The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 35 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two of Apple's patents relating to waterproofing iDevices. A waterproofing test was recently conducted by Square Trade showing how waterproofing has been upgraded in Apple's iPhone 5 and our report includes that video. Our report also covers Apple's sole granted design patent of the day covering the iPad with an email interface which includes a credit to Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple Granted Two Waterproofing Related Patents
Apple's first waterproofing granted patent is titled "Water inhibiting slide switch" and generally relates to portable computing devices that provide protection against moisture intrusion.
Broadly speaking, Apple's invention describes methods, apparatus and materials for forming components well suited for use in consumer electronic devices, such as laptops, cellphones, netbook computers, portable media players and tablet computers.
In more detail, the invention relates to providing a moisture resistant environment for small form factor electronic devices. In a particular, the systems, methods and apparatus can be related to providing a moisture resistant environment that can be applied to the design of electromechanical switches. The electromechanical switches, described herein, can typically be located on an outer surface of the consumer electronic device and can be configured to provide an electrical output signal in response to an actuation of the switch via an applied mechanical force, such as in response to a mechanical force generated by a user.
For more details on this granted patent, see our report covering Apple's 2012 original patent application.
Apple's second waterproofing granted patent is titled "Electronic device moisture indicators" and generally relates to moisture indicators for electronic devices.
To avoid damage of an electronic device, a user should avoid any exposure to moisture. Sometimes, however, trivial amounts of moisture infiltrate an electronic device. A moisture indicator ("water dot") may be provided to monitor exposure of the electronic device to moisture.
To distinguish between situations in which an electronic device has been immersed in liquid or otherwise exposed to large amounts of moisture and situations in which the electronic device has been exposed to only a relatively small amount of moisture, the moisture indicator may be provided with a sealed edge. The sealed edge may reduce the sensitivity of the moisture indicator. The moisture indicator may have an unsealed edge through which moisture can enter the moisture indicator.
The moisture indicator may be provided with regions of different sensitivity. Different regions of the moisture indicator may be separated from each other using moisture-flow-altering structures. These structures may be formed by introducing moisture-blocking substances into a wicking layer at selected locations. Different wicking layer thicknesses and interposed layers of perforated moisture blocking material may also be used to provide the moisture indicator with regions of varying moisture sensitivity.
Below is a waterproofing test that Square Trade put the iPhone 5 through recently starting at the 1:27 mark of this video. I was quite surprised at how well it did. Obviously Apple's patented waterproofing technology is working.
Apple Granted a Design Patent for an iPad with an Email Interface
Apple has been granted a design patent today covering the iPad with an email interface under number D682,262.
Apple credits the late co-founder and CEO of Apple Steve Jobs, VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and team members Jody Akana, Bartley Andre, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Stephen Lemay, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas Satzger, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of this Granted Patent which was originally filed for in Q3 2010.
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Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.