You probably know Apple as the tech company that is a leading innovator of various devices. Whether it is a new iPhone or MacBook, Apple is always upgrading the newest technologies that are available to consumers today. But while you know about their technological innovations in computers, tablets and even the music space, you probably didn't know about some of Apple's other innovations. Recently, the company expanded its repertoire of patents to include paper bags.
No, that was not a typo. And yes, you read that correctly. Apple has registered a patent for their very own paper bag. An apple designer spoke to Time magazine:
"Our goals are very simple: to design and make better products," he said. "If we can't make something that is better, we won't do it."
Apparently, this line of logic applies to more than just popular consumer devices. It appears as though Apple wants to try its hand in the paper bag-making business. Although it seems like a bit of an oxymoron to put "high-tech" and "paper bag" in the same phrase, anything is possible when it comes to Apple.
An improvement on an age-old concept?
Since the word of an application for a paper bag patent got out, the mockery over the Internet is seemingly endless. Many people simply mock the concept or considered the entire idea to be a hoax or publicity stunt. Some are even suggesting that Apple's application for the patent might be declined. But that said, the notion that this patent is anything less than authentic or real may be unwarranted.
In fact, a patent "may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition or matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof," according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Apple's patent of a paper bag may be valid because it improves on an older concept of the bag. Plus, Apple's proposed bag is made from 60 percent recyclable materials. That, combined with the sleek and functional design of the bag, make Apple's patent application for a paper bag a real one that should be taken seriously.
Moreover, the bag is an improvement to recyclable bags overall. Up to this point, the majority of recyclable bags must be bleached which makes them flimsy and inconvenient to wash. But the tech giant Apple may have found a way to keep clean bags white while also remaining environmentally friendly and sturdy. The company's design uses numerous reinforcement innovations to maintain the bag's structural integrity even despite the bleaching process. As a result, the Apple paper bag is actually a little more functional than most other recyclable bags.
How much more useful can a paper bag really be?
The effort that Apple is making to improve on the paper bag is not such an outrageous notion after you take some time to examine the facts. To begin with, most recyclable paper bags are extremely fragile, which means you won't get much use out of them before you have to replace them. Apple's paper bags, however, are designed to be strong enough not to break during repeated use. Even if you have expensive products in the bags, you have no need to worry. The sturdiness of Apple's paper bags leave nothing to be desired. At the core of every Apple device is the customer experience, according to the Harvard Business Review. The ease of use that comes along with every one of Apple's products – hypothetically including the paper bag – is what separates them from their competition. With the paper bag design, Apple can even argue that it is environmentally useful, too. Paragraph 23 of the patent application actually makes reference to the product's ability to "reduce any environmental impact from its productions, use, and disposal."
Apple's bag is not such an outrageous notion once you know that recyclable paper bags are usually highly fragile, and this one is intended to be strong enough to prevent the bag from breaking – thus protecting the expensive products you just bought at the store. Harvard Business Review explains how customer experience is at the core of Apple, and ease-of-use in packaging is another way that the tech leader is trying to make this bag more useful and integrated into their customer service.
It may be a paper bag, but Apple has found yet another way to improve on existing technologies – even one as simple as a paper bag. Regardless of what people will continue to say about the patent, Apple's situation should serve as further proof that any idea can be improved upon, even one as simple as a paper bag. Paper bags today, perhaps the next sliced bread tomorrow. The important thing is that technology keeps moving forward.
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