How would apple's design patent for the shape of the iphone could have been non-obvious as a design patent? please don't jump right away..
The iphone was innovative in most respects when launched, I leave to others to argue how much innovative but I'd say it was very innovative when launched. But, in design patenting the shape - this is a different and separate discussion to my initial view.
It may seem to me, that the shape is obvious given the operation of the device, which I will explain in a minute, and a patent professional told me that visual features that have a utilitarian function tend to step outside the territory of what can be part of a design patent (in slightly different words, this is just my superficial summary or rewording).
Why may it seem the design is not non-obvious? because if you have a touch screen instead of a keypad, obviously (I) the consumer would prefer the screen to be as large as possible within the front of the device, (II) obviously that they'd prefer the device will have minimal edges to the sides of the screen (we like every device as small as it can be).
Furthermore, (III), a button for controlling the device would somewhat obviously be outside the screen, and either above, beyond, or to the sides of it, and (IV) obviously, it's easiest to press it with the hand holding the device when it's at the bottom otherwise you hide the screen to yourself while pressing it. Maybe the last claim that it's obvious the button would be at the bottom and not elsewhere is the weakest in this line of argument, as it assumes some thought taken towards consumer convenience - yet I'm not sure that design patents need to pass any threshold for being not obvious to those skilled in the art of design (let's call this hypothesis hypothesis H if anyone relates to it), and its location is very much entirely functional, not ornamental.
I'm not relating to the rounded corners aspect of the iphone design patent, because that is less key to my question or just heavily discussed.
As a final comment to this question, I have a hard time seeing how this patent, in each of its features more or less enumerated above, or in whole, can be said to be an ornamental design rather than being a quite very functional design.