Apple Finally Patents the iPhone Design

Many iPhone fans remember the day that Jobs unveiled the iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2007. It was at that event that he made the first public phone call on the iPhone, and that call went to Ive. Since then, the iPhone has become a pop culture icon and one of the most popular smartphones in the world.

Jobs and Ive will forever be part of iPhone’s history to fans of the device. Now, the United States government has acknowledged their place in history as relates to the design of perhaps the most iconic mobile device the world has ever known.

Yesterday, almost six years after the iPhone’s initial release, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. D672769 to Apple, for “the ornamental design of an electronic device.”

Official documents show that the patent is valid for 14 years, as are all design patents in the United States.

Steve Jobs and Jony Ive are obviously among the listed inventors. Additional inventors include Bartley K. Andre, Daniel J. Coster, Daniele De luliis, Richard P. Howarth, Duncan Robert Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Douglas B. Satzger, Calvin Q. Seid, Chirstopher J. Stringer, Eugene Antony Whang, and Rico Zorkendorfer.

The images that accompany the patent show various angles of the much-beloved first-generation iPhone. Of course, the iPhone has a distinctive design, as do all Apple products.

The home button on the bottom of the screen, volume controls on the left side, and lock button on the top help make the iPhone what it is, and with the issuance of the patent, Apple can now claim exclusive ownership of such a design. Given that the iPhone is a multi-billion dollar winner for Apple, the company needed protection of its intellectual property.

Being listed as an inventor on a patent can be quite lucrative, given the potential for royalties. The issuance of the patent instantly provided intellectual and financial security for Apple and, no doubt, the listed inventors.

[Via CNET]