We’ve seen a number of classic patents published recently, referring to iconic Apple inventions, and this week is no different.
The recently published “Multi-Button Mouse” patent refers to Apple’s first steps away from the single-button mouse that Steve Jobs had insisted on ever since the days of the Lisa computer in the early 1980s.
Unlike most of the multi-button mice available at the time of its release, what made Apple’s Multi-Button Mouse patent special was that it referred to a method by which sensors could be used to create multiple button functionality inside a solid unibody mouse.
This was done by associating different actions with specific portions of the single movable housing component, so that Apple’s UI designers would be able to take advantage of right clicks without Apple having to sacrifice the clean design it already had with its “no-button” Apple Pro Mouse.
While it was a new concept at the time — and one that Steve Jobs was reportedly not initially keen on — it has stuck around in some embodiment ever since, which is why the publishing of its patent makes such fascinating reading.
The “Multi-Button Mouse” patent was first filed Mar 13, 2002, and refreshed in July 13, 2012.
It names Abraham Farag and Brian Q. Huppi as its inventors.
Source: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.