Two years ago Patently Apple posted a report titled "Could Project Ara's Smartphone by Google be a Game Changer?" It was an in-depth report providing readers with an overview of this ambitious ground breaking project. Last August Google acknowledged that the design had a minor setback in that the initial design allowed the magnetized modules to fall off the phone when dropped. Google reported at the time that they were already testing a new "signature experience" for attaching their phone modules and that the new smartphone would likely launch sometime in 2016. Yesterday, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Google two design patents for their modular smartphone relating to Project Ara that may or may not reveal their new "signature experience" attachment design.
Unlike "patent applications," design patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office don't reveal pertinent information about a particular design. We can look at the design and appreciate it for what it projects, but we'll never discover which materials may be used to construct the design. We'll never know what unique internal components may be hidden within the device or learn about any unique features that we could look forward to. All we get is the simple visual of what could be coming down the pipeline.
Today is yet another classic example of the flaws in the design patent system. Two particular areas of the design patents show us magnified areas without any explanation as to what Google is highlighting. We're also not provided with any details other than the images themselves as noted below.
Google's Granted Design Patent #1 for Project Ara
A Note for Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Google's Granted Design Patent #2 for Project Ara