Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent of the Day.

On this day in 1984, William F. Lapson and William D. Atkinson of Apple Computer, Inc. was granted U.S. Patent No. 4,464,652 for a CURSOR CONTROL DEVICE FOR USE WITH DISPLAY SYSTEMS.

An excerpt from the patent states:

A cursor control device having particular application to a computer display system is disclosed. The cursor control includes a unitary frame, having a domed portion substantially surrounding and retaining a ball which is free to rotate. X-Y position indicating means are provided, such that rotation of the ball provides signals indicative of X-Y positions of the display system. The ball is free to “float”  in the vertical direction within the dome, and thereby maintain good surface contact. X-Y positions are established by movement of the control device over a surface. A display system and method is disclosed for use in conjunction with cursor control device, which permits a user to select command options simply by movement of the displayed cursor over a “pull-down” menu bar.

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