In a move to keep its products unique in the market, Apple has gotten a broad design patent for the wedge shaped profile of the MacBook Air from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Apple specified in patent No. D661,296 S that it owns the design seen on the MacBook Air. This design refers to a laptop shape that is thick at the back and thins towards the front. It also included several photos of the wedge profile on the patent.
Prior to this effort, many manufacturers of Windows-based laptops have already adapted the tapering shape on their products, including Dell and Asus. The use of this design allows their device to look similar to the popular MacBook Air.
The wedge shape is especially important for makers of ultrabooks because it enables them to make the device thin at its front and thicker at the back where the hinge is located. If they adapt another design, such as one that is thick all throughout, the sheer thickness might disqualify their product from being called an ultrabook. Intel requires every device that carries the ultrabook name, which it had trademarked, to comply with a set of requirements, including a thickness of less than 2.1 centimeters.
Following this move, it will be difficult for ultrabook makers to comply with Intel’s requirement. They would either have to come up with a new technology that allows devices to be ultrathin without having the tapering shape, or they can forget about using the ultrabook name in marketing their devices.
Now, Apple has one more weapon in its battle to crush MacBook Air competitors with the help of its legal team. Currently, the Cupertino company is also embroiled in various cases in courts in different parts of the world against tablet and smartphone manufacturers, and is winning some of them. It is only a matter of time before Apple uses this new patent against laptop manufacturers and asks for court orders to pull these devices off the shelves for infringement.