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Patents: optical scrolling Mighty Mouse, more

updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue April 15, 2008

Optical scrolling patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office today published five Apple patents that have been granted: one for the Mighty Mouse, an iPod lanyard, a Digital-to-Analogue Converter, an Exceptional Situation Manager, as well as one for a device which has yet to be seen in an Apple product. According to the report, the device could be a media player, storage device, or other mobile device. Other theories could indicate the device to be a "smart" media remote, an updated design of the iPod nano or Shuffle, among others.

Another patent indicates an optical scrolling surface to replace the scroll ball in the Mighty Mouse, while yet another relates to exception handling during computations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    about time..

    I'vd gone through two mighty mice and while the "mouse" portion worked fine, I had to change them out because that stupid scroll ball is not worth a *&@#!

  1. G4_Kessel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree...

    I'm now on my second Mighty Mouse for the same reason. When the scroll ball works, it works great. However, you have to clean it constantly! Sort of reminds me of the old pre-optical mice days. I hope they come out with a better mouse soon!

  1. galley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think I found a fix

    I replaced my first Mighty Mouse that had a balky scroll ball after about 3 months. When the 2nd one acted up, I figured out how to clean it, and its been working for a couple of years now (I even purchased a Bluetooth version for my MacBook a year ago). If rolling the MM around upside-down on the mouse pad vigorously (rolling on the scroll ball) doesn't free it up, I then use a B-D Alchohol Swab (P/N 326895) to roll the ball in all directions for a minute or two. That's always taken care of it. Often I can see bits of crud that this process brings up out of the ball well. This might have to be repeated about once a month. Nevertheless, having a non-mechanical scroll “ball” would probably be an improvement.

  1. godrifle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Scroll ball works fine...

    ...for Apple. I won't buy another.

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