updated 07:22 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Exhibit foreshadows opening of USPTO satellite office in Colorado capitol
A week or so ahead of the grand opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) building in Denver, Colorado, the central library branch of the Denver Public Library is hosting a USPTO-created exhibit featuring life-size models of the some of the many inventions and patents that are jointly or solely credited to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and twice former CEO of Apple. "Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" will run through September.
The exhibit, which showcases Jobs' contributions in iPhone-like kiosks, is a travelling showcase of the work of various Apple inventors alongside Jobs. His name is on 323 patents as either sole inventor or as co-creator, a testament to how deeply involved he was with the process of creation in both Apple's earliest years and its resurrection in the 90s and early 2000s. It previously appeared during the summer of 2012 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and showcases some 312 of the inventions.
Included in the exhibit will be an Apple II personal computer, an Apple IIe, a Lisa personal computer, a Macintosh Classic (with serial number 1) and its distinctive mouse and keyboard, an Apple IIGS, the original Apple Newton, and an Apple IIc. Also seen will be a Power Mac G4 Cube, a "Wallstreet" G3 PowerBook model used for most of the original TV run of HBO's Sex and the City, a NeXT computer with soundbox, and an Apple G4 notebook used to edit video reports from Iraq. Among the other Jobs-designed items is a PowerBook AC adapter found in the World Trade Center wreckage, and a 15GB iPod, created in collaboration with Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's lead designer from 1997 to the present day.
Few of the patents are credited to Jobs alone, with most having many co-creators, but recognizing that Jobs played a significant role in the products' development. While Jobs is named as the first or lead inventor on 33 patents, some 200 of the patents also feature Ive among the credits. One patent in particular, named for Jobs, covers most of the fundamental concepts of the original iPhone's touchscreen heuristics, and was recently re-validated in its entirety by the USPTO, giving Apple a strong legal weapon against its competitors.
Another patent strongly associated with Jobs is one covering the famous glass staircases that are still a trademark of many Apple Stores. Near the end of his life, Jobs was frequently involved in collaboration to push glass-making technology further, reviving Corning's "Gorilla Glass" and working with engineers to create larger single glass pieces, as seen in some of Apple's showcase stores or Jobs' yacht. He worked closely with architect Norman Foster to figure out how to make enormous curved glass walls that are expected to be a main feature of Apple's Campus 2 facility, now under construction.
"We're thrilled to host the Steve Jobs exhibit," said Diane Lapierre, director of community relations for the Denver Public Library. "This exhibit lets others see the complex and groundbreaking work that led to some of the greatest technological advances of our times." Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who led the bipartisan effort to bring the new USPTO office to Denver, noted that "this exhibit provides a unique glimpse into one of our country's most iconic innovators, highlighting Jobs' wide-ranging portfolio and lasting influence on modern technology. The Steve Jobs patent and trademark exhibit serves as the perfect visual and educational tool to share the importance and global impact of one of the world's leading innovators and entrepreneurs."
The new regional office of the USPTO is expected to open on June 30. and is one of four new satellite offices scattered around the US. The exhibit at the Denver Public Library is free and open to the public.