Originally Posted by ash471
All Apple's patents are invalid? Sounds like you are just anti-patent. Are you a US national? If so, you are nuts. The U.S. patent system is what makes this country prosperous and has for the last 200 years. If you want to see what happens when you take the threat of a patent away from entrenched companies like Microsoft and Dell? Go check out Russia and China. If you like their system, you should move there.
Like most initiatives, it started out well, but now the examiners are not even following their own rules. It isn't a matter of right or wrong at this point, it is a matter of we are in the 21st century and patent guidelines need to be clarified, especially about the software part.
As for the merits of your argument... The only prior art you supplied is a breakaway wire for a frying pan. What does that have to do with gestures? Nothing. Even if that patent is invalid (which it may or may not be), that has no bearing on the validity of the gesture patents. Obviously you know that, but you prefer arguments ad hominem.
The first one was an example of apple getting patents granted on prior art. The next ones are dubious due to the nature of the implementation
. By definition since the various OSes use different programing languages their implementations will be different.
It "feels" fair to let apple have this patent, but it isn't supposed to be, not because it isn't fair, but the patent on software/equations leads to unpredictable and unenforceable results.
You haven't provided any information what-so-ever about the gesture patents. You say that the patents claim algorithms. I doubt it. And, since you haven't provided the patent numbers we don't know what patents you are referring to (certainly the mag safe application isn't claiming algorithms).
You can look it up yourself.
And lets just take a look at that mag safe prior art. The alleged prior art is for a breakaway power plug for a grease pan. Last I checked, Apple wasn't selling grease pans. If Apple claimed a breakaway cord for a computer, it would clearly be novel in light of this prior art. No patent office in the world would say the UL article anticipates a claim to a computer.
The claim being made is a magnetic power plug. Where it plugs into is irrelevant.
I agree that the UL prior art raises questions of obviousness. Obviousness is always a tough call. The problem is that people have a tendency to use hindsight. Do you think it was obvious for Thomas Edison to use tungsten in a light bulb? Did you know that others were working on light bulbs at the time and that it was known that the problem was that the filament burned out too fast? It was also well known that tungsten is a refractory metal with a melting point of 6192 degrees F. Sounds pretty damn obvious to use tungsten to solve the problem with the filament burning out. With hindsight, everything looks obvious.
No, it wasn't obvious. It took many experiments. Again, it is easy to patent physical creations. In the realm of software where many inventions are taking place, it isn't so clear.
As for mag safe, you were undoubtedly using computers when Apple filed its patent application and I'm sure you had on at least one occasion tripped over the cord. When you tripped, I'm sure the first thing through your mind was......"I sure wish Dell would use the power cords UL is recommending for grease pans." hmmmm, yes....that's what all of us were thinking for all those years we were tripping over those cords and watching our $2,000 machines smash on the floor.
Or they can use a simple breakaway cord like the Xbox did.
If it was so damn obvious, why did no one else bother doing it before Apple. It must be that Dell and HP didn't think their customer's cared about their laptops smashing on the floor. And, if it was obvious but not important enough for anyone else to implement, then no one should have any problem granting Apple exclusive rights for a limited period of time.
You are correct and I feel the same way on the first point, since as I said above, it doesn't have to be a magnetic connector.
But the second point isn't relevant here. Apple took a piece of existing technology and put it to use on their power cords.
Thanks, I will have a nice day because I live in a country where we grant patents for things like a mag safe cord so that companies like Apple have an incentive to innovate (and companies like Dell go down the crapper for failing to keep up). Make no mistake, the difference between Dell and Apple is not capitalism. Dell mastered the idea of taking market share by selling cheaper (i.e., capitalism). The difference between having a world ruled by Dell and one ruled by Apple is the patent system.
And now you've seen this same patent system being abused, day in and day out. The patent system is now not doing its intended function. Unlike apple, most don't have billions lying around to fend off frivolous lawsuits. This, is killing competition.