Apple granted design patents for page turning animation and iPad Smart Case

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Among the multitude of patents Apple was awarded on Tuesday were two design properties for the page-turning animation seen in iOS apps like iBooks, and IP for the third-generation iPad's full-body case.

iBooks Page
iBooks page turning animation. | Source: USPTO

The page turning animation IP was first filed for in December 2011 as an ornamental design for a display screen. Much like other Apple design patents, the basic line drawing is adequate enough to get the basic feel for the animation. Users can interact with graphical elements closely resembling a piece of paper, using a finger to slowly curl the page over, or quickly turn the page with a swiping motion. The animation even allows for users to move their finger vertically, revealing the top or bottom portion of the next page much like a real bound book.

With iOS 6, Apple has a number of first-party apps that use such a "page curling" animation, including Maps and Calendar for iPad. Most recently, the animation was displayed prominently in an iPad mini ad that featured iBooks.

iPad Smart Case
Apple Smart Case for iPad.

The second design patent issued to Apple on Tuesday was for the iPad Smart Case first debuted alongside the third-generation tablet in 2011. Like the original Smart Cover, the Smart Case turns the attached iPad on and off by using magnetic sensors in the iPad that interact with magnets embedded in the top cover, but adds an extra layer of protection for the tablet's aluminum chassis.

When the newest fourth-generation iPad was unveiled in October, Apple announced that the design of the new tablet was identical to the previous iteration, making accessory swapping a non-issue.


  • Reply 1 of 32
    WTH? What are they gonna patent next, touch ripple water effect?
  • Reply 2 of 32
    I'm in a bit of a Bind here, a book is never 'binded' but 'bound'.

    Sorry to be picky and all that.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    kr00kr00 Posts: 99member
    Apple have done great work on both of these. Page turning on the iPad, is real and elegant and you can tell a lot of work has gone into it. The iPad cover also is a great idea. They've put a lot of R&D into these things and have every right to protect them under the patent system. If anyone can't deal with it, then cry to the bureaucrats, they make the laws, not Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 32

    I remember very well seeing this on a NeXT computer with a Motorola 68040 (25 or 33 MHz not sure) with a video playing on the page. 

    Steve Jobs Left Apple with NeXt and then he brought it back to Apple when he return. 

    Could be a variation of the same patent.


    Update: and on the back on the page we could see the video still playing but from the back. Very impressive for the CPU (but I admit the video was small and low resolution but still impressive for the time.

  • Reply 5 of 32
    Both great technology's already on current iPads there great.
  • Reply 6 of 32

    Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

    WTH? What are they gonna patent next, touch ripple water effect?


    What's your problem? 


    And no, I don't mean "with Apple in general", even though that is the single most obvious use of that question possible. Nor do I mean it in the sense of "why are you wasting your life on a website about products you hate made by a company you hate", even though that's also quite valid.


    I mean it in the sense of "This is a patent of an implementation of an idea, not an idea itself. Doesn't that go against all trolls' whining about granted patents?"

  • Reply 7 of 32
    Wasn't there an app that did the nice page turning before iBooks? Wonder if they just shrugged or feel piqued.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    cubefan wrote: »
    I'm in a bit of a Bind here, a book is never 'binded' but 'bound'.
    Sorry to be picky and all that.
    No need to apologize, someone was bound to notice
  • Reply 9 of 32

    Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

    No need to apologize, someone was bound to notice


    These puns are making my spine tingle.

  • Reply 10 of 32


    Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

    Wasn't there an app that did the nice page turning before iBooks? Wonder if they just shrugged or feel piqued.

    Not sure of the exact dates. 'Eucalyptus' which came out in 2009 I think, had an effect that was similar but  superior to the previously released 'Classics' app. I still have both and the animation remains very good, although it seems to be buggy on iOS 6 (crashes).  I loved when it came out that it created a very believable illusion of actually flipping a page. Much better illusion than Classics and perhaps a little better than iBook IMO.

  • Reply 11 of 32
    chabigchabig Posts: 641member
    I hate patent headlines that begin, "Apple wins…". Patents are not prizes to be "won". They are grants, made to an inventor for an invention that demonstrates novelty and is not obvious.

    Other examples of things that are granted to people are drivers' licenses, credit cards, loans, scholarly degrees. It is inappropriate to say that those things are "won".
  • Reply 12 of 32

    Honestly, I don't understand how this patent was granted. I've seen this as 'prior art' on all sorts of systems for years and years, including web browser based Flash (or was it Shockwave?) animations for full screen document reading way back in the late 90s.


    I'm all for Apple protecting their IP from rampant rip-offs, but this seems like the Patent registration people have not bothered to do any research at all.

  • Reply 13 of 32
    The Kindle reading app on my iPad does this. Will they now have to pay Apple a royalty, or is their implementation significantly different I wonder?
  • Reply 14 of 32
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member

    IMO, Apple should not be rewarded a patent on the IDEA of an animated page turn.   If they have some particular unique method of implementation, that might deserve a patent.    IMO, this is an obvious concept and it doesn't deserve a patent any more than the idea of a virtual trash can.


    And having nothing to do with the patent aspect, doesn't Apple do it wrong?   Shouldn't it curl from the top (not that it matters)?   Who turns an actual paper page from the bottom?

  • Reply 15 of 32
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,385member

    These definitely both deserves patents. I was blown away when I first experienced/saw both, nothing existed like them before. Page turning might not seem like a big deal now, but it was damn impressive  when 1st shown off, and smartcase is just a genius design. 

  • Reply 16 of 32


    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

    IMO, Apple should not be rewarded a patent on the IDEA of an animated page turn.

    Patents are not awarded on ideas. This is a design patent. They are awarded for the "ornamental design" of something. In this case, Apple claimed that the ornamental design of the page turning animation is patented. I am surprised that this was granted.

  • Reply 17 of 32

    Ummm, I thought patents weren't supposed to be incredibly obvious ideas?  A cover on a tablet is useful, incredibly obvious, hardly revolutionary, no matter how 'smart'.  Page turning animation for a book app.  Really?  What next, a patent on a virtual keyboard, or phone dial?  

  • Reply 18 of 32
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,552member

    A page turning effect can be patented?

    I'm going to patent a window opening, a ball falling and a dog barking next.

  • Reply 19 of 32
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,399member

    I wonder if this is part of the skeuomorphics that Ive will be ditching. 

  • Reply 20 of 32
    drowdrow Posts: 126member
    i'm a long time apple fan, but the patent office has clearly gone off its rocker. i can only imagine its staffed entirely by lawyers who plan on retiring to a texas patent law office within the next year.
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