Apple’s push into Sapphire manufacturing sends Taiwanese manufacturers scrambling to secure patents

“Under the influence of Apple, manufacturers have maintained a positive outlook for sapphire substrate applications in consumer electronics, according to a Chinese-language CNA report,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Yet Apple’s sudden push into sapphire manufacturing has sent Taiwanese manufacturers scrambling to the patent office to file sapphire substrate patent applications,” Purcher reports. “Taiwanese sapphire substrate manufacturer Tera Xtal Technology Co. for example, has deployed sapphire substrate optical intellectual property rights. The intellectual property rights cover sapphire substrate applications in smartphone camera lens cover, home buttons, sapphire and other applications.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. “…sapphire substrate…intellectual property rights cover sapphire substrate applications in smartphone camera lens cover, home buttons, sapphire and other applications.”

    More blatant and desperate copying of Apple…and somehow people doubt that Apple leads? That Apple has somehow lost its technological mojo? That filing “me too” patents somehow places them on the same level as Apple? They have been and will continue to be years behind Apple’s long term strategic plan. To be fair, copying is just about the only chance that they have of appearing to be relevant.

  2. For a company Wall Street says is already dead everything Apple does seems to create a lot of anguish for other companies to run and protect themselves. I had thought that sapphire was only being used by Apple as an alternative from having to rely on Gorilla Glass but there seems to be more to that than what I realize.

    Since everyone seems to think that Apple has fallen so far behind in tech, I wonder why they’d even bother to protect themselves. I suppose it doesn’t hurt a company to become a patent troll and at least try to make a few bucks from holding onto a key patent or two.

    If Apple corners the sapphire market it could be a bit difficult for rivals to acquire the necessary components in quantity. I’m certainly hoping that the hardness of sapphire is absolutely required for fingerprint scanners because it would limit the use of them on only the highest-end Android devices due to cost and availability.

    Eventually, Apple should look to develop its own research labs like IBM’s Thomas J. Watson or Xerox PARC centers and get the best minds possible to work on long-term projects. With the amount of money Apple has at its disposal it just seems like such a smart and natural thing to do.

    1. No, creating another Xerox PARC would NOT be a good idea. It was in just about every way separate from Xerox the company. As such, a vast number of its inventions were ignored, we way out of Xerox’s areas of expertise, was a generator of patents that became real products rarely. That’s all very bad.

      Apple doesn’t need our advice on R&D. They already have the best R&D on the planet, don’t they. Playing games at how to throw money around is for amateur companies.

  3. “Oh darn! Apple beat us one more time! Quickly! Activate bots in US Department Patents and Trademarks! Download all Apple patent applications. Now! We submit them here. We clobber them in market!” <–When you can’t create, imitate. When you can’t invent, circumvent. When you break the law, use Shock and Awe.

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