Someone at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office responsible for publishing each week's patents must be on holidays this week as they were posted more than 8 hours later than usual. Most were continuation patents – but one patent application of interest caught my eye. It's Apple's patent titled "Electronic Device with Wraparound display." With the rumors surrounding Apple's 2017 anniversary iPhone having a new form factor that is primarily made of glass with curved edges, there seems to be a lot of patent activity surrounding two of Apple's patents regarding a wraparound display.
Today, USPTO published Apple's continuation patent application 20160252933 covering the wrap around display form factor as noted below.
While Apple was just granted this patent back in June, the new continuation patent scrubbed most of their patent claims. Granted patent 9,367,095 carried 19 patent claims. The continuation patent published today simply presents a single patent claim as noted below:
Claim 1: "An electronic device, comprising: a housing comprising a transparent housing component having a curved interior surface formed of a single layer of transparent material; a flexible display assembly coupled to the curved interior surface of the transparent housing component, the flexible display assembly being arranged to present visual content through the transparent housing component, wherein the transparent housing component provides a rigid support structure that prevents deformation of the flexible display assembly during use of the electronic device; and a processor configured to direct the flexible display assembly to present a first user interface through a first portion of the transparent housing component and a second user interface through a second portion of the transparent housing component that is oriented in a different direction than the first portion."
Last week Patently Apple posted a report titled "The Joke of the Week: Apple is going to Copy Samsung's Edge Smartphone Design," which illustrated Apple's three main patents covering curved edges and wraparound displays that Apple has been working on for years.
Apple's activity surrounding these patents appear to strongly suggest that they want to clarify all aspects of their intellectual property on this new kind of form factor whatever version it ends up looking like.
Keep in mind that the designs presented in Apple's patents are concepts and not necessarily the final design. This isn't a design patent confirming a set design. The patents are merely presenting design concepts supporting features described in the actual patent filings such as 'curved interior." Below is another form factor of interest to Apple.
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