Makers of Ultrabooks could probably catch up to the MacBook Air's popularity with time and effort, but the tech giant just made that task even harder. Apple was awarded a patent Tuesday (US patent DD661,296) on the teardrop wedge shape of the Air. This development may spell serious trouble for the competition should Apple decide to wield its newly acquired weapon.
Many Ultrabooks that flaunt similar designs to the Air, including the Samsung Series 9, ASUS Zenbook Prime, and Dell XPS 13, could be faced with an injuction similar to what impacted the HTC One Series delivery to U.S. customers. How strict Apple will be remains unknown. It's also unclear what the patent entails exactly, as details are vague and there is no mention of hinges, feet or contours.
Though it remains to be seen how often or aggressively Apple will go after patent offenders, they might as well accept it now: Ultrabook makers had better be prepared to do battle.