back to article Apple takes aim at accessory makers, files iPad stand patent

If you were among the 25,000 or so Apple faithful who crowded the exhibit hall at this year's Macworld/iWorld "Ultimate iFan Event" a couple of weeks back, you're certain to agree that the last thing the iMarketplace needs is yet another iPad stand. Apple, however, disagrees. As part of its weekly patent-application release, …


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  1. GBL Initialiser

    "As part of its weekly patent-application release, the US Patent and Trademark Office published "Magnetic Stand for Tablet Device" on Thursday, which describes "a way for securely attaching a tablet device to a stand where it can be removed and replaced with ease.""

    Your Honour, as you can see the witness was able to remove the tablet from its holder without even the most minor of wrist injury. I therefore feel justified in requesting an immediate ban on all sales of it in this country.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Apple really take the piss

    I hear their next patent application will be on a diatomic molecule with a molecular mass of 32, they have also registered the trademark and called it Oxygen.

    1. GBL Initialiser

      Re: Apple really take the piss

      That'll take the wind out of the competition.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple really take the piss

        That only takes about 20% of the wind out of opposition sales, but I hear another patent app to follow. This time for a diatomic molecule with a MM of 28 and this stellar new trademarked product will be Nitrogen which is expected to capture about 80% of the market.

        So Apple having taken the piss and now all the wind will be re-branded as Piss and Wind

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not non-obvious

    Not Wanted.

    it's just a bloody variation of a stick on (magnetic) pad ..see Amazon pad and NFC.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: No No No No NOOOOOOOO

      Indeed - here's a fridge magnet digital display:

      Not a great leap of the imagination to replace the display with an iPad, and then to shield the magnets to prevent interference.

      Multiple screens cooperating with each other to make more screen real estate - most PCs will do that. Basically all they're doing is running a "dual core" iPad here (admittedly 2 instances of the OS are no doubt running)

      Automotive integration - isn't that what happen on virtually every Bluetooth-integrated device anyway? WiFi isn't that great of a stretch to add. And "taking it with you when you leave" is pretty much TomTom's/Garmin's/NavMan/etc.. original business model.

  4. stucs201

    A second iPad as a keyboard?

    Well thats going to make the keyboards for Microsoft's surface seem very reasonably priced in comparison.

    As for the book-like configuration and moving content between the two screens: Courier anyone?

  5. Silverburn

    Technical problems with this.

    Ok, as I see it:

    - Ipads are not light

    - ergo, the internal magnets needed to support it's weight in some of these scenarios need to be substantial

    - ...adding yet more weight

    - and making the "remove with ease" statement a bit of a falacy

    - possibly causing secondary issues; the internal magnets *may* interfere with other electronics (eg, if stored in same bag as a laptop).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. thesykes

    Who needs...

    ...a rear view mirror replacement the size of an iPad? It's bad enough seeing people driving with sat-navs stuck to the middle of the windscreen without attaching something that big.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Who needs...

      It's the perfect way to let everyone know you have an apple product. They'll all be doing it.

  7. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    ...we have heard that they're understaffed and swamped these days.

    Presumably swamped with stupid and obvious applications from Apple. Maybe if they asked nicely, Tim Cook would lend them a few dozen staff to rubber-stamp them all and cut out the middle-man.

    I'd also wonder about the magnet strength required. As noted above iPads aren't light, so unless the magnets are stupidly strong, one pothole in the road (not that we ever have those in this country of course) and your iPad is suddenly heading toward the floor, the gearstick and/or your lap. No possible risk to you, those around you or the hardware itself from projectile pads, oh no.

    And not to mention how distracting having such a large screen in the windscreen area would be, nor how much of your view it would potentially obscure. Using an (almost) 10 inch screen for a display of anything that close to a drivers field of view is just plain dangerous.

    And as for using two together, so basically you take 2 iPads, a few magnets and make the whole lot into an oversized Nintendo DS? Where don't I sign up?

    1. HMB


      I was thinking that before you said it....

      Apple's cunning plan to crush the USPTO. Send in a mind numbing amount of patents and watch as the poor staff are slowly overwhelmed and are turned into mindless, broken shells of people, just wanting the endless torture to stop.

      When they're broken, they'll approve anything, even something as obvious as a magnetic holder.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...we have heard that they're understaffed and swamped these days.

      The problem with using magnets in any of these devices (especially the smaller sized ones) is that if you keep them in or near your pockets they have the unwanted side effect of formatting your credit cards !


  8. Arctic fox

    I have to say that what strikes me about this is Cupertino's scorched earth policy.............

    ..........towards anyone earning anything other than them. It is not so long ago that Apple were at least partly dependent on the third party peripherals industry for supplying what Cupertino was not then in a position to manufacture themselves and to contribute to maintaining Apple's profile in the market-place. I know that "all's fair in love and business" and all that but the iFruits are certainly out there in front as far as that is concerned.

    1. Efros

      Re: I have to say that what strikes me about this is Cupertino's scorched earth policy.............

      Indeed, a great part of the attraction of the old Apple IIe was its open architecture and the richness of the third party software and hardware available for it. March ahead a few years, Apple goes closed architecture, and effectively kills its laboratory based market, Apples being usurped by open architecture IBM PCs.

    2. HMB

      Re: I have to say that what strikes me about this is Cupertino's scorched earth policy.............

      Apple was such a much nicer company when it was eating humble pie:

      When Bill Gates bailed out Apple:

      Youtube: Macworld Boston 1997

  9. Cynical Observer
    Thumb Down

    Poles apart

    Just waiting for the manufacturing cock up which will see the polarity in the stand and polarity in the iPad results in a N-N or S-S attempt at docking. Will they patent this as a fast eject mechanism?

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    First example.

    Yes, that is a music stand. I can't see how sticking an iPad on top to display the staves and notes rather than sheet music makes it "innovative", so it would appear that there's a few hundred years of well-documented prior art on this.

    The fact that it does not appear to fold up for carriage would seem different, although it would also seem to be bloody stupid.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: First example.

      But you forgot the magic words......

      "On a mobile computing device"

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: First example.

      The electronic music stand has been bandied about for years. All the previous iterations have been too specialized and expensive to take off. You could actually change the way music is composed if the orchestra didn't have to change pages.

  11. Glostermeteor

    Another example of Apple copying other people's ideas and claiming that they invented it. There are already loads of devices that attach to stands and cases using magnets including MS Surface and its keyboard. Hopefully a judge will take this patent to pieces. If Apple spent more time actually inventing things rather than copying, they might actually keep their position in the tablet market.

  12. richard?

    Not "laptop"

    ... as two iPads weigh the same a better name for this would be "seesaw".

  13. Miek

    Um, sheet music stands already accommodate iPads and other tablets are they patenting a music stand plus a charger or just a music stand? Yes, I saw the other technical drawings, but, my post refers to the sheet music stand.

  14. Richard Neill

    ipad smart cover not so smart

    It's very easy, when holding your iPad + smart cover, to grip it like an open book, holding just the cover in the left hand. This places a torque on the magnetic joint, and it can sometimes unexpectedly unzip, letting the iPad crash to the floor (unless your reflexes are fast enough).

  15. Frank Marsh

    18 months to publish?

    Although the US Patent Office has quite a backlog, the 18-month delay between filing and publishing is set by statute. It has nothing to do with the complexity of the "invention." I can say this confidently since I'm a patent attorney here in the U.S.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Should using a magnet to stick one object to a metal object, despite shielding or what is being used to stick (or what it's sticking to) be patentable?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how big the Apple hater market is...

    ...and if it would be worth developing a generic tablet stand that accepted most but magnetically repelled the iPads.

  18. Euripides Pants

    A better iDea

  19. JaitcH

    One benefit is ...

    that even legislators will be able to see the stupidity of accepting some / most of Apples 'patents' which will eventually lead to the much needed revamp of the whole system.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear El Reg, every patent application is published after 18 months after first (priority) filing, before that deadline, it is not public. This is a rule which does not have anything in common with the workload or overstaffing of patent offices... :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple are selling old rope again; the cattle will buy it because it's Apple branded!

    I've been using a sheet music stand for ages with tablets, with some bolted on small metal brackets and padding, to stop the tablet falling off when not using the page arms; this really was obvious to me, and is significantly cheaper than dedicated tablet stands.

    The state (a 'legal' gang of thugs, highly skilled con artists, and drones) are still selling privilege called patents; this is still despicable BS; read Rothbard and wake up!

  22. Andalou

    first they come for the...

    So it isn't just their phones - now Samsung fridges can be banned!

  23. Dropper

    Magnet Fail

    Magnets aren't forever.. as proven by a $50 "smart cover" that isn't. Never dropped my iPad, never smacked it, never over-heated it or over-cooled.. all very bad things to do to magnets (and obviously the iPad itself). However the "smart cover" was purchased on Jan 1st 2013 and the magnets failed to support it as a stand by Feb 1st. This is hardly surprising, I would not have actually spent the money myself, it was a gift from a well meaning friend. Point is magnets are not reliable or permanent, and charging Apple prices for something that will definitely fail within a fairly short amount of time is nothing more than a scam. Oh yeah I nearly forgot.. fuck you Apple.

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