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Zune watch out: Apple patented doubleshot?

Ryan Block, @ryan

Whether or not you think the Zune is a fairly ho-hum media device, the one thing that's pretty agreeable is that its relatively subtle "doubleshot" casing -- where the edges have a translucent or different color than the rest of the plastics -- is unique, and the closest thing to an iconic aesthetic the Zune has right now. Potentially unfortunately for Microsoft, three days ago the USPTO published Apple patent application 20070048470, for "Housing of an electronic device formed by doubleshot injection molding". Filed August 16, 2005 by, among others, Johnny "iPhone" Ive himself, the process details a multiwall plastic-injected enclosure which, among other things, can be useful for for "forming internal features on the inside surfaces" -- like, say, alternate edge colors in the Zune, or the white and black-yet-clear plastics as seen in MacBooks and iMacs and iPods. So, in addition to that per-Zune tariff Microsoft pays to Universal, is Apple about to join the list?

[Via PC Pro, thanks Brian]

Update: As some of our more astute readers have pointed out, we don't yet know that this patent has actually been fully granted. It is, however, definitely published, and is still currently the only published patent in the USPTO database for the doubleshot plastic molding process.

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