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Why did the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office), grant Apple the "Wedge" design when in fact it was first created by Sony's X505 product? Clearly this Sony X505 laptop with its wedge design dates back in 2004 vs Apple's MacBook Air introduced in 2010.

http://www.dailytech.com/Virtually+Every+Ultrabook+Appears+to+Violate+New+Apple+Patent/article24886.htm

Our choice for specific products will dwindle because of these patents granted by USPTO for Apple.

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Design patents are often granted for relatively small changes but then they have a corresponding narrow scope. In this case Page 2 of this design patent D661296 lists all of the prior art the examiner took into consideration. The Sony X505 is listed as well as a couple of dozen other things.

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All of those cited references are - by definition - not the same as whatever the patent covers.

In fact, on an Information Disclosure Statement filed by Apple, they brought 26 US patents to the examiner's attention and they listed the X505.

From IDS Apple filed, see #3 in non-patent literature:

IDS screen shot

Apple does not own the wedge, they own the specific design in the patent drawings. How broadly or narrowly the coverage is interpreted depends on the distance between the prior art and the patented design. (see articles about Egyptian Goddess case) The closer the Apple design is to what came before it, the more narrow Apple's coverage would be. In any case design patents only cover the look of something not the functionality, so the choice being denied to consumers is ornamentation.

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Well there seems to be a lot of PC manufacturers who think otherwise..

http://www.dailytech.com/Virtually+Every+Ultrabook+Appears+to+Violate+New+Apple+Patent/article24886.htm

Please let me know your thoughts.

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This is the same link in the original question. The article says Apple hasn't sued anyone yet and that the author thinks it might become a problem for others. I did not see anything from any PC companies saying they were worried. Also the author thinks he discovered the silver bullet to kill the patent (Sony x505) but that bullet was already fired by Apple themselves along with their application. –  George White Feb 16 '13 at 6:06
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