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dpadam450

Apples new patent (what a joke)

62 posts in this topic

[url="http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Slide-to-Unlock-Apple-Patent-Android-unlock-Patent-infringement,news-12998.html"][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][/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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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.
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1319877208' post='4878181']
Most of [s]Apple's[/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.
[/quote]

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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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.
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I'm really thinking of patenting pants zippers, so save up for buttons.

EDIT: better get a piggy bank, 'cause I think I'm gonna go for buttons tomorrow
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1319884937' post='4878200']
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.
[/quote]

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.
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[quote name='irreversible' timestamp='1319885884' post='4878208']
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1319884937' post='4878200']
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.
[/quote]

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.
[/quote]

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

[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction"]Mutual assured destruction[/url]

Oh, and btw.

[url="http://rvtravel.com/blog/rvnow/uploaded_images/screen-door-lock-1b-787465.jpg"]clicky[/url]
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There are plenty of patents on car differentials, some truly revolutionary and brilliant. Yet nobody claimed Archimedes' lever as prior art.

[quote]Key Performance Indicators was the number of patents submitted per year.[/quote]

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.
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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)
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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.

[url="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack"]http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack[/url]
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[quote name='Gamer Gamester' timestamp='1319917306' post='4878306']
until you realize that the real reason it is "new" is because [b]the problem it solves weren't around before[/b].[/quote]

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.

[quote]Coloring visited hyperlinks is equally ridiculous for a patent.[/quote]
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.

[quote]Being able to put your kids through college from something like that implies that the patent system is like some kind of casino.[/quote]
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.
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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 [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patentability"]this[/url] page are generally ignored by far too many patents.
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[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1319888116' post='4878211']The US patent office basically only looks for prior art in their own patent database[/quote]
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! [url=http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110817200754569]See Groklaw article[/url].
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[quote name='dave j' timestamp='1320004474' post='4878665']
[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1319888116' post='4878211']The US patent office basically only looks for prior art in their own patent database[/quote]
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! [url="http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110817200754569"]See Groklaw article[/url].
[/quote]

ouch, that is pretty bad.
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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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[quote]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. [/quote]
have you seen a psp? & no doubt many other prior devices that fit in pockets
its a game device that you carry around in your pocket
how do you tun it on/lock it
you slide a little switch :blink:


edit - it seems the iphone wasnt even the first touchscreen phone to have slide to lock, this was (a year before the release of the iphone, perhaps they can sue apple :lol: for nicking slide to lock)
[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonode#N1m"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonode#N1m[/url]
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Disgusting behaviour. And the problem with Apple is they aren't simply happy to settle, but it often ends up that other companies aren't able to license it at all. So you get to situations like no one being able to make magnetic power connectors, or that I can't buy a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

Personally I wish that someone would do the same back to them - Nokia sit on a tonne of patents (and actual patents, not rubbish like this, that's fundamental to phone and smartphone technology). Apple would be dead in mobile technology if Nokia pulled the rug from under them, and refused to licence.

[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1319894208' post='4878236']
A virtual implementation of an existing physical invention is not patent worthy.[/quote]And you don't even have to look at physical locks - my Nokia 5800 smartphone unlocks with a physical swipe on the side.

If this is the level for patents now, maybe people just need to start writing apps that cover swipes for all kinds of basic features.

[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1319881364' post='4878193']
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)
[/quote]Apple weren't the first to do dumb patents, but they popularised it, or were the first to do it really dumb...? ;)

Really though - for all the claims that Apple revolutionise any market they enter, and the claims that technology wouldn't progress without them, it's clear their behaviour is on the contrary going to end up stifling progress in phones and tablets.

[quote name='dpadam450' timestamp='1319876719' post='4878179']
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.
[/quote]They have - Carmack's Reverse was patented by Creative, see [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_volume#Depth_fail"]http://en.wikipedia....lume#Depth_fail[/url] .
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[quote]but they popularised it[/quote]
Apple is the last to join this game.

Microsoft earns more from Android licensing than it does from Windows Phone product line. They are licensing GNU/Linux kernel. You know: "it's a nice little device you got there.. would be a shame if a linked list patent landed on it and broke its knees... "

[quote]Personally I wish that someone would do the same back to them[/quote]

Apple has $81 billion in cash, besides everything else. That's GDP of Iraq.
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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1320070277' post='4878891']
[quote]but they popularised it[/quote]
Apple is the last to join this game.

Microsoft earns more from Android licensing than it does from Windows Phone product line. They are licensing GNU/Linux kernel. You know: "it's a nice little device you got there.. would be a shame if a linked list patent landed on it and broke its knees... "[/quote]Maybe, I was just parodying the typical Apple fan "Apple were first" line ;) (And "But Officer, Microsoft do it too" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement, given how MS are viewed - on the contrary, I'd say it proves the point that Apple are just as bad.)

Also note, "licensing". Whilst many patents are flawed in principle (and should rightly be criticised), I note that Apple take this to a whole new level by preventing products from being available. Imagine if Microsoft suddenly got Android pulled?

[quote][quote]Personally I wish that someone would do the same back to them[/quote]

Apple has $81 billion in cash, besides everything else. That's BDP of Iraq.
[/quote]Indeed lots of multinationals have lots of money (though the recent comparison to the US Government was a rather flawed press release masquerading as news) - I'm not sure how you mean here? Yes, Apple are a greedy bloated company - tactics like this help them get that way. All the more reason why I wish other companies would do it back to them, rather than playing nice with them.
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