Solving the 'Mystery' of the Apple E-Car Patent
When we hear the word Apple, I'll bet most of us think of the Cupertino electronics titan, the world's wealthiest company. We probably forget that Steve Jobs took his own cue for the name from the Beatle's recording company, Apple Records.
Well, it turns out there's another 'Apple' out there. Anthony Bonito and Perry Pierce received a patent (8,944,395) from the USPTO on February 3, 2015 for a display screen mounting system that attaches to a golf car. The assignee is one Apple Electric Car, Inc.,of Miami Beach, FL. The original patent was filed on July 26, 2012.
The Apple in the patent instantly generated speculation that Apple Computers was preparing to move into the EV marketspace and maybe takeover Tesla Motors, but a simple review of the patent and the personalities behind quickly quashes that notion.
The device in question would allow the display screen to swivel around 360 degrees so that can be viewed both inside and outside the cart. There is nothing in the patent that suggests this is a front for Apple Computers, Inc., which files all its patents from Cuperinto, or that it has anything to do with electric cars or even autonomous vehicles. As the patent cover screen capture clearly shows, it is just want its patent description says it is.
Michael del Castillo over at Upstart Business Journal seems to do the best of unraveling the threads of this story. He observes…
The truth so far—it turns out—is in some ways much less, and in other ways much more interesting.
A man named Tony Bonito is the chairman of Apple Electric Car, Inc., with a ton of trademarks on related names. According to his site he first reached out to Apple Computer in the 1980s to build what he describes as, "the first computer in an electric car."
Though there's no Tesla connection to this particular story, Apple Electric Car company does actually sell iProCar models—in one photo that includes the Apple logo—for golf, security, airport and industrial uses along with an iAppleCar street division. The site says Bonito owns "key" patents surrounding technology currently used in the GPS golf car computer and app industries. His most recent patent, and the only one we've confirmed, was published on February 3, 2015.
Cutting to the chase: there is no connection with Apple Computers or Tesla or even electric cars, autonomous or otherwise, in this supposed mystery. It's just a little company in Florida going about its business making its product offerings better for golfers and security teams.
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