It has been just over a day since the death of Steve Jobs; the man President Obama described as “among the greatest of American innovators.”
So it is perhaps a fitting tribute to him then that one of the last patents to bear his name was for a technology that made it – the MacBook.
It appears, according to the U.S Patent Office database, that the last patent to be given to Steve Jobs’ before his death was for components of the MacBook Pro. The patent document, which is dated September 27, 2011 and numbered D645,860, is for “The ornamental design for a computing device.” The application itself appears to be for parts of the keyboard of the MacBook (view images of it here).
The document says that it is a “continuation of parent application No 29/259,461 filed on May 8, 2006, now Pat. No. Des. 558,753” which was for the first generation of MacBook Pros in 2006.
The patent is assigned to Apple, Inc (Cupertino, CA), and credits other Apple employees, including Apple’s Senior Designer Jonathan Ive;
Andre; Bartley K. (Menlo Park, CA), Coster; Daniel J. (San Francisco, CA), De Iuliis; Daniele (San Francisco, CA), Howarth; Richard P. (San Francisco, CA), Ive; Jonathan P. (San Francisco, CA), Jobs; Steve (Palo Alto, CA), Kerr; Duncan Robert (San Francisco, CA), Nishibori; Shin (Portola Valley, CA), Rohrbach; Matthew Dean (San Francisco, CA), Satzger; Douglas B. (Menlo Park, CA), Seid; Calvin Q. (Palo Alto, CA), Seid, legal representative; Vincent Keane (Los Gatos, CA), Stringer; Christopher J. (Woodside, CA), Whang; Eugene Antony (San Francisco, CA), Zorkendorfer; Rico (San Francisco, CA)
This looks to be part of a series of applications for “ornamental design” elements of Apple products made in recent times, including for the iPhone, the original iPod, and the iPod Touch. These are all updates of the original patents (such as this one for the iPod in 2001).
Similarly one of the last patent applications to hold Steve Jobs’ name was submitted on May 12, 2011 and was for packaging elements of the iPod Mini.
Of course, Steve Jobs’ legacy goes beyond the technology but it is somewhat fitting that one his most iconic inventions should be the last to bear his name before he died.