Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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

last week filed for aEuropn patent(viaPatently ) on methods for fusing glass pieces together to crte various types of glass enclosures for a of products. While the patent appliion specifically addresses the eral concept of such devices, examples and drawings included in the appliion outline how the process could be applied to such products as i, iPads, iPods, displays, and even televisions.

Three independent claims in the appliion describe 's use of fused glass to crte 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 lst part of the display, wherein the glass housing structures include a planar glass member fused with a peripheral glass member that extends around at lst 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 lst 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 lst 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.
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 products, entire enclosures could be also be made of glass.

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

Hand-drawn figure from 's original U.S. filing showing a display and other components inserted into a fused all-glass enclosure
Interestingly, the Europn patent appliion cites as priority a U.S. appliion filed in January 2012. That appliion wasquietly publishedon July 25 of this yr following the expiration of the 18-month confidentiality period on appliions, although the appliion did not specifically name as the assignee of the rights. That appliion also included rather crude hand drawings for its figures, drawings that were translated into more professional illustrations for the Europn filing.

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