back to article Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Apple is trying to patent a paper bag. Patent application US 20160264304 A1* describes “a bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.” The application says Apple's sacred sack is “a bag, such as a retail shopping bag … may be formed entirely of paper, with the potential …

  1. Mikey

    I can see it now...

    The top of the bag won't actually have an opening in it to put things in, so it can be classified as a waterproof and courageous design, to herald in a new era of... something or other.

    But you CAN buy the optional iOpener to allow backwards compatibility as needed, at the low price of only $29.99, but you can only put one thing in the bag at a time if you do.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: I can see it now...

      Thanks for reminding me that I used to work for a company of the adult entertainment variety that set up an ISP called iopener. I'd managed to block that from my memory.

      Why anyone would want an ISP associated with grumble mags I never understood...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can see it now...

        > Why anyone would want an ISP associated with grumble mags I never understood...

        Is the Internet used for anything else?

        1. james 68

          Re: I can see it now...

          Nope, just porn.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRgNOyCnbqg

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: I can see it now...

        Why anyone would want an ISP associated with grumble mags I never understood...

        Bandwith.

        I want my choice of filth flowing with smooth, clear, crisp perfection, not laggy, lumpy and pixelated.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: I can see it now...

          True.

          But this was in the days of dialup...

    2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: I can see it now...

      "But you CAN buy the optional iOpener"

      Err, I've had my iOpener for 15 years now, didn't know I was waiting for an iBag to put it into. Not that I can do much with a 180 MHz Geode these days...

  2. Filippo

    Does "post-consumer" mean it's made of people?

    Also, looking forward to when one breaks, spilling all of its content on the floor, and it turns out it's because the customer was holding it wrong.

    1. Andrew Commons

      On a roll......

      "Does "post-consumer" mean it's made of people?"

      No, it means it's full of shit.

      1. MrDamage

        Re: On a roll......

        They were obviously inspired by a burning paper bag someone left on the doorstep at Cupertino.

      2. Lamont Cranston

        Re: full of shit

        I came here to say that Apple is full of "post-consumer content," but you've beaten me to it.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      @Filippo

      That would be one of the Soylent derivatives, Soylent white, not to be confused with Ketracel white...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    If they make it fire retardant, I'll keep my Samsung in it.

  4. Oengus

    formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content

    So if I copy the bag and make it of paper with less than "60% post-consumer content" I am not in violation of the patent.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      alternatively

      If you make it blue, then over 60℅ is fine

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: alternatively

        If you put an Apple (or an.other) logo then it will be fine.

        Given this is a design patent...

        It is interesting in all of Apple's attempt to define a generic plain white retail paper bag they clear omit to mention whether the bag has any printing, embossing or watermarking...

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: alternatively

          > Given this is a design patent...

          This is *NOT* a design patent - it has "Kind code" A1, which is a "proper" patent. Design patents have Kind Code "S". Source

          1. Pat Att

            Re: alternatively

            Yes, this really is unbelievable. I'm a patent attorney and usually approach these stories with some scepticism, but could hardly believe it when I saw it was a real utility patent application.

            It won't (surely!) get granted, but either way, it does the reputation of the patents system no good.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: alternatively

            Thanks for the clarification, I was trying to determine what type of patent it was and decided that given the lack of invention and the nature of the claims being made that this was a design patent with attempts at defining and thus protecting trade dress.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: alternatively

        "If you make it blue, then over 60℅ is fine"

        If its like the standard style of patent then somewhere near the bottom will be

        CLAIM: this method can also be applied to bags constructed in a plurality of single colours

        CLAIM: this method can also be applied to bags constructed using a plurality of colours

        CLAIM: this method can also be applied to bags wiht less than 60% post-copnsumer content

        1. R Callan

          Re: alternatively

          and if you use sulphite pulp instead or the prescribed sulphate (a.k.a. Kraft) pulp?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Claim 1 starts "A retail paper bag".

      So all you need to do is demonstrate that your identical bag is not a retail bag, then none of the claims apply.

  5. Little Mouse

    It'll never catch on

    A bag? Made of paper?

    Madness.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: It'll never catch on

      it's sure to upset the apple bag.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: It'll never catch on

      I remember the times where the only "paper bags" you ever got while doing shopping were brown and crumply (probably made by people at the local prison, too) and you put meat, bottles and cheese into them. Any other articles you were supposed to put into bags that you damn well brought yourself.

      These days, Saturday seems to be the Day Of The Luxuriously-Looking Paperbag Airing. It's weird.

  6. Ian Emery Silver badge
    WTF?

    I Love Cats, they taste like chicken

    Can you make trousers with them?

    Because I for one, have always liked baggy trousers.

    Sorry, I think there is something wrong with my medication.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I Love Cats, they taste like chicken

      Indeed, clearly off the medication. As any fule kno cats taste like rabbit (true!). And rabbit, like everything else except cats and chicken, taste like chicken. You can make hats, shoes and whatever out of them. My codpiece is made of a cat white paper bag.

      Have to leave, the doctor ordered me back inside.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thought for the day

    "planet-friendly gussets"

    1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Thought for the day

      I knew someone would go for the gussets.

      1. Andrew Commons

        Re: Thought for the day

        Google

        origami gusset

        Maybe they will get prior art issues?

        1. Mike Richards

          origami gusset - was Re: Thought for the day

          I had all their albums.

          1. Andrew Commons

            Re: origami gusset - was Thought for the day

            Fabulous. Thank you :-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: origami gusset - was Thought for the day

            I'm sorry I haven't a clue about bags but Origami Gusset but weren't they a 60's Rob Band - got too number 4 with 'Baby I want to fold your Love Thing'.

            I'll get my coat - Hamish 'n Dougal are looking after it.

    2. Double Dagger Tees

      Re: Thought for the day

      I wish that was in the patent application. Can use that quote on a shirt? :)

      I can send you a free one.

  8. Spud
    Coat

    £5 on a 24 month contract

    I gotta bag me one of those ......

    And it's not even Friday yet ....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what we really want to know is ...

    ... has the Register tried asking Apple for a comment? :-)

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: what we really want to know is ...

      Barbra Streisand hadn't replied at time of publication.

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Ah the miracles of modern technology... paper bags. What will the lads in Cupertino think of next?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      What will the lads in Cupertino think of next?

      1. Pencils with a core made of finely ground graphite held in a (bleached white) ceramic matrix that wears away when rubbed over paper leaving a fine coating of graphite on said paper. The core will be wrapped in an environmentally friendly biodegradable casing that is sourced from sustainable and fair traded sources that don't use child labour in its production.

      2. Bleached white writing paper, made from at least 60% post-consumer waste, watermarked with the apple logo.

      1. Julz Bronze badge

        That would be the Apple graphene dispenser.

    2. Naselus

      "What will the lads in Cupertino think of next?"

      Bread, only sliced into thin squares. Game changer.

      1. D@v3

        Naselus

        Wow..... that sounds so good, that all future things that are also good will use it as a benchmark of, goodness.

        I mean, that's the best thing since, err, hmmm............

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Naselus

          What they really need to do is extend their rounded corners to the full circle, and from that invent the wheel. Think of the applications for such a thing.

          I'm not going to suggest they try to invent fire, because Samsung are apparently already there with the Note 7.

  11. MrDamage

    Sounds like a job

    For the boys and girls at Unpatent

  12. PK

    It has got to be asked...

    So where are the rounded corners?

  13. Anon
    Pirate

    It'll never float

    If there's one thing the SBS don't want their bags made from, it would probably be paper.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is white paper green?

    How green is bleached paper?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Is white paper green?

      How green is bleached paper?

      Umm, very pale green?

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Is white paper green?

      "How green is bleached paper?"

      Ah, You caught the trick there.

      The 60% post consumer (Pfft! "recycled" ain't good enough anymore?) brown paper is very green.

      The process of bleaching it pure white, with all the waste products generated that have to be processed... not so much.

      Buuut, they just don't mention that part, and everybody's happy!

  15. mksteve

    My granddad had the patent for the diamond O sack. It reduced the amount of paper needed to make a secure bag, and saved money (and I guess the environment). I can't see anything wrong with the idea that packaging improvements can be patented.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      I agree with you entirely, but the problem is there doesn't seem to be any packaging improvements in the patent:

      a) made of 60% recycled paper - no biggy there, lots of bags are

      b) has SBS paper too - again, this just adds shiny, and isn't novel, there are providers of SBS paper from recycled sources out there

      c) has a "knitted paper fibre handle", which allegedly makes it more flexible. You can buy socks made of the stuff, so it's not new either. And I've seen plenty of bags with handles made of paper, so this smacks of an obvious increment

      d) the top edge is folded over a cardboard insert for durability - seen that in plenty of existing bags

      e) it has inserts at the bottom to aid structural strength - possibly about the only thing I've not seen in real life. I don't really follow the paper-bag industry (such as it is), but isn't this equivalent to double-bagging?

      Can't find the "diamond O sack" - only an Urban Dictionary entry for "bravery"

      1. mksteve

        https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US3081930.pdf is the patent

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @mksteve

          Ta - an interesting read, and certainly more innovative than the Apple one

      2. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Ré inserts

        You get them in waxed paper bags at many supermarkets - you know, the "bags for life" that last about 12 months at best.

        When challenged, they claim "life" means the life of the bag, when asked how long the life of a bag is. the reply is "it is how long it lasts".

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: the "bags for life" that last about 12 months at best.

          The "for life" bit is the bit where you take the broken bag to the shop and get a free replacement. And when that one breaks you take it to the shop and get a free replacement. They're not saying the bags are indestructible.

          Sounds to me like you've managed to piss off the staff at your local supermarket and they've decided to wind you up.

          1. short

            Re: the "bags for life" that last about 12 months at best.

            My understanding of 'bag for life' was that when the bag fails, that's it, you're ground up for lasagna.

            1. Paul

              Re: the "bags for life" that last about 12 months at best.

              "My understanding of 'bag for life' was that when the bag fails, that's it, you're ground up for lasagna."

              Hopefully people are more tasty than horses?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you have to swipe to open it?

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Well if it's somebody else's bag, you certainly have to swipe it before you can open it...

  17. Kenny Millar

    Grammar police alert

    "Apple's reportedly used the bag in its stores for a few months now."

    Sheesh.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Grammar police alert

      Okay, what am I missing? None of the usual grammar pedant traps seem to be there. "Apple's" is fine. "its" is fine. "few" is fine. Anyone?

      [ please forgive my poor English - it's my first language ]

      1. dochego

        Re: Grammar police alert

        If I remember correctly from my EAFL lessons, "for a few months" should go with "has been using...".

        1. Harman Mogul

          Re: Grammar police alert

          Continuous past tense not insisted on in US English

      2. Chris Evans

        Re: Grammar police alert

        I don't think it's wrong but I think in the UK it would normal be written as:

        "Apple's reportedly BEEN usING the bag in its stores for a few months now."

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Grammar police alert

          "Apple's reportedly BEEN usING the bag in its stores for a few months now."

          Ah. You see, I extrapolated "Apple's" to "Apple has" not "Apple is", which makes it "Apple has used the bag in its stores for a few months now" - which is also correct, isn't it?

          How the hell does anyone else learn this language?

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Grammar police alert

            Ah. You see, I extrapolated "Apple's" to "Apple has" not "Apple is", which makes it "Apple has used the bag in its stores for a few months now" - which is also correct, isn't it?

            Yes, but "Apple has" is correct for both, "Apple is" would not be correct:

            "Apple has reportedly been using the bag in its stores for a few months now."

            "Apple has used the bag in its stores for a few months now"

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Grammar police alert

            'You see, I extrapolated "Apple's" to "Apple has" not "Apple is"'

            So did I. The context should determine it.

            AFAICS the original was correct.

  18. CJatCTi

    Eco is just marketing

    If apple had a genuine breakthrough in eco bag design and they cared for the planet then they would want people to copy and develop their idea.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Eco is just marketing

      I think its not the Eco you are thinking of but more of a contraction of the a phrase used on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border where I grew up - In english it means "He is a bit of a plonker".

    2. Squander Two

      Re: Eco is just marketing

      You beat me to it.

      If Apple gave a damn about the environment, this wouldn't be a patent; they'd stick the design on the Web and send a copy to every retailer on the planet. Or they'd offer to manufacture them for everyone else at cost. "We're helping the planet by coming up with an innovative new way of doing less damage to the environment and we'll sue anyone else who tries to do the same" just doesn't sound all that convincing.

  19. TRT Silver badge

    Now if only...

    they could create a glue that was also made from pulped paper. That would actually be worth something. They make corrugated cardboard using starch glue, which is a by-product of crisp making and other potato processing methods. And the fibre crumple corner infills in the latest Apple shipping cartons are a step up from the expanded/moulded polystyrene bead efforts of yesteryear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now if only...

      Glue is made from recycled horses - how much more environmentally friendly do you want to get!!

      Sheesh. Some people are never satisfied.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Now if only...

        So crazy glue is made from fast horses?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Now if only...

          Crazy glue is made from unicorns.

        2. Robert Baker

          Re: Now if only...

          Is superglue made from pegasi?

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It just goes to show that where patents are concerned there's an infinite amount of piss to be taken.

    1. kmac499

      "It just goes to show that where patents are concerned there's an infinite amount of piss to be taken."

      Which I believe is the traditional use of a gusset; to provide wiggle room around piss-holes and arseholes in undergarments; quite appropriate really.

      (BTW Looking forward to Bag7 without handles)

  21. Crisp Silver badge

    Folds or Gussets?

    It has to be one or the other. Which is it?!?

    1. Robert Baker

      Re: Folds or Gussets?

      Folds and gussets never show their fruitless worth.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Folds or Gussets?

      Were they a comedy group? Follow-up to Hinge and Bracket?

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Stronger bags

    For all the adapters, dongles, and hubs needed for a single port Apple product.

  23. Adam Jarvis

    Apple DNA marketing 'Courage'

    Given its Apple, the next iteration won't have a handle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple DNA marketing 'Courage'

      In the next iteration they remove the handle and charge extra for a handle connector.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Apple DNA marketing 'Courage'

      "Given its Apple, the next iteration won't have a handle."

      Then the one after will JUST be a handle. After all the purpose of a bag is to be carried, tge iBag (s)

      Dispenses with the unnecessary parts and just lets you get on with carrying it.

  24. Mike Richards

    Apple will be in a constant arms race with Tesco to make the thinnest bags.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
      Joke

      A pointless race as Lidl won it already and are currently in discussions with carbon nanotechnology experts as to how their bags are thinner than graphene sheets.

  25. Len Goddard

    Prior art?

    I've got one of those from the chilli oil company. Handles, gussets etc all in exactly the same place although the proportions are different. The only significant deviation from Apple's patent is that it is brown.

  26. Milton Silver badge

    US Patents - The Sitcom

    The USPTO has been providing observant adults with vast amounts of unintentional entertainment for many years now. And to be fair, not all of it has come from the blindingly ridiculous patents it has granted to Apple.

    One can only stand in awe of the technological geniuses who have—for the first time in human history!—invented folds and gussets.

    One can also think nostalgically of the days when patent applications were properly analysed by immensely knowledgeable and skilled people, and granted only in the rare and exceptional cases where truly original and imaginative thinking and unique design was demonstrated.

    That is by contrast with the absurd ongoing fiasco of corporates vomiting patent applications for anything they can think of (or which was already thought of, but with a different bezel radius) in the hope that (a) some might stick and (b) they can then sue somebody; anybody; everybody.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: US Patents - The Sitcom

      There are a couple of ways to manage patent applications:

      1) Rubber stamp every patent coming in, charging a nomimal fee for this, let somebody else decide (through the legal process) whether or not the patent has any merit or not. Loudly proclaim that the market is incredibly innovative because there are a lot of patents.

      2) Investigate in detail every incoming patent bringing in knowledgable experts on all related subjects, charging a substantial fee for this. The patent validity will still be challenged at a later date, along with the opinions of the in-house experts and their neutrality or bias.

      I suspect that there is a happier medium that can be found betweeen the two, however the shouty marketing of "lots of patents = lots of innovation" will always skew this.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: US Patents - The Sitcom

        "There are a couple of ways to manage patent applications:"

        3. The patent office follows whatever process it wants but if a patent is invalidated all royalty fees collected against the patent are to be refunded and the office is jointly and severally liable with the patent "holder" for all refunds, damages and costs.

  27. The_H
    WTF?

    Wow

    I remember when Apple used to be technology innovators.

    Now they just peddle the same old cr*p to technonoobs over and over again. The only creativity they've got left is (a) finding ever more inventive ways of evading tax, and (b) applying for ever more ridiculous patents. Rectangles? Paper bags? Store layouts? Really???

    I'd be f'kin embarrassed if I worked for them. "What did you do today at work Dad?" "I patented a paper bag". {tumbleweed}

    1. Clive 3

      Re: Wow

      You must have a very long memory.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFeC25BM9E0

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        Made of paper to avoid the 5p bag tax.

  28. John McCallum
    FAIL

    Paper carier bags

    Anyone who went to the shops with or for their Mum in the fifties or early sixties and forgot the shopping bag got one very similar to this joke OK it was brown craft and had string handles but almost identical.

  29. adam payne Silver badge

    Well i've heard just about everything now.

    Is the bag to put on your own head when the staff start to clap you out of store.

    1. AceRimmer1980
      IT Angle

      I've put your receipt in the iBag

      No, it's so you can wear airpods without embarrasment.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll put a seal over the opening...

    ...with "Warranty voided if broken" stamped on it

  31. cambsukguy

    How is it this long after publishing the article...

    ...that no-one has said "Apple's got a brand new bag"

    Must be my age, see you later Alligator

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Every breath you take'

    Just put my patent for Oxygen in at my local Patent Office. If approved, every human on this planet will have to pay a 'Breath Tax' to me, including the Fuck-Nuts at the patent office....obviously, i'm going to have to charge each individual at the Pat-Off a fee of one million pounds sterling per month....and if they can't pay....well i'm just gonna have to take their air away from them.

  33. heyrick Silver badge

    Apple's reportedly used the bag in its stores for a few months now.

    Wouldn't this basically invalidate any such patent claims in the EU? Self inflicted prior art...

    1. Squander Two

      Wouldn't this basically invalidate any such patent claims in the EU?

      No.

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Wouldn't this basically invalidate any such patent claims in the EU?

        No? Are you sure about that?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't this basically invalidate any such patent claims in the EU?

          Likewise this patent (if award) will be invalid in the EU: "Apple's reportedly used the bag in its stores for a few months now."...

  34. oiseau Silver badge

    The problem

    The problem here (or news if you will) isn't Apple trying to file a patent for what all intents and purposes is a paper bag and nothing else.

    After all, we've seen them patent corners (the *round* ones), haven't we?

    The problem at hand is what the US Patent Office will do with said application.

    Nothing else.

    If this blatant absurdity goes through, the next thing you know they'll be able to patent a turd, based on what went into producing it, how much effort it took to expel it and (last but not least) how it looked and smelled once expelled.

    The gods save us ...

    Or is it true that they have gone mad?

    Cheers, if you can muster any..

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: The problem

      > If this blatant absurdity goes through

      Which based on past performance it will ...

      And then Apple will have another stick with which to beat smaller players. Once they have a patent, they can go round suing pretty well anyone making OR USING paper bags - basically it's the joker in the litigation pack and pretty well gives them ammunition against just about everyone.

      So when some small retailer falls out with Apple in some way, Apple can sue them for patent infringement - and it's then up to the defendant to prove the patent false (or that their own bags don't infringe). Given I've read that such action can cost in the order of $250,000 or more, how many small retailers could defend that ? So then it becomes a "how little will Apple settle for" game and there's a nice little extortion racket - with a "and as well as the damages, you agree to do/not do <whatever it was Apple doesn't like>" tacked on, making it another means for the big bully (Apple) to stop smaller people doing things Apple don't like

      Yes, it will get invalidated when Apple take on someone able to mount a defence, but that can take years.

      1. Public Citizen

        Re: The problem

        Most "small" users of products such as paper bags obtain them from one of several very large suppliers of such goods. This includes some pretty large companies in their own right who use third party sourcing for such items.

        For example, Uline is a major North American supplier, with warehouses and distribution across the continent.

        Their catalog on paper bags alone runs several pages, with a substantial portion of those pages being the matrix of sizes and quantities that a particular type of bag is available in.

        I'd like to see Apple attempt to sue Uline for a patent infringement on a paper bag.

        I'm looking at one of their catalogs right now that has a 95% post-consumer content bag that looks remarkably like the one Apple is claiming a patent on. The only difference is that the Uline specification has a twisted paper handle. The listing directly above this one is for a bag with a reinforced top, chipboard bottom and soft cotton rope [which would be woven] handle.

        Unless Apple has come up with a ~process~ for making recycled fibers [post-consumer] stronger there is no substance to their claim. Even if they do have a new process it needs to be patented on its own and not as part of a claim for what is essentially a ~design~ for an already widely used class of products.

        Note: The problem with all recycled fibers is that they are shorter than the virgin material, making them incapable of handling the same stresses and loading as the the original fibre.

  35. volsano

    This invention infringes my own pocket-stowable, portable facial anonymization and ambient CO2 concentration device. My lawyers are furiously tying.

  36. Magani
    Coat

    Just wondering...

    ...if this is the bag with no 3.5mm headphone jack in it.

    Mine's the one with the Bluetooth handles.

  37. Franco Silver badge

    Can you get one with rounded corners?

  38. Tromos

    Another Apple tax avoidance scheme

    They'll stop at nothing to avoid paying the government's plastic bag tax.

  39. W4YBO

    (although Apple wants it to be white)

    Go to any town in which paper is produced, and take a whiff of what the bleaching process smells like.

  40. dervheid
    Stop

    If ever proof were needed

    that the world is going to hell on a hand-cart, this has to be it.

    (It'll probably be an Apple iHand-Cart, patented down to the grain pattern in the wood)

  41. Jan 0

    Do you ever shop at an Apple Store?

    I suspect that none of the, so far, commentards have experienced the ridiculously over engineered plastic gym bags that they try to wrap your stuff in. All their small items fit straight into my shoulder bag, bigger items come in cardboard boxes with a carrying handle. Now, if you take it, all their packaging can go in the recycling bin rather than landfill. What's so bad about that? (Well they could have been doing it since 2001:)

    Sent by wrangling recycled electrons on an Apple thingy.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Do you ever shop at an Apple Store?

      No, and if I ever do, I want someone to kill me, because it'll be a clear sign that I've lost the plot.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Do you ever shop at an Apple Store?

      Ridiculous levels of packaging tend to go hand-in-hand with high-price shouty fashion retailers, where the main point isn't what's actually in the bag/box but the 'statement' that is being made. However, there are exceptions, one of the shops I buy suits from packages their suits in a (good quality & moth-proof) garment bag/cover...

      Now, if you take it, all their packaging can go in the recycling bin rather than landfill. What's so bad about that?

      Well Apple do need an auditable source to back up their "at least 60% post-consumer content" claim.

  42. d3vy Silver badge

    Well I'm sitting g in a tea room in Manchester right now with an array of paper bags around my feet... The Hollister one has a handle made of twisted paper.. in fact looking at it I'm fairly sure its 99% paper.

    I claim prior art, how are they letting these through.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Well I'm sitting g in a tea room in Manchester"

      I deduce from your mention of tea that that is Manchester, England. As far as the USPTO is concerned, England does not exist.

  43. Steve Evans

    I assume if everything falls out you'll be accused of holding it wrong?

  44. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    cue tinny "Laughing Policeman" music

    Aaaah ahahahahahahahahaaaa!

    Ooooh ahahahahahahahahaaaa!

    Aaaah ahahahahahahahahaaaa!

    Whooo haha

    Ah haha

    Hahahahaha.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patent Attorney here...

    ...just wanted to point out that this is a - so far - completely un-examined patent application.

    The likelihood of claim 1 as it stands reaching grant is practically zero, once (even USPTO) examination commences. Meanwhile if there is something novel, inventive and solving a technical problem within the claims or description that can eventually be hammered out as an independent claim in a granted patent, then that's fair enough.

    So let's keep calm here.

  46. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Scope for competition

    Perhaps el Reg could organise a competition.

    Think of an ordinary object, e.g. a paper bag, and then imagine how it might be drawn and annotated by a patent lawyer.

  47. FredBloggs61

    What's the date?

    Am I missing something here?

    Like the last 5 months and it's actually April 1st?

  48. GavinC

    Good for the environment?

    So... apple want to save the environment by using paper bags?

    Then they patent them, so no-one else can do so, and must instead continue using plastic bags. That's going to be great for the environment...

  49. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh, looks like the bag I use for grocery shopping. It folds exactly the same way, has the reinforced top edge and a stiff card that sits in the bottom to hold it flat and provide support. The only difference is that mine is cloth, is washable, and will easily carry 20 kg.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's 'The Onion'

    I keep getting directed to this mirror webpage instead of 'The Onion' for some reason.

  51. jake Silver badge

    Nobody tell Apple ...

    ... but we debag the new boys ;-)

  52. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I wonder

    what former patent office clerk Albert Einstein would make of this.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: I wonder

      "what former patent office clerk Albert Einstein would make of this."

      Well, this kind of idiocy isn't new, just better publicised these days.

      I'm sure that one day, pondering over the latest stack of approved patents that he had to file, he had a epiphany:

      "If this kind of idiotic tripe is being approved by normal people, I must be a genius!"

      Then he promptly formulated general relativity and left to teach at University.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: I wonder

        Actually, special relativity...

  53. jake Silver badge

    More seriously ...

    ... isn't this definitive proof that nobody with the ability to make decisions at Apple has ever actually interacted with TheRealWorld[tm]?

    Think about it. Someone in a board-room, somewhere in the Appleverse, said (paraphrasing) "OH MY JOBS! A BAG MADE OF PAPER! NOBODY HAS EVER DONE THAT BEFORE! QUICK, GET A PATENT ON IT BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES!", and none of the yes-drones corrected the idiot.

    The mind absolutely boggles.

    I won't comment on the stupidity of the USPTO as it is self evident. You are quite welcome.

  54. Ryan Kendall
    Trollface

    Patent on TIn design

    I'm amazed they haven't tried to get a patent for a Tin. Then they can sue all the Tinned (Canned) food manufactures, for the shape being too similar to a Mac Pro.

  55. Skymonrie
    Stop

    Isn't this just origami?

    Surely, prior art in a hearbeat anyone? Although...would they be using 60% bullshit ingredients?

  56. Herby Silver badge

    Maybe...

    This is an effort to get people talking about Apple, and has NOTHING to do with paper bags. Just about anyone can submit a patent application, who knows if it gets granted!!

    Next on my list: Submit patent application for wheel. Yes, I know it won't get granted, but everyone will be talking about it, you can be sure. Fame and Fortune are only follow ons.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Maybe...

      "Next on my list: Submit patent application for wheel."

      Get in line.

      Quote:"According to a November [2005] Washington

      Post profile of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the agency

      has, since 1790, granted about 30,000 patents to people who have

      submitted unique designs to improve upon, if not reinvent, wheels."

  57. IamTheOneWhoHacks

    Please can someone tell me where I can queue up on launch day to get one of these???

  58. cortland

    Folds or gussets

    Prior use since about 4000 BCE

  59. Sweep

    Environmentally friendly

    If they were that committed to the environment they wouldn't patent their environmentally friendly bag...

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