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Apple MacBook Air design patent could disrupt Ultrabook rollouts - Page 3

post #81 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

 

Having worked through some patent applications, defenses and some challenges, the patent office is not actually that good at searching for any prior art.

By the way, this blog is a perfect example of what is wrong with the attitude that the computer industry has toward patents.  The computer industry thinks they know more than the patent office and makes allegations that are wrong, stupid, and just clearly not supported by the law.  We have over 70 comments about this patent and it is clear to me that none you have any idea how to interpret a claim for a design patent.  A small number of you are aware of the difference between a design patent and a utility patent, but most of you didn't even get that.  And then some of you don't even understand the difference between a copyright and a patent.  That would be like blogging about the design features of a new car engine when you don't even know the difference between a jet turbine and a piston motor.  

 

You may think the Patent Office doesn't know what they are doing, but they do.  They aren't perfect by any means, but at least they know how to interpret the claims of a design application.   

post #82 of 85

I suppose I should back up my statements with a quote from the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.  MPEP 1503.02 III, states:

 

III.    BROKEN LINES

... Structure that is not part of the claimed design, but is considered necessary to show the environment in which the design is associated, may be represented in the drawing by broken lines. This includes any portion of an article in which the design is embodied or applied to that is not considered part of the claimed design. In re Zahn, 617 F.2d 261, 204 USPQ 988 (CCPA 1980). **>Unclaimed subject matter may be shown in broken lines for the purpose of illustrating the environment in which the article embodying the design is used. 

post #83 of 85

Ya'll got some free legal advice today.  Do me a favor and stop beating up on the patent office so much.  They know more than you think.

post #84 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

Ya'll got some free legal advice today.  Do me a favor and stop beating up on the patent office so much.  They know more than you think.

 

Thanks ash, you've been very helpful.

 

In defense of the posters here, I'd like to point out that we're merely commenting on the article, which states already in the title "A broad patent issued to Apple on Tuesday for the MacBook Air's distinctive "teardrop" design may cause problems for Ultrabook makers hoping to replicate the sleek look and feel of Apple's thin-and-light laptop". So some of the confusion stems from there... Besides, several of us questioned that the patent could possibly cover the wedge design, all that without having precise and specific knowledge about the meaning of broken lines in design patent applications.

 

Regarding the patent office, what we witness repeatedly is lawsuits coming out of the blue and threatening what we see as normal technological developments. At that point we start to question the patent system and the institutions that represent it, as a possible resolution to our cognitive dissonance. It is often true though that those lawsuits have little or no merit and are duly thrown out of court. Sometimes simply the companies are testing the limits of the rules, and we mistakenly put the blame on the system...

post #85 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

 

Thanks ash, you've been very helpful.

 

In defense of the posters here, I'd like to point out that we're merely commenting on the article, which states already in the title "A broad patent issued to Apple on Tuesday for the MacBook Air's distinctive "teardrop" design may cause problems for Ultrabook makers hoping to replicate the sleek look and feel of Apple's thin-and-light laptop". So some of the confusion stems from there... Besides, several of us questioned that the patent could possibly cover the wedge design, all that without having precise and specific knowledge about the meaning of broken lines in design patent applications.

 

Regarding the patent office, what we witness repeatedly is lawsuits coming out of the blue and threatening what we see as normal technological developments. At that point we start to question the patent system and the institutions that represent it, as a possible resolution to our cognitive dissonance. It is often true though that those lawsuits have little or no merit and are duly thrown out of court. Sometimes simply the companies are testing the limits of the rules, and we mistakenly put the blame on the system...

Very good point.  The article was flawed from the beginning.

It is a tough job to determine the validity and infringement of a patent.  It costs tens of thousands just to understand the technology, prior art, and patent well enough to say something intelligent about validity and infringement.  That means anyone can say anything they want.  

 

Patent litigation is often a fight between big and small.  Small companies and individuals are often the ones that invent and end up in litigation.  Small companies don't have market share and they value patents highly.  Small companies need to have patent protection so that they can force big companies to cough up money to buy them out or can compete with big companies in the market.  Once a company gets large (i.e., they have large market share and revenue) , many of them don't care so much about inventing.  They may file lots of patents, but they will be incremental, unimportant patents that are only used to create a legal headache for their competitors (Apple is an exception to this practice).  Many large companies grow by buying their competitors or using their money and prowess to get what they want (we have anti-trust laws to keep this in check).  Patents are a critical component of our economy and it only works when you have conflict between big and small.  Until the computer industry came along, there were no small inventors that didn't support the patent system. For some reason small inventors and large companies in the computer industry are aligned in their deprecation of patents.  There is no conflict between big and small.  I think this is because the computer industry moves so fast that the small replaces the large before patents are even issued.  You will see that slow in future decades.  However, this anti-patent attitude is having an adverse affect on patent laws.  Arguably the United States growth story for over a hundred years has been founded on education and entrepreneurs with patents.  I worry that the computer industry is going to crater the entrepreneur environment.  Try to launch a medical device in this country without a patent......disaster.


Edited by ash471 - 6/11/12 at 8:43am
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