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Apple’s Newly Filed Patent Application Reveals Google Glass-Like Eyewear – iPatch Coming Soon?

When Google finally took the wraps off their Google Glass project, it’s funny how the tech world flipped over the hardware. The augmented reality eyewear was widely considered as innovative, and a first of its kind. Google applied for a Google Glass patent back in 2011 but little did we know that Apple had been hard at work developing something all too similar to Glass, and it could land Google in a bit of legal trouble.

The thing is, Apple’s eyewear actually predates Google’s in terms of granted patents (dating all the way back to 2009), and while it started out as little more than “movie glasses” that were merely meant to display video content from an iPod (not so much a HUD interface like Glass), it’s slowly evolved into something more than simple video glasses.

In a patent application filed just today, Apple’s vision for their “video glasses” has taken a sharp turn down Google street. Their eyewear now includes a headset covering just one eye, showing a heads-up-display (similar to Glass), but 1-ups Glass with Retina-like display resolution. Sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so too. Now take a look at this image from the filing and tell me that doesn’t look familiar.

As usual, the question arises, “Just who is copying who?” Apple seems to have been working on their own version of Google Glass for quite some time now — I’m calling right now, it’s going to be called the iPatch — but Google beat them to the punch, coming out with a working prototype and showing it off for the world to see at this year’s Google I/O. The difference between Apple and Google is that when awarded a patent, only one of those companies litigates, while the other strives to innovate. I think you already know which is which.

[USPTO | Via Patently Apple 1, 2, 3]




  • Erickbernal27

    But they had glasses first.. you can’t just change after something is announced.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I guess they’re hoping they’ll be awarded the patent first. Then say it was their idea all along -_-

      • DavidVarghese

        Are you serious? …
        .-.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          There’s this company… they’re called Apple. They cray. O_o

          • LawrenceMcatee

            apple patented “cray”

          • Marsg

            Apple needs to gtfo, they have taken trolling to new heights

      • SnookNexus1

        That makes me sick… I honestly never thought that I could hate a company so much until now. Apple is scum

    • renGek

      I was talking to my friend who is in patent law and asked him how apple is able to get away with this crap. He tells me that anyone can get a patent and as long as you can produce something before the patent runs out, everybody else is jack out of luck. Apple can claim this as their idea as long as they put out some type of glasses before their patent runs out which I guess would be around 2019. Anyone putting out glasses similar to them between now and when apple outs something is basically screwed.

  • http://twitter.com/fightcrazy Vinny

    Apple is pathetic.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Maybe Google should start filing more patents before releasing products. Seems Google doesn’t invest into patents, the same way they don’t invest into Marketing and Customer Support.

    • No_Nickname90

      If someone brings out something, you can’t make a patent for it later. There’s some law about already in existence or something. Like someone making the wheel can’t patent it since it’s already made.

  • Jim Carnochan

    Video glasses have been about for years, before either company were interested in them. But Google were the first to go with the HUD theme, which they were ridiculed for at the time,, come on apple, play fair!

  • godrilla

    Wtf lol bs ipatch lol pure trollism

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Well said dude.

  • No_Nickname90

    I’m not going to lie. I lyk both equally. I prefer glasses over a patch, but the patch makes me think of DragonBall Z. For once Apple is doing something cool. I hope Apple doesn’t go sue crazy with this.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      You know we’re talking about Apple here, right? xD

      • No_Nickname90

        Yea but Apple is cheating. They’re making a DBZ reference and NOBODY can hate DBZ. This contradiction has angered me. >=.[

        • Brian

          If you could patent DBZ it would be expired by now anyways. That show is more than 20 years old :)

          • No_Nickname90

            LoL!! Sadly to say there must be some copyright law since the show is being remastered ryt now. I don’t know if they’re continuing it, but they started over with some new voice actors on Nickelodeon. LoL!!

    • LawrenceMcatee

      My hate for apple? >9000

  • Robert Manser

    Stupid lol because its made by Apple.

  • CerealFTW

    most of the stuff apple patents never becomes an actual product. if Google didn’t make it first, apple wouldn’t consider creating it. and I’m pretty sure people knew what a hud was long before 2009

  • chris holland

    The patch reminds me of the Solid Eye from Metal Gear

  • Zenstrive

    I’d really love to see Apple devolved in the future into patent troll and then patent ape and then patent slug

  • TongueDar

    Oh great, now Apple is going to sue me for wearing glassess…

    And if it has tEh “retina” display, or whatever lame marketing term Apple comes up with to make the masses go whooooo, you can bet it will be using Samsung’s tech.

    • Aslan Bollin

      I wonder what kind new bs algorithms Apple will come up with this time so they can consider this to have a “retina display” too… lol

  • TheTrueGMG

    im calling iSight I’ll check back in a year or so to see who’s right winner buys the other lunch

    • Ronald Patrick Rubin

      iPatch? iSight? They’ll name it iGlass and sue Google both for patent and trademark infringement

    • Del373

      The cameras built into their computers are referred to as “iSight” cameras…so I doubt they’d call the above mentioned product that.

  • renGek

    You guys will have to make the difference in your work place like I do. I do not allow apple products to enter my office. I fought off one apple fanatic (got him fired lol) and am in the midst of a mother of a fight with another one. He is going to lose this one too. :)
    Can’t let them breed.

    • IronHorse01

      Wow bro yOu have issues, it’s not that serious O_o

    • Aslan Bollin

      You’d seriously go sofar as to have someone fired? Nolonger able to feed and support themselves and their family because of the phone or computer they use?
      How petty can you be? Someone needs to grow up…
      Your worse then Apple…..

    • Hisham Nabi

      I hope you’re just trolling or something lol, because I think that’s taking it a tad bit too far. Also for all the people that liked this comment, come on guys, we don’t want to seem as low and unintelligent as those Apple fanboys.

      • spicymeatball

        The clash of the fanboys! Don’t overlook the point that we can’t sit around and let Apple’s walking advertisements make everyone believe that Apple is superior. The arrogance has to be brought down to reality. Can’t we all just get along.

        • Quboid

          “Can’t we all just get along”, after telling us to specifically not get along with people. WTF is wrong with some people? If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m pretty sure OP is lying his ass off, my opinion of Android fans would have dropped below my opinion of Apple fans.

    • Fuzzypaw

      I certainly hope you’re giving him the money to pay his rent and put food on the table, because otherwise, getting someone fired for the computer or phone they prefer makes you scum and an inhuman sociopath who doesn’t belong in this or any other community.

  • Vernon khuzwayo

    apple truly sucks…we will not see the end of these patent wars in our lifetime

  • Tao Jones

    Google is going to sue Oakley. You heard it here first.

  • Christopher Carr

    Meh. Apple needs to be careful about getting sued by Nokia or Vuzix, depending on what kind of display tech they use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.decaro Tyler Decaro

    How do you patent technologies that don’t even exist? Apple truly is ridiculously pathetic.

    • spicymeatball

      This is the problem. Process patents need to go away and most should fall under copyright laws. It’s like this: If I invent a pencil sharpener I should be able to patent the sharpener. However, if I invent a new way to insert the pencil into an existing pencil sharpener I shouldn’t be able to patent that. Apple software patents really are simply dictating how we bring technological concepts together and having nothing to do new advances.

  • BlueLetter

    You know what? If they actually call it the iPatch, I would break down and get one just because, too much awesome in the name for me to resist

    • Ronald Patrick Rubin

      iPatch? iSight? They’re gonna call it iGlass then sue Google’s socks off. Haha

      • Aslan Bollin

        iPatch is funny, but I kind of like the sound of iWear myself :-P

      • Del373

        They already call the pinhole cameras in their computers “iSight”.

    • PhilNelwyn

      The eyePhone?

  • aiden9

    “…
    but little did we know that Apple had been hard at work developing something all too similar to Glass…”

    That is a bit of a leap to take. Just because a company applies a patent doesn’t actually mean they’ve done any work for it. All it means is Apple saw a potential for the technology to spring up so they patented it.

    Case in point: http://www.google.com/patents/US20060071122
    Do you really think the person with that patent has done any work on full body teleportation? Not a chance, but is it the “tech of the future”? Absolutely so they have a patent.

  • Robabobbob

    Surely it will be called the iEye, all pirates will want one!

  • Seth Forbus

    *RAGE* AUAUAUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. CAN’T WE HAVE ANYTHING COOL? I’m so sick of Apple ruining innovation.

  • Stefan K
  • master94

    And thr next generation of lawsuits begins

  • Mimsyborogove923

    Honestly, it’s hard to read these articles anymore. I am worn out form stressing so much about how innovation starving and power hungry Apple is. They are on the path to very much getting in the way of my vision of the ideal society, technological and all. I worry that they will get in the way of projects I hope to be involved with in the near future. I have to be afraid of the big bad Apple, which isn’t fun. I like Apple Products, just not all the bullshit. To be fair, what I hate are the lawsuits and the patent industry and that whole system in general. Apple is just taking really good advantage of the flawed system that is in place.

  • dex

    Wow all you have to do is patent something even if you can’t make it… that’s a game changer right there. I’m gonna patent a flying car.

    • loueber

      yup… you can if it hasnt been patented already. someone actually patented the human gene….

  • Richard Braley

    Poor google. Apple has been working on this since 1999. They will definitely claim it as their own. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the BS backdated renderings and paperwork surface to support their claims.

  • Richard Braley

    It’s gonna be called ieye and you will be captain of the information super highway!. *Tim Cook walks on stage* Are you with me kids!? ieye captain! I can’t hear you!!…. ieye captain! Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh! who lives in a pineapple under the sea? “Apple fanboys!”

    • AmericanPatriot4

      ^ epic

    • loueber

      yeah, that was a great comment.. i have to say

    • REVS

      hahahahahaha funniest comment ever

    • aeok18109

      i just spit my cereal onto my TV. epic comment

    • Cosmin The Ass Man

      Ahhhhhhhh ROFL Ahhhhhhhh I think I have internal bleeding.

    • http://twitter.com/dougee327 Deonte B.

      Lmfao this was hilarious….I love it

  • warcaster

    Looks ugly and a lot nerdier.

    But I hope Google sues the HECK out of them as soon Apple’s variant is on the market, with their own patents for Google Glass. Apple needs a taste of their own medicine and a little humility, and unfortunately, it’s the only way to teach them a lesson.

    • Del373

      Google’s motto “Don’t be evil” means they probably won’t sue anyone.

  • mhmmd123

    I`m waiting to see Apple coming out with a sue to all the electronice companies, plus the auto makers too… After all that, they maybe suing us as a human been, we all have two arms and two legs as Apple sheeps… And the ITC will grand Apple a patent for that too…OMG.

    • oneillperson

      I am NOT a human bean, thank you very much.

      • Del373

        You’re welcome.

  • AmericanPatriot4

    Unless I am just ignorant of patents, you have to actually have a working prototype to validate a patent right? You can’t just patent the “idea” of something and then sue the hell out of people in the future because you happened to write it down on paper first!

    We should start a world-wide class action lawsuit against Apple for stifling innovation, and for artificially inflating the price of consumer electronics.

    • loueber

      you can patent an idea, like crapple did in 09. you do not need a prototype or a physical unit to get a patent

      • AmericanPatriot4

        well, yes you “can” especially if you are Apple. But is it a “valid” patent? Pretty much the same thing as copyrighting an “idea”… no such thing lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677167711 Rizky Prilian Dwicahya

    Whoever owned the patent, it’s still made in china :p

  • Dapsta88

    Hahahaha Google beat them to the better name!

  • loueber

    not if crapple had a patent drawing in 2009.. that would be considered the prior art. From the article its hard to tell WHAT exactly was patented in 09. if it were movie glasses, double lenses, and only showed ipod movie info, then its not the same as googles heads up display. the RECENT patent filing mimics googles glass. DID google patent the project glass HUD already? if they did then crapple cant get one. and if they didnt THEN the project glass prototype is prior art. But i think google either received a patent or filed for one already. first filers of patents get priority. I been through the patent filing process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002422444548 Franco Alvarez

    I’m pretty sure Dragon Ball Z invented this first.

    • http://www.mark717.com Mark Seven

      Win.

    • Len Waugh

      I have a feeling Apple is going to sue…. for OVER 9000!!!! …

      • Del373

        WHAT!? 9000? ….there’s no way that could be right. D:

  • Andy_in_Indy

    That image looks more like the HUD eyepiece from the Apache helicopter. Also, hasn’t the Land Warrior stuff been around since prior to 1999?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Bowen/49108966 Robert Bowen

    Vegeta, what does your scouter say about his power level ?

  • DanWazz

    I’m pretty sure Apple has a whole division of people who just come up with the most asinine ideas, write them up, and file for patents.
    “I have an idea for a machine that violently rips off your arm, and forcibly inserts it into your anus.”
    “Who would want that?”
    “I have no idea, but it was ours first. Just make sure the language is as vague as possible.”

    • Del373

      Fine, so long as it has an aluminum uni-body design and an obscene price-tag…it wouldn’t be an Apple product otherwise. :P

  • oneillperson

    Do you have to wear a bowl on your head for it to work?

    • Hobbesian Meliorist

      That’s not a bowl – it’s a tin-foil hat.

  • http://www.mark717.com Mark Seven

    It’s going to be called the iGlass.. or the iBall.. one of those..

  • http://twitter.com/jpsutton Jared Sutton
  • Steve

    Its going to be called the iSeeDeadPeople, cause thats what apple sees people who dont use their products as.

  • Rafael Vazquez

    WHATS THE POWER LEVEL???

  • InspectorGadget80

    The drawing is ugly looking. and Yet again Apple is trying to STOP GOOGLE from making great products and will try to ban before the GOOGLE GLASSES gets a chance to launch. they don’t even HAVE a WORKING PROTOTYPE unlike Google does. anything they draw on a piece of paper they pay USPTO AGAIN trying to BAN THE COMPETITION

  • SiloNova

    Yeah. Apple may have filed a patent back in 2009, but I bet since Google announced these glasses that do more than just movies, Apple has changed their tune, and is now adding more features to theirs, such as what Google is doing in the first place with features like maps, GPS, etc. All on their glasses. And soon, Apple will claim it to have been their own idea all along. Think about it. Its genius, but hateful.

    I really do hate Apples ways. And why would you want to walk around, looking as though you are attempting to scout a persons power level with these Apple one-eye specs anyways?

  • hemipw54

    iWear is it, called it long ago. ;-)
    Crap, Crapple might sue me now.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BHPKIQMT34W4AMAENAGZKJD6VE dudemanbro

    BREAKING: apple is suing all glasses makers for being too similar

  • Del373

    They’d be a massive hypocrite if they started whining about Project Glass if they brought the “iPatch” to market, with Androids history and all.

    If Apple want’s to make their own that’s just fine so long as they do bug Google about Glass. But my gut tells me they won’t leave well enough alone.

    I’d say the most annoying thing about this will be all the Apple fanatics claiming Apple created it first just because they had “plans”. I dunno why it bugs me when they brag about stuff they think they had first, but it just does. Perhaps it’s something to do with the same feeling I get when I see someone make a “first” comment on a post. Ya know, that “who the f*** cares?” kinda feeling.

    Oh well, c’est la vie.

  • Robert Fraser

    They might have to work out a deal with Starfleet…

  • http://twitter.com/budselectjr scott baker

    You people need to read what the patent is actually for.

  • steveb944

    If Apple ultimately blocks the release of Glass I WILL boycott Apple products and push others to as well

  • macu01

    How come I have seen this same design in computer games for years…probably some artist should be suing Apple in the future

  • wushang681

    welcome to the tinyurl.com/cyk9xz2