If you've bought something at an Apple retail store, you may have been given a paper bag to carry your purchase in. It's a nice bag, with strong handles and thick paper construction. Apple is so proud of its paper bag, in fact, that the company submitted a patent for it.
If you've ever wondered what a patent for a paper bag looks like, wonder no more. Apple's 5,243-word filing is a riveting dissection of what makes a bag a bag and what separates an Apple bag from a normal paper bag.
"Bags are often used for containing items," reads the patent patent. "For example, retail bags may be used to contain items purchased at a retail store." You don't say!
To be fair, Apple's patent does offer some innovations in bag engineering. The bag is made with a minimum of 60% post-consumer content, including its adhesive. The patent also goes on to describe how Apple makes its bag so strong.
Paragraph 35 reads, "To help compensate for reduced strength and increased susceptibility to tearing that is attendant to SBS paper having greater than 50% post-consumer content, bag container 200 may include a reinforcement insert, such as, for example, corner reinforcement insert 250. Since the paper material of bag container 200 may be weakest and most susceptible to tearing at its folds (e.g., container folds 220), the reinforcement insert may traverse such a fold and extend past it on either side of it in order to contribute additional strength to the fold."
Apple also wants its bag handles not to cut into your skin. "The knitted construction of bag handle 300 gives it a soft feel and high flexibility similar to a textile, such as a shoelace, rather than the stiffness conventionally associated with paper," reads paragraph 49 of the patent. Just imagine Jony Ive reading that to you.
This wouldn't be the first time Apple's submitted a strange patent. From glass staircases to in-store iPad stands, Apple has a patent for just about everything that makes its retail experience unique.
To be clear, Apple has only submitted its bag patent, but the US Patent & Trademark Office has yet to decide whether to grant it. But if Apple successfully patented the concept of a rectangle, it's likely the Apple Bag will go through.
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