Apple has been granted a patent (number 2017001428) for the “marking of a fabric carrying case for a portable electronic device.” The marking is a funky looking twist on the Apple logo and is apparently designed for an iPhone carrying case.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that embroidery or ink has been used for marking fabric items for many years. For example, it’s common for garments to be marked with an owner's initials using embroider or ink. Conventionally, such marking is done with an ink printing or stamping process or with an embroidery process.
Although embroidery or conventional ink printing and stamping is useful for many situations, such techniques can be inadequate for marking other items. For example, conventional marking techniques may not be able to offer sufficient accuracy and precision. Apple says there’s is a need for improved marking techniques — although the patent filing doesn’t explain the unusual logo.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the patent: “Techniques or processes for providing markings on fabric articles are disclosed. In one embodiment, the articles may be fabric carrying cases for electronic devices. For example, a fabric carrying case for a particular electronic may include a fabric base layer and a plurality of thick films coupled to the fabric base layer, wherein the plurality of thick films may comprise a top thick film and an underlying thick film. Regions of the top thick film may be selectively etched through, for selectively exposing the underlying thick film. The selectively etched regions may be arranged for marking of textual or graphical indicia on the fabric carrying case for the portable electronic device.”
Apple has also been granted patents for: “liquid expulsion from an orifice” (patent number 20170006383), which hints at a truly waterproof iPhone; “low-travel key mechanisms with butterfly hinges” (20170004937), involving the keyboards on 2016 MacBooks and MacBook Pros; and more.
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.