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Motorola asks court to accept crowdsourced prior art claims against Apple patents

post #1 of 20
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Motorola Mobility has raised five new prior art claims in its defense against Apple patents, using contributions from "numerous individuals," claims that Apple has asked the court to strike "because they assert five new prior art references never before raised by Motorola in expert reports, invalidity contentions, or discovery responses."

The disputes between Apple and Motorola are set to go to trial June 11, a date set by US Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner as he awarded Apple the right to obtain more information about Google's Motorola acquisition plans and the development of Android.

In December, Judge Posner sought to make the trial manageable by asking Apple to "winnow" its claims against Motorola, leaving Apple unhappy about Motorola's new contribution of Supplemental Expert Reports, the latest of which was filed last week.

According to a report by Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents, Motorola argued that it wasn't holding back the prior art claims for a tactical advantage, but that it had only found out about the examples of prior art based on contributions from the Android community.

Crowdsourced legal claims

"Much of the art Motorola has identified," the company told the judge, "was discovered when Apple's allegations against Android recently came to light to the general public, and numerous individuals in the relevant technical fields wrote about prior art invalidating Apple's patents."

Mueller noted, "this is the first time that I see a major player in this industry -- a company that is in the process of being acquired by Google -- formally tell a court of law about prior art contributions from individuals."

Two patents Motorola is challenging with the new prior art claims are Apple's '949 touchscreen patent and its '647 Data Detectors patent.




Against the '949 patent, Motorola's filing cited a Microsoft patent for "scrolling web pages using direct interaction" and an second related to gesture recognition, as well as an IBM patent "providing a two-dimensional position-sensitive scroll icon in a data processing system user interface."

Against the '647 patent, Motorola cites Borland Sidekick and a program named MHonArc for converting mail or news messages into HTML archives.

Samsung has made similar uses of chatroom and blogger arguments in its legal battles with Apple, picking up the argument of an Android enthusiast who claimed Apple "misled the judge of a Düsseldorf court by filing flawed evidence of the similarity between the iPad 2 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets based on an inaccurate picture," and referring to the situation in a US court by saying Apple had "reportedly" doctored evidence.

State of the prior art

Mueller explained that "a prior art contention doesn't have to cover exactly what the challenged patent does. It could be close enough to render the patent in question obvious, or it could be part of a prior art combination over which the relevant patent may be obvious."

However, Mueller also noted that he regularly receives messages that mention "what people believe to be relevant prior art," adding "most of the time it's not."

The report also stated, "I'm sorry to say so, but some of those submitters are so clueless that they think anything that predates the launch of the iPhone is prior art against various Apple patents, though the data tapping patent actually has a priority date in the mid 1990s (it's a Macintosh patent, basically). Others don't look at what the patent claims say but simply base their prior art theories on the titles or abstracts of those patents -- another totally misguided approach."

At the same time, Mueller added, "input from independent individuals could make a difference because it's very hard, even with a huge budget, to identify prior art that predates some of those relatively old patents," after noting that Motorola itself had successfully asserted a pager patent against Apple's iCloud in Germany and is also using Apple over the same patent in the US.

"It's very likely that there's some prior art out there somewhere that could be used to take that patent down, even though the patent is relatively old. Motorola is suing Apple over that patent in the United States, so any Apple users there who don't want to see push email disabled may want to volunteer prior art references," Mueller wrote.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 20
Any relevant prior art also needs to have been publicly disclosed (prior to Apple's patent filing). If an individual or company had similar technology but hadn't disclosed it, they can still use it themselves, in spite of Apple's patent(s), but it doesn't invalidate Apple's patent(s) or patent rights. But the individual or company must still possess documentary evidence of the prior existence of the technology.
post #3 of 20
Wait, so is Moto scooping up prior art citations from Android forums?

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post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Wait, so is Moto scooping up prior art citations from Android forums?

That's sure what it sounds like. I guess they're trying the 'sling it against the wall and see what sticks' legal maneuver.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Wait, so is Moto scooping up prior art citations from Android forums?

That's not as hilarious as them using an example that comes from Apple's prior art, basically validating that Apple's current use came from prior use inside the company.
post #6 of 20
Anyone else notice that the image has the URL of htt p://www.svi.org/netday but the text that it is supposedly saying is prior art is htt tp://www.sci.org/netday??

I think that was spoofed and is a fake.
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Ferrari View Post

That's sure what it sounds like. I guess they're trying the 'sling it against the wall and see what sticks' legal maneuver.

Actually the FOSSPatents article is encouraging Apple fans to look for "prior art" too.

"... any Apple users there who don't want to see push email disabled may want to volunteer prior art references.

In my opinion, regardless of a person's allegiance it's always a good thing if a patent that shouldn't have been granted in the first place gets invalidated. Even in those huge smartphone patent battles (on which the parties have already spent, at least, several hundred million dollars), input from independent individuals could make a difference because it's very hard, even with a huge budget, to identify prior art that predates some of those relatively old patents. That fact was worth a blog post, I think."
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post #8 of 20
This is great news if the courts holds this up.

As Android has many prior arts to bring up.

We all know that Apple wasnt always the first to come up with designs.

Almost all of its "design patents" will get invalidated soon.

Time to do my part.

Off to the interweb!

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post #9 of 20
Well the question about the screenshot is did the program automagically highlight and generate the contextual menu, or were those things highlighted by screenshot users to make a point back in the day, or was the contextual menu actually in response to the user selecting a bit of text?

If it is the first,it may survive as prior art, if it is the second it is just a useless misunderstanding of an old graphic, if it is the third it has nothing to do with data detectors because it was a manually initiated action.

Does anyone have any actual verifiable info that would shed light on the above three questions? I'm sure Apples legal team and engineers are already doing their investigation of exactly these things, plus other wrinkles.
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

This is great news if the courts holds this up.

As Android has many prior arts to bring up.

We all know that Apple wasnt always the first to come up with designs.

Almost all of its "design patents" will get invalidated soon.

Time to do my part.

Off to the interweb!

Uh huh sure they will. The best way to show Googarola's legal position is to paraphrase Corporal Hudson from Aliens:

"Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!"

Plus Microsoft and Oracle want a piece of them as well.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

Uh huh sure they will. The best way to show Googarola's legal position is to paraphrase Corporal Hudson from Aliens:

"Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!"

Plus Microsoft and Oracle want a piece of them as well.

Google itself hasn't lost a single case in this patent war...

some OEMs lost some cases...and Oracle's case is weakening and if they do happen to win it won't be as big a win as you lot are oddly hoping for.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Google itself hasn't lost a single case in this patent war...

some OEMs lost some cases...and Oracle's case is weakening and if they do happen to win it won't be as big a win as you lot are oddly hoping for.

Ain't they lucky so let see what will happen this time.

Anyway the odds are stacked against them they will lose some,one day and it will be huge.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Eggleston View Post

Anyone else notice that the image has the URL of htt p://www.svi.org/netday but the text that it is supposedly saying is prior art is htt tp://www.sci.org/netday??

I think that was spoofed and is a fake.

I suspect that the text which has been clicked is obscured by the pop up - rather than the highlighted text above.

The blue highlighted text is the result of a search - the pop up is the result of clicking on a URL that is on the next line down.

What's next - should we deny patents for items such as lasers because there is prior art in a Science Fiction novel? Folks like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein and Jules Verne should be awarded the patents for robots and prosthetic limbs and submarines - well actually submarines might have to go to Leonardo da Vinci.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I suspect that the text which has been clicked is obscured by the pop up - rather than the highlighted text above.

The blue highlighted text is the result of a search - the pop up is the result of clicking on a URL that is on the next line down.

What's next - should we deny patents for items such as lasers because there is prior art in a Science Fiction novel? Folks like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein and Jules Verne should be awarded the patents for robots and prosthetic limbs and submarines - well actually submarines might have to go to Leonardo da Vinci.

are you equated a possibly working pre-Apple example of data detectors with obvious fiction?
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

are you equated a possibly working pre-Apple example of data detectors with obvious fiction?

Yeah, that is just beyond foolish. I mean it isn't like you would see a professional like, say Samsung's lawyers, equating a working combination of designs of a tablet with obvious fiction.

Samsung cites science fiction as prior art in US iPad patent case

Oh... Never mind.



On a related note. This is basically what the EFF has been doing for a while now to try and invalidate what it sees as onerous patents. Although, they at least vet the crowd source supplied prior art.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Google itself hasn't lost a single case in this patent war...

some OEMs lost some cases...and Oracle's case is weakening and if they do happen to win it won't be as big a win as you lot are oddly hoping for.

Why is it odd to hope for a fair solution?

J.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

Yeah, that is just beyond foolish. I mean it isn't like you would see a professional like, say Samsung's lawyers, equating a working combination of designs of a tablet with obvious fiction.

Samsung cites science fiction as prior art in US iPad patent case

Oh... Never mind.



On a related note. This is basically what the EFF has been doing for a while now to try and invalidate what it sees as onerous patents. Although, they at least vet the crowd source supplied prior art.

that was a design patent case...in which case designs are totally valid...duh?
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

Why is it odd to hope for a fair solution?

J.

"fair" to you is what exactly?
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

Uh huh sure they will. The best way to show Googarola's legal position is to paraphrase Corporal Hudson from Aliens:

"Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!"

Plus Microsoft and Oracle want a piece of them as well.

Oracle? That one that got 95% of its lawsuits thrown out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamC View Post

Ain't they lucky so let see what will happen this time.

Anyway the odds are stacked against them they will lose some,one day and it will be huge.

Wishful thinking that I've heard all too often.

"Themornuclear" is the other one. Firecracker was the reality.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

are you equated a possibly working pre-Apple example of data detectors with obvious fiction?

No, the suggestion is that a 'possibly working pre-Apple example of a data-detector' will be a work of fiction. However it has happened in the past, as when a judge decided that the icons being used by Apple were generic, not original.

Cheers
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