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Did Dell Copy Apple's Patent?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Did Dell steal the concept of its new tilting, touchscreen monitor/tablet from Apple? That's a question asked by tech blog Patently Apple as it compares Dell's new 21.5-inch ST22OT multi-touch monitor, which basically serves as a massive tablet, to Apple's iMac Touch with flexible base patent. But Patently Apple goes a little further with:

    Apple's patent was published on August 23, 2010. That just happened to be the very same day that Dell's Susan Beebe decided to sign up to Follow Patently Apple's Tweets. Is that a coincidence? That's for you to decide . . .

    Because I follow Beebe, a "chief listener" for Dell, Inc. in Austin -- which means marketing and social media for Dell -- on Twitter, I tweeted her about the story which she apparently hadn't read. I asked her, "How does it feel when Patently Apple calls you a corporate spy?"

    " WHA???" she responded. "Seriously? Where'd u hear that? lol."

    While I don't really know Beebe, I doubt she includes corporate espionage in the skills section of her resume.

    While Patently Apple considers Dell a "copycat," one could argue that Apple may have gotten the idea for a flexible base from HTC's Evo 4G kickstand, which debuted a full five months before Apple's patent. Perhaps Ecclesiastes is correct and there is nothing new under the sun.