R&D Spotlight: New Apple Patent Application

According to website Patently Apple, which follows the company’s intellectual property, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has filed for a patent relating to how SIM cards are removed and replaced in devices, and how they are kept safe in the process.

The blog says Apple is trying to patent a plunger-like system for ejecting a SIM card while using non-conductive material to safeguard the SIM. The patent request also includes a host of other measures with the same goal.

Apple has been focusing a lot on SIM technologies of late. The company is currently trying to get the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to approve its own nano-SIM technology, the next standard in the SIM space, which though smaller, can house more data than the current micro-SIM standard.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) both have their own nano-SIM technologies they’re hoping ETSI will adopt. Apple has been trying to skew the results of ETSI’s eventual vote by allegedly getting company representatives to change their affiliation when it comes time to vote by proxy. The company has also registered six European subsidiaries in an effort to improve its own votes.

Though the patent application discovered by Patently Apple does not mention nano-SIM technology by name, it could include all the known SIM technologies as well as any “other type of card,” thus providing some protection to the company when the nano-SIM is finally released.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Knapp at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com