Microsoft collects 13 design patents for Surface, keyboard covers
Among the baker's dozen are several that illustrate design of magnetic couplings used to attach the Touch line of keyboard covers
Computerworld - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday awarded Microsoft 13 design patents for its Surface line of tablets, including their innovative Touch keyboards-slash-covers, according to published documents.
The baker's dozen were published by the USPTO on March 26, with multiple inventors noted for each design patent. They came just a week after four other design patents were awarded for other elements of the Surface.
Because they were design patents, the applications published by the USPTO did not delve into the functional details of the Surface or its cover, but instead outlined what's described as the "ornamental" aspects of the products.
Microsoft, which launched the Surface RT last October and the more expensive Surface Pro in January, has emphasized the covers in its online marketing and television advertising. Both tablets use the same mechanism to fix a cover to the device, and both can be equipped with either the $120 Touch Cover or the $130 Type Cover, a slightly thicker mechanical-key variant.
Some analysts believe that Apple will follow Microsoft into the keyboard market with a design of its own to partner with the larger 9.7-in. iPad, a step toward the "hybrid" design of the Surface Pro, which although squeezed into a tablet form factor, boasts specifications similar to, or even better than, many "ultrabook" notebooks.
Microsoft, in fact, has exploited Apple's lack of product like the Surface Pro to make the case that its device is 50% less expensive than a pairing of Apple's iPad tablet and MacBook Air laptop.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft support tells Surface Pro 2 owners firmware fix will ship Jan. 14
- As customers fume, Microsoft promises Surface Pro 2 firmware fix ASAP
- Analyst credits Surface sell-out to Microsoft swinging conservative
- Best Buy does what Microsoft won't: Takes Surface tablets in trade
- Deja vu all over again: Microsoft warns of Surface 2 sell-out
- Microsoft steers same strategic course in Surface do-over
- Dumping a Surface? eBay averages double the return of a buyback vendor
- Microsoft's Surface to be under revenue microscope
- Microsoft's most loyal users ask for Surface trade-in program
- Microsoft takes second swing at tablets with new Surface 2 lineup
Read more about Tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts