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Steve Jobs Was 'Incredibly Prescient' and 'Prolific' in Filing Design Patents

Steve Jobs Was 'Incredibly Prescient' and 'Prolific' in Filing Design Patents

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs is often thought of as one of the most important men in technology.

He ranked first on Harvard Business Review's list of the world's 100 best-performing CEOs.

Business Insider said he was the best CEO in America. The Wall Street Journal called him the best CEO of his generation.

This is only a small sampling of the accolades Jobs received. He was revered by business professionals, scholars and reporters from all around the world.

Not all of his accomplishments received proper recognition, however. While promoting iPods and iPhones, Jobs quietly filed a number of patents to help protect his company's future.

"Steve Jobs was incredibly prescient in the prolific way that he filed design patents," Cheryl Milone, founder and CEO of Article One Partners (a patent validation community), told Benzinga.

Milone, a former patent attorney, said that design patents were previously thought of as the "sleepy part of the patent system."

"Utility patents are considered to be much more robust," she said. "Steve Jobs pursued design protection in an aggressive manner, just as he did in his innovative products, and I think it was quite prescient. I think we're seeing design patents potentially having a trend of being strengthened based on the Federal Circuit in [the Apple v. Samsung] case."

Worldwide, Apple and Samsung have been involved in so many patent disputes that it is almost impossible to keep track of them all.

The iPhone maker scored a major win last year when a jury ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion in damages.

That award was later reduced by Judge Lucy Koh, who has ordered a new jury trial to determine how much Samsung should pay Apple.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ


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