We already know what some of you are thinking, but that doesn't change the reality on the ground: Apple has been granted a design claim patent for a "portable display device" that looks a whole lot like the original iPad. Filed just a day before the big reveal in 2010, it's both specific to the tablet and cites additional references dating as far back as the early 1990s. The claim likewise includes elements that transpired between the filing and the granted date, such as a certain legal squabble that carries on to this day. While we can't say we're enthusiastic for what might follow from the patent becoming official -- we know Samsung isn't, despite victories in the tablet space -- it does give Apple one more tool for arguing that its total iPad design is unique, not just the individual components.
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