Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 02:45 am PT (05:45 am ET)
Apple granted design patents for iPhone 4/4S and iCloud iconThe U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple the design rights for the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as the distinctive cloud icon used to represent the iCloud service in iOS and OS X.
Apple added to its robust design patent portfolio on Tuesday when it received the rights to the iPhone 4 and subsequent 4S, which featured upgraded internals but no exterior changes.
While the property may not be used in court as a weapon against Apple's ongoing litigation with Samsung, the IP does protect the company from future imitators. There may not be many copycats, however, as the distinctive "glass sandwich" design caused problems with cellular reception in a media fracas dubbed "antennagate."
The iPhone 4S corrected most of the problems experienced by iPhone 4 users, and the issue was mostly forgotten as Apple released newly-redesigned iPhone 5 in September.
Apple on Tuesday also won the rights to the iconic iCloud logo, the puffy silhouette of a cloud seemingly etched into a block of brushed aluminum, that the company has used to represent its cloud storage solution for iOS, OS X and iTunes users since the service was introduced in June 2011.
In the intervening year and a half, the iCloud logo has found its way onto almost every device coming out of Cupertino, save for certain iPods and peripherals. Apple also introduced the icon to the iCloud.com web client when the site exited beta in September.
Most recently, iCloud received tighter integration with iTunes 11 in November, while users of existing .Mac and .Me accounts received iCloud.com email addresses earlier that month.
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