When you think of everything wrong with the patent system today, Apple always comes to mind. The iPad-maker has applied for, and surprisingly won, patents on things you wouldn’t think you could have exclusive rights to.

That’s the basis for this new parody video, in which Washington Post book critic Ron Charles pretends to be an Apple legal attorney explaining the company’s strategy behind applying for a patent on the English alphabet…

While it’s not particularly well-done — notice the not-so-white background, Charles still makes a valid point. Patent applications for both software and hardware inventions are getting out of hand, and Apple is leading the charge.

The clip, as you can see, is in response to the recent ‘page turn’ patent that Apple was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. So in addition to the rectangle, Apple nows owns the rights to the digital page turn.

Apple hasn’t actually asserted the patent against anyone yet, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it did. The Cupertino company is currently embroiled in a number of patent suits around the globe, most notably with its arch rival Samsung.

What did you think of the video?


  • Apple would probably call them “iLetters”

    • MagicDrumSticks

      More like “iLater” since they like to get basic functions later then everyone else.


    Apple is most definitely not the only one, or the one with the most weird patent applications (and grants)…

    They may be the most publicly visible, they may have become the biggest target on “social” journalists… But they ARE NOT the biggest on this.

    See Cisco, another big, internationally operating firm… Their latest “certificate” has the following as a trademark!

    “The Fastest Way to Increase Your Internet Quotient”


    • ishaluka

      It’s very reasonable to choose a company which has the biggest value in
      the U.S and won 1 billion dollar by the patents as the target. Plus, as
      for the impact, such company definitely is, at least, one of the
      I think the difference between trademark and patent is too much to make a meaningful comparision.

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        What is the difference (honestly)? As far as I know, a company can go to court both to protect it’s patents and it’s trademarks…

  • SimonReidy

    The video is a bit shoddy, but it does cleverly highlight the absurdity of the patent system in its current form. No one should own the rights to a page turn or rectangle.