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Don’t Patent This Idea: Trackpad with Display

Macbook with Displaypad

Macbook with Displaypad

I love my Macbook Air and its glass trackpad. A while back it occurred to me that an iPhone like display could be put underneath the trackpad surface, to display useful information to the user or to allow customizable icons etc. (And two additional displays could be put to the side of the trackpad on that unused space, for additional displays–widgets, etc.) (See mockup image at right, created for me by Manuel Lora.)

I am not sure if the idea is new with me. It seems kind of obvious to me, but I couldn’t find anything in the patent database in a quick-and-dirty PTO patent database search (keywords: “laptop and trackpad and display and touch and aclm/display and aclm/touch and (aclm/trackpad or aclm/pad)”).

I briefly considered filing a patent application on this–I am a patent attorney so I could do it myself for little cost. And if one day Apple comes out with this, bang, I get a $50M licensing “deal.” But, no. Don’t want to. Don’t feel like feeling scummy today.

I thought instead I would publish it here in the hopes that if Apple or someone tries to patent this, this posting can help invalidate the patent. (On “defensive patent publishing,” see Google’s Defensive Patent Acquisition; Jefferson on Anonymous Defensive Patent Publishing; Defensive Patent Publishing.)

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.