In short, this patent covers the Apple combined input port. Before we get into the finer details of what is going on with this patent, let’s revisit the abstract:
“An input port for an electronic device for receiving different types of connectors, memory cards, or plugs. The input port includes an outer wall defining a receiving aperture, a substrate positioned within the receiving aperture. A first set of contacts is positioned on the substrate at a first depth into the receiving aperture and a second set of contacts is positioned on a first surface of the outer wall at a second depth into the receiving aperture. The first set of contacts is configured to communicate with a first connector and the second set of contacts is configured to communicate with a second connector.”
Sounds interesting, right? While this may be good news for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), others are worried about what could happen if Cupertino is actually awarded the patent.
This is something Digitimes recently looked at in greater detail, explaining what this could mean to the competition, more specifically notebook vendors.
With the combination of a USB port and SD card slot as a means of saving space, companies producing ultrabooks worry that this could give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and upper hand.
The article goes on to explain the situation:
“The sources pointed out that Apple’s patents for MacBook Air’s wedge-shape industrial design in June 2012 already forced many brand vendors to now use the design, which can significantly reduce the size and weight of the system. With the hybrid USB/SD port patent, the sources are concerned that it could give Apple more advantages in design.”
While it is easy to feel bad for these companies, Apple is simply doing what it can to protect the technology it plans on using in the future. If this means that the competition is unable to keep up, it is not Cupertino’s fault.
At this point, we don’t yet know if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to be granted the patent. However, it is safe to say that the competition is keeping a close eye on the filing and beginning to wonder what it could mean to their future.