http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/06/technology/06KINE.html ColorKinetics submitted their patent in 2000, claims that Apple was working with them in 2001 but then backed out at the last minute... Addendum: Since NY Times requires registration, here's the text of the article: Apple May Plan Computer Chameleon to Reflect Owners' Whims By JOHN MARKOFF Apple Computer is known for its splashy computer designs, and there has been a notable buzz among the Macintosh faithful since the the Patent and Trademark Office's Web site published an Apple patent application several weeks ago. The company's United States patent application, No. 20030002246, entitled "active enclosure for a computing device," describes a machine that contains an array of rainbow-hued light-emitting diodes. It seems that the quirky computer maker is considering the manufacture of a machine that acts something like a mood ring a computer whose shells change colors at the owner's whim. Perhaps most surprised by the Apple patent application were the engineers at Color Kinetics, a start-up company in Boston that specializes in light-emitting-diode technology. It turns out that Color Kinetics had filed an application for Patent 20020113555, for a "lighting entertainment system," on Dec. 20, 2000. It is intended to cover self-illuminated consumer devices that might include "a television, a computer, a compact disc player, a stereo, a radio, a videocassette player, a DVD player, a toy, a CD-ROM drive, a film projector, a surround sound system, a Dolby sound system, a THX sound system and a tape player." Apple's application, like that from Color Kinetics, may be viewed on the Patent and Trademark Office's Web site (www.uspto. gov). It became the subject of comment on sites frequented by Macintosh fans. Neither Apple nor Color Kinetics executives would comment on the seemingly dueling patent applications. But several people close to the companies said that in 2001, Color Kinetics had worked extensively with Apple on the concept, only to have Apple back out of a deal at the last moment. The true illumination of the matter may need to await action by the patent Office.