Apple was recently granted a patent for a device it calls a "power connector." However, the device is so substantially similar to a standard automotive 12-volt power plug - in less health-conscious days called a cigarette-lighter adapter - that the penetrating intelligence of the US Patent and Trademark Office would surely not …
It appears the United States Patent and Trademark Office website requires 'Quicktime' to view images.
I'm sure their rapid and trouble-free granting of many, many patents to Jobs & Co. is entirely unrelated to this fact.
a penis-pump. It just needs a length of hose and a bulb-pump.
Maybe that's why Jobs has been sickly lately - perhaps he was the guinea pig for one of the earlier models that hadn't been thoroughly safety-tested.
And in other news
Apple is presently trying to patent a metal vehicle with four wheels and an engine that burns oil to produce power its called iAutomobile, you will have to return it to Apple to refuel it and 3rd party manufacturers are making gel covers as we speak to protect it's easily scratchable surface.
These idiots are trying to trademark "multi-touch" as well where as multi-touch has existed for years we all just called it foreplay.
Listed as a co-author, one "Whang; Eugene Antony " - defo should be the project manager for Apple's new "power" "connector"...
Is this a competition?
Are Apple trying to win the Most Despisable Company on Earth award? If so, they're not winning yet but they are catching up fast. I suggest they patent the cord -sorry, _stylish_ cord- next.
Actually, they should patent style and design. In a patent that would cover "an object for which the conception process included reflexion on design and style". They should be safe then. (though they may miss the Zune with this one. They should probably apply for another patent, "object susceptible to be sold or having a function similar to an object susceptible to be sold" would be the name.)
Ridiculous. Burn them, and burn the US patent system with them.
This is a Design patent not a Utility patent
Patents that begin with the letter 'D' are design patents and not UTILITY patents, so your article is irrelevant.
Not as bad as it seems
Settle down, move along, there's nothing to see here. First, it's a design patent -- so it's only protecting non-functional ornamental features (though frankly I don't find that it is all that ornamental, but then I'm more in to steampunk). Second, if you look at Figs. 7 and 8 you will see that the back of the plug appears to incorporate a USB receptacle. So this is a USB power adapter that plugs in to an automobile power receptacle.
The big clue to this is the "D" that precedes the patent number. That stands for "Design."
I'm surprised that a tech-savvy publication such as the Register would make such a basic mistake.
It looks to be the adapter for the airline (Empower?) plug, judging by the shape of the other end.
Dunno what's patentable about that tho'
It would be helpful...
...if more people would bother to learn how patents work.
A design patent is not the same thing as a conventional patent, or "utility" patent. A design patent covers only the shape or appearance of a thing, and only if that appearance is not directly related to the function of the thing. (Dizzy Gillespie's upturned trumpet, for example, is covered by a design patent.)
A design patent filing will usually be quite brief, because the only thing that is being patented is the appearance of the thing, not its function. This is not a patent on a 12-volt car power plug; it's a patent on a 12-volt car power plug with that shape.
All this entirely misses the fact that the traditional 12V connector plug (and the socket for that matter), is one of the most useless bits of design out there (leading to all sorts of problems with premature and accidental withdrawal). Any sensible redesign of this connection would be most welcome.
'These idiots are trying to trademark "multi-touch" as well where as multi-touch has existed for years we all just called it foreplay.' - really? I must try pinching my wife to see if I can zoom in and out....
@Patent-law- ... umm ... -tards
Well I think you will most certainly agree that given the connectors dimensions are constrained by those of the standard device, and given the very high number of such connectors produced in the last 40 years, it is highly likely that there exists at least one pre-existing instance of [IT LOOKS LIKE A BORG'S DANGLE AND APPLE ARE TRYING TO PATENT ELECTRICITY. THEY'RE MORONS AND THEY SUCK BORG DANGLES!!!] also agree that there is some likelihood that this patent will not survive rigourous scrutiny.
It may also be that it is unique because every design team that ever stumbled across its like in their search for a distinctive product found it reminiscent of a robot's raging lap stallion, rampant with mechano-lust, and quickly moved on...
what makes it uniquely apple, is the chip inside which only allows apple devices to be charged from it.
this is why microsoft is better
at least they have the good manners to buy the ideas that they like rather than just patenting things that have been around for ages. Still, if they call it the iPower then all the fucktards who own macphones will buy one up because that's what the Grundian is telling them to do
Springs to mind...
I thought it was a drawing of Kryten's groinal attachment.
Mine's the one with a picture of a double-turbo vacuum cleaner in the inside pocket.
USPTO grants Apple a patent on a cigarette lighter!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .
Apologies for my absense . . . have just been registering my "Design" and "Utility" patent on USPTO's website for my invention!!
The "Design" part of my patent application involves an as yet undiscovered way of allowing an individual, (male or female), to rid themselves of their 'Bodily Wastes'!!
The "Utility" part of my patent application involves another, as yet undiscovered, way of allowing an individual, (male or female), to rid themselves of 'All other wastes they encounter'!!
To explain more concisely:
If you can shit, piss, belch, puke and fart as good as me, then you ain't got NOTHING!! But you turn out a Turd, Piss or Puke swirl or Belch/Fart in a decibel range that resembles anything like my Patent, then you're up for a whole load of Whupass!!
If you can Talk Shit, be Piss Poor, Belch Crap, Puke Patents and Fart as Loud, then carry on doing what you know best!!
If not, then . . . . . .
Feel free to use my 'Utility Patent' for the purpose I invented it for . . . . . .
Get rid of all the crap that keeps floating to the top . . . . even after you've flushed . . . "HOW MANY TIMES!!
// Cleaners/Dry Cleaners . . . Not as good these days as they were years ago . . . for getting rid of SHIT!!
Since the USA
Patents service have lost ALL credibility. I just suggest that single country in the world ignore any patents granted by the US. Since they have NO VALUE OF ANY KIND. i am sure that with enough bribe money i can patent the gesture of contracting/decontracting lungs to breath air.
This show once again how Apple is just a lousy company (it as alway been) that only try to find way to STEAL money and since just about every single branch of the US goverment is sale it is not that hard to do. and having a muslim in disguise at the whitehouse will not change a thing.
while there are often trolls in comments ..
it's rare to see an article that's a troll ..
as said .. it's a design patent ..
FYI .. you need a .tiff viewer plug in for your browser to view images at USPTO
Quicktime didn't work and it just update but Alterna at alternatiff.com works perfect
"This is not a patent on a 12-volt car power plug; it's a patent on a 12-volt car power plug with that shape."
Er, it's shaped like a 12-volt car power plug.
Doesn't El Reg have anything better to do...
...than trawl through Apple's patents and wonder what they intend by them? Your conjectures how the industry can be screwed if the patents are used the way you imagine are meaningless.
All this serves to do is to poke a stick into the anti-patent and anti-Apple ant hills. At the best it is Daily Mail journalism: pandering to the known prejudices of your audience.
Maybe it's shaped like a 12-volt car power plug, in white, with an Apple logo embossed into it etc. Just standard practice to patent the design to stop (read: try to stop, in vain) counterfeiters and Ebayers from Hong Kong. No different from patenting the design of, say, an ipod.
Biggest non-story ever on Reg, although to be fair I suspect they knew it, and only ran it because of the double entendre potential.
Wait a minuite
I already have a adaptor in the car with that shape !
*middle finger to apple
Did someone say Fail?
"Any sensible redesign of this connection would be most welcome."
Of course, any seriously "redesigned" version wouldn't fit the umpteen million in-car 12v sockets already out there, making it utterly sodding useless. Fail indeed. Epicly so.
Whoever pointed out that it's allegedly clever 'cos it's got a USB connector on the other end, try looking up N91FY on the Maplin site. Theirs has two on it!
Anyhow, it's not a plug, it's obviously a DONGle......
Re: Is this a competition?
"Are Apple trying to win the Most Despisable Company on Earth award?"
Evidently. As the 25-year eulogy here reminded us, the company has had three phases. In phase 1, Jobs created Heaven on Earth and everyone saw that it was good. In phase 2, he took a break and the MBAs totally fucked up the company. In phase 3, Jobs brought a new testament to the world and everyone once again worshipped at his feet.
Now Steve's taking a back seat again. Let's all wish him a swift recovery, but sell those Apple shares just in case he doesn't make it back to work soon.
It's been on sale for a year now. I own one. Because ...
DANGER: USEFUL INFORMATION ALERT
This is part of the kit you get when you buy Apple's in-flight magsafe adapter for a magsafe-equipped Macbook (Pro, vanilla, or Air).
It's a "condom" that fits into a car's 12v socket. Inside it, there's another socket -- for an airline seatback 12v plug. And then there's a cable with a magsafe connector at one end and an airline 12v plug at the other.
Macbooks can run off airliners with 12v seatback power, or cars, using just a cable and this gizmo -- no need for a transformer brick.
Nothing to see here, move along now ....
"'These idiots are trying to trademark "multi-touch" as well where as multi-touch has existed for years we all just called it foreplay.' - really? I must try pinching my wife to see if I can zoom in and out...."
Do it enough and you'll find yourself zooming in quickly on her fist until it crashes... into your face.
>> Listed as a co-author, one "Whang; Eugene Antony " - defo should be the project manager for Apple's new "power" "connector"...
I think El Reg, need to make Lester Haines the editor - if he were, there is is now way that this article would have got though without at least three references to Eug. Whang
Obviously a prophylactic device designed by Apple for those times requiring "closer relations" with Microsoft.
Apples (and oranges) connectors
Well, at least it's not as bad as Apples ADC connector.
"I have a great idea lads! I've designed a connector for monitors that carries video, power, AND USB!"
"I know, all we have to do now is convince Nvidia, Intel and ATI to produce all their cards for us with this new proprietry connector"
"Then all we have to do is get all the VDU manufacturers on board..."
"...and they all have to pay a royalty to us for the privalige of using our connector!"
"What if they want to use a non-ADC device?"
"We can sell them a converter for $149"
"What? US dollars?!?"
"Don't worry, we'll scrap the entire thing in three years, anyway!"
"Second, if you look at Figs. 7 and 8 you will see that the back of the plug appears to incorporate a USB receptacle. So this is a USB power adapter that plugs in to an automobile power receptacle."
Ah. Just like the one I bought on eBay (part of a Palm charging kit) for a couple of quid last year, then.
Paris, because a little butter helps it slip in more easily.
Much as I thought yesterday, looking at the shape of the other end.
No - you can't fit any interesting body parts into it as it's way too small.
It's the 12V plug part of the Apple airline adapter