“It’s been pretty easy to look at recent Apple design patents and see that they haven’t carried with them the broad patent coverage many might think, but that isn’t the case with Apple’s new US patent — D661,296 — that issued on Tuesday,” Matt Macari reports for The Verge. “This patent is clearly intended to broadly cover the distinctive wedge or teardrop profile of the notebook.”
“In determining infringement, courts look at whether the allegedly infringing device and the design patent are substantially similar in overall appearance to an ‘ordinary observer,’ excluding minor differences,” Macari reports. Apple “focuses on the overall wedge shape and look of the device… That’s the aesthetic Apple has patented here and a notebook with hinges, feet or a shaped back different than the MacBook Air could still be infringing as long as the rest — primarily the claimed wedge profile — is substantially similar.”
Macari reports, “While there are certainly going to be some noticeable differences between Apple’s design and other notebooks in the market, let’s not forget how aggressively Apple has used its design patents against competitors in the smartphone and tablet space. And given just how much we’re starting to see this wedge look in ultrabooks like HP’s Envy Spectre and the Asus Zenbook we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Apple decided to wave its new patent around a bit.”
Read more, and see Apple’s patented design drawings, in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Careful now, MacBook Air wannabes.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]
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