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Android phonemakers have essentially four possible routes to try to avoid a "doomsday" scenario

Thus far Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has seen its patents narrowed or invalidated in U.S. court.  At best it's cobbled together a handful of UI patents like gallery page flipping, kinetic scrolling, swipe-to-unlock, and a bounce back animation.  Together, these patents could make Android a bit less pleasant, but it would be far from “game over” as Google Inc. (GOOG) would be free to continue sales and continue to attack Apple with retaliatory litigation in hopes of reaching a licensing truce, while pursuing workarounds.

I. Monopoly is Almost in Apple's Grasp

But Apple has one strong hope of achieving its ultimate objective -- killing its top competitor and granting itself control over the U.S. smartphone market.  That patent is U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, Apple's infamous "multi-touch patent".

The patent claims invention not of a particular narrow, precisely defined algorithm, but rather on an abstract description of all algorithms relating to the use of multi-touch displays.  Basically, the patent covers how when your fingers are moving in semi-linear directions, the idea of removing the wobble in order to get a usable gesture.

Virtually every Android device sold today uses multi-touch.  Without a method of allowing for accurate touch these devices would be rendered useless.  And that's precisely what Apple is hoping for.

Apple gavel
Apple scored a demoralizing victory over Android. [Image Source: ArsTechnica]

After scoring an early victory in January on the patent, Apple scored another win in a more in-depth judicial analysis of the claims in Apple's patent, and Google subsidiary/Android phonemaker Motorola Mobility's (the named defendant) complaints about the patent.

The presiding Chicago, Illinois Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge was Judge Richard Posner, a respected legal veteran and University of Chicago law instructor.  In a March 29 ruling, he defended Apple's interpretation of the claims language in the patent as mostly valid and chastised Motorola Mobility's lawyers for providing invalid and repetitive arguments.

Responding to Motorola Mobility's insistence that the patent should only be valid for the 27 degree contact angle (error tolerance) discussed in the example implementation, he chastised, "I reject Motorola's argument (this is the third time they've made it and the third time I reject it) that the structure must be limited to the 27-degree angle used as an example by the specification."

The decision clears the way for a potential ban on all Motorola Android smartphone sales on infringement grounds.

II. Ubiquitous Patent Won't Expire Until 2028

Apple's attorneys cheer the news, writing, "[H]aving identified the problems associated with imprecise finger gestures, solved them, and successfully incorporated them into a commercial product, Apple should be entitled to the fruits of its innovation via broad patent protection, and the public is benefited by the disclosure of Apple’s invention."

The patent will last through 2028, so by "public is benefited" Apple means that it hopes that the public will be "benefited" by a complete ban on Android for over a decade and a half.

Apple iPhone 4S
Apple's lawyers hope to "benefit" the public with an Android ban until 2028.
[Image Source: Carlos Rull]

Such an event would seem astounding, but is not impossible considering the following:
  1. Without multi-touch you might as well not sell a handset in the current market.
  2. Without gesture detection heuristic multi-touch would be impossible to implement effectively
  3. The validation of Apple's claims language clears the way for a preliminary injunction on all Motorola multi-touch handsets.  Bans on Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) and HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) would likely soon follow.
  4. Apple has not indicated it is willing to license this patent.
This latest is outcome is largely a byproduct of a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that allows overly ambiguous nebulous software descriptions to be patented and then a judicial system which, in turn, allows them to be enforced with destructive, anti-competitive consequences.

But this incident is the most eye-popping example yet of the dangers of the current American intellectual property system as it has a strong possibility of radically transforming a vast market whose devices U.S. consumers use every day.

III. How Did We Get Here?

The wily Cupertino giant, the world's most profitable electronics company began its bid in early 2005.  At the time Apple was enjoying a renaissance with its best-selling iPod, but it was curious if customers would buy a reimagined Apple Newton in a new ultra-slim form factor.  In order to differentiate its product, Apple bought FingerWorks, a research and development company specializing in multi-touch gestures.

At that point Apple began patenting multi-touch implementation details at a frantic pace.  The only remaining question was what kind of hardware to pair the algorithms with.

The answer came in 2006 when a handful of companies -- mostly Taiwanese display startups -- displayed capacitive multi-touch displays at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and other trade shows.  Apple moved quickly to enter agreements to snatch up all the supply on the new displays.

Apple iPhone
Apple's crafty moves positioned it to potentially score its biggest anti-competitive win yet.
[Image Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images]

This allowed it to enjoy a virtually untouched monopoly on multi-touch devices a year later, when its iPhone launched.  While Apple's invention came largely second-hand via FingerWorks and the Taiwanese manufacturers, it appeared that Apple had "invented" multi-touch.

IV. Android Phonemakers Have Four Potential Routes to Avoid a Complete Ban 

Now the clever strategy that ensured its risky smartphone project instant commercial acclaim and success could pay a second dividend in the form of an anti-competitive gift from the U.S. judicial system.

If Apple does score a complete sales ban, it has complete control over whether it opts to allow licensing at premium rates, or simply to allow Android U.S. sales to die.  Either way Android phonemakers' only recourse would be to win a narrowing of the patent in similar Samsung/HTC cases, take the case to a higher federal appeals court in an effort to override Judge Posner's technical analysis, try to find enough prior art to convince the USPTO to invalidate the broad patent, or else win an equally damaging ruling against Apple, forcing licensing.

Game over
Is this game over for Android?  Don't count Google and its allies out yet, they have several viable options to fight a complete sales ban. [Image Source: The Dark Furie]

If Google, et al. cannot find a way to accomplish one of those four reversal routes, Android is essentially soon to be dead in the U.S., barring some unforeseen circumstance.  And if Android sales vanish in the U.S., the platform's global prospects are in jeopardy as well.

It sounds unbelievable, but Apple's ace could spell the virtual end of Android, currently the smartphone market's market share leader.  Of course, on the flip side of the Android coalition has a lot of fight left in it and will likely look to exhaust each of the above options to avoid a radical market changing event in the U.S.

Source: FOSS Patents



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If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By bodar on 4/2/2012 10:13:24 PM , Rating: 5
I'm gonna be pissed. Anyone who says this is good for consumers is either clinically retarded or a shill (or both).




RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By RicheemxX on 4/2/2012 10:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, if Apple chose to enforce this and started blocking devices it would be seriously bad for consumers. However, I don't think they will. They'd put themselves in the position of dominating too many markets and open themselves to too for to much potential anti-trust litigation. They are already facing scrutiny over ebook pricing, itunes ect. If they blocked all android devices you'd see much more scrutiny that I'm sure they don't want.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By WalksTheWalk on 4/2/2012 11:27:50 PM , Rating: 5
This is all part of Apple's thermonuclear war on Android. What needs to happen is for all Android manufacturers to sue Apple for every possible patent they can to threaten the iPhone's global market. At this point, the only thing Apple understands is a brute force legal attack.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 12:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well all they seem to have is 3G patents and all those lawsuits have been shot down. Moto scored a weak victory over push email in Germany - that won't hurt them much at all.

At this point, Apple is their own worst enemy. One way or another, they will be done away with.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By xytc on 4/3/2012 8:50:43 AM , Rating: 3
As a Samsung representative I speak for all Android phone makers when I say that our touchscreen technology does not infringe on any multi-touch patents as I will explain bellow.
Our phones use a technology called Multisense ™ Technology opposed to multi-touch.
What does that mean for example is when you touch something with one hand or both hands it doesn't matter that you touched it with one finger two three or 10 fingers because it all counts as one touch. You may say to a girl to let you touch her, or when you say you just touched that nice looking car, saying that you have multi-touch something just sounds completely retarded.
The same thing applies to mobile phones tablets or anything else whether you touch it with one finger or many it all counts as one touch .
That's where our technology called Multisense ™ kicks in sensing all the details in a touch.
"Samsung's Multisense ™ Technology when every different touch makes a sense"


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 10:48:20 AM , Rating: 1
I'm pretty sure apple ripped off the notification bar from android.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By testerguy on 4/3/2012 1:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does 'Android' have a patent on it?

If not, it's not legally ripping anything off.


By geddarkstorm on 4/3/2012 1:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
Android is semi-opensource, it it can't go as patent insane as Apple.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By muhahaaha on 4/3/2012 1:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, but with your logic, we should all just patent everything. I personally want to patent your mom and then get busy.


By muhahaaha on 4/3/2012 1:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
Even better, I'll open source her. LMAO


By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 2:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they do. It isn't approved yet.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Tony Swash on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Omega215D on 4/3/2012 12:56:40 AM , Rating: 1
This is ridiculous as Apple is also seeking to create, patent their new SIM and make it a standard.

Digital Desk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8lCetZ_57g

HTC TouchFlo was in development before the iOS (not official release).

NeoNode has their unlock method.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Samus on 4/3/2012 2:53:58 AM , Rating: 3
As ridiculous this (and the SIM) crap is, what's truely amazing is Apple leaving Microsoft completely out of this.

Claiming they have no plans to license this technology, but at the same time, pick and choose your targets (attack Android, leave Microsoft alone) is just blatant anti-competitive behavior.

I'm not an Android fan, and honestly, think WebOS was far superior, but consumer choice needs to be protected. Currently, half of all consumers choose Android. How is this ruling good for anybody?


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By bug77 on 4/3/2012 3:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's not ridiculous, it's just that they need to at least pretend they're not a monopoly.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By phantom505 on 4/3/2012 9:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
You're not allowed to selectively protect your patents. That can invalid them on face.


By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 2:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you can. That's why apple totally ignores MS and ignored palm.

You are thinking of trademark law.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Helbore on 4/3/2012 5:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
Apple aren't stupid. They know not to piss off Microsoft because they have tons of patents of their own and could actually hurt Apple.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/3/2012 10:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's really a concern here.
Microsoft and Apple have had a patent cross-licensing agreement since 1997.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 3:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
If apple traditionally never licenses any patents (though it seems now they will), why would MS have gotten them without any effort?

None of those crucial iphone patents were around in 1997 either.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/3/2012 10:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
It appears that you don't understand what cross-licensing means. Microsoft didn't get patents without any effort. It invested $150M into Apple, which at the time was in poor financial shape, and also entered an agreement to share IP. Typically such an agreement lasts for some period of time and includes new IP which is created during that time, rather than being limited to the IP that exists at the beginning of the agreement. Apple's multi-touch IP may have come later, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft can't use it.


By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 10:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
In other words, Apple did this because they *had* to, not because they *wanted* to.

Now does Google have anything GUI/phonewise Apple needs? Not yet. Therefore, for now apple can sue with impunity without fear of reprisal. They couldn't do that against RIM or even the old palm.

Thanks again for proving my point.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Daemyion on 4/3/2012 9:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure there's a cross-licensing agreement already in place between Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft's patents in OS, touch inputs (MS began work on Surface in 2001), UI, and other fields pretty much compels Apple to broadly cross-license if they ever want to get a decent product out.

What I still don't get is why Google didn't do the necessary due diligence ahead of time. If they licensed the patents before announcing Android they would; A) pay less per patent and B) avoid this mess completely. They're pretty naive, tbh.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By sviola on 4/3/2012 10:39:20 AM , Rating: 3
They are not naive, they just thought they could get away. They did the same with Java.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/3/2012 11:35:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
They are not naive, they just thought they could get away. They did the same with Java.

Err, with Java, they thought it was okay because the chief executive of Sun said it was, although they never obtain an explicit legalese licensing consent in writing. So naive would be the appropriate term.

Sun never sued Google. But Google miscalculated and after Oracle purchased Sun it was indeed sued.


By adiposity on 4/3/2012 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err, with Java, they thought it was okay because the chief executive of Sun said it was, although they never obtain an explicit legalese licensing consent in writing


We know, based on the infamous e-mail, that the licensing of Java was a concern at Google. We don't know whether anyone considered Schwartz’s comments a license to use Java.

His comments are damaging to their credibility, and possibly their case, though. And frankly, I think by making their own "non-JVM," they may well have circumvented the need to license anything.

It's possible that Schwartz wanted Google to license the mobile JVM at the same time as he was happy that Google was giving Java increased relevance. The two are not mutually exclusive. Sun may very well have suggested to Oracle that Google's failure to license the JVM was a selling point in the acquisition. We don't know.


By Tony Swash on 4/3/2012 2:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err, with Java, they thought it was okay because the chief executive of Sun said it was, although they never obtain an explicit legalese licensing consent in writing.


So they thought that basing the legal position of a multibillion dollar initiative on someone's blog post was OK?

quote:
So naive would be the appropriate term.


Possibly. Google's internal decision making was very poor and fragmented and they seemed to have stumbled into a vast undertaking with Android that has never made them any money. But I think that Google playing fast and loose with other people's intellectual property is a reflection of a very deeply embedded culture at Google that basically thinks that all IP (other than Google's own search algorithms obviously) is up for grabs and that IP protection is somehow old fashioned and can be routed around. Google is a company whose entire business is based on collecting other people's information and becoming an intermediary in everything everybody does with anything. 'Borrowing' code from Java was just part of the way the company does things. It genuinely sees nothing wrong with it. The business models of all other companies are just irritants to Google that just gets in the way of it's mission which is to manage the entire worlds data. All of it.


By DT_Reader on 4/3/2012 4:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't sue Microsoft over this because Microsoft has cross-licensed the patent. Google can't cross-license the patent because they have no patent that Apple needs. Microsoft has dozens of patents the others need (hence the fact that they make more money off Android patent licenses than they do off Windows Phone licenses).


By gookpwr on 4/3/2012 5:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
Or.... Phone makers could sell awsome phones for less with no OS on them at all and let people install whatever OS they want. Android, Palm, (obviously not iOS), but all the same I can go onto XDA and put ICS on my N1. Why not make simple way of loading the latest (insert your favorite mobile OS here)and boom, all law suites for the headset manufacturers is over. Stop giving the courts money and poor it into Android and R&D and help Google put an end to this nonsense.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Natch on 4/3/2012 8:21:59 AM , Rating: 3
If Apple wins this case, and decides to prevent Android devices from being sold, Google should IMMEDIATELY press the Federal government to start an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple. The should also consider it, if Apple decides to charge exhorbitant licensing fees for the rights to their patented technology.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By DT_Reader on 4/3/2012 4:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
Nice sentiment, but a patent gives you a legal monopoly for a limited time (20 years is considered limited - compare with the "limited" monopoly copyright gives!). So we'll all be able to buy smartphones again when the patent expires (or buy a Windows phone). Personally, I'll do without. I refuse to lock myself into a closed ecosystem - Apple, Microsoft, whoever.


By Uncle on 4/4/2012 12:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid not the RIAA started off with 25yrs with some whining and money in the right pockets received an extension of approximately 50 more yrs. Maybe apple has enough pull in gov to also get an extension.


By Uncle on 4/3/2012 11:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm missing something here. What about touch screens on laptops or monitors. How are they different then a phone and they have been around longer then apples phone. Are they going to be gone from the shelves also.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By MonkeyPaw on 4/2/2012 10:55:26 PM , Rating: 5
If that means my only choice of smartphones/tablets is from Apple, I guess I won't be owning either. I'd rather go back to a dumb phone, unless Apple has a patent that suggests they invented that, too.


By ShaolinSoccer on 4/2/2012 11:29:16 PM , Rating: 5
Usually people say "If you can't beat them, join them."... but in this case, I would rather just not buy any Apple product. They have lost all my respect. Greed is a mofo.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Tony Swash on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Paj on 4/3/2012 7:20:41 AM , Rating: 4
The software patent arena is pretty flawed by allowing such broad patents in the first place. As has been proven, Apple doesnt really invent as much as it just buys up.

Im no lawyer, but if this goes through, I'm pretty sure Europe isnt going to like it. The EU takes a pretty dim view of these sort of tactics, treating them as the anticompetitive behaviour they clearly are (re: Microsoft, Intel). Apple could find themselves bearing the brunt of a massive fine or EU restrictions if Android is banned in the US.

Even if, in multiple courts around the world, it is found that the patents are in violation of something, refusing to license the technology that they themselves bought from someone else in the first place strikes me as particularly pig-headed.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Tony Swash on 4/3/2012 12:41:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Even if, in multiple courts around the world, it is found that the patents are in violation of something, refusing to license the technology that they themselves bought from someone else in the first place strikes me as particularly pig-headed.


You mean like Google's search algorithms it got from Stanford but hasn't licensed to anyone else?


By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 2:47:38 PM , Rating: 5
You mean *that patent* that Google has never sued anyone over, and that the bulk of their tech is protected by trade secret?


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By testerguy on 4/3/2012 1:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The software patent arena is pretty flawed by allowing such broad patents in the first place. As has been proven, Apple doesnt really invent as much as it just buys up.


The question of who 'invented' it is irrelevant. You can buy patents, just like you can buy the companies who invent things. For all intents and purposes they become part of Apple once they are purchased.

The bottom line is that Apple was the first smartphone manufacturer to see the potential for multi-touch gestures, and of course when they did come up with this they patented the hell out of it, to protect their idea - exactly as any other company would have done. Now there are countless replications which all clearly share the same DNA as the first iPhone, so clearly Apple has a legitimate case.

You should also take Jasons articles with a pinch of salt, his bias exudes throughout every article and clearly aims to mislead people.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By leviathan05 on 4/4/2012 9:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
to protect their idea


The problem with this is that patents aren't supposed to protect ideas, but the implementation of those ideas. Most software patents shouldn't exist, as the actual code written in a program would be copyrighted, not patented.


By The Raven on 4/5/2012 3:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well patent or not it should apply to the code and not the IDEA. My understanding (biz law 101) is that you cannot patent an "idea". This means that you have to show the very workings of it and not just a vague idea. And that is what is protected. Not the idea. (like prior art)

For example I cannot patent mind control for a phone. I have schematics of how it will work. And not just a picture with waves floating toward a phone lol. This is what I have seen of Apple's (and other tech companies for that matter) and I don't understand how such crap has been allowed to pass (efficient gov't I suppose).

Like wise I cannot actually make a mind control phone and then just tell everyone else that was working on the same idea (with different methods, or code in this case) that they can't do the same thing.

Again I am no lawyer, but this is not right whether it is legal or not.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By TSS on 4/3/2012 6:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes maybe they'll even get the biggest fine in history, as much as $2 billion! That'll certainly hurt the $100 billion cash they have lying around.

I wonder what the retaliation from apple will be if they actually get that monopoly on the standards commission.

I'm afraid the only thing that'll actually hurt apple at this point is a massive failure of the new gadget. I think apple won't prove as resiliant when their stockprice takes a dive.


By tigz1218 on 4/3/2012 8:51:28 AM , Rating: 4
Or they are a Tony Swash.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Denigrate on 4/3/2012 8:45:05 AM , Rating: 4
What's wrong with Windows Phone? Other than it's a closed loop like iOS? I really like my Windows Phone, and with a bit of tinkering (yeesh, no drag and dop native? Really?), it's easily the best phone I've used.

Multitouch should be FRAND. End of story.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 8:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
Like you said "closed loop," the best thing about android is the aftermarket rom's available for it. MS tends to offer more freedom than apple, but still nothing compares to the openness of android.


By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 8:58:02 AM , Rating: 5
That being said if apple did manage to kill off android I would move over to windows phone, not to an iphone.


By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 8:53:37 AM , Rating: 5
Ah, **long string of explitives** you apple.


By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 10:46:24 AM , Rating: 2
You know the irony might be that it forces users to buy a phone and then flash a custom rom of their choosing onto it. I'm pretty sure I read of a linux based smartphone operating being developed in China. So wouldn't it be ironic if Apple's move pushed us all to flash a chinese rom to our phone, it might be the only way around the patent wars.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By tamalero on 4/3/2012 11:59:46 AM , Rating: 5
I still wonder why the patent system's officials both in Germany and the US seem to be in bed with apple.
do these people hold Apple stock or something?


By Avatar28 on 4/5/2012 11:34:46 AM , Rating: 3
No, they're in bed with the hookers that Apple provides to them on a regular basis.


RE: If I have to get a Windows Phone,
By robinthakur on 4/3/2012 12:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Coming now that Android has been on the market for a while I don't see it as ideal for consumers. However, if you cast your mind back to when the iPhone was first released in 2007, Steve said that they had "patented the heck out of the device" and truly the iPhone's uniqueness and main advantage was its revolutionary multi touch OS which eclipsed all which had come before it. For a while there was literally nothing which could touch it on the market for maybe 2-3 years. When Android and the rest started to snap at its heals was when they started operating (as well as looking in Samsung's case) like an iPhone. I personally don't see that they should be able to legally do that given that the iPhone was a heavily patented device.

You might argue that it was in the public interest, to open up the market to lower cost handsets etc. but seriously in what other field of business would a multi billion dollar company happily just surrender its IP and competitive advantage in the interests of the general public. In point of fact, Steve and now Tim have an obligation to their shareholders to safeguard their investment and research. The first iPhone was not just about whacking a multitouch screen on a palm pilot as some may choose to see it, it was revolutionary, and the major part of that was because of Apple's innovative software, a factor that no other company had previously nailed or even focused on. Whilst this decision is very late in coming, it is entirely reasonable IMO


By WalksTheWalk on 4/3/2012 4:26:54 PM , Rating: 5
I'm all for inventors being able to patent their technology and reap the rewards that come with that. I agree that Apple did create a new type of device that combined existing technology into a new package.

The issue I have here is that there is prior art in the case of many of Apple's patents. What Apple did is just frame them in the package of a portable device. Multi-touch was already patented for touch screen displays, but Apple's patent just adds that it's for a portable device. If I had the coin, like Apple does, I would file all kinds of patents that are based on existing patents but packaged in a different form factor. Many of Apple's patents like multi-touch, swipe to unlock, etc. are just rewording of existing patents for mobile devices and the US Patent Office just rubber stamps them through.


By glennco on 4/4/2012 2:36:28 AM , Rating: 4
This is why Apple will one day fall. and this is why i will not buy another Apple product until they change their ways. Nobody likes a bully. I would rather have a dumb phone than an iphone purely because of the company that makes them. i vote with my wallet, generally rebel against peer pressure, and probably care too much about the society i have to live with.

Everything is a cycle, especially image. New generations always want their own identity and individuality and it generally is not what the previous generation covets. It can't be predicted as that would defeat the purpose and could be something so minor that it just snowballs. the iphone is not the be all end all of the future of smartphones.


Kill Apple.
By Motoman on 4/2/2012 9:53:49 PM , Rating: 5
...and every time you see an Apple consumer, punch them in the face.

Apple consumers are the reason we have to put up with this BS.

While you're at it, punch anyone you happen upon who has anything to do with the patent system too.

GD we're a bunch of stupid f%ckers.

...that's a royal "we."




RE: Kill Apple.
By xti on 4/2/2012 10:49:08 PM , Rating: 1
i would love for someone to punch me :)


RE: Kill Apple.
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/2/2012 11:31:03 PM , Rating: 5
What's your address?


RE: Kill Apple.
By paydirt on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Kill Apple.
By cknobman on 4/3/2012 10:30:32 AM , Rating: 1
You dont get punches to the face, you get a bullet to the head.


RE: Kill Apple.
By Jeffk464 on 4/3/2012 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 3
Enjoy your tiny 3.5" screen and weeksauce 3g network.


RE: Kill Apple.
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/3/2012 11:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
So you are just an itard...


RE: Kill Apple.
By lightfoot on 4/3/2012 4:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have 10% of my liquid net worth in Apple stock and am an investor for a living and I have bought Apple stock for most of my clients.

So basically you are pumping up your own holdings using your client's money... Isn't that unethical and possibly illegal?


RE: Kill Apple.
By paydirt on 4/3/2012 6:26:38 PM , Rating: 1
No, if you own the same stuff as your clients, and disclose that, it is the ethical and legal thing to do. If you are not invested alongside your clients, then your interests are not aligned with theirs.

What would be unethical would be to buy the stock for yourself and then immediately buy it for clients and then sell the stock immediately. I don't do that kind of thing.


RE: Kill Apple.
By amanojaku on 4/2/2012 11:31:07 PM , Rating: 4
You're either an Apple consumer or an employee of the patent office? I heard this site has a guy who likes to punch clowns...


RE: Kill Apple.
By Pirks on 4/3/2012 4:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
i would love for someone to punch me
Hi Tyler Durden, what's up?


RE: Kill Apple.
By BZDTemp on 4/3/2012 3:43:21 AM , Rating: 3
Apple don't have consumers they have disciples.

It's a freaking cult just watch the videos of Apple store openings - it's like seeing a prayer meeting in one of those"religions" that are all about money for the high priest.


RE: Kill Apple.
By Omega215D on 4/3/2012 4:06:35 AM , Rating: 3
AS I've said before MSNBC aired the Cult of Mac segment and it was really disturbing and infuriating at how these mactards really believe Apple products are the second coming.


RE: Kill Apple.
By paydirt on 4/3/2012 9:55:13 AM , Rating: 1
meh. Most everyone geeks out over something... At least they aren't into Pokemon or Anime.


RE: Kill Apple.
By theslug on 4/3/2012 10:28:49 AM , Rating: 1
What is that supposed to mean?


RE: Kill Apple.
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/3/2012 11:38:12 AM , Rating: 3
Hey now, leave the Pokemon out of this, guy.


RE: Kill Apple.
By Motoman on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Kill Apple.
By wiz220 on 4/3/2012 1:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not your buddy, friend!


RE: Kill Apple.
By tayb on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: Kill Apple.
By tigz1218 on 4/3/2012 8:53:20 AM , Rating: 3
I just patented the process of punching someone in the face.


RE: Kill Apple.
By Dorkyman on 4/3/2012 10:38:57 AM , Rating: 5
Sorry, I hold the MultiPunch patent, and the broad scope of that patent includes the single punch subset. And I'm willing to wage thermonuclear war to force you out.


Patent System is broken
By FayKnaim on 4/2/2012 9:51:20 PM , Rating: 5
Patent system in U.S. is surely not up to date with technology.




RE: Patent System is broken
By probedb on 4/3/2012 6:34:25 AM , Rating: 5
This is all that needs to be said. You can moan at Apple all you like but if the system wasn't broken they wouldn't be able to use it.


monopoly
By shraz on 4/2/2012 10:35:06 PM , Rating: 3
So I guess if they win (killing Android and Windows phone).
Apple will have a monopoly, which mean they will need to break up :P




RE: monopoly
By shraz on 4/2/2012 10:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
RE: monopoly
By djcameron on 4/2/2012 11:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
The won't kill Windows Phone, Apple and Microsoft have reached a patent detente.


RE: monopoly
By Flunk on 4/2/2012 11:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's patents are bad enough that all the major Android manufacturers (except one) are paying them $10+ a handset. Apple doesn't have a choice to license this to them.

I love my Windows Phone and I'm going to continue with it but this would really screw up the industry and demonstrate how broken the patent system is.


RE: monopoly
By zerocks on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
hmmm
By sprockkets on 4/2/2012 11:58:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Such an event would seem astounding, but is not impossible considering the following:
Without multi-touch you might as well not sell a handset in the current market.
Without gesture detection heuristic multi-touch would be impossible to implement effectively
The validation of Apple's claims language clears the way for a preliminary injunction on all Motorola multi-touch handsets. Bans on Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) and HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) would likely soon follow.
Apple has not indicated it is willing to license this patent.


Not at all.

If this patent really is novel and non-obvious, then the only harm done to Android (and only android as of course WP7, webOS, RIM and others clearly don't infringe on this, *rolls eyes*) is simple.

When you scroll with your finger, it will have to simply follow your angle exactly and not interpret a slight angle as meaning straight.

It's pathetic. Every time I hear this patent, I think of Zelda or any other game like it. When I shot an arrow, there were plenty of times I did not hit the target right on. But guess what? It registered a hit anyhow, cause, just like we won't perfectly scroll down straight, we won't hit targets exactly, and the point of the game isn't all about hitting targets exactly 100%.

But, of course, apple is the only person on the planet who thought up this concept, and is first to have come up with heuristics to combat this issue.




RE: hmmm
By testerguy on 4/3/2012 1:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
Scrolling isn't multi-touch, hot shot.


RE: hmmm
By sprockkets on 4/3/2012 2:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Neither is this particular patent dumb ass. And while this patent makes references to it, apple most certainly did not invent "multi-touch", and neither did Fingerworks.


Phone
By StormyKnight on 4/3/2012 12:02:11 AM , Rating: 3
If Android OS in effect gets banned I will ride my Galaxy Nexus for as long as it remains functional. If a Winphone isn't totally crippled I'll just get a normal cell phone. I will not purchase an Apple product. I will not reward their pernicious behavior if they limit my choices.




RE: Phone
By nrhpd527 on 4/3/2012 12:45:12 AM , Rating: 3
Well, at a minimum, I would buy whatever the last / newest / baddest Android device was and ride that...hell, if this happens, old Android devices will be as valuable as any 3 iPhones on the open market, so I won't hesitate for a second to snatch up a Galaxy SIII or something like it before the ban takes effect.

I will never go back to Apple willingly. I had an iPhone 3GS and refused to "upgrade" to a screen that's so small my 6 year old laughs at it compared to my SII Skyrocket. Give him the choice of using either the Android tablet we own (Toshiba Thrive) or my wife's work iPad 2 (both with the same games in similar cases) and he'll pick the Android one 9 times out of 10...and that's all on his own.


RE: Phone
By GotThumbs on 4/9/2012 4:39:42 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed, I would also do the same. I'd go to a flip phone before owning one single apple product.

Perhaps Google needs to patent the tablet that is a phone...and eliminate 'smart phone' category. Android 7" pads would do fine. Even Apple is falling into that size structure.. Bastards! :-> It may sound awful...but I'm glad Steve Jobs has passed and we don't have to deal with his huge egotistical babbling. Karma is a bitch Steve. Stealing from Woz back in 1979 was the start of jobs downfall.


By imaheadcase on 4/3/2012 5:52:38 AM , Rating: 1
You can't ban phones from being used on networks, just ban them from being sold.

Lots of people purchase phones in canada and use them in the USA. Thats what I do most the time, like for samsung Galaxy S to use on this network.

If anything i think if apple wins some retarded patent, it will increase android phones sold.




By paydirt on 4/3/2012 9:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
Right... MOST consumers buy their phones in Canada and use them in the U.S.


By tayb on 4/3/2012 11:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's not realistic at all. The vast majority of people who buy cell phones walk into a mobile phone store and buy the one they were told to get or are recommended to get by one of the sales reps. The notion that any significant number of people will buy phones from Canada to use in the US is silly.

Also, US and Canada are strong allies. Rulings will likely be similar.


Microsoft saved by Apple?
By on1wl on 4/3/2012 9:10:18 AM , Rating: 5
How ironic would it be if Apple killed Android, making Microsoft the Rebellion against the evil Empire. I dare say that Apple is better off with Google as their top threat. Keeping MS on the sideline would be the better strategy. The ultimate end game in the phone evolution is full desktop power in your pocket. Microsoft has the best computer OS. Be careful Apple, when you knock Google off that pile of Microsoft ashes there may be a Phoenix rising.




I will NEVER buy one Apple.
By Boze on 4/3/2012 5:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
Get that through your skull.

I will disadvantage myself by using Windows Phone or some other alternate technology than buy your product.

I will not ever bow to you, even if you do manage to influence the courts enough to rule in your favor.




RE: I will NEVER buy one Apple.
By Pirks on 4/3/2012 5:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad freaks like you or Motoman are in a tiny minority :P


Read the Original Article
By Supa on 4/2/2012 11:56:57 PM , Rating: 1
This patent is not about multi-touch, it's about heuristics that interpret a user's gesture, determine if it's intent to be straight line or diagonal.

---




RE: Read the Original Article
By Fujikoma on 4/3/2012 12:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
Which would mean it's a software application and covered under copyright... if the software from android phones used a different algorithm to solve the problem then too bad for Apple. I'm doubting they copied Apple's software, because that would be beyond stupid. Apple is really showing everyone that they can't compete in anything but snob appeal (you're paying for a logo). Arguing that their stuff 'just works' doesn't cut it anymore. I can argue the same thing for Microsoft as I rarely receive calls asking how to run software like I used to. I will give them kudos for increasing pixel density... it's about time someone forced that into the market.


Microsoft can be the savior
By tayb on 4/3/2012 10:24:14 AM , Rating: 1
Interestingly enough Microsoft has the ability to save the entire Android ecosystem and make a TON of money while at it.

But they won't. Microsoft would much rather compete against Apple, another closed system, than Google.




RE: Microsoft can be the savior
By Pirks on 4/3/2012 4:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Interestingly enough Microsoft has the ability to save the entire Android ecosystem and make a TON of money while at it
Nah, more like MS correctly predicted Google losing significant money on Android every year with no end to come, and they decided not to go this route because they want to make money selling smartphones, not losing it as Google does. Hence their decision to stick with the model that Apple proved very successful already. You can't blame MS for sticking with more financially profitable model out of the two, can you?


So what is Apples play here?
By Adam M on 4/3/2012 5:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Should Apple prove victorious in their war on Android, (which would be a failure in the anti-trust realm)what would be their next move? Do they really expect millions of Android owners to rush out and Apple up? Ill go back to a flip phone before that happens. I don't really see Windows as an alternative.
Apple has done a great job of poisoning the well with their "I bought it, so I created it" patent trolling.
"[H]aving identified the problems associated with imprecise finger gestures, solved them, and successfully incorporated them into a commercial product, Apple should be entitled to the fruits of its innovation via broad patent protection, and the public is benefited by the disclosure of Apple’s invention."
Really, the fruits (bad pun) of its innovation? How was the purchase of Fingerworks innovation?
Apple will never find one of their products in my home.




RE: So what is Apples play here?
By psonice on 4/4/2012 9:59:15 AM , Rating: 1
What's their play? Not to ban android, that's for sure. They'd be hit with a massive anti-trust hammer.

What they'll do is this: Use it as a huge weapon in negotiations with all the android phone makers. Instead of getting android banned, they'll license their patents to android makers for a reasonable fee (which is what MS is already doing), but they'll also insist that some patents aren't licensed and the features they cover can't be used.

That will limit android in certain ways - basically stopping any copying of apple's inventions, which is what jobs wanted in the first place. (And I'm not commenting on those inventions here - we all know the copying goes both ways, it's simply a matter of how much goes each way that decides who wins in the end).

So android doesn't get banned at all, but the threat of that gives apple the power to demand some money, and remove some features from it. The iPhone stays distinctive rather than being endlessly cloned, and probably wins the high-end. Android keeps the rest of the market.


Valid patent
By Fujikoma on 4/3/2012 6:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't have a valid patent. Even if it isn't rescinded, smart phones will be made elsewhere in a more sane world. I'd just buy one and have it shipped to the states. I doubt the carriers are going to cut off access to all non-apple approved phones.




So what is affected?
By drycrust3 on 4/3/2012 6:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
If Apple's patent claim is upheld, then what is covered? Sure, unlocking ... sorry ... the "using the slide unlock" feature is affected (because a PIN number is covered by a different patent), so what else is affected? The "rolling screens" affect may be affected too, so what else? Page up and page down on a browser?
If that is it, then I can't see how this would be the end to Android, it will just mean methods covered by non-Apple patents will need to be used, e.g. using the volume control to page up and page down on the browser. Sure, that will leave those "slide" features to being distinctive of Apple products, but will that make a huge difference? My belief is people don't buy Apple products either for philosophical reasons or because they can't afford them, so people that do buy Android will have to accept a phone without a slide unlock, etc. I can't see those who won't buy Apple products for philosophical reasons changing their purchasing decisions because of that, and I think those who buy Android because of the price difference will only feel less love for Apple than they would otherwise have done, which may affect their future buying preferences, but hardly their current decisions.
The move towards paying for goods in a store with your cellphone will mean the "slide unlock" is simply not good enough anyway, you will need to back up the unlock process with at least a PIN number, and then the slide unlock becomes cumbersome and users will want to remove it anyway.
All in all, I don't think this is going to be the "killer app" Apple are hoping it will be.




Benefits to the public?
By jRaskell on 4/3/2012 8:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple should be entitled to the fruits of its innovation via broad patent protection , and the public is benefited by the disclosure of Apple’s invention.


broad patent protection = We don't want anyone even remotely able to compete with us in the market, so we'll litigate them to oblivion. Superb business strategy Apple.

The general public will, in absolutely no way, benefit from an Apple monopoly. Do we really want to give a company that has shown itself to be 100 times more fascist than Microsoft ever was an iron grip on the entire smart phone market? Anyone who says yes is a complete fool.




Algorithm
By adiposity on 4/3/2012 2:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Aren't they patenting the algorithm? Isn't it possible to just use a different algorithm that has similar benefits?

Every time someone sues over an "obvious" (or ubiquitous) patent, there is worry that competing products will be ruined. But why, exactly, does Android have to use the same algorithms for multi-touch to be usable? There must be thousands of ways to approach that problem, right?




By TacticalTrading on 4/3/2012 5:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know how the future will play out, but here is one possibility.
Windows 8 Tablets.
Companies that have tried mass iPad deployments have discovered a few things.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240529702039...

In this case an Airline discovered that: 1) Mechanics need something more durable 2)Pilots need something very powerful and versatile 3) internal managers need a lot of software and support, which isn't always available 4) deploying a tablet (read: iPad) costs as much as a laptop, and if users are not familiar with the system and or software, it becomes exponentially more expensive.
That said: at the end of 2012 Microsoft launches Windows 8...Tablets! Made by everyone with all the variety of laptops. iPads are cool because Tablets are cool, and right now the iPad is one of if not the best one out there (no flames please)
But have you seen the Samsung Series 7 Slate? Version 2 coming soon with Windows 8.
I don't know how this impacts the Phone Wars, but... Well, How many corporate tech departments are delighted with the prospect of making everything work with iOS? (I don't actually know the answer to this one)

Hey, I'm just say'n




Over my dead body
By dsquare86 on 4/3/2012 7:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
Will I get an iPhone or any other Apple product. I will downgrade to a dumb-phone and they can shove it up their ass. I do find it quite interesting that many die hards I know are changing their perception of Apple as a company. Gee I wonder why that would be whenever every other headline is about litigation involving Apple?




How broad is the patent?
By Xennex1170 on 4/5/2012 9:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
"A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items."

If the patent is valid only if all parts are valid, this patent should be thrown out immediately for being too broad. Palm OS devices had heuristics to determine "ONE or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command". It didn't matter if you used your finger or a stylus the resistive screen would interpret the directional movement as a scroll on an onscreen scroll bar. Apple will need to refile the patent to restrict it to capacitive screens and specify for multiple fingers since there is prior art for single finger/stylus touch already. Palm's use of "Grafitti" by itself should be enough to invalidate a nice chunk of this patent. When you think about it the "single finger(stylus) touch scrolling" by itself could also invalidate it. Anyone never zoomed a pic in an image viewer and used your mouse ON the image to scroll around the enlarged image?




Who will gain?
By hafiz on 4/9/2012 4:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
if this patent holds buy blackbery and Nokia shares also ARM. Most blackberries to date have a qwerty keypads and Mokia windows phones are protected by Microsoft and they do a great deal of qwerty keyboard phones and keypad candy phones. don't forget that they have already had there first splat with Apple and will probaby think twice about a round 3 (round 2 is with next generation of sims.)but then again I'm sure that Nokia have there fair share of LTE patents. (so have Sony if they thought ahead when they bought out Erikson.) ARM makes more money Apple processes than any one else.

IF LG, Sharp and samsung sudenly stopped investing in Top end LCD capacity i can see Apple struggle even if they had USA Monopoly.

Why does not any one invest in US based manufacturing capacity. this will make things difficult to enforce in the USA just imagine the negative press that would result from laying off thousands of US workers and that laying the blame on Apple. the ads saying 'Sorry we have had to lay off thousands of USA workers because Apple would not licence there technology to us Please do no buy there products their phones are made in China' especaily in a election year. the amount of bad publicity will take billions to remove.

the market can adapt think Samung Galaxy PRO Sony Experia PRO.




Who will gain?
By hafiz on 4/9/2012 4:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
if this patent holds buy blackbery and Nokia shares also ARM. Most blackberries to date have a qwerty keypads and Mokia windows phones are protected by Microsoft and they do a great deal of qwerty keyboard phones and keypad candy phones. don't forget that they have already had there first splat with Apple and will probaby think twice about a round 3 (round 2 is with next generation of sims.)but then again I'm sure that Nokia have there fair share of LTE patents. (so have Sony if they thought ahead when they bought out Erikson.) ARM makes more money Apple processes than any one else.

IF LG, Sharp and samsung sudenly stopped investing in Top end LCD capacity i can see Apple struggle even if they had USA Monopoly.

Why does not any one invest in US based manufacturing capacity. this will make things difficult to enforce in the USA just imagine the negative press that would result from laying off thousands of US workers and that laying the blame on Apple. the ads saying 'Sorry we have had to lay off thousands of USA workers because Apple would not licence there technology to us Please do no buy there products their phones are made in China' especaily in a election year. the amount of bad publicity will take billions to remove.

the market can adapt think Samung Galaxy PRO Sony Experia PRO.




apple law
By gescom on 4/3/2012 9:40:37 AM , Rating: 1
Until I'm Forced by Law to buy an Apple device I'm ok. This could happen very soon but for now - no need to worry.




Apple has a point
By Stan11003 on 4/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: Apple has a point
By Scootie on 4/3/2012 2:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
How many times must be told here that the iphone was not the first true multitouch phone. Look up on the LG Prada please ...


RE: Apple has a point
By Granseth on 4/3/2012 4:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
If you tell somebody the same thing too many times, they will start believing it.


RE: Apple has a point
By testerguy on 4/3/2012 1:43:33 PM , Rating: 1
Did the LG Prada have this same touch screen algorithm which is the focus of the patent in question implemented? No.

Don't confuse the patent being discussed with being something other than one it is. There are different types of multi-touch, some are better than others. The iPhone multi-touch was widely regarded at the time (and now) to be vastly superior to the LG Prada attempt, and it is their ALGORITHMS, which they created in conjunction with FingerWorks, which makes their touch screen better. I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to protect their innovation.


RE: Apple has a point
By Reclaimer77 on 4/3/2012 7:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
Of course this is an invalid patent. But let's table that and say Apple gets their way, okay. Apple would then fall under anti-trust violations for muscling their way into a monopoly and leaving nobody with viable options if they got their way.

WP7 and RIM are NOT viable.

But frankly this discussion is unrealistic. Android isn't going away. The worst that can happen is they pay royalties to Apple until this absurd patent gets invalidated.


RE: Apple has a point
By ajcarroll on 4/5/2012 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
Scootie, I'm not disputing your point, but LG Prada's a very poor counter example.

For starters it's OS was NOT even gesture based, let alone multitouch. It didn't have any nice features such as scrolling by gliding your finger up and down on the viewport portion of a document - instead it rendered scroll bars in the margins and you tapped on the scroll bar to scroll etc.

I think it's a great counter example to the trade dress arguments about the broad look of the iPhone - it physically looked very similar to the iPhone. But the similarities ended with visual appearance. It's OS itself was not even remotely "ahead of the pack" in terms of a touch OS.

It in now way lead the way for android or android.

It had a cut-down version of Flash as it's UI - ie. built in apps were written in flash - but the API's didn't expose any fancy gesture inputs in any way.

It's big features were email and messaging, rather than the web.

It had decent support for rendering attachments to emails including docs and images and could play MP3s.

Although it had 2G connectivity it didn't support WiFi.
I'm pretty sure that out of the box it didn't even have a web browser - if it did it was rudimentary. (Someone else may know the answer to this).

Although its UI was based on Flash, it didn't have features such as a browser that supported flash.

It was broadly a touch based feature phone with email.


RE: Apple has a point
By paulglindon on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Apple has a point
By paulglindon on 4/3/2012 2:22:37 AM , Rating: 1
Whoa now... thinking reasonably is frowned upon when it come to anything Apple. ;-)

If anything this will make Google have to actually innovate their own technology instead of riding in the coat tails of others, like Oracle. Somewhere along the line they figured if they gave away android they could take whatever they wanted from other companies and sidestep the system.


RE: Apple has a point
By paulglindon on 4/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Apple has a point
By Iuconnu on 4/3/2012 6:59:28 AM , Rating: 1
Are you nuts?

Apple has once again patented something incredibly obvious. It might as well be called "drawing a line and interpreting it as straight even if it is only nearly straight".

They should fine the people at the trademark office for every patent they approved that gets invalidated. Unless there is some kind of disincentive (other than common sense, cause that seems in short supply), this kind of lunacy wont stop.


RE: Apple has a point
By testerguy on 4/3/2012 1:46:19 PM , Rating: 1
So many idiots saying how 'obvious' patents are after the fact. If they were so obvious, why had nobody else even implemented them before, let alone patented them.

If the patents were 'obvious' in the eyes of the law (the opinion that matters) - the patent would be invalidated. Clearly that didn't happen - so what does that tell you?

It tells you that the legal world doesn't just run around declaring innovations 'obvious' just because they later go on to be widely implemented because they are so powerful.


RE: Apple has a point
By Ziggizag on 4/5/2012 6:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
Do you remember Tom Cruise and Minority Report? That was multitouch device shown. A few years later bloody Apple bought Finger Works and patented this idea. Shame on Apple and shame on American patent system what is cancer for technology today!


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