Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Jun 2012 21:23 UTC
Legal So, the next venue of patent trolling has just been opened. Apple has patented - quite specifically - the wedge shape of the MacBook Air. Not the general design or impression, no - just the wedge shape. This is interesting, because that wedge shape? Hit prior art in 3.2 seconds: the Vaio x505 from 2004. A wedge-shaped, superthin (for its day) laptop - exactly what Apple's design patent claims the company has invented.
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just a pointless inflammatory post
by kristoph on Tue 12th Jun 2012 06:54 UTC
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Thom has either (a) not bothered to read the actual patent and is totally clueless or (b) has read the patent, understands it, and is just posting this for fodder's sake.

This is a design patent, equivalent to a community design and similar design rights. It prevents blatant copies of the authors design. It's not a 'wedge shape' patent or whatever.

Prior art is determined thus ...

"The degree of difference [from the prior art] required to establish novelty occurs when the average observer takes the new design for a different, and not a modified, already-existing design."

The Vaio obviously looks different and is not prior art. The patent similarly applies only for virtually identical designs.

Just as a point of interest Apple references the Sony Vaio (the X505 specifically) in the patent document along with referencing a bunch of similar designs patents. This is done to note that the are similar but different design patents already established.

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