iBag, anyone? Apple files for a patent for a paper bag

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20160264304) with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “bag.” More precisely: a paper bag that may include a container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.

Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

The patent is apparently part of Apple’s environmentally inspired move away from plastic bags once used in its retail stores. The bag may have a reinforcement insert adhered to its interior, which may extend across and strengthen a fold of the bag container. And the bag handle may be formed of paper fibers knitted in an 8-stitch circular-knit pattern, and may have a diameter of at least 6.5 millimeters. 

Apple has also applied for a patent (number 2016026738) for “systems and methods for facilitating health research.” It’s part of the company’s continuing commitment to health apps such as Health, ResearchKit, and CareKit.

The patent involves methods and systems for facilitating health research through enhanced communication between research participants and researchers. Methods include communication of information related to a research study to a portable computing device of a research participant by use of an application framework and one or more modules. The one or more modules may be provided with the application framework or may include one or more modules from third-party researchers so as to allow standardization of communication from multiple research studies and differing research facilities.