Thanks to the ongoing patent wars, most of us probably don’t think too highly of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The fact that they just granted Apple a patent for turning pages in an eBook probably isn’t going to help change that.
Yes, you read that right — Apple is now the happy owner of US Patent D670,713, a patent that covers — drum roll, please — turning a page in eBooks. Specifically, the patent covers the turning of a page when a user swipes or taps a portion of the screen.
It should be noted that this is a design patent, not a utility patent. Being a design patent means Apple does not hold the exclusive rights to the technology behind turning pages in an eBook. Rather, Apple owns the rights to the specific page turning animation the patent describes (see the animate in the image above). While it is obviously a good thing that Apple has not been granted a utility patent for turning pages (yet), it is still absurd that they have been granted a patent for the animation of turning pages. Aren’t patents only for “innovation”?
No wonder we have an overworked justice system here in the United States.