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Much of the world of patents is shrouded in layers of legal mysticism, semantic nuances, and subtle complexities. Those of you who are regular readers of "IP Corner" will know that I often try to explain the principles of the patenting process using real-world examples and case studies. I feel that this is probably the most useful approach to explain the many shades of gray of this world to engineers. Normally I focus on a particular aspect of patents and the patenting process and explore it through a series of examples. However, for this issue, I thought it might be interesting to take a different approach-why not explore a selection of the innovations of a well-known inventor to gain a different perspective and provide insight into the art and business of patenting your own inventions? And there is no better candidate for our first study than the man who founded and later rebuilt the most successful consumer electronics company of the 21st century-Steve Jobs.