The 'Magic Glove' And 8 Other Ridiculous Inventions Patented By Apple

Lady Gaga London debut fragrance gloveLady Gaga visits Harrods London for the launch of her debut fragrance on Oct. 7, 2012. The glove she’s wearing is not patented by Apple.

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

It seems like Apple gets a new patent every few days.Just on Tuesday, it won patents for a 3D remote mechanism and for a technology that allows it to detect unauthorised use of your phone, according to Apple Insider. 

Some patents are useful, unique, and truly innovative.

But there are other patents Apple seems to have filed out of habit. 

We have compiled a list of what we think are the most far-fetched, ridiculous patents Apple has filed in its short history. Of course, we couldn’t ignore its rounded edges and rounded square icons patents.

(NOTE: You will need a TIFF plug-in to view the patent drawings on the U.S. Patent Office’s website.)

Glass staircase

Patent No.: D478,999 S

Patent Date: August 26, 2003

Apple has claimed a design patent for its glass staircase, which appears at a number of its stores from New York to Paris. This one struck as odd because it doesn't relate to any of Apple's innovative products -- just its shiny retail locations.

Source: USPTO

In-store iPad stand

Patent No.: D662,939 S

Patent Date: July 3, 2012

Yes, Apple patented the design of its in-store iPad stands -- those plastic, seemingly uncomplicated things Apple tablets sit on at most stores.

Source: USPTO, Patently


Patent No.: D596,485 S

Patent Date: July 21, 2009

Apple also patents the designs of its packaging -- in this case, the original iPhone's box is seen in its different divisions. Patenting the actual products isn't enough for Apple apparently.

Source: USPTO

Graphical user interface

Patent No.: D604,305 S

Patent Date: Nov. 17, 2009

The so-called rounded square icons patent is one of the patents Apple sued Samsung over in their infamous legal battle. Apple claimed Samsung created an interface using icons that were too similarly shaped to its own.

Source: USPTO

iPhone body design

Patent No.: D593,087 S

Patent Date: May 26, 2009

The rounded corners design for the device itself is another patent Apple used to defeat Samsung in their massive intellectual property battle in August. Apple claims it has the exclusive right to use these rounded corners and home buttons.

Source: USPTO, Business Insider

Deformable ear tip for earphone

Patent No.: 8,280,093

Patent Date: Oct. 2, 2012

Apple patented the removable rubber tip that mounts on its earphones. The tip is made from silicone, polyurethane, or thermoplastic, and doesn't seem particularly groundbreaking to us.

Source: USPTO

Music icon

Patent No.: D668,263 S

Patent Date: Oct. 2, 2012

This patent is for the design of the icon, which Apple uses for iTunes. To us, it just looks like a generic icon for music...

Source: USPTO

Headphones clasp

Patent No.: D577,990 S

Patent Date: Oct. 7, 2008

This patent is for the little clasp that keeps your headphone wires somewhat untangled. This looks like a pretty simple design, but apparently Apple wanted to make sure nobody else used it.

Source: USPTO

High tactility glove system

Patent No.: 7,874,021

Patent Date: January 25, 2011

Apple has patented this strange glove, which Patently has dubbed as the 'magic' glove system. The glove is supposed to allow you to use your cell phone in cold weather. As the patent explains it, the glove has two layers -- a liner and a shell -- and the shell can be 'peeled' back to expose the liner and operate the phone.

Source: USPTO, Patently

If IP law isn't your thing, maybe you should check out what else law grads can do.

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