Apple’s patent portfolio has branched out to an unconventional new extension: the shopping bag.
According to various reports, the company submitted a patent application last week for those white, rectangular shopping bags commonly found in their storefronts. While the bag isn’t an innovation in itself, Apple intends to patent how the bag is held together by recycled material, making the usually flimsy bags significantly sturdier.
It might seem unorthodox, but there is more to a brand than simply the products they produce. The feel of their stores, the imagery they use in ads and graphics, and even the construction of their buildings has contributed to Apple’s unparalleled success. Consumers expect a certain experience from an Apple Store, and that includes paying attention to every last detail.
It also shows how Apple is responding to continued litigation across their entire patent portfolio. After being peppered with patent suits over the last decade, it’s clear the Cupertino giant feels that nothing about their intellectual property is too trivial to be protected by a patent. Even the thing you use to carry your Apple products out of the store.