Before Microsoft’s Surface made kickstands (questionably) cool on tablets, Nokia had its own version under development.

A patent revealed recently, entitled “Apparatus Cover with Keybord,” shows images of Nokia’s early tablet design.

We heard last year that Nokia has a Windows RT-based tablet in the works, but it’s tough to tell if this patent is related to it. Last year’s rather flimsy rumor involved a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet running an ARM-based processor.

While we didn’t find the rumor itself too hard to believe, sources in the manufacturing and supply chain said that model was scheduled to hit the market by the end of 2012. Around a year ago, Nokia’s own design chief admitted he was spending a huge amount of time on tablet designs.

But at the end of 2012, while rumors about keyboard covers continued to swirl, no actual product had yet materialized.

However, Nokia hasn’t made any official announcements about putting a kickstand tablet in stores anytime soon.

Nokia is no stranger to mobile and tablet technology, launching one of the first tablets, the Nokia N800, in 2004. (It’s still available on Amazon for those of you interested in tablet dinosaurs).