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Apples new patent (what a joke)


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#1 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 933

Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:25 AM

[url="http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Slide-to-Unlock-Apple-Patent-Android-unlock-Patent-infringement,news-12998.html"]http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Slide-to-Unlock-Apple-Patent-Android-unlock-Patent-infringement,news-12998.html[/url]

Im suprised graphics techniques have not been patented yet. I mean after this, then what other hope do we have. The progress of man kind is going to hell.

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#2 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7400

Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:33 AM

Most of Apple's patents can be considered a 'joke' with plenty of prior art or indeed just taking things from the academic world and slapping an Apple patent on them.

#3 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6175

Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:42 AM

Most of Apple's Software/Design/Business method patents can be considered a 'joke' with plenty of prior art or indeed just taking things from the academic world / Common sense and slapping an <insert company name here> patent on them.


Fixed.

Apple really isn't unique in this, Microsoft files for several thousand patents per year (Which should imply that they make tens or even hundreds of real inventions per day), IBM and other big companies are doing the same, the US patent system pretty much forces companies into this behaviour. (Some are more likely to use their patents aggressivly than others though)
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#4 __Homer__   Members   -  Reputation: 58

Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:31 AM

And they all manufacture in China, which does not recognize those copyrights!!?!
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#5 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31096

Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:42 AM

Meh... one of my old employers patented the use of a virtual 12 sided dice, and one of their competitors patented the use of a 16:10 aspect ratio.

Everyone in the software world should know that patents are absolute bullshit by now.

#6 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1380

Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:58 AM

Meh... one of my old employers patented the use of a virtual 12 sided dice, and one of their competitors patented the use of a 16:10 aspect ratio.

Everyone in the software world should know that patents are absolute bullshit by now.


So it's all just a precaution? "Better have the button if they do", even if you're never going to press it? There's got to be something less retarded to it than that.

#7 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6175

Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:35 AM


Meh... one of my old employers patented the use of a virtual 12 sided dice, and one of their competitors patented the use of a 16:10 aspect ratio.

Everyone in the software world should know that patents are absolute bullshit by now.


So it's all just a precaution? "Better have the button if they do", even if you're never going to press it? There's got to be something less retarded to it than that.


The US patent office basically only looks for prior art in their own patent database and they don't seem to even consider how obvious something is, if you don't patent it your competitor or a patent troll might, Thus the best way to be safe is to patent everything you can think of that you are using before someone else does.
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#8 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:16 AM

This patent actually has merit and is not typical rewording of business process or an algorithm.

It's similar to patenting a keycard door lock or tumbler lock, all of which are perfectly valid examples of innovation and a technical solution.

Iffy part here is when it was filed, but not invention itself. Prior art might also be scarce.

#9 Madhed   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3077

Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:40 AM

To sum up the current patent portfolios of big players in one nifty phrase:

Mutual assured destruction

Oh, and btw.

clicky

#10 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31096

Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:16 AM

This patent actually has merit

A virtual implementation of an existing physical invention is not patent worthy. Or perhaps the previously mentioned D12 patent was a brilliant non-obvious invention... Posted Image

Posted Image

So it's all just a precaution? "Better have the button if they do", even if you're never going to press it? There's got to be something less retarded to it than that.

At the corporate job I mentioned earlier, one of our Key Performance Indicators was the number of patents submitted per year. Everyone was expected to patent as many possible things that they could. All of the competitors in that industry were hoarding as many patents as possible as a kind of mutually-assured-destruction plan, where, should you be caught infringing, then it would be too costly to actually try to do anything.


#11 Mussi   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2058

Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:48 AM

Haha awesome picture Hodgman, made my day :D.

#12 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:01 AM

There are plenty of patents on car differentials, some truly revolutionary and brilliant. Yet nobody claimed Archimedes' lever as prior art.

Key Performance Indicators was the number of patents submitted per year.


A guy from Oracle blogged about that once. Patenting colored visited links in HTML (or something similar) brought his children through college.

There are different patents and in software most are worthless. But this is neither software nor business method.


A better question would be - does there need to be a new category: behavior, UX, or similar. And if so, can human behaviors then be patented? Could psychologists then patent disorders?

First world is rapidly moving towards post-scarcity era (whatever...), where physical matters increasingly less and is disposable good. The value is almost increasingly in lifestyle. Above patent falls right under that hence carriers immense value. Imagine that playing basketball were patented unless you were wearing Nikes. Go from there and see why this is just the start.

#13 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:12 PM

So whats the worse software patent?

IIRC the worse I heard was - the machine stores the pictures of your camera in the order they were taken (or something similar)

#14 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:41 PM

There's a really good episode of "This American Life" (NPR show) that goes way in depth about the business of being a patent troll. Worth listening to if you can find it. I'll try to track it down and update this if I find it, but I think it's somewhere on itunes as well.

edit: well that was easy.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

#15 Gamer Gamester   Members   -  Reputation: 136

Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:41 PM

The patent system ignores the implications of the commonly observed "simultaneous invention". Often an idea appears novel and innovative (why wouldn't it have been around before)... until you realize that the real reason it is "new" is because the problem it solves weren't around before.

If slide-to-unlock wasn't the result of innovative genius, then why wasn't it around years ago? Because the problems it solves weren't. Problem: You are carrying a touch-screen device in your pocket, and need to be able to activate it easily. Answer: You can just touch it to activate it! Problem: Your device will be activated unintentionally if a simple touch can activate it. Answer: Hmm.... what's the simplest solution to this. You could be required to touch in only a specific spot, but even that precise spot may accidentally be touched. Oh wait, I know!! Maybe you need to touch a specific spot, then move to a different specific spot! That is unlikely to happen by accident.

Coloring visited hyperlinks is equally ridiculous for a patent. Why hadn't such coloring been widely used for years? Because hyperlinks hadn't widely used, not because it takes some one-of-a-kind genius to think up. Being able to put your kids through college from something like that implies that the patent system is like some kind of casino.

#16 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:25 PM

until you realize that the real reason it is "new" is because the problem it solves weren't around before.


Why wasn't airbag introduced in Model T? Or ABS? Or servo? Or seat belts?

People were prone to dying back then just as they are today.

Or, a more convenient example - barbed wire. Patented in 1874. It's not like the cattle wasn't running away for millenia.

Coloring visited hyperlinks is equally ridiculous for a patent.

The particular patent was problematic because it took something that was effectively a not in a standard and patented it, despite being obvious and in use for a decade. I don't remember the details though. Patent in question was published some 5 years ago or so.

Being able to put your kids through college from something like that implies that the patent system is like some kind of casino.

The money is part of compensation package that Oracle apparently offered. Every patent an employee supposedly paid bonus of several $10k (or something to that manner). It isn't likely that it will ever see light of day, it's merely used to pad the portfolio.

#17 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:26 PM

Just because I didn't specify my opinion earlier here it is.

I put a lot of blame on ridiculous patents on patent trolls (see above) rather than the corporations. For those of you not aware of the practice, patent trolling is essentially buying patent portfolios which you have no intention of using for any sort of production of some service or product for the sole purpose of waiting for someone else to create said product and then suing them. I feel like this creates a very bad environment where corporations that do actually produce things have to patent everything just to defend themselves from the possibility that they might get sued in the future.

Tbh though, the US patent system is pretty terrible all around. The last two bullet points on this page are generally ignored by far too many patents.

#18 dave j   Members   -  Reputation: 594

Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:54 PM

The US patent office basically only looks for prior art in their own patent database

They don't even do that. Lodsys are suing iPhone and Android developers over their patents. Google is challenging one the patents on the grounds that the same idea had been patented five times previously! See Groklaw article.

#19 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6175

Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:59 PM

The US patent office basically only looks for prior art in their own patent database

They don't even do that. Lodsys are suing iPhone and Android developers over their patents. Google is challenging one the patents on the grounds that the same idea had been patented five times previously! See Groklaw article.


ouch, that is pretty bad.
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#20 japro   Members   -  Reputation: 887

Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:37 PM

So I'd assume soon a lawsuit will show up over the infringement of a patent that reads like: "A device or program, to... you know... do stuff."




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