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Apple wins patents on iPhone 4, iPod touch designs

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed April 20, 2011

Others cover 'media processing systems'

Apple has scored four more patents beyond ones for activations and RFID technology, notes Patently Apple. The most crucial may be a design patent on the nitriding stainless steel band on the iPhone 4, a signature part of its construction. Numerous people are credited with the work, including lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive; also mentioned is CEO Steve Jobs, which may show the degree of the executive's micromanagement.

Jobs also shares some credit for a design patent on the original iPod touch, released in late 2007. The device was thicker than later Touches, and also had a more conspicuous rim lacking the volume buttons now standard on iOS handhelds. One corner of the back was made of plastic, a compromise in order to improve Wi-Fi reception.

More abstract patent wins -- User Interface With Menu Abstactions and Content Abstractions and Remotely Configured Media Device -- document the Apple TV. Of interest is a diagram depicting the Apple TV interface, but instead referring to the product as "iTV." Apple has so far avoided using the name, likely in part because of UK broadcaster ITV.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Antenna as an exposed band

    At least Apple doesn't have to worry about something copying that touchable antenna band. After all the bad press, I suspect no other cellphone maker will touch it. When I first saw it, I thought, "Could they be so stupid as to have bare metal touching hands? No, they can't be that foolish." Sigh! They were.

    Metal cases around laptops, touchable antennas on iPhones, and the woefully constricted antenna on my Airport--Apple really needs to hire someone who understands something about radio waves and antennas, giving the full veto power Ives' fashion-ridden ideas. No matter how pretty a cellphone is, it's not good if you can't hold a connection.

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