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back to article Apple files patent for refrigerator-magnet iPads

Apple has filed a patent application for a method of cladding rare-earth magnets that could enable portable electronics to become refrigerator magnets and iWatch elements. The filing, "Unibody Magnet", notes that the standard coatings for rare-earth magnets such as those made from neodymium are not necessarily compatible with …

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Facepalm

Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

Fucking genius! Someone deserves a nobel prize for this!

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Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

What's better is it's all about style over substance.

We already know how to do it.. Now how do we make it look like an Apple product?

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Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

"Now how do we make it look like an Apple product?"

The same thing they do with everything they steal innovate; round the corners off and paint it white.

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Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

Nobel prize.. Research into magentism. Louis Eugène Félix Néel and Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén in 1970

Although their work, like the work of all modern physicists is based on the work of others before them. Perhaps this patent should be granted to André-Marie Ampère.

It is just common sense that easily oxidizable metal be covered in a non-oxidizing coating, this has been happening for years.

What I find intriguing is that anyone would want to mount their phone/mp3 player/fondleslab to a fridge door or any vertical metal surface. Perhaps I don't have the insight, imagination. Ok you could say to a metal wall... Here hold this for a minute. Although I never felt the need myself, besides metal walls are hard to come by, unless one is in the Navy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

No no no, it's all about harmonisation.... To be in harmony, to feel harmonious with the object, to become one with.... A magnet?

A load of luvvie language piffle.

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Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

Yep, it'll look great on your stainless steel refrigerator. Go ahead and just stick it on there.

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@Piro - style over substance

That's sort of the point. Apple wants to figure out how to do things that don't compromise the design of their products. Most other CE companies design products that are functional and generally have little regard for style. They'd just tack some magnets onto the back of a tablet and call it good.

You may feel that style has no place in the products you buy, and don't understand why someone will pay more for a product on that basis - let alone items that are purely style like in the fashion world. However, just because you feel that way doesn't mean that others are wrong in feeling differently. Have a bigger world view than your own narrow minded biases.

That said, nothing in here appears to be original enough to deserve a patent, but if The Reg would pick and choose the latest patents from Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung et al I'm sure they can find similarly silly patents they apply for. Apple may have more "style over substance" type patents than others, but that's not surprising since they're one of the few companies that considers style as important as functionality. Sony always did in the past, though less so these days, while other companies care in some of their products but not others. Then you have companies like Microsoft that seem to agree with your world view that style actually detracts from a product, or at least that's the only conclusion I can draw from looking at their previous attempts at a tablet before they just crossed an iPad and Galaxy Tab to create the Surface.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Piro - style over substance

Have an upvote for the bold attempt to have a rational discussion involving Apple.

It will however, end in tears.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

"Attaching something to a metal surface with magnets?

Fucking genius! Someone deserves a nobel prize for this!"

This is Apple innovation!

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Actually, no

What Apple is trying to patent is some special hi-gloss magnet paint.

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Big Brother

Think fucking different

Remember folks, the patent system Apple bought has the credibility of an MP's expense claim - it allowed the stick through, for Gods sake, so all those fridge magnets you thought you stuck up first are in fact your delusion caused by the famous Cupertino reality distortion field.

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Re: Think fucking different

"the patent system Apple bought has the credibility of an MP's expense claim..."

Correct, now we've proof.

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WTF?

Huh?

So the average nickel plated neodymium magnets aren't up to Apple's aesthetic snuff but a shiny coat of aluminum is novel enough for a patent? Clearly I need to run out and patent a copper washed neodymium magnet as well as brass, bronze, titanium, chrome, teflon, glass, porcine maquillage, ad infinitum.

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What's aluminum?

Seriously though, it's just a magnet. Get a grip Apple.

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Come on, people!

Lets see what this patent is about:

machining a magnet - like bending a bar magnet into a horseshoe shape

applying an anti-rust coating - like painting it

So, Apple have applied for a patent for the bleedin' obvious that has been done before. I hope its costing them pots of money

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Manufacturing Techniques?

What difference do the manufacturing techniques make to the patent? They aren't patenting the process, just the magnet (I guess?). Did some douchey attorney just hear about wire EDM and really want to talk about it? Every part of this is overly complex and appears to show no advantage. This is stupid.

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SNL was there first!

There was a fake Apple ad on Saturday Night Live around 1995 for "Macintosh Post-it Notes";

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q-BH8j06pM

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Apple's next patent needs to be

The uncrackable touchscreen...

for when the iFridgeMagnet keeps falling off the fridge.

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SSD only, I guess?

I could see this ending in tears with a hard drive ipod, laptop etc, and possibly ending up with wiped credit cards if built into phones or pocket devices. I can't even imagine most everyday electronics are thrilled at having strong localised sources of magnetic flux in the area. She they've thought of all this, but then I imagined they'd test the aerials on their flagship handset design too.

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Hmmm, iPhone + Bank cards = weekend of penniless misery

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Or alternatively, blue tack.

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DJO
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Boffin

Curiouser and curiouser

including using cutting tools such as "diamond saws, and wire electronic discharge machining" to shape neodymium magnets into precise configurations that can be fitted into matched receptacles

Don't they know how these magnets are made? They are ceramics and can be baked into any shape you want, do they really think those spheres you can buy by in 6x6x6 cubes are all individually ground to shape?

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Re: Curiouser and curiouser

"precise configurations that can be fitted into matched receptacles"

And that's what gives the game away.

It seems Apple intend to repeat the fiasco they pulled on the car manufacturers who were foolish enough to include iPod docks as factory in their cars. Now it seems the whitegoods manufacturers are going to be sucked into the same shit.

Build specifically-shaped (and patented, trademarked and copyrighted) holes on the front of their appliances, sell a shit load, and then change the design of the slot so if you upgrade your iWank, you have to buy a new fridge as well.

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Re: "They are ceramics and can be baked into any shape you want"

Shhh ! Your facts are disturbing the aesthetics !

Look ! Apple ! Shiny !

OOooooooooo !

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Paris Hilton

Re: Curiouser and curiouser

For reasons I am yet to discern, the whizz-bang you-beaut coffee machine (an industrial strength device acquired after our Jura gave up the ghost after a piddling 85,000 shots) has an iPad dock.

http://www.scanomat.com/coffee-brewers/topbrewer

Paris: At least i would know what to do with her docking facility

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so...

how do these magnets on the back of a flat iPad work with curved fridge doors?

also.. what's the point?

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Re: so...

easy... you just 'upgrade' your useless, old style fridge to a nice new apple approved ifridge!

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I'd like to see...

...how this is going to work with magnetic field sensors

Such as asre used on iphones, amongst other things as part of the navigation system.

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