You know that animation that makes it look like you are actually turning the page of a book you are reading on an e-reader or tablet? Guess who now owns the patent. That's right, Apple. This past week, the USPTO awarded the Cupertino based tech firm the patent for "Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface
," which is also known as patent D670,713
. The patent was filed last December.
While the patent is not clear on exactly what is being protected, Apple says that its patented page turn is unique because of the special-type of animation used to create the illusion, which the competition does not have. As the New York Times points out, why should the granting of this patent application be surprising considering Apple's patents for its music icon (consisting of a musical note), the glass staircase in some Apple Stores, and for the packaging of the Apple iPhone.
Despite the patent award, it seems that competitors can still use a page turning animation as long as it differs from what Apple has patented. For example, showing the page turning from the top corner
doesn't seem to be covered in this patent, a surprising omission although it could be covered in a later patent application by Apple.
Apple received 38 patents last week, expanding its IP portfolio to include patents such as a "Skin tone aware color boost for cameras
," "Location-based categorical information services
" and a "Consistent backup of electronic information