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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been granted a patent for the original iPad design, a development that may have more than just academic ramifications. The fight over tablet design has been one of the key aspects of Apple’s patent battle with Samsung and its other Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android rivals. In the August lawsuit that awarded the iPhone maker more than $1 billion in damages after it was ruled that its Korean rival made certain design and functional infringements, the originality of the first iPad had been questioned.
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Samsung had argued then that Apple’s intellectual property on the device was in fact invalid because the design of the iPad had originally been taken from Roger Fidler, a University of Missouri professor who said he began work on a tablet in 1981 and that Apple “personnel were exposed to” his ideas. “My original assumptions were that it would be a touchscreen without a stylus,” Fidler had testified to the jury for Samsung.
The patent award for a “portable display device” has details specific to the 2010 tablet and includes additional references dating as far back as the early 1990s. Apple filed the application just a day before the announcement of the first iPad on January 27, 2010.
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