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Google filed a nearly identical patent claim nearly sixth months earlier, but Apple wins the patent anyways

In a move that could strike a deep blow to successful e-reader rivals like Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS), Apple, Inc. (AAPL) last week secured a patent on animating book pages turning digitally.

U.S. Patent D670,713, granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Tuesday, depicts "the ornamental design for a display screen or portion thereof with animated-graphical user interface.

The description section of the patent is rather ambiguous.  So the easiest way of depicting what the patent covers it to simply show the figure:

Apple Page Turn
[Image Source: USPTO]

Google Inc. (GOOG) is surely a little irked as it filed a highly similar patent request half a year earlier in May 2011 (Apple's patent was filed in Dec. 2011).  US 2012/0105464 A1 depicts "Animated Page Turning", albeit describing it in much more detailed and specific language than Apple's filing.  To add insult to injury, Apple's patent does not cite Google's prior art.

Ultimately, the ambiguous language of the later Apple patent may work to its advantage, as it may be able to justify filing more lawsuits to stifle its competitors.  

Apple's wins in court when suing its competitors have thus far come largely from its local Californian district court.  In its $1.05B USD victory over Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), the jury found Apple innocent of all alleged infringements, but found Samsung guilty of most of the infringements Apple alleged.  Coincidentally the family members of some jurors were Apple shareholders, but Judge Lucy Koh ruled this was an acceptable level of bias.

The Nook HD features page turn animations:


Should Apple choose to sue B&N, it will likely look to repeat its successful strategy employed against Samsung: trying the case in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Francisco courtroom.

(Note: Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) Kindle Fire/Fire HD don't have page turn animations, so they should be safe from lawsuits/bans.)

Source: USPTO



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RE: Staggering
By l0aded on 11/20/2012 3:12:38 AM , Rating: -1
The fact that it is "HIGHLY specific, right down to the constant angle" means it only protects Apple's SPECIFIC way of turning the page. Any other company can still design their own way of turning the page at "different angles". I'm sure there are plenty of patents related to this already out there.

Read another article from another site to get an unbiased view: http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/19/3659382/apple-d...


RE: Staggering
By spaced_ on 11/20/2012 9:01:04 PM , Rating: 1
I understand your and testerguy's reasoning/counter-argument. Albeit in the case of testerguy, rather poorly constructed.

But don't forget law is up to individual's interpretation, particularly when you look at say, a recent verdict handed down by a jury who completely disregarded prior art entirely because the jury foreman said it couldn't be, because it wasn't part of the microprocessor (or some ridiculous reasoning along those lines).

The fact is this gives Apple some form of leverage now that it's been approved, if their lawyers are clever enough it could certainly be argued in certain ways in a court, to attempt to win a case against someone (except perhaps in a UK court). There's certainly countless precedents in law all over the world where ludicrous verdicts are handed down, in patent, or other litigation.

It seems silly that this or any other page-turning patent will actually be used as there's so much prior art and so many different companies lodging patents for practically the same thing from the surface of it, but you never know.

I agree many of the comments bagging out Apple are poorly constructed and uncalled for, but then again, so are many of the ones defending them as well. What are you going to do? Personally, I move on. But it's nice to read the odd comment from someone with a bit of experience. Generalising everyone who posts is unwise.


RE: Staggering
By ritualm on 11/21/2012 3:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
everyone who posts in support of Apple is unwise.

ftfy


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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