China's Hong Kong IP Office awarded Apple with 22 design patents in July. While that was impressive, Apple has already racked up 27 design patents in the first ten days of August. Apple was granted fifteen design patents last week and another 12 yesterday. The latest round of design patents are focused on Apple's Lightning Connector.
China's Hong Kong IP Office Grants Apple 12 Design Patents for the Lightning Connector
Why are there so many design patents for the same Lightning connector? As you'll note in the graphics that we've provided for you in this report, there are both solid and broken lines. Only the aspect of the design that is found within the solid lines is protected by the design patent. By doing this, Apple is ensuring that all aspects of their connector are protected which enables them to sue on any of the individual aspects of their design and not just the total design.
Apple introduced their new Lightning connector in September 2012 to work with the iPhone 5. Lightning is a proprietary computer bus and power connector created by Apple to replace its previous proprietary 30-pin dock connector. Apple's Lightning connector is significantly more compact and could be inserted with either side facing up.
The Lightning connector is now incorporated into the iPhone5, the fifth generation iPod touch, the seventh generation iPod nano, the fourth generation iPad and the first generation iPad mini.
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