This report was updated at 2:42 am PST: Apple was granted a major new detailed patent regarding a reversible USB connector.
A BetaNews report published late yesterday disputes John Gruber's position that the new USB Type-C was invented by Apple. The article reviews what Gruber has stated in a recent podcast and vehemently disagrees with Gruber's assessment by quoting the USB Implementers Forum for clarification. A spokesperson explained to Mark Wilson of BetaNews that the "USB Type-C Cable and Connector Specification was developed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group."
The report further noted that "A full list of contributors to the project can be found in the Universal Serial Bus Revision 3.1 Specification. Skip to page 10 of the USB Type-C Specification Release 1.0 document and you will indeed see that Apple is listed." The reporter points to others blindly listed in the document which includes ACON, AMD, Agilent, Cypress, Google, Intel, HP and others.
Apple does have at least one patent for a reversible USB connector on record even though BetaNews tries to downplay it and Apple had the lightning connector leaving everyone else in the dust on this front. Where are the patents from other companies on this? Well, BetaNews doesn't provide us with any. They just point to an ongoing group list and blindly state, there, they invented the standard.
While Gruber didn't name his source and backtracked a bit, BetaNews didn't really reveal anything that's definitive either. It just sounds like one more argument from the anti-Apple crowd that can't conceive that Apple's lightning connector leadership and actual Reversible USB patent could have played a larger role than the others listed on the blind list of contributors.
Admitting that Apple's leadership played a vital role at accelerating this new standard is just too much for some. Other than jumping up and down and denying that Apple played a major role, pointing to a blind list is a pathetic way to weight who contributed more to the project. You don't just take a long blind list and say because there are 50 contributors therefore that means that everyone contributed 2% to the project. It doesn't work that way and the writer is being disingenuous.
Who had a successful reversible connector in the market prior to USB Type-C? Yes of course, Apple did – and not the others on the list. For sure others made contributions, but to try and diminish Apple's major contribution to the project because they don't like Apple is really a joke.
Report Update: Talk about timing. Apple was granted a more detailed Reversible USB Connector today which strengthens the position that Apple played a major role in the creation of the new USB standard Type-C. See our new report here.