Apple wins patent on Mac OS X Dock

“Since the release of Mac OS X 10.0 in 2001, the Dock has been one of the most prominent features of operating system’s user interface, serving as a centralized and resizable launch pad for applications and document files,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

“On Tuesday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the Mac maker patent number 7,434,177 titled ‘User interface for providing consolidation and access.’ The 20-page filing outlining the principles behind the Dock and its magnification component is credited to Jobs, in addition to well-known Apple interface designers Bas Ording and Donald Lindsay,” Lane reports.

“Apple now retains the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or otherwise employing replicas of the technology in their own products,” Lane reports. “Under United States patent law, that right typically extends 20 years assuming the company keeps up with routine maintenance fees due 3½, 7½ and 11½ years following the grant date.”

Full article here.

Gates, Ballmer preview Windows 7: Multi-Touch and a Dock; Steve Jobs must be so proud – May 28, 2008

Back to the copiers, Microsoft!

MacDailyNews Note: Nextstep’s refined and consistent user interface introduced the idea of the Dock, which was carried through OpenStep and into Mac OS X. After several previews beginning in 1986, Nextstep 1.0 was released on September 18, 1989. Apple completed its acquisition of NeXT Software, Inc. on Feb. 7, 1997. Jean-Louis Gassée promptly took a long, long vacation.


  1. @Joy of Tech

    What grade are you in, JoT? You’re obviously still in grammar school somewhere, for you have yet to learn anything close to standard English.

    “a imitation” ≠ “an imitation”
    “Windows have” ≠ “Windows had”
    “a application” ≠ “an application”
    “Mac’s” ≠ “Macs”
    “useless, and” ≠ “useless and”

    Also, your referent for “they” is ambiguous and unclear, but we must assume you mean “Apple.” Of course, posters like you always expect US intelligent readers to fill in your gaps in logic and good sense.

    You are pathetic, little boy or girl. Go back to watching SpongeBob.

  2. @Joy of Tech

    Ha ha ha ha ha…
    Don’t you mean windose is useless without its “task” bar.
    With the Finder a Mac doesn’t need a dock and never did.
    True innovation to make life easier and more elegant.

    Just the fact you call the windose thingy a taskbar illustrates the mindset of windose.. TASK TASK TASK
    No enjoyment there!!!

  3. It took 9 long years for the U.S. government to award Apple the patent for the Dock.

    Bring on nationalized health care!

    The good news: natural selection would finally make its return in waiting rooms and lines across the country.

    Vote Obama! The obese, the smokers (like Obama himself), the sick, the old, etc. get ready, it’s time to die!

    Yay! Finally, more room on the highway for me!!!

    Oh, but then, Barack, who will be left to pick up off the streets, from the shelters, and from under bridges to be taken in vans and paid to vote for the Democrat?

    MDN MW: “ill.”

    Wow! That’s almost scarier than an Obama presidency.

  4. @joy of Tech

    I suppose it could be just an imitation of the Windows Task bar which came with Windows 95 in 1995. But I like to think that OSX’s dock is the result of Next’s “NextStep” Operating system which had it in 1989 and which came to Apple when they acquired Next (and Steve Jobs) in 1996. Yeah, I’m going to go with that. Apple buying Next and incorporating/revamping it’s technology into OSX. That makes more sense.

  5. “It took 9 long years for the U.S. government to award Apple the patent for the Dock.”

    And it’ll take another 9 long years for Apple to sue someone for producing a dock like thing, for the case to come to court, for the prior art to be shown and the patent to be overturned.

  6. Next used the dock long before office task bar.
    I remember that Mac OS system 7 has some kind of dock with square icons that you can deploy and retract side by side and you had the option to turn it off. I do not recall its name, does any body remember it?

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