Auguste Bartholdi, of Paris, France. DESIGN FOR A STATUE

This is the year that Apple’s intellectual-property litigation became just as flashy and innovative as some of its products. And today’s the day we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of America.

So there’s nothing more geeky or appropriate than to read the text of the patent filing for the Statue of Liberty:

Specification forming part of Design No. 11,028, dated February 18, 1879; application filed January 2, 1879.

[Term of patent 14 years.]

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, AUGUSTE BARTHOLDI, of Paris, in the Republic of France, have originated and produced a Design of a Monumental Statue, representing “Liberty enlightening the world,” being intended as a commemorative monument of the independence of the United States; and I hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exacrt description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying illustration, which I submit as part of this specification.

The statue is that of a female figure standing erect upon a pedestal or block, the body being thrown slightly over to the left, so as to gravitate upon the left leg, the whole figure being thus in equilibrium, and symmetrically arranged with respect to a perpendicular line or axis passing through the head and left foot. The right leg, with its lower limb thrown back, is bent, resting upon the bent toe, thus giving grace to the general attitude of the figure. The body is clothed in the classical drapery, being a stola, or mantle gathered in upon the left shoulder and thrown over the skirt or tunic or under-garment, which drops in voluminous folds upon the feet. The right arm is thrown up and stretched out, with a flamboyant torch grasped in the hand. The flame of the torch is thus held high up above the figure. The arm is nude; the drapery of the sleeve is dropping down upon the shoulder in voluminous folds. In the left arm, which is falling against the body, is held a tablet, upon which is inscribed “4th July, 1776.” This tablet is made to rest against the side of the body, above the hip, and so as to occupy an inclined position with relation thereto, exhibiting the inscription. The left hand clasps the tablet so as to bring the four fingers onto the face thereof. The head, with its classical, yet severe and calm, features, is surmounted by a crown or diadem, from which radiate divergingly seven rays, tapering from the crown, and representing a halo. The feet are bare and sandal-strapped.

This design may be carried out in any manner known to the glyphic art in the form of a statue or statuette, or in alto-relievo or bass-relief, in metal, stone, terra-cotta, plaster-of-paris, or other plastic composition. It may also be carried out pictorially in print from engravings on metal, wood, or stone, or by photographing or otherwise.

What I claim my invention is —

The herein-described design of a statue representing Liberty enlightening the world, the same consisting, essentially, of the draped female figure, with one arm upraised, bearing a torch, while the other holds an inscribed tablet, and having upon the head a diadem, substantially as set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.



C. Terinier

The bad news for Apple: the iPad is unpatentable. See? There’s prior art on this whole “device, tablet-style, surface of which used for the communication or presenentation of data of an informational, reference, or artistic nature.”

The good news: the patent expired over a hundred years ago. So they don’t need to worry about Bartholdi’s heirs seeking an injunction against the iPad’s sale.

4 thoughts on “Auguste Bartholdi, of Paris, France. DESIGN FOR A STATUE

  1. Brian Hammond

    I usually enjoy your writing, but on this patent issue you are wrong. It’s really simple. Apple applied for and was granted patents. They feel another product violates thier patent. They file a lawsuit, the court agrees. The end.

  2. immovableobject

    While this article is humorous, there are people who actually believe that Apple, through its lawsuits, is trying to claim exclusive ownership of the touchscreen mobile form factor (or black roundrect bezeled devices, or whatever).

    In fact, Apple has registered specific design patents that its competitors could easily avoid infringing, if only they weren’t so determined to leverage off the proven success of Apple’s established devices.

  3. Dave Rogers

    Andy has an audience, and an opinion. Sometimes the two are compatible, sometimes they’re not. The thing to remember is that he’ll always have an opinion.

  4. Tony

    How does prior art fit in this picture? I can remember using a Dos based word processor called mind reader which came on a 5.5in floppy as shareware back in the 80s, it guessed the word you were typing and put up its best guess at the word you wanted, the more you used it the better it got. Could the writers of this app sue Apple for using this in iOS? We also used to have an app called Sidekick which was a TSR or pop up. It stopped working and remained in the background while you used word. As I understand it that’s how a lot of apps multi task in ios.
    Come to that I can remember using the guttering that had fallen off the school roof to race our toy cars way before HotWheels were invented(1968) according to Wikipedia.
    It seems someone with a collection of old computer magazines and a good memory could make a lot of money as a patent lawyer.

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