The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 12 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today which represents one of the slowest granted patent days in recent years. In this report we cover a single invention relating to strengthening iDevice cover glass. This new process is behind the new Apple Watch and has been branded as Ion-X Glass. Apple was also granted two design patents today. As usual, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Granted Patent: Techniques for strengthening iDevice Cover Glass
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to increasing the strength of glass. The glass having increased strength can be thin yet be sufficiently strong to be suitable for use in electronic devices, such as portable electronic devices.
Apple's invention embodiments relate to apparatus, systems and methods for improving strength of a thin glass member for an electronic device. In one embodiment, the glass member has improved strength by forming its edges with a predetermined geometry. According to Apple, the glass member can be strengthened at its edges by not only forming its edges with a predetermined geometry but also by a chemical strengthening process.The use of predetermined geometry for the edges of the glass member can also enhance the effectiveness of the chemical strengthening process.
One of the features of this process is that the end result will mean that the cover glass will provide a scratch resistant top surface for electronic device.
In 2013, another Apple invention detailed the chemical process noted above as being an "ion Glass Ion Exchange Bath system."
Apple's patent FIG. 8 is flow diagram which illustrates a method of chemically strengthening glass, e.g., a glass cover; FIG. 9B is a cross-sectional diagram of a glass cover which has been chemically treated, as shown to include a chemically treated portion in which potassium ions have been implanted according to one embodiment.
You can review other glass strengthening patents from Apple that we covered back in 2012 and 2013 for more added detailing. The end result of the ion bath process is now known as Ion-X Glass as noted below in the Apple Watch verbiage.
For today's granted patent, Apple credits Christopher Prest and Stephen Zadesky as the inventors of granted patent 20110019123 which was originally filed in Q3 2010 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple Granted Two Design Patents Today
Apple was granted two design patents today covering MagSafe (electronic device D721,331) and the MacBook Pro's fan (thermal device D721,338) as noted below.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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 Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 7pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.