Print 60 comment(s) - last by tigen.. on May 17 at 8:47 PM

Apple Computer faces more lawsuits

In a quick turn of events, Creative Labs, maker of the Zen family of MP3 players, has filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer for the iPod's interface. Despite the iPod's interface being largely the same for several years now, Creative Labs has felt it necessary to sue Apple due to a claim that Apple infringed on its patents.

Creative says that the iPod's graphical user interface is proprietary technology to its Zen MP3 products and that it owns the method in which users browse a portable MP3 device for music. Creative also says that its engineers invented the interface way back in 2000. While Creative says that it has the rights to the user interface for number of years now, the lawsuit refers to this patent here, which is actually dated last year.

Creative is seeking to stop Apple from importing and selling its iPod line of MP3 players. Previously, Apple was sued by Apple Corp., the holding company of The Beatles, for iTunes. Apple was accused of stepping into territory that it had agreed not to get into a few decades ago, but the verdict ruled that Apple did no wrong doing with iTunes.

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By Falloutboy on 5/15/2006 8:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
can we just get rid of software patents?

RE: stupid
By Bonrock on 5/15/2006 8:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the current patent system is a bit out of whack, but getting rid of software patents altogether seems a bit harsh. Designing software and/or algorithms is not at all trivial. Why shouldn't the people who do that kind of work receive the same legal protections as people who invent tangible physical things?

This reminds me of the widespread attitude that it's somehow okay to steal things that aren't tangible. In other words, you'd never walk into your local CompUSA and stuff a copy of Windows XP in your jacket and run off, but there's nothing wrong with downloading Windows XP from BitTorrent.


RE: stupid
By tigen on 5/15/2006 8:31:09 PM , Rating: 1
Well things that aren't tangible can't literally be stolen. When you copy something the original remains.

Copyright and patents are artificial legal constructs. They didn't worry about that in ancient times. If you saw somebody plowing his field in a better way you just copied him.

The only morally wrong aspect of violating those things comes down to the legal violation and how you feel about violating laws in general. It's not "theft".

RE: stupid
By kkwst2 on 5/15/2006 8:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to agree. The "ridiculous" part in my book is trying to apply the same rules and logic to intangible goods as applies to tangible ones. Downloading copies IS much different than breaking into a store and stealing merchandise. To compare the two is buying into the rhetoric of the RIAA and others.

RE: stupid
By joust on 5/15/2006 11:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
You're 100% dead on. Just to hammer it in to anyone not convinced, Black's Law Dictionary defines theft as:

theft, n. 1. The unlawful taking and removing of another's personal property with the intent of depriving the true owner of it; larceny.

IANAL but one element of theft is that the original owner be deprived of the property. Calling copyright infringment or patent infringment theft is totally wrong.

RE: stupid
By Bonrock on 5/16/06, Rating: -1
RE: stupid
By joust on 5/16/2006 1:46:45 AM , Rating: 3
...because it doesn't derive the original owner. THAT is a major difference. Whether or not he deserves that money (he does) and whether or not infringment is wrong (it is) are two separate issues. Don't call people jackasses when you yourself have no idea what you're talking about.

RE: stupid
By Wahsapa on 5/16/2006 1:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
maybe because what he is stealing is 1's and 0's in virtual reality

RE: stupid
By deeznuts on 5/16/2006 1:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
You guys are ridiculous. Downloading music is different then breaking into a store to steal some merchandise. But the end result is the same. You are depriving someone the right to profits or compensation.

Theft is a term from common law hence there is no contemplation for intellectual property. But times change, and so must the law. Now I'm not a spokesperson for the RIAA/MPAA, I hate what they are doing, but I'm not ignorant enough or foolish enough to try and claim it isn't stealing.

Someone creates something, whether tangible or intangible, they should have rights to it.

RE: stupid
By Xenoid on 5/16/2006 2:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
My favorite artist isn't going to lose much when I don't buy their cd. After all, they make 14 cents per song sold. However, they will make more money when I attend a concert of theirs because I like them.

I have a cd sitting on my desk (newest In Flames) and it's going back. Why? Before opening it (it was a gift), I downloaded the album. It's crap. That would have sucked if I opened it now wouldn't it? (I liked some of the old In Flames, but this one is just terrible for me)

Anyways, all you guys are doing by buying cds are supporting record label bigwigs. Feel proud. Here is a long informative site about how it all works by Steve Albini, an independent and corporate rock record producer most widely known for having produced Nirvana's "In Utero"

RE: stupid
By Eris23007 on 5/16/2006 1:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite artist isn't going to lose much when I don't buy their cd. After all, they make 14 cents per song sold.

Oh so it's only a MINOR loss of profit, so that makes it not stealing? Does that mean it's not stealing to walk into a Safeway and snag a pack of gum because, after all, they only make 25 cents per pack of gum sold.

Try selling that position to a judge.

RE: stupid
By rushfan2006 on 5/16/2006 4:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite artist isn't going to lose much when I don't buy their cd. After all, they make 14 cents per song sold. However, they will make more money when I attend a concert of theirs because I like them.

I have a friend who is a professional musician, he runs his own recording studio business as well (its a small one). Now he does well for himself, not nearly as "well" as the big time stars you see on TV, but he's not starving. He does it because he loves what he does.

Enough of that though, the point is from knowing my friend - I can tell you that the money of every single sale does matter. The theory of they don't lose much when I don't buy their cd, is the same idiotic logic of folks who toss their fast food wrappers, cigarette packs and soda bottles outside by the curb or out the car window..."Oh my little cheeseburger wrapper isn't going to matter much." Yeah the only probably is largely folks are followers so somoeone starts a bad habit then another person does it saying it doesn't matter...and on and on..and before you know it...10 million people tossed trash on the side of road under the guise of "my little bit of trash doesn't matter".

Btw, the amount made for the artist will very, I know it varies for my friend who's belonged to at least 3 different labels in the last decade. It's all what the contract is.

Another thing folks forget with these "the artist doesn't lose money with me copying music" arguments...and I don't know why folks who know zero about the business side to the music business (and I'm not claiming myself an expert either) talk about the finances as if they know. However, there are tons of folks you have to pay, tons of costs - its not as simple as if you are an artist you just pay for studio time and pay your producer...that's just the little sliver of where your money goes before you get your cut out of it all.

Big time stars have it much better of course, world-wide recognition makes your costs comparately lower (kind of like a bank --- let's give Joe Blow a 9% rate, but wow look Joe Movie's famous..his movies are awesome..lets give him a 4% rate)...not to mention the obvious -- you sell a lot more product and a lot more concert tickets so you can afford to take bigger hits.

But the smaller time folks -- trust me...its not free to pay the expenses of a concert, let alone a full tour.

And forgetting everything else....EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU (I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE).......IT IS STEALING.....if you think its right or wrong, that's your business. If you are going to continue doing it...I really don't care...but call a spade a spade is full blown stealing. I guess you guys are in the "undocumented worker camp" too on immigration...LOL

RE: stupid
By Dev17 on 5/15/2006 8:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
The Open Source Community seems to be getting along fine without software patents. In fact in someways its actually ahead of closed source companies. With factors such as security, reliablitiy and performance many Open Source applictations are doing well. Take Firefox,Apache,GIMP,Linux Distros,Open BS,Perl,Gaim etc and many others often in many cases beat their closed source counter parts.It is becoming obvious and against common human intuition that software patents are holding software development back.
Firefox has been rumoured to make $70+ Million a year with a deal with google.How come someone doesn't just copy the Firefox source code and change the label and get the same deal with google. Because quite simply you will have to convice millions to download your program and they only will if your software offers more than firefox. In fact the Firefox community encourages such activity. Take Flock for example.

RE: stupid
By ninjit on 5/15/2006 10:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox, Apache, GIMP, Linux Distros, OpenBS , Perl, Gaim

Cool, even B ull S hit is open source now?? Awesome!

Ok, but did you mean OpenBSD? or something else?

RE: stupid
By Ard on 5/15/2006 11:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Then you don't understand the point in copyrights, trademarks, and patents. The reason exclusive rights are granted to creators is to give them some incentive to actually create their works and inventions in the first place. If we could just copy Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code as many times as we wanted and sell them, what incentive do Rawlings and Brown have to write their books? Yes, their originals remain, but because there are unauthorized copies, someone else is profitting off of the 2+ years they worked on their books. They're losing boatloads because their copyright is meaningless.

The same thing goes for intangibles such as patents. Why should MS, Creative, Apple, or any other software company come up with new ideas and inventions if anyone can just copy them and use them? Where is the reward for their hard work if they don't receive limited exclusivity for it? There is none. Without incentives, many things wouldn't be created.

Now, I'm sure you're going to throw open source at me, but as I'm sure you're fully aware open source is a meager part of the software world. The simple fact of the matter is, patents, copyrights, and trademarks exist so that creators have some incentive to create. Those incentives in turn are limited by duration, fair use, etc. so that the public actually receives some benefit from them.

Let me end with this: if you busted your ass for 5 years to come up with something completely original and revolutionary, would you want anyone to be able to just take that from you and use it for themself? No, you wouldn't. You wouldn't mind them using it, but you'd expect to be compensated for the "blood, sweat, and tears" you poured into your invention over the past 5 years. That is why IP exists. It's a balancing act so that you want to create and so that the public benefits from your creations.

RE: stupid
By joust on 5/15/2006 11:59:14 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with you. Long live IP. There are too many anti-property socialists (especially in the Slashdot crowd) who would like to see all notions of property (and thus, capitalism) disappear. (I'm not gung-ho anti-socialist, I have nothing against them. I think their system does not work nearly as well as capitalism.)

There are legitimate problems with the patent system. It is flawed. We all know that. The question then, is, how do we fix the system?

With a little creativity we can reform the patent system and greatly improve it. As Ard said, just because it's broken doesn't mean we should abolish it.

RE: stupid
By Bonrock on 5/16/2006 12:37:54 AM , Rating: 3
I would just like to point out that I think you're confusing socialism and communism. They are two completely different things. To make an oversimplification, Socialists are not anti-property; communists are. Socialists think the government should provide certain services and protections (such as Social Security or Medicare) for its people; communists believe the government or the "community" should collectively own everything.

Socialism and capitalism can go hand-in-hand, just as socialism and communism can. The ideology of the Slashdot crowd is close to communist ideology in some respects, but it has absolutely nothing to do with socialism.

Just thought I should clarify that. :)

RE: stupid
By joust on 5/16/2006 2:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
To make an oversimplification, Socialists are not anti-property; communists are.

Not exactly. There exist plenty of anti-property socialists. And by property, the notion I really meant was "private property." Some socialists may have a notion of property, but they certainly don't stand up to defend private ownership.
Still, even today, socialism stands out by being particularly forthright in advocating what it considers to be direct pursuit of working class interests, even at the expense of what other ideologies consider the legitimate property rights of the wealthy classes.

To have been 100% clear I should have used the word "communism." But I believe you don't even need to be that extreme to be against private property.

RE: stupid
By tigen on 5/16/2006 12:52:47 AM , Rating: 2
Then you don't understand the point in copyrights, trademarks, and patents.

I understand perfectly well what the point is. I just said the obvious, that violating those isn't "theft" according to the traditional usage of that term.

IP has benefits but it also has drawbacks. I'm not personally against IP. I think your argument overstates the benefit of IP greatly though. It is absolutely not true that nobody would innovate without IP. The incentive structure would be different. Some people create just for the sake of it and the satisfaction. Additionally, creation can take place under a contract basis; the OSS model actually is a relevant example of this, where many different parties with an interest in the software contribute to its development. Also lots of the software patents really are trivial things that immediately follow from stuff that already existed.

Besides that there is the time limit issue. It's really quite dubious IMHO for copyright to be granted for several decades.

But in the case of software patents in particular, I think it's not obvious that they are a real benefit. I think it's pretty clear we'd see around the same level of innovation without them. So why have them? They are actually a drag on innovation because big companies just use them to stomp on potential competitors.

RE: stupid
By Wwhat on 5/16/2006 1:40:40 AM , Rating: 2
Of course we aren't even talking about a software patent but a visual style patent, obviously apple didn't copy the code but they use a similar set of GUI elements as patented by creative, and that kind of patenting is even worse of course, especially since many of these patents are completely obvious and not an invention but more a bad spirit of the ones that patented.
You can patent sticking a shovel in the ground to create a hole if you are quick, and then you aren't a genius or even half clever in your 'invention' but just patented an obvious thing and yet you can sue people once the idiots at the patentoffice approved it.

RE: stupid
By deeznuts on 5/16/2006 1:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
People would still innovate without IP, but innovation would be at a much slower pace. Companies, inventors and innovators would not devote as much time and resources, for fear of not being re-compensated if successful. How about the big R&D budgets (millions/billions), think they would still be there if there was no IP protection? In addition, more companies and individuals would be inclined to keep their creations secret, stifling innovation furthere since the community will not be able to view it and improve on it.

RE: stupid
By Eris23007 on 5/16/2006 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2

I can't speak for anyone else, but *MY* problem with the open source movement isn't that they want to create software where the source is open and distribution is free. My problem is that they want to prevent anyone else from using a business model different from theirs.

As for SW patents, I disagree with your analysis that there are no benefits of software patents or that we would see the same level of innovation without them. For every example of linux there is an example of MacOS or Windows. There is a reason why linux is having a great deal of difficulty penetrating the end user market, even with companies selling linux-loaded PCs at WALMART of all places - it just doesn't have the user-friendliness of a Mac or a Windows box.

Personally I am of the opinion that software patents do need somewhat more rigorous restrictions as pertains to novelty and non-obviousness than is presently the case - a tweak of the current system, not an overhaul. I believe that the current system looks at the question of obviousness in particular as pertains to a layperson, not a software industry professional. I also believe that business-process patents are poorly conceived and need substantial reworking.

RE: stupid
By rushfan2006 on 5/16/2006 4:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
I understand perfectly well what the point is. I just said the obvious, that violating those isn't "theft" according to the traditional usage of that term.

Yeah what was your example in your first post..something about plowing a field, if the next guy did it better you just copied him? The only problem with this is that back then the laws didn't exist, today they do.

Stealing is stealing. I don't care if 800 or even 8000 years ago your could friggin' steal someone's design to make a better stone axe to kill the sabretooth who keeps prancing around your cave...Justify anyway you want...but you know what it won't be stealing? When the law of the country that it applies to says that's it not stealing.

Under your logic, because *YOU* say its not stealing its not....ok so that means what you can kill someone and then tell everyone...*oh that's not murder, because back in medeval times..yadda yadda*.....

RE: stupid
By derdon on 5/16/2006 3:06:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think IP and the methods to enforce them generally control the richness between the creator and the customer.
It's not a linear function, but when we abstract it we can generally say: the more IP that is enforced the richer the creator gets (who wants to accumulate money) at the expense of the customers (who want to accumulate goods).
If IP was less tight, then we could possibly have several persons who create follow-up work. We'd had a much richer world in terms of goods and less richness in terms of the creating person.

As mentioned this is not linear, since the person creating is also trying to produce more work as to increase the richness of the available work as well as a total open system would not ultimately lead to all people writing follow-up stories to Harry Potter. A balance point lies somewhat in the middle and it is this balance that an IP legal system would have to protect. It's a.) the customer's right to enhance and enrich the consumed good (that's a right, eh?) and b.) the creator's right to profit from the consumation of the good and it's derivates.
As you can imagine, they are not mutually exclusive.

What you'd get is a pyramide, where the original creator stands at the top and gains a share from every derivate work that was created, the farther on top the greater your influence and the more richness you and those above you will accumulate.

The only problem with this model is enforcing it, but it would not require more than current patents, a human that decides what is a derivate of what and what is original work. It would be more difficult to decide though. Is a story about a young magician named Karl who travels around the world in search for adventures the same as a story about a young magician named Harry who attends a school and finds his adventures there?
Certainly, I'd say the closer the releases of these two stories lie together, the more I'd say one is a derivate of the other.
We would have a time aspect, which is quite present in patents as well, though with the difference that it's not a hard constraint, but a soft one. The more time passes after the release of a work and the more different a story is to another, the less one is a derivate of the other. An exact copy however could still be considered a derivate even after 50 years.

The major challenge is to implement such an IP system that does NOT allow the creator to veto on his work, but to give him the right to profit from it. In that I'd say Anti-IPionists are correct, you shouldn't have control over an idea. You can invent it, you can profit from it, but you cannot control it.
This is also what democracy is about. The control would be decided by the masses who would steer the development of the expanding process, instead of dictator-like a single creator doing so.

RE: stupid
By derdon on 5/16/2006 3:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
<qoute>As mentioned this is not linear, since the person creating is also trying to produce more work as to increase the richness of the available work as well as a total open system would not ultimately lead to all people writing follow-up stories to Harry Potter.

I shall correct: the person creating is also trying to produce more work as to further increase his/her richness (creating more work is the most feasible way doing so).

RE: stupid
By Dev17 on 5/16/2006 6:42:24 AM , Rating: 1
<flamesuit>OK point take that many of you feel IP needs improvement not aboloshment. But can you explain why so many people in the world are willing to program open source code for free. How come the Open Source Community is progressing so fastly and is dragging the Closed Source in its wake. Yet there is no money incentive. You are wrong there is money it just doesn't come from selling the software. In fact in order for you to earn money from open source you have to have good ideas for your product to be successful. Money can be made from Open Source.
This is where the incentive lies. Closed Source doesn't work for things in the digital world. Because in the real world economics is based on how scarce resources are. In the digital world anythinig can be duplicated almost an infinte amount so the product is not scarce so there should be no price. All I'm saying is the business models need to change for the digital world. Open Souce is not only threatning Closed Source but how could piracy survive? Priacy will grow on the internet(and it is growing ! )till the only things that survives is Open Source.(That sounds almost like Judgement day :D ) You don't have to agree with me. But as for the comment about Open Source being meagre. Well put it this way 70%+ of webservers run on a open source OS. It would be extremely difficult to come across a company,instituition in some way that isn't using any Open Source of it at all.</flamesuit>

RE: stupid
By dwalton on 5/16/2006 3:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
intangible can be stolen. Just because you copy something doesn't mean that ownership has been relinquished. The property owner retains ownership of the original and the copy regardless of who copied it. Therefore, if you are using the copy unlawfully (without the property owners' permission) it is considered theft.

Theft is define as larceny: the act of taking something from someone unlawfully; "the thieving is awful at Kennedy International"

Property is define as something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone; "that hat is my property"; "he is a man of property";

RE: stupid
By tigen on 5/17/2006 8:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
intangible can be stolen. Just because you copy something doesn't mean that ownership has been relinquished. The property owner retains ownership of the original and the copy regardless of who copied it. Therefore, if you are using the copy unlawfully (without the property owners' permission) it is considered theft.

You haven't made your point. Using a copy unlawfully isn't the same as theft. It's using a copy unlawfully. How is it theft? Is murder theft? Is jaywalking theft?

Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By Trisped on 5/15/2006 8:48:19 PM , Rating: 3
I remember back in 2001 that Creative issued a stop and desist to Apple about the iPod's interface due to a patent they had been trying to get through. Is this the same patent or did Creative patent something else about the interface?

From the patent it sounds like a pretty cool interface system. No wonder Creative wants to defend it.

RE: Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By bozilla on 5/15/2006 9:08:04 PM , Rating: 1
I think you are absolutely right. This is the same thing. They just didn't enforce it legally until now I guess.

People who talk about how Creative doesn't have anything against Apple is just ignorant. Creative is completely right about this one and they actually tried to enforce this before at the beginning of iPod and their Zen players. Do some research and you will understand. I just can't believe how people just slap their ignorant comments without having any info about the case history.

Apple is definitely stealing and constantly keeps getting in legal problems because of borrowing others' ideas and patents. That's why they have maybe the strongest legal team in the corporate world. How many lawsuits they had so far. Trust me it's not because everybody hates them. They rip off ideas and make them prettier, nicer working etc. Of course it works and they do magic with it, but it's still OTHER PEOPLE's idea.

By bribud on 5/15/2006 10:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
What you just said sounds just like Google.

RE: Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By Wahsapa on 5/15/2006 10:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
not to burst your bubble or anything but the ipod UI could basically be considered the second generation of NeXTs file browsing system, which came out in the late 80s... before mp3's. but instead of a mouse to navigate, its a scroll wheel.

the fact that apple(who bought next) is applying ideas that were thought up in the 80s and then implimenting them in a smaller hand held computer a decade later leaves creative out to dry. ya, ipod = hand held computer, thats why its ipod, not imusicplayer.

i cant believe you think creative is in the right with this lawsuit. apple should be suing creative, but they know its BS and not worth it, so they didnt bother. i wish apple would just buy creative and opensource all the IP creative bought up to give us a crappy auditory gaming experince. just ask john carmack about doom3.

also apple doesnt have the best lawyer team, microsoft does(because everyone hates them).

reality check: if anybody comes up with a BETTER way of doing something then THAT should be the way to do it. some tard who sits on his ass thinking its patent entitles them to a stand still of innovation, gets a kick in the nuts as a wakeup call because the world doesnt work that way(especially china).

thoes 'other people' should have done what apple did, because thats obviously what sells the product.

RE: Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By Lonyo on 5/15/2006 11:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Portable media player != hand held computer

By Wahsapa on 5/16/2006 12:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
technically, no

RE: Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By GonzoDaGr8 on 5/16/2006 12:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
Quote: "the fact that apple(who bought next)"

Steve Jobs bought Next before he was back at Apple the second time. Apple did not buy Next.

By Wahsapa on 5/16/2006 1:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
what you just said makes no sense, and is also completely wrong

"In 1985, following an internal power struggle, Jobs was stripped of his duties by the board of directors."

"After leaving Apple, Jobs founded another computer company, NeXT Computer"

"Starting NeXT Inc. with an out-of-pocket investment of $7 million, Jobs hired seven employees"

"NeXT merged with Apple Computer on December 20, 1996, and its software was the foundation for Mac OS X"

"Apple Computer announced its agreement to purchase NeXT Software for about $400 million"

By Trisped on 5/16/2006 12:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with your idea is it doesn't reward the inventor who spent the time, money, and know how to invent the idea. If you don't protect that then innovation will no longer happen because then anyone could steal the idea and use it for free. There product would be the same, but cost less because they didn't have to invest in the research. They would then beat the researcher out of the market.

The real solution is to create companies who can come up with there own ideas and change the patent system so it is easier to find bad patents.

By keynote9 on 5/16/2006 8:38:02 AM , Rating: 2
A very nice way to put it.

RE: Isn't that the patent from way back when?
By ktlewis02 on 5/15/2006 9:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Same patent as far as I can tell..

I think this lawsuit is total bullshit; companies should not be able to patent such logical ideas. For example, when I store my music I use the Artist->Album->Song identification. This is pure common sense and the easiest way to organize info

By Trisped on 5/16/2006 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
The point isn't that you can search through a logical organization system as much as major parts of the interface were stolen. Sure Creative's patent seems all-inclusive, but I am sure you could create one that didn't infringe on it. The problem is that Creative got there first with a proper patent and Apple showed up later and copied it.

Dumb Patents
By couppi on 5/15/2006 8:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
Just get rid of GUI Patents.

RE: Dumb Patents
By Viper007Bond on 5/15/2006 8:48:36 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I mean it's not rocket science.

RE: Dumb Patents
By RamarC on 5/15/2006 9:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
i'm at the point that i don't think you should be able to patent anything but algorithms. we've got guys patenting shopping carts, one-click ordering, thumb-oriented keypads, and applets. it was stupid when lotus patented the \ in 1-2-3 macros (i'm going waaaaayyyyy back) and its only gotten worse.

it made sense to patent TV technology. but it seems like this patent office will allow you patent a TV "show" about the antics of 2 girls and a guy living together!

RE: Dumb Patents
By Wwhat on 5/16/2006 1:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
It's almost as if the patentoffice is TRYING to destroy themselves by approving more and more insane things to try to patent until the people cannot but close the patentoffice down.
Unfortunately the people aren't in control but quite mentally challenged politicians and money-addicted politicians so it isn't working.

Can't Wait!
By feraltoad on 5/15/2006 9:14:27 PM , Rating: 3
I can't wait for the Cookie Patent Wars!

"Nabisco sues over Oreo conterfeits...Walmart indicted."

"Tollhouse nabs filesharers swapping recipes detailing its 'patented' chip insertion procedures."

I agree with the poster above, this make me less likely to buy a Creative mobile audio product. They can't compete so they sue.

RE: Can't Wait!
By Ravenlore on 5/16/2006 12:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, I can't wait for the decendent of the inventor of the weel to sue everyone. What about the decendents of the people who first wore cloths. Shoes, engines, rubber tires...

Everything that has been invented started with someones idea. I am sure glad pattens are here to stop people from using their ideas. BECAUSE IN THE PAST PEOPLE did VERY LITTLE WITHOUT patents!!!

RE: Can't Wait!
By Eris23007 on 5/16/2006 2:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
engines, rubber tires, ...all patented. Even some (though not all) shoes. The PTO has been around a *LONG* time. IP considerations are in the Constitution.

In fact, if you look at the rise of industrialized society, it is very closely correlated with the rise of intellectual property as a legal theory - there's also an interesting correlation between rich countries and those that have strong intellectual property protections.

<paraphrasing:> "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it"

If you can't beat 'em...
By redbone75 on 5/15/2006 8:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
Sue 'em. Seems to be the logical step to take. I was really thinking of buying a Zen Vision: M over an iPod, but with this tidbit of info I think I've changed my mind. I will really be surprised if Creative wins this.

RE: If you can't beat 'em...
By lennylim on 5/15/2006 8:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Can't comment on this particular lawsuit, since I didn't bother reading up on it, but when two large companies sue each other, the usual outcome is that they agree to cross license their patents to each other, everyone's happy, the lawyers get paid, taxpayers foot the cost of the frivolous lawsuits and people like us waste time talking about it.

RE: If you can't beat 'em...
By JAS on 5/15/2006 11:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's another attempt to shake down Apple for some cash.

Second time??
By Clauzii on 5/15/2006 11:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
Isn´t it the second time Creative sues for the menu system stuff - (that was "basically" invented back on 64 - sort off....)

RE: Second time??
By Clauzii on 5/15/2006 11:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Never mind - was already issued a few posts up....

Typical Creative
By Gooberslot on 5/16/2006 3:04:38 AM , Rating: 2
Rather than compete they sue. First they sued Aureal, then they threated id with some ridiculous patent, and now Apple. I really hope (un)Creative dies.

RE: Typical Creative
By CrackRabbit on 5/16/2006 10:34:08 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to say the same thing, Creative : If you can't beat them, sue them out of business and them buy them.
Proud to be Creative free for 5 years now.

Apple deserves what they get
By Lysergic acid on 5/15/2006 11:02:42 PM , Rating: 3
Although I don't agree with the laws that make lawsuits like these possible Apple makes a lot of bullshit lawsuits aswell so I can't realy see anything wrong with what creative is doing. Maybe if Apple weren't always sending their lawyers after people I would have a little more sympathy for them. The laws definently need changing but intill that happens I don't mind seeing apple on the bad end of the lawsuits.

not buying it
By jmunjr on 5/15/2006 11:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy the idea of patents for methods of arranging music for users. That is a stretch. Isn't this supposed to be "intellectual" property? I rad their patent, and what they have done, despite the length of the patent, is not all that complicated. Now, a type of voice recognition software, audio compression, or sata encryption - those require some smarts, but music track arrangements? Please...

Can you imagine if these hokey types of patents had been awarded back when the automobile started getting produced? Ford wouldhave patented a method for turning left, Chevy one for the car ashtray, studebaker would patent a method for showing the speed of a car by "displaying the car's speed using numbers in sequence".. The patent is not for the idea, it is for the technical stuff that makes those things possible(i.e. the gears, relay switches, levers, etc..).

Another Patent lawsuit?
By Bull Dog on 5/16/2006 1:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
Gads!.... I'm getting SICK of these things.

Creative is nuts!
By HermDogg on 5/16/2006 4:55:08 AM , Rating: 2
I used to own a Creative Jukebox - the 6 gig version that was bigger than a majority of CD players, and ran on 8 AA batteries (for about ten minutes). They're nuts if they want to compare menus with Apple. I know the lawsuit doesn't say they are, but come on? You came up with the idea of organizing menus on a player in heirarchal format? Oooh! Special!

get em
By keynote9 on 5/16/2006 8:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
Way to go Creative!! Use those patients to sue them.. Those Ipods are junk.

Apple is the new Microsoft
By Cunthor01 on 5/15/2006 8:20:18 PM , Rating: 1
Now they get sued all the time, ever since they became more 'mainstream' popular. Funny how the tables have turned.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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