put in perspective the involvement of Apple’s former iconic leader, the Times also revealed that Jobs “was likely to have had an especially prominent role" in the 33 patents "where his name appears first."



Most patents Jobs where Jobs was heavily involved “cover the look and feel of a product.” More than 200 Apple patents that are shared by Jobs with industrial design chief Jonathan Ive back up this detail.



Jobs is also among the authors of varipis “utility patents” which can cover technical details such as “a software algorithm or computer chip,” and it’s worth noting that not all of the devices described in these fillings have been released to consumers.







Of those 313 patents awarded to Apple, Jobs has been credited as the principal inventor in the following cases:



Personal computer



Filed in Nov., 1980, and awarded in Apr., 1983, the “Personal computer” U.S. Patent No. D268,584 describes a “personal computer, substantially as shown” and it reveals a device similar to the Apple III, launched by the company in 1981 without a monitor.



Highly portable media device



U.S. Patent No. 7,593,782 contains a “detailed description of the design and workings of the first iPod shuffle,” Apple’s first iPod that didn’t feature a display. The patent filed in Aug. 2005 was awarded in Sept., 2009. Steve Jobs’ name appears in 85 iPod-related patents.



Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics



This U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, awarded in Jan., 2009, describes “a computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command." More generally speaking, the filing covers how touchscreen-based iOS devices such as the iPhone or iPod touch work.



Laptop Computer



Awarded in Oct., 2002, U.S. Patent No. D464,344 covers “the ornamental design for a laptop computer, as shown and described” and the images it contains resemble Apple’s Powerbook G4 laptop, the Titanium PowerBook, launched by the company in 2001.



Telephone interface for a portable communication device



Awarded in Dec., 2010, U.S. Patent No. 7,860,536 describes “a method of using a portable communications device” which “includes displaying a first image of a rotary dial in a display of the portable communications device in response to a first contact by a user with a click wheel.”



Computer Keyboard



The United States Patent and Trademark office awarded Apple Patent No. D421,976, which describes “the ornamental design for a computer keyboard,” in Mar., 2000.



Computer interface having a single window mode of operation



Filed in Jan., 2000 and awarded more than five years later, in Oct., 2005, U.S. Patent No. 6,957,395 describes a system to “manage the available space of a computer display in a manner which reduces clutter and confusion caused by multiple open windows.”



Staircase



U.S. Patent No. D478,999 was awarded to Apple in Aug., 2003 and it describes the “ornamental design for a staircase” which has been related to the glass staircases currently found in several of the company's retail stores.



After working a full day at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Jobs announced his resignation Wednesday and recommended to the company's Board of Directors that Tim Cook be named as his successor, in line with the company’s previously undisclosed succession plan.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    normmnormm Posts: 567member
    Steve Jobs is also an inventor on an additional 30 US published applications, and first inventor on 10 of them.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    As Chairman, I sincerely hope he continues to shepherd Apple for many years to come.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    maguromaguro Posts: 65member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Jobs is also among the authors of varipis ?utility patents?



    What kind of patent is that?
  • Reply 4 of 39
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maguro View Post


    What kind of patent is that?



    shhh! the varipis is a top secret project, it's going to be big, soon everyone will want to own a varipis.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    radarradar Posts: 271member
    "...and his influence on lives of all those living in the 21st century..."





    I like Apple stuff and no disrespect to Jobs but that's a bit ridiculous. There are plenty of people on this earth who don't even have electricity or potable water, let alone access to the Internet, an iPhone or a latte.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,123member
    Patents for "ornamental design"? I guess if you design something cool, you can go after anyone who copies it.



    Right, Samsung?
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Radar View Post


    "...and his influence on lives of all those living in the 21st century..."





    I like Apple stuff and no disrespect to Jobs but that's a bit ridiculous. There are plenty of people on this earth who don't even have electricity or potable water, let alone access to the Internet, an iPhone or a latte.



    I appreciate the mans genius but I'm always weirded out by the deification of Steve. (or anyone for that matter...like when MJ died people were acting like he was a shining example of perfection)
  • Reply 8 of 39
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,123member
    Patents for "ornamental design"? I guess if you design something cool, you can go after anyone who copies it.



    Right, Samsung?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    some of those iOS device patents are a little too minimalistic....okay, a lot of them...



    Hell, my G2X is in violation it seems.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    radarradar Posts: 271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    I appreciate the mans genius but I'm always weirded out by the deification of Steve. (or anyone for that matter...like when MJ died people were acting like he was a shining example of perfection)



    For sure, I think the man is excellent at what he does and even a genius at what he does but there are plenty of other people who do stuff that literally means a very real difference between life-or-death for millions of nameless folks over the world, every day. These other visionaries- water sanitation experts, aid workers, epidemiologists, etc. etc. rarely if ever get even a thousandth of the media attention of Jobs and Co (and I include Gates, the Facebook guy, the Google fellas, etc....and again, no disrespect to these guys but it is an absurd reality).



    But that's 'freedom of the press' for ya I guess \
  • Reply 11 of 39
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Radar View Post


    For sure, I think the man is excellent at what he does and even a genius at what he does but there are plenty of other people who do stuff that literally means a very real difference between life-or-death for millions of nameless folks over the world, every day. These other visionaries- water sanitation experts, aid workers, epidemiologists, etc. etc. rarely if ever get even a thousandth of the media attention of Jobs and Co (and I include Gates, the Facebook guy, the Google fellas, etc....and again, no disrespect to these guys but it is an absurd reality).



    But that's 'freedom of the press' for ya I guess \



    Would they have had portable computers, to carry out into the field, if the Macintosh wasn't introduced in 1984?
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    ...like when MJ died people were acting like he was a shining example of perfection.



    I don't remember that at all.



    All I remember is people letting up on the intense hatred and vilification for a few weeks. I mean here it is years later and he is the example you reach for when you want to go negative. MJ has actually been demonised beyond measure IMO.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,108member
    How many total patents does Apple have in it's arsenal, including those of Jobs (not including the new Nortel patent trove)?
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    As Chairman, I sincerely hope he continues to shepherd Apple for many years to come.



    As do I.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Would they have had portable computers, to carry out into the field, if the Macintosh wasn't introduced in 1984?



    without a doubt they would have...maybe a few years after the fact...but they definitely would have.



    tech was progressing in that direction regardless. Apple, like what seems like always, took the first steps.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I don't remember that at all.



    All I remember is people letting up on the intense hatred and vilification for a few weeks. I mean here it is years later and he is the example you reach for when you want to go negative. MJ has actually been demonised beyond measure IMO.



    True...that was a poor example...in fact not even a fitting example considering A) Steve Jobs is awesome at what he does with no ridiculous scandals sullying his name and B) he's alive.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Of those 313 patents awarded to Apple, Jobs has been credited as the principal inventor in the following cases:



    Personal computer



    Filed in Nov., 1980, and awarded in Apr., 1983, the ?Personal computer? U.S. Patent No. D268,584 describes a ?personal computer, substantially as shown? and it reveals a device similar to the Apple III, launched by the company in 1981 without a monitor.



    It's for "The ornamental design for a personal computer, substantially as shown."
  • Reply 18 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    As Chairman, I sincerely hope he continues to shepherd Apple for many years to come.



    Who made you Chairman?

  • Reply 19 of 39
    radarradar Posts: 271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Would they have had portable computers, to carry out into the field, if the Macintosh wasn't introduced in 1984?





    Mate, you really missed the point. We could just as easily conjecture whether Jobs, Gates and Co. would even have survived to adulthood without water sanitation, disease prevention etc. which certainly predate the release of the Macbook in 1984. The point here is not about whether things like Macbook Airs are nice or convenient, or even useful (they are all of these things) but the absurdity of the massive imbalance of media exposure given to certain computer gurus over other people who make equal and often much greater contributions to the world.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    In response to Bill Gates is ONLY listed as having 9 Patents. So what. Giving $58 Billion to various charities is a far more greater achievement than Steve Jobbs has achieved!
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