Apple Seeks Patent on Fused Glass Enclosures for Use on iPhones, iPads, iPods, Displays, and Televisions

Apple last week filed for a European patent (via Patently Apple) on methods for fusing glass pieces together to create various types of glass enclosures for a number of products. While the patent application specifically addresses the general concept of such devices, examples and drawings included in the application outline how the process could be applied to such products as iPhones, iPads, iPods, displays, and even televisions.

Three independent claims in the application describe Apple's use of fused glass to create housings to cover displays or other components:

1. An electronic device, comprising: a display; and a housing in which the display is mounted, wherein the housing includes glass structures that have a recess that receives at least part of the display, wherein the glass housing structures include a planar glass member fused with a peripheral glass member that extends around at least some peripheral edge portions of the planar glass member to form the recess.

11. An electronic device, comprising: an electronic device housing formed from fused glass members including at least first and second opposing planar glass members that are separated by a gap; and display structures inserted into the gap.

20. A method of forming an electronic device, comprising: polishing a planar glass member; fusing a peripheral glass member to at least part of an edge portion of the planar glass member to thicken the planar glass member at the edge portion; and attaching the planar glass member and fused peripheral glass member to a housing structure.

apple_fused_glass_patent_1

Example showing an extruded glass enclosure with fused end cap

Further descriptions suggest that while glass display housings could be paired with enclosures made of other materials as on many Apple products, entire enclosures could be also be made of glass.

Of notable interest, Apple design chief Jonathan Ive is named as one of the inventors on the patent, along with Apple designers Peter Russell-Clarke and Mike Pilliod.

apple_fused_glass_patent_3

Hand-drawn figure from Apple's original U.S. filing showing a display and other components inserted into a fused all-glass enclosure

Interestingly, the European patent application cites as priority a U.S. application filed in January 2012. That application was quietly published on July 25 of this year following the expiration of the 18-month confidentiality period on applications, although the application did not specifically name Apple as the assignee of the rights. That application also included rather crude hand drawings for its figures, drawings that were translated into more professional illustrations for the European filing.

Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
110 months ago
I'm amazed at how little I understand that patent jargon.

After following steps 1, 11, and 20, I've rendered Apple's next hit product:

Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
M-O Avatar
110 months ago
the new ifixit toolkit will include a hammer.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
110 months ago
So basically this.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
110 months ago
And talk about difficult to service...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
110 months ago
apple is worse than monsanto when it comes to patents..
All the companies patent.... for example, here's a new one of Google's...

Google patents the launching of apps when you unlock your screen! Draw a triangle, launch the camera app - draw a square, launch the phone app. So much different than clicking icons, huh?

http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-patents-functionality-to-launch-apps-through-pattern-unlock-on-android/49728.html (http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-patents-functionality-to-launch-apps-through-pattern-unlock-on-android/49728.html)

Tell me that this is a novel idea, and 'worthy' of a patent unlike the Apple patents.

The thing is - we just hear of Apple patents on here, not other company patents.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daze & Confuse Avatar
110 months ago
Tell me that this is a novel idea, and 'worthy' of a patent unlike the Apple patents.

The thing is - we just hear of Apple patents on here, not other company patents.
You're totally right - because if another company is being an *******, we should applaud Apple when they sink to the same lows!

So next time Coke poisons a water supply in India does that mean we're all cool for Apple to just dump some heavy metal in the Chinese drinking water? Because you know, other companies are doing it.....

We need to be adults and realise that just because we like Apple as a whole and the great stuff it does, we don't have to defend everything it does.

We can hate the bad stuff Apple does and still be an Apple supporter.

In fact, if you truly want Apple to continue to improve as a company, that's exactly what you should do.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...