Apple’s dedicated bloodletting in the courts – following the late Steve Jobs’ diktat of ‘thermonuclear war’ against Android devices – has long looked more like a squabble over basic geometry and debating the rightsholder to the rounded rectangle.
Now, the US Patent Office has granted Cupertino a broad, broad patent that on first glance appears to deem Apple the rightful owner.
The long running Cupertino-provoked skirmishes between Apple and its rivals, most notably Samsung, have brought up some odd talking points in the courts. Samsung argued that it was actually Stanley Kubrick, in the late 60s, who created the archetypal tablet and Apple has no claim to the rather obvious design of a rectangle with smoothed over corners.
Regardless, the following shape is now the property of Apple. Cupertino holds dominion over this rectangle:
Churlish though Apple’s cases may appear, it’s not a difficult leap of logic to argue the company is – legitimately – worried about other players entering the tablet space and stealing even more of its share of a product category it hasn’t significantly contributed to since the iPad 2.