Nick Bilton, over at the NY Times has highlighted how Apple has been granted a design patent on the electronic representation of turning a page
. Bilton leaves out that this is a design
patent, which is much more limited. It's more akin to a trademark than a traditional patent -- but... still... The patent in question, D670,713
really does seem to cover exactly what it says in the title: "Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface."
The patent comes with three illustrations to explain how the page-turn algorithm works. In Figure 1, the corner of a page can be seen folding over. In Figure 2, the page is turned a little more. I’ll let you guess what Figure 3 shows.
While design patents are a slightly different than other patents, it really is patents like this that get the public
to respect the patent system less and less.