Patent System Broken: Apple Owns ‘Page Turn’

Apple Page Turn US Patent & Trademark Office

The world is ending. No, really. Well, it is if the patent application process is anything to go by. In one of 38 patents granted to Apple this week, patent number D670,713 states the following:

This design patent, titled, 'Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface,' gives Apple the exclusive rights to the page turn in an eReader application.

Yes, you read that right: Apple now owns the page turn, technology that the New York Times article points out “has been around for hundreds of years in physical form.” Apple’s argument is that its algorithm was unique and implements a special animation which other applications haven’t been able to create.

The patent comes with three illustrations to explain how the page-turn algorithm works. In Figure 1, the corner of a page can be seen folding over. In Figure 2, the page is turned a little more. I’ll let you guess what Figure 3 shows.

It’s not the first silly patent Apple’s received - for 'silly' read 'timewasting' - and it’s unlikely to be the last. With their recent penchant for litigation against patent ‘transgressors’, we’re probably going to see some more fireworks before too long.

But does that mean we’ll have to pay them to use our physical books? Maybe not - just ask the RIAA how easy it is to sue millions of users at once…

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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jennydecki's picture
jennydecki from Chicagoland is reading The Foreigners November 20, 2012 - 8:28am

The worst part - for me - is that I hate this animation in all its forms. I prefer to click or tap and the next page just appears. I don't want my electronics to pretend they're made of paper. They're not. To pretend otherwise is like masturbating with a stick...sure, it's close on a technical level, but just stop it.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 20, 2012 - 11:03am

I too hate the page turn graphic. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like November 20, 2012 - 11:08am

Seems like Apple is getting reparations for the Microsoft Windows "look and feel" suit of old.

Kirk's picture
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun November 20, 2012 - 11:20am

I too rather dislike skeuomorphism in my software design but sadly I think this one is going to stick around for a while.