Apple granted patent for iPhone display shock absorber

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple this week was awarded a patent for a shock-absorbing rubber coating that helps protect fragile components like the glass display of the iPhone.

U.S. Patent No. 8,248,777, entitled "Viscoelastic Material for Shock Protection in an Electronic Device," was officially awarded to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. The filing, discovered by AppleInsider, describes a "boundary element" that can deform in response to impacts to a device.

The invention, credited to Christopher Prest, was first filed with the USPTO in September of 2008. It describes placing elastic materials around components to absorb at least part of an impact if the object is dropped or hit in some way.

"An electronic device may be surrounded on all sides by material operative to absorb a shock to the electronic device component," the invention reads.

Materials selected for their viscoelastic properties could be selected to reduce shocks on the component. In the case of the iPhone, a thin rubber bezel rests between the Gorilla Glass display and the exterior bezel of the device.

Patent


For the purposes of the patent, the ideal material would have dominant elastic properties in a "large impact scenario," such as an iPhone being dropped from a great distance, while the material's viscous properties would be dominant in the "small impact scenario," such as smaller drops that occur more frequently.

The rubber screen gasket and seal found inside the iPhone is actually part of the frame assembly of the device. The tiny layer provides a tight seal and flush appearance to the front of Apple's iOS devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    We're going to see 'shopped pictures of iPhones with undercarriage lighting, spinning Home Buttons, and 300w subwoofers, aren't we?


     


    And NOW Apple is patenting a rectangle, so finally all those lies are truth.

  • Reply 2 of 35


    Apple patenting more ingenius rectangles...

  • Reply 3 of 35

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    We're going to see 'shopped pictures of iPhones with undercarriage lighting, spinning Home Buttons, and 300w subwoofers, aren't we?


     


    And NOW Apple is patenting a rectangle, so finally all those lies are truth.





    Amazing how you're almost always first to comment.

  • Reply 4 of 35


    "An electronic device may be surrounded on all sides by material operative to absorb a shock to the electronic device component,"


     


    Not sure where the invention is here... hardware has been designed like this for years.  Mil spec stuff, even good case construction meets this because a case is designed to absorb a shock when dropped.

     

  • Reply 5 of 35


    You guys it's not just rectangles, it's concentric rectangles. Big difference.

  • Reply 6 of 35
    Samsung lawyers will show the next jury picturez of padded crash helmets as "prior art."
  • Reply 7 of 35



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Why don't you read the patent before making a fool of yourself. The patent involves a parallel system of dampers, one that is elastic, and one that is viscous. While people talk trash here, Apple continues to innovate and patent, which is what every tech company should be doing.


     
  • Reply 8 of 35
    cicocico Posts: 14member


    A picture worth a thousand words if I ever saw one.

  • Reply 9 of 35
    We're going to see 'shopped pictures of iPhones with undercarriage lighting, spinning Home Buttons, and 300w subwoofers, aren't we?
    I was thinking more like mud flaps, skid plates, grill guards, and roll bars with lighting packages...With new shocks you're gonna want to go off-roadin'...or at least muddin'.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    dbeats wrote: »
    Why don't you read the patent before making a fool of yourself. The patent involves a parallel system of dampers, one that is elastic, and one that is viscous. While people talk trash here, Apple continues to innovate and patent, which is what every tech company should be doing.
     

    Exactly. You'd think that people would learn to read a patent before commenting on it. Using the very simplistic summary provided by AI is silly.

    That said, this is a VERY narrow patent. Clearly, the prior art is immense and they have to work around the question of obviousness.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,280member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    Exactly. You'd think that people would learn to read a patent before commenting on it. 


    For a change I totally agree with you.

  • Reply 12 of 35

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dbeats View Post



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Why don't you read the patent before making a fool of yourself. The patent involves a parallel system of dampers, one that is elastic, and one that is viscous. While people talk trash here, Apple continues to innovate and patent, which is what every tech company should be doing.


     



     


    This patent will be invalidated if it is used to stop others or collect money.  This method has been used, in almost every possible form, to protect sensitive items. There have been many items that have been protected by two or even three differing layers of materials with different properties including elastic and viscous. Take a look at items such as early portable barcode scanning systems with LCD displays and other rugged portable electronics.  I am an Apple owner and shareholder. 

  • Reply 13 of 35
    juandljuandl Posts: 228member


     Can't wait to see Amazon's patent for this.


     


     I hear Bezos wants mini airbags for his idea.

  • Reply 14 of 35
    haarhaar Posts: 563member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    We're going to see 'shopped pictures of iPhones with undercarriage lighting, spinning Home Buttons, and 300w subwoofers, aren't we?


     


    And NOW Apple is patenting a rectangle, so finally all those lies are truth.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    Amazing how you're almost always first to comment.



    i would not be surprised if "Tallest Skil, Global moderator" and "Kasper's Automated Slave, Adminstrator" desks are beside/in front each other at "appleinsider" offices...


     


    or they are the same person. there is one other moderator.... for two in total.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    beltsbear wrote: »
    This patent will be invalidated if it is used to stop others or collect money.  This method has been used, in almost every possible form, to protect sensitive items. There have been many items that have been protected by two or even three differing layers of materials with different properties including elastic and viscous. Take a look at items such as early portable barcode scanning systems with LCD displays and other rugged portable electronics.  I am an Apple owner and shareholder. 

    As I said earlier, this is a very narrow patent and even within the scope of its narrow claims, may have 'obviousness' problem.

    However, that doesn't mean that Apple shouldn't have applied for it. One common use for patent applications is simply to create a paper trail and prior art to prevent others from applying for it. It is quite common for execs to say "this patent won't be defensible and we would never sue someone over it, but we're concerned that someone else might try to sue us, so we'll get a patent first." Under that scenario, a weak patent is nearly as good as a strong one.

    Interestingly, if you look at strategy, the latter logic really only makes sense if you're seriously considering commercializing the technology. If you don't plan to commercialize it, filing for a weak patent has far less value. OTOH, for a strong patent, there's value even if you don't plan to commercialize it - since you could always license it.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by haar View Post

    i would not be surprised if "Tallest Skil, Global moderator" and "Kasper's Automated Slave, Adminstrator" desks are beside/in front each other at "appleinsider" offices...


     


    or they are the same person. there is one other moderator.... for two in total.



     


    I'd edit posts before posting them if I was the AI bot. image


     


    We have four active moderators and an active administrator.

  • Reply 17 of 35
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member


    Maybe this has something to do with the rumor that Apple's next phone will 'screw over' case manufacturers? Or maybe its because Apple is developing a new case. 

  • Reply 18 of 35

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    Amazing how you're almost always first to comment.



    I can't find the previous thread at the moment, but I believe TS adequately explained how / why he's often THE, or one of the first to post...

  • Reply 19 of 35


    anyone else thinking... Flubber?

  • Reply 20 of 35
    srangersranger Posts: 469member


    This should work well.  I used to manufacture extreme environment industrial touch screen computers through out the 90's.  I used this type of system to mount the hard drives.  I had to use a gel between two thin Mylar layers to move the heat away from the drives and neoprene gaskets and silicone rubber to provide additional cushioning around the edges for shock and vibration.  I use another system with Multiple layers of RTV Silicone and Neoprene to actually mount the Touchscreen in the Aluminum Bezel.  The multiple layers were necessary to handle the difference in thermal expansion between the glass and the aluminum frame.  Otherwise the resistive Mylar touch screen would delaminate...


     


    I am not sure this could be called a NEW technology.  I guess the patent is in applying the technology to smart phones...???

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