Apple is back at it again. The company is registering patents that may help them kill off competitors.
Mashable is reporting that Apple was awarded 19 patents with one of them being the design of the MacBook Air. Ultrabooks are the competitor to the MacBook Air in looks and functionality. Apple could use this new patent to stop the sale of Ultrabooks based on their design alone.
The patent in question, No. D654,072, refers to an “ornamental design for an electronic device.” Don't let the flowery language fool you, however, as the patent obviously refers to the MacBook Air.
We reported earlier this week that Apple may be already trying to stifle the competition coming from Ultrabooks. Rumors surfaced that Apple told Pegatron that they would need to stop manufacturing the Asus Zenbook if they wanted to keep making iPhones.
All of this, however, could be simply untrue. There might not be a grand conspiracy to kill Ultrabooks in their infancy so Apple could reign supreme in the world of ultra-thin laptops.
Of course, Apple has already proven their willingness to sue companies over patents to stop competition that threatens their market dominance. The company isn’t even afraid to sue bankrupt competitors.
We don’t know what Apple is going to do with this patent, but prior events set a worrying precedent.
If it does come down to the worst case scenario, there are other ways to make thin laptops without looking like the MacBook Air. I’m sure the manufacturers will figure something out. That laptop made out of paper sure seems like a good bet.