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Apple’s latest groundbreaking patented design: a lanyard

US patent office
Good for not dropping things.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple is known for its attention to detail when it comes to product design. It has been winning awards for its beautifully crafted consumer electronics, made of high-end “space age” materials, for years. Apple has also been accused, however, of being an over-exuberant patent seeker that successfully patented a rectangle.

Keeping in this tradition, Apple was awarded a patent today for the design of the lanyard that it sells for the iPod touch. A lanyard, if you are unaware, is a piece of cord-like material that holds something to something else, like a conference name tag around one’s neck, a ski pass to that retractable reel thing, or a $200 media player to one’s wrist.

The design for Apple’s lanyard, which was presumably overseen by design chief Jonathan Ive, is not as universally appreciated as the company’s tablets, smartphones and computers. The red version, in particular, only has a two-star rating on Apple’s online store, with users complaining it “feels cheap” and is “not as durable as one would think.”

US Patent and Trademark Office
Such attention to detail.

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