Originally Posted by chronster
yes but did they patent it?
Sometimes something that seems like common sense, especially in software development, gets overlooked as a patentable feature. If Apple came in, saw there was no patent, and got one of their own, they CAN turn around and make rim pay up, even if they were doing it before Apple.
At least, that's how it was explained to me a while back.
You are correct only to an extent.If a discovery or an invention has not been patented, and has been made public for more than a year, then it becomes public property.
If someone or some company decided to patent an identical
discovery or invention, subseqquent grant of a patent to the second company, does not negate the proviso stated in the previous paragraph -- simply because the patent officer who approved the application did not exercise due diligence to discover all prior patented and "public" discoveries and inventions.
What I find silly (if not stupid) in the arguments -- on both sides -- in this board is the tendency to confuse our bias or opinion to be the basis of deciding the legality or falsehood, of what really are very complex matters to resolve.
That is what the courts are meant to untangle.
It is a lack of proper education and understanding of the law to suggest that there is a need for patent reform therefore Apple or whatever company who plan to protect their patents is wrong or is afraid of the competition.
What is right and wrong are not equivalent to legal or illegal. Nor are these terms synonymous with true or false.All the court can decide really is what is legal or not
It is very costly process on all parties involved -- that is why being a lawyer could be a very lucrative position, especially if frivolous suits have no penalty. Like any other company, usually they tend to settle the matter. For example, the use of Apple with the terms "Apple", "iPhone", etc. Perhaps even "iPad"; the same reason, Microsoft was forced to make a deal with Apple, when it got caught using some of the inventions of Apple in its system and products.
What is true also is that if you do not protect your registered trademark or discoveries and inventions, you also lose your legal right to such properties. It becomes generic. A very good example is the "term" -- Aspirin
. That trademark was owned by the company "Bayer". But, the company never sued others early, so that when they finally realized their error, it was too late. Note that this must not be confused with the invention for the manufacture of the compound aspirin itself. That patent has a time limit. After that, the manufacture of the compound "aspirin" can be done by any generic pharmaceutical company as it is done now, like many drugs, after a patent expiration, On the other hand, a trademark can be protected for a much longer time.