Apple’s efforts to be granted patents in Russia for the design of its iPad has been rejected. Finally somebody gets it right! Russia’s Chamber for Patent Disputes, which handles decisions made by the Russian Patent Department, rejected Apple’s attempt to score a patent on the iPad’s basic design, claiming that the features Apple wished to patent are not original nor inventive and deserving of a design patent. Apple’s bad luck, or more likely, lack of political influence in Russia stands in stark contrast to its habitual victories in the American patent office, where it was recently granted a patent on the same “innovative” design aspects.
Apple had actually tried to argue that rounded corners, a flat surface, and slightly round button under the screen were “innovative distinctive features” meant to distance itself from competitors!.” The iPad maker had initially filed its design patent application two years ago, only to have it rejected by the Russian Patent Office in April of this year.
In rejecting Apple’s move for an appeal, the Chamber for Patent Disputes said that Apple’s design was “traditional for modern communication devices, manufactured by different vendors.” The specific aspects of Apple’s design, it said, were “inconspicuous differences in dimensions, screen size, and buttons layout” and were “not essential distinction criteria.”
The most amazing snippet here is that Apple really does hold a patent for rounded corners, a flat surface and a rounded bottom in the USA. I also remember reading they were granted a patent for a rectangular shaped object. Maybe I should apply for a patent on a perfectly round object and start suing everyone who makes a ball?