Apple is trying to patent a paper bag.
Patent application US 20160264304 A1* describes “a bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.”
The application says Apple's sacred sack is “a bag, such as a retail shopping bag … may be formed entirely of paper, with the potential exception of adhesives for fixing together portions of the bag. This can help to reduce any environmental impact from production, use, and disposal of the bag. The bag may be formed of a container and a handle.”
The environment is prominent in the application as Apple plans this bag to be made of nothing but paper, but still to be strong. Using just paper – and 60 per cent recycled paper at that – is hoped to make the bag as green as possible (although Apple wants it to be white).
So this is not a patent for all bags, but for one method of making bags. And it is a reasonably complex method as it involves “folds or gussets at its corners or edges” as “Such reinforcement inserts can augment the strength and resistance to tearing of the bag container material to make it structurally suitable for use as a bag, thereby increasing the amount of post-consumer content usable in an SBS paper bag. This can help to reduce any environmental impact from production, use, and disposal of the bag.”
Apple's reportedly used the bag in its stores for a few months now. ®
* Or here if the USPTO site produces an error.