Uh oh, Microsoft: Apple patent application details iPad Smart Cover with built-in keyboard, flexible Multi-Touch display, and more

“On August 2, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a mind boggling patent application from Apple that reveals features that they’re considering for their next generation Smart Cover,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“This is obviously a master patent that could play out in several stages and/or in different Smart Cover configurations depending on the user’s priorities,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s future Smart Cover could include interactive Multi-Touch panels or a secondary display and/or other features that include the use of solar panels, inductive charging, smart pen input and believe it or not, much more.”

Purcher reports, “Apple’s patent application was originally filed in Q3 2011 by the inventor Fletcher Rothkopf and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.”

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft, forever behind Apple.

iPad Smart cover patent application, Smart Cover with built-in keyboard

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dear Executive Secretary for Steve Ballmer: DUCK!
Steve Ballmer: Ape-like chair-thrower

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  1. I absolutely love this patent filing. And, oh the timing of this in connection to Msft’s surface announcement. Who had the patent first? This should be interesting.

    I like the idea of the RF energy harvesting process feeding energy to a micro battery to keep the cover display charged is great thinking. There’s a lot of great ideas for future smart covers.

    Which ideas Apple will implement first will be interesting to see unfold. With Msft on their trail I hope that they move quickly on some of these ideas.

    1. It says it was originally filed in Q3 2011, making it’s filing ~9 months previous to MSFT showing (non working, mind you, the keyboard covers appeared to be no more than mockups ) development prototypes of a tablet design at the press conference.
      If MSFT spotted apple’s patent application would 9 Mos be enough to make a non working mockup? You bet it would have.
      Hell, even 9 weeks would have been more than enough to mockup up the non-functional keyboard covers they showed.

  2. The smart cover is a pretty neat design breakthrough, and we have probably only just scratched the surface. There’s a reason why Ive thinks the stuff he’s working on now is the most important he’s ever done. We shall find out soon enough when it’s done and ready to be unleashed.

  3. Ok, I am an academic. So I feel a bit sheepish about my instinctive response to the bit of news. But here goes: DAMNNNNNNN! Now that’s what you call a smart cover.

    1. The title on that page is, “Outside Surface Display Possibilities’.

      Heres what happened when Steve Ballmer and Steve Sinofsky (think thats his name) first saw this when they were digging around Apple patent applications:

      SS: Hey look at this, shouldn’t that say , “Outside iPad Display Possibilities’ instead of “Outside Surface Display Possibilities”?

      SB: No, I think thats their next generation of iPad….they are going to call it “Surface” kind of like they called their notebooks “Air”.

      Quick rig up some non working look alike and announce it as MS Surface.

  4. I wouldn’t be too happy. It looks like apple and m$ are on the same boat patent wise so it might be part of their cross agreement. I believe of course the proud CEO aka monkey boy would never admit this was an Apple patent.

  5. Once again a poor use of the loosely guarded Patent Office which seems like they would Patent just about anything. The war of the Productive Pads will not be won via fancy keyboards and covers but it will be won by the OS and it’s ability to be fully integrated into the workplace.

    This could be iOS, maybe OS X for tablets, Windows 8 or maybe even Ubuntu which I believe Google has shown a serious interest in since about 2009.

  6. Now we know why Microsoft quickly announced their Surface tablet way before it was ever ready to ship. Microsoft must have caught wind of this patent and wanted to make it look like they were first.

    1. $5 says MS pulls some BS stunt saying
      “they filed for the patent years ago.. and were denied, but Apple clearly stole the patent and has Apple staff working for the US Patent office”

      or something similar..

      and the MS freaks will agree, and bash Apple. lol

  7. Well, Microsoft had to get their ideas from somewhere, right?

    They can’t catch up to Apple by copying existing iPads, because Apple is innovating too quickly, so they had to scan patent applications to keep the Redmond Photocopiers busy.

  8. Wow this is bad news for Microsoft, especially given monkey CEO is building ms stores are a rapid rate, and this surface would be their crown jewel. 😜😍

  9. Apart from having a keyboard in a cover, the designs are quite different. It appears that either the apple keyboard faces out when folded closed or hugs the back of the device. Quite a bit different rom the surface keyboard.

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