The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for bezel gap antennas, a design element that was originally utilized in the iPhone 4. While the design was initially touted as a breakthrough by Apple, it led to “Antennagate,” a public relations crisis after the iPhone 4 was discovered to have wireless connectivity problems when the gaps were bridged by users’ conductive hands.
The patent details how “a parallel-fed loop antenna may be formed from portions of an electronic device bezel and a ground plane,” and was filed on Dec. 3, 2009, half a year before the release of the iPhone 4. “Antennagate” led to a case giveaway by Apple, eventually ending in a class action settlement, entitling U.S. iPhone 4 owners to a free case or small cash payment. [via Apple Insider]