Originally Posted by trboyden
The iPhone came out with a phone with an icon-based application manager interface. Blackberry had such an interface well before Apple on a cell phone and I'm sure others before them. There is nothing revolutionary about that at all, just fancier graphics in the case of Apple's implementation. Icon-based application launchers are as old as the first GUI-based operating systems (i.e. Xerox, who Apple first stole the technology from). Added to that is multi-touch, again only "revolutionary" as far as it's use in a consumer handset. Elan and Synaptics invented multi-touch and have used it in commercial applications and resold the technology to just about every technology OEM out there.
The only feature Apple could possibly have a case on is the App Store integration. Apple will make a big deal about this in the press creating FUD to disrupt the commercial success of their competitors and will then sign a licensing deal to settle the manner. This is nothing but pure anti-competitive actions by a hypocritical company that has stolen more than their fair share of technology from others.
Apple, sign a cross-licensing deal and get back to proving that you have the best technology by innovating and not by being a patent troll.
Lord, I get tired of this style of selective analysis.
We can always, and I mean always
claim that a given product isn't "innovative" or "new" if we're willing to play fast and loose with categories.
By constantly changing the focus from general to specific and back, you can explain away every invention in the history of man. There will always
have been antecedents, similar things, examples from other categories, etc. You end up making an argument against all patent and copywrite law.
So the iPhone is merely about an "icon based application launcher." If that doesn't work, you could point out that touch screens already existed, or phones, or hand held objects. I don't know why you even bother to exempt the App Store from this leveling impulse, since it's easy enough to claim that online app purchasing already existed, and implementing that for a handset is just a trivial variant.
Here's a little test: name something you think is a genuinely innovative new thing. Something that you think ought to be patentable. I guarantee you I can use exactly the language that gets used to dismiss Apple's work to show how that thing is, in fact, not innovative or new at all.