Hidden Apple patent for flexible display devices discovered

“This week the European Patent Office published one of Apple’s patent applications for flexible displays filed in Korea,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “In further researching this and other related patent applications in the EU database we stumbled upon a hidden filing.”

“Hidden filings are those filed by Apple’s engineers under their individual names (usually as a team of engineers working on an Apple project) without listing Apple as the official assignee,” Purcher reports. “This way the invention remains off the public’s radar screen under ‘Apple Inc.’ until the very last moment when it’s granted and Apple take’s legal assignment of it at that time.”

Purcher reportsm “Sometimes we’re lucky to stumble onto one of these little gems before they’re granted, and today we’re going to review one of them that relates to possible future flexible display configurations that will allow a device to be folded in various configurations.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.


  1. As displays get larger, the ability to fold them would be interesting. That could jazz up an iPod touch for sure. Samsung thinks that they have lead on flex displays, so no wonder Apple is trying to fly under their radar.

      1. There is ongoing research in PCBs (including at Kodak, would you believe!) that will allow them to be flexible.

        As for batteries, Apple has already at least applied for a patent that breaks a large battery into separate smaller cells with flexible material between the cells. It’s sort of like a bullet belt, allowing for folding the battery around a wrist, etc. It was reported here maybe in the summer of 2012. Sorry I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment.

      2. Bending circuit cards? Oh yes you can!

        Ever heard of a flex harness? They are printed traces and are typically used to connect two circuit cards. But you can embed small CCA components directly in these harnesses. Soon entire CCAs will be printed on flexible backings.

      3. Two things on flexible circuit boards:

        1. Apple is working with Flexium to produce flexible circuit boards:


        Secondly, Apple’s noted patent states that they would use …. “flexible printed circuit boards (e.g., “flex circuits” formed form sheets of polymer such as polyimide on which patterned conductive traces have been formed) …”


  2. This way the invention remains off the public’s radar screen under ‘Apple Inc.’

    Astounding, isn’t it. Apple leads, others follow. It’s worse than being a movie star. Maybe we should call some of the consistently asinine Apple haters and analCysts ‘stalkers’.

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