It appears like Apple's quest for rounded rectangle patent has paid off finally! The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued patent no. D670,286 to Apple Tuesday Nov.6, and it covers the outer edge shape of the device.
Previous design patents on iPad and iPhone seem to have included additional features while the 'D286 patent seems to focus on just the shape.
The current ruling seems to qualify as a broad patent that makes it vulnerable to invalidity arguments against competition, The Verge has reported adding, and a narrow patent makes it hard to find predecessors thereby making it hard to get knocked out.
Though Apple submitted several documents while the patent was under review by the USPTO, it seems like a fragile weapon.
Earlier, Apple asserted design patent D504,889 against Samsung as part of its massive lawsuit alleging that Samsung copied Apple's iPhone and iPad devices to create its competing Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices.
Apple even won an injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on a judgment delivered by US federal judge Lucy Koh that Samsung infringed the '889 patent. However, a jury ruled that Samsung did not infringe this patent, but Samsung infringed several other patents in designing smartphones and tablets.
In response to the US federal judge ruling, Samsung stated it was: "Unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners," and the injunction was later revoked.