Apple is at the top of its game, dominating the markets with the iPad and iPhone, and now the courtrooms. The company is very active in R&D regularly publishing new patents, some of which give clues to new technologies being investigated by the company, others never seeing the light of day. Today's patent filing is for something that has been around for many years: the start up chime. 

Recently Kanzatec published an infographic showing who is suing who. All cases lead to Apple, involved in 60 per cent of cases, both suing and being sued.

Apple loves its patents, trying to keep its brand as contained as possible, it’s patented the Apple Store layout, design and even the in-store retail stands. According to Patently Apple, Apple has eleven different patents on retail stands in China alone.

The Apple brand has been dubbed as "cool" by the judge overseeing a particular lawsuit versus Samsung. The crux of the decision being that the Samsung tablet was "not as cool" as Apple’s iPad, and hence it was decided they had not breached any patents. Needless to say the case was hardly optimum advertising for Samsung (although Apple has been told it must advertise the fact that it was wrong about Samsung’s copy cat status).

The latest and possibly most excessive (yet still somehow unsurprising) patent Apple has filed for is to protect its Mac start-up chime which is synonymous with the brand. The classic and instantly recognisable "dong" is the chord played when a Mac is switched on and indicates that the computer has found no hardware or software problems. The only other place you will have heard this sound is in the animation film Wall-E, but this is only as a subtle indicator, or possibly a reminder, to the viewer that the late Steve Jobs owned both Apple and Pixar.

As long as Apple continue to live up to its innovative reputation which attracts customers, and keeps the new and individual products, software and updates coming, the constant stream of patents and their never-ending involvement in lawsuits will continue. The company, responsible for the original iPhone, as well as iPod touch and iPad devices, now has the legal right to object to almost every aspect of rival mobile devices, particularly the Android operating system developed by Google. Competition on the market should feel disheartened to say the least. Any company looking to take on Apple, good luck.

Via: Patently Apple. 

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