Apple awarded iPad design patent for rectangle with rounded corners

“Can you patent a rectangle with rounded corners? Absolutely,” Christina Bonnington reports for Wired.

“On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the company a design patent for the original iPad,” Bonnington reports. “Apple originally filed the patent, U.S. Patent no. D670,286, in December of 2010. The first iPad was unveiled several months earlier, in January of 2010.”

Read more in the full article here.

Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica, “Apple had originally asserted design patent D504,889 against Samsung as part of its massive lawsuit alleging that Samsung copied Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices to make its competing Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices. That design patent, filed in 2004 and awarded in 2005, appears to be based on an early iPad prototype.”

Apple Inc. U.S. Patent no. D670,286
Apple Inc. U.S. Patent no. D670,286

“US federal judge Lucy Koh had originally awarded Apple a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 device based on her judgement that Samsung likely infringed the ‘889 patent,” Foresman reports. “However, a jury later ruled that the Samsung device did not infringe this particular patent, though Samsung had infringed several other patents in the process of designing various smartphones and tablets. Samsung noted that it was ‘unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners,’ and the injunction was later rescinded.”

Foresman reports, “The ‘286 patent awarded on Tuesday appears to give Apple the exact patent the Samsung and Apple critics have erroneously claimed that the ‘889 patent was.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. New grounds for new suit or amended complaint for rehearing.

    Design patents are inherently limited in scope to a specific geometry, so it is possible to get around, but not with existing competitor models.

    I could easily sketch up a non-infringing next gen design in a minute.


    Rectangles and rounded corners are just two of many pieces of Apple’s patent. The patent covers a specific type of *implementation*. One part of which is calling out the specific shape. Apple cannot — and will not — sue people for building patents that are rectangles with rounded corners if the vast majority of the remainder of the design is nothing like the iPad.

    These guys need to get a grip. It’s probably too much to expect them to understand how claims flow together and are interdependent in patent applications, but they shouldn’t be going around shouting BS.

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