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Apple sued by 'patent troll' over Numbers software

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
In a court filing on Wednesday, a Texas-based non-practicing entity sued Apple for alleged patent infringement regarding the company's Numbers spreadsheet software.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, accepted the suit from Data Engine Technologies LLC, which claims Apple's Numbers infringes on a 1995 patent for a "system and methods for improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects," reports CNET.

Spreadsheet Patent
Illustration from Data Engine Technologies' spreadsheet patent. | Source: USPTO


First discovered by Priorsmart, the suit alleges that Apple had prior knowledge of the patent as early as 2010 and went on to cite the IP in its own 2007 patent for manipulating spreadsheet cells.

The property being asserted is U.S. Patent No. 5,463,724, which was granted to Borland International and later purchased by Data Technologies, a non-practicing entity or "patent troll."

Apple first rolled out Numbers in 2007 as part of the iWork '08 software suite and went on to expand the software's capabilities by introducing it on the mobile iOS platform in 2010.

The suit is seeking damages and an injunction against Apple's infringing products, most likely in the hopes that Apple will settle out of court to avoid a possibly lengthy trial process.
post #2 of 75
Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?

The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.

It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.

Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.
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post #3 of 75
This has gotten to be ridiculous.
post #4 of 75
Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea. Time to put an end to the free ride of all the PATENT TROLLS!!
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.
It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.
Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.

You contradicted yourself or your wording was off. If you're renting it so someone can make widgets why would it be a problem if someone did start making them? I understood what you meant and agree.
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post #6 of 75

Reminds me a lot of the old AppleWorks spreadsheet.

 

On another note: My iPhone5 arrived today in perfect (no nicks or scuffs) and a week earlier that planned. The only unusual thing is that there was a note in the box that read, "Help! I'm being held captive in a Chinese iPhone factory."

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post #7 of 75

Except that is not what's happening here... Companies like this find dead or dying companies & purchase their IP portfolios with the sole intention of litigating another business that does anything that is remotely similar to the alleged imposed IP. And the district court in Tyler Texas is notorious for accepting these often frivolous patent infringement lawsuits.

 

It's corruption at it's finest.... The courts get paid to accept the lawsuit by the Patent Trolls. The Patent Troll's squeeze the alleged infringer (Often ending up in settlement as the alleged infringer can't afford actual litigation) & the Patent Troll walks away with profit taken away from a legitimate business. Now Apple is not hurting for money which makes it an attractive target on the other side of the spectrum. The Patent Trolls are willing to spend money on litigation on the odds that the court will rule in their favor (Which in Tyler Texas happens more often than not) & walk away with an even bigger payday.

 

Like the term or not... Even though it's not illegal, it is broken & wrong.

post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a court filing on Wednesday, a Texas-based non-practicing entity sued Apple for alleged patent infringement regarding the company's Numbers spreadsheet software.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, accepted the suit from Data Engine Technologies LLC, which claims Apple's Numbers infringes on a 1995 patent for a "system and methods for improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects," reports CNET.
Spreadsheet Patent
Illustration from Data Engine Technologies' spreadsheet patent. | Source: USPTO

First discovered by Priorsmart, the suit alleges that Apple had prior knowledge of the patent as early as 2010 and went on to cite the IP in its own 2007 patent for manipulating spreadsheet cells.
The property being asserted is U.S. Patent No. 5,463,724, which was granted to Borland International and later purchased by Data Technologies, a non-practicing entity or "patent troll."
Apple first rolled out Numbers in 2007 as part of the iWork '08 software suite and went on to expand the software's capabilities by introducing it on the mobile iOS platform in 2010.
The suit is seeking damages and an injunction against Apple's infringing products, most likely in the hopes that Apple will settle out of court to avoid a possibly lengthy trial process.

I think they are using the term "patent troll" accurately.

Definition - Opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention

I know you want to label it Professional Escort Service but we all know what it is.

post #9 of 75

Most definitely a troll...... I think these guys got their companies mixed-up: that drawing looks more like the original Excel than Numbers. In fact, the only similarity with any Apple product is that it looks more Mac OS 6-ish than it does Windows. Apple should sue this company for copying Apple's IP.

post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.

While yes they might have a valid legal issue, that they waited 5 yrs to protect their IP, until a time when Apple has way more money than back then, still makes them trolls. And that's just with Apple. Excel would fit the vague details of this patent and was out way before Numbers. So where is their law suit

Patent laws need to have the same 'clearly you don't give a shit' type rules as trademarks. Protect from day one or give it up.

And your example is horribly not even close.
Edited by charlituna - 9/28/12 at 4:27pm

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post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by drwho4 
The Patent Troll's squeeze the alleged infringer (Often ending up in settlement as the alleged infringer can't afford actual litigation) & the Patent Troll walks away with profit taken away from a legitimate business. Now Apple is not hurting for money which makes it an attractive target on the other side of the spectrum.

Yep, like the con that pays the guards to look the other way. Only Apple isnt some fresh fish startup that will bend over, close their eyes and take it. Nope, Apple is Andy Dufresne promising to bite someone's dick off. Which is why companies like Lodsys go after the developers in the hopes they gave no clue of their rights and not Apple.

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post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea. Time to put an end to the free ride of all the PATENT TROLLS!!

 

That company does rightfully own the patent, so it is legal, and a relatively easy way to make some cash.  If the suit stands, Apple will pay, but it is no big deal.  Cost of doing business.  Sometimes the patent system works for Apple, sometimes it works against them.  I think it has worked for them on many more occasions than the reverse.

post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?

The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.

It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.

Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.

 

They may well have the right to attempt to enforce this patent, but they still appear to meet the generally accepted definition of a patent troll. That term does not imply any illegitimacy of the patent.

post #14 of 75
It's good that companies exist to buy patents, else a poor inventor has no market to sell into. I am more concerned about cases where Apple needs to protect its developer community.
post #15 of 75
I must have missed the answer to this but I'd look forward to knowing how the folks behind VisiCalc haven't cleaned up on Excel and every spread application sheet since 1980.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visicalc
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post #16 of 75

Curious that Corel doesn't own this patent since it acquired Quattro Pro, which is still a shipping product.

post #17 of 75
The original concept of the patent was to protect the creative output of the individual. If they would just return to that ideal, none of this patent troll stuff would be possible at all because the people who invented this stuff are either all dead or have already been suitably compensated.

It's the (ridiculous) concept that you can somehow buy and sell ideas that's really at fault here just as it's the ridiculous concept that corporations are somehow "people" that causes all the worst abuses of capitalism.

All these problems would disappear overnight if we just changed our point of view.

Just sayin. :-)
post #18 of 75

It is not about the patents. It is about East Texas. It reminds me of the recently deceased  Finance Minister from Nigeria whose relative is willing to share a large potion of his millions of dollars hidden in a suitcase if I can import it into the US. The whole of East Texas would be a wasteland if not for Apple lawsuits. 

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post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

It's good that companies exist to buy patents, else a poor inventor has no market to sell into. I am more concerned about cases where Apple needs to protect its developer community.

 

Nah.  It's really the whole "buying and selling of ideas" that's the root of the problem.  The patent was originally put in place to preserve the inventor's idea, not to create a psuedo-market for ideas.  

post #20 of 75
We just need to point to OLE ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_Linking_and_Embedding ), which was first defined in 1990 and used by Microsoft in most of their office products.
post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I must have missed the answer to this but I'd look forward to knowing how the folks behind VisiCalc haven't cleaned up on Excel and every spread application sheet since 1980.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visicalc

Well in their case they forgot to file for a patent at all.

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post #22 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea. Time to put an end to the free ride of all the PATENT TROLLS!!

I guess you didn't read the story. The patent was issued to Borland. Now, I realize that most of the Apple haters are 15 and didn't even exist when Borland was around, but Borland was a major IP creator in its time. They were essentially killed of by Microsoft (and possibly by their own mistakes), so their IP was sold to the highest bidder. You could have bid on it if you wanted it (and if you had been alive at the time).
Quote:
Originally Posted by drwho4 View Post

Except that is not what's happening here... Companies like this find dead or dying companies & purchase their IP portfolios with the sole intention of litigating another business that does anything that is remotely similar to the alleged imposed IP. And the district court in Tyler Texas is notorious for accepting these often frivolous patent infringement lawsuits.

That inane.

The company which is going out of business has creditors. They are entitled to be reimbursed for the value of the IP that is owned by the bankrupt company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

While yes they might have a valid legal issue, that they waited 5 yrs to protect their IP, until a time when Apple has way more money than back then, still makes them trolls. .

How do you know that? First, they may have just discovered that the method Apple is using infringes their patent (keep in mind that patents do not protect ideas, but very specific implementation). It may not have been clear that Apple's process used their IP. Second, they may have been trying to collect from Apple for years and finally realized that they couldn't get there.

What's with all the 'guilty until proven innocent' crap around here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

It's good that companies exist to buy patents, else a poor inventor has no market to sell into.

Exactly. A very common scenario is someone who invents something that they can not possibly implement themselves. Maybe it's an improvement for an auto and they don't have $1 B to spend building an auto company. Or maybe they invent a new process for making CPUs and they don't have $10 B to get into that business. Without the ability to sell IP, little inventors would get screwed.
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post #23 of 75
This will go no where. I used Quattro Pro extensively in Mechanical Engineering for Data Acquisition and all of it's patents applied do not impact Numbers. The prior art on this patent goes way back before Quattro Pro.

DOA.
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.
It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.
Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.

Patent laws don't work that way. You need to read up on how patents work, how they are enforced and how they differ greatly between countries. Technology partners have been lobbying US senators to review the laws and crack down on patent banking by businesses that produce nothing. Innovation will just grind to a halt if this example of blatant patent trolling continues. Land owners in ages past, use to erect toll gates to extract money from passers by. That practice was stopped for good reasons. The same will happen here, as soon as the lazy politicians can get off their duffs and stop throwing mud at each other. Time to govern guys.

post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kr00 View Post

Patent laws don't work that way. You need to read up on how patents work, how they are enforced and how they differ greatly between countries.

So I need to read up on it? How many patents have you shepherded through the system? I lost count of the number I was involved with. And while they do differ between countries, what does that have to do with anything? We're talking about a US patent being litigated in a US court.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kr00 View Post

Technology partners have been lobbying US senators to review the laws and crack down on patent banking by businesses that produce nothing.

People can lobby for anything. But the law is currently just as I described it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kr00 View Post

Innovation will just grind to a halt if this example of blatant patent trolling continues.

Yes, you might reach that conclusion if you are incapable of seeing both sides of the story. You might also reach that conclusion if you're speaking for someone who wants free rein to steal intellectual property from others.

The ability to buy and sell patents is one of the most important rights that a patent owner has. Otherwise, small inventors would have absolutely no chance against larger companies.
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post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.

 

Patent trolls typically don't actually produce anything. They sit on their patents and extort money from others. They are non-practicing entities that look to extort money based on a patent that they have no intention of actually using, and in most cases have never used. 

 

This is a problem. NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES are a problem. This is quite different from, say, an idea of Apple's that Apple hasn't put into practice yet. It's not the use or non-use of the patent that's the problem, it's the motivations of the company. Non-practicing entities *abuse* the system. They often simply purchase patents (like in this case) for the purpose of wielding them against others in exchange for money. Most of them time the patents aren't even their creations. Hence, extortion. Abuse of the system. 

 


Edited by Quadra 610 - 9/28/12 at 7:06pm
post #27 of 75
This looks like Excel. So, how was this patent ever granted?
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

First discovered by Priorsmart, the suit alleges that Apple had prior knowledge of the patent as early as 2010 and went on to cite the IP in its own 2007 patent for manipulating spreadsheet cells.

If Apple went on to cite the IP in its own patent 2007, wouldn't they have known about it at least as early as 2007?

post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.
It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.
Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.

Bullshit! These patent trolls, rightfully named, or better yet, bottom feeders, are pariah! They produce nothing, intend to produce nothing, and buy up patents that are without a doubt highly suspect in their validity just so they can extort money out of companies actually making and selling products. The clear indication of a patent troll is the filing of a suit in East Texas, their favorite haunt due to the apparent low IQ of it's population. In fact, based on your twisted logic, its time to give Texas back to its rightful owner, Mexico, although I'd be all for that.


Edited by FreeRange - 9/28/12 at 8:05pm
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea...

...only in this case not true.  Borland was early to the game and was very popular on PCs (don't think they did a Mac version of their spreadsheet software).

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post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

While yes they might have a valid legal issue, that they waited 5 yrs to protect their IP, until a time when Apple has way more money than back then, still makes them trolls. And that's just with Apple. Excel would fit the vague details of this patent and was out way before Numbers. So where is their law suit
Patent laws need to have the same 'clearly you don't give a shit' type rules as trademarks. Protect from day one or give it up.
And your example is horribly not even close.

The problem with that is ideas can take years to come to fruition while a trademark will be used almost immediately.
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post #32 of 75
Thank you. You've just described the problem with the patent system. If you create a patent for the sole purpose of suing other people instead of making the product yourself, then you deserve to have your patent revoked. Period. End of discussion.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Will you stop with the silly patent troll nonsense?
The rightful owner of a patent has the right to enforce it whether they are using it or not.
It's like this. Let's say that you inherit a factory from your parents that was used to make widgets and includes all the equipment you need to manufacture widgets. You don't want to make widgets, so you sell the factory to a real estate investor who will then rent it to someone who wants to make widgets.
Does the fact that you don't make widgets mean that someone else can just move in and start using your factory without permission? Does the fact that the real estate investor doesn't want to make widgets mean that anyone can move in without permission and start making widgets? So why should patents be any different? There is absolutely no requirement in US patent law (or any other country that I know of) that only allows you to enforce a patent if you are using it.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

The original concept of the patent was to protect the creative output of the individual.
That is exactly what the patent system does now!
Quote:
If they would just return to that ideal, none of this patent troll stuff would be possible at all because the people who invented this stuff are either all dead or have already been suitably compensated.
There are many good reasons to invent something and then later sell the patent. Not everyone is a businessman for one. The patent may have fell out of the development of another product and isn't the focus of the company or individual involved. The reality is the ability to sell patents results in innovative products coming to market that might not otherwise.
Quote:
It's the (ridiculous) concept that you can somehow buy and sell ideas that's really at fault here
Bull crap, ideas are real products. Imagine if you Gazoobee came up with a way to manufacture 10 nanometer electronics very economically, a great idea that would push the industry forward would you not expect to benefit from that idea? Most likely you don't have the economic clout to put that idea into production so you license out the idea, process if you will or sell it out right. You as the inventory benefit from your development, the industry benefits and so on.
Quote:
just as it's the ridiculous concept that corporations are somehow "people" that causes all the worst abuses of capitalism.
This is more bull crap.
Quote:
All these problems would disappear overnight if we just changed our point of view.
Just sayin. :-)

So what is your point of view, just let everybody steal your ideas? Honestly your point of view seems to be to screw anybody that puts in a little effort. In this case the patent apparently came from Borland. Does Borland not have a right to benefit from its development efforts and if it chooses to leave a field and sell off the related IP.

Really the only point of view that needs to change is yours and the others that commonly express disdain for the value of IP. In the end that is what we are talking about here, IP and its importance to industry. This particular case might not sound all that appealing but they did buy a block of patents and would like to benefit from the purchase. It is a gamble for the patent troll too as they have to prove infringement and probably patent validity.

On the flip side look at ARM which is an extremely important Apple partner that doesn't manufacture a thing other than IP. ARM whole business model revolves around the idea of licensing patented materials and IP. It is a model that frankly permitted the age of real hand held computers, iPhones and other devices. Do you really want to throw away a system that has allowed Apple to almost double the performance of their handheld devices every year? It should be noted that the A6 processor contains IP from several companies beyond ARM, do you really want to say to hell with them that don't deserve to be compensated for all of their efforts?
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Patent trolls typically don't actually produce anything. They sit on their patents and extort money from others. They are non-practicing entities that look to extort money based on a patent that they have no intention of actually using, and in most cases have never used. 
They don't have to use the patents to make something themselves. The problem with this point of view is that if it became common is that IP would be seen as valueless. It isn't at all the whole electronics and computer industry evolved from the idea that IP is valuable.

More so the current system is the only way to protect the individual small time inventor. Without the ability to sell a patent small time innovators would never be able to realize economic benefit.
Quote:
This is a problem. NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES are a problem.
The fact that they are some how classified as "non practicing" has nothing to do with it. They are a customer for an entity. That has a patent to sell. There is nothing more to it. Borland could just as easily sold the patent to Apple if it really wanted too.
Quote:
This is quite different from, say, an idea of Apple's that Apple hasn't put into practice yet.
Not really. What if Apple wanted to sell off some of those ideas or license them in some manner? The question is important because Apple has sold off or licensed its IP in the past to survive rough spots in its maturation into the company we now have. In fact Apple wouldn't exist today if it was for the ability to deal in IP.
Quote:
It's not the use or non-use of the patent that's the problem, it's the motivations of the company. Non-practicing entities *abuse* the system.
In a nut shell the patent system is about inventors making money. Sometimes the only way to do that is to sell off a patent.
Quote:
They often simply purchase patents (like in this case) for the purpose of wielding them against others in exchange for money. Most of them time the patents aren't even their creations. Hence, extortion. Abuse of the system. 


It isn't abuse at all. Either the patent is valid and applies in this case or it doesn't. We have yet to see if real money will be made from this lawsuit. That is the other thing people mis, many of these suits fail in significant fashion. It is like divorce some people get screwed in divorce court and others make out like bandits.
post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea. Time to put an end to the free ride of all the PATENT TROLLS!!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waverunnr View Post

Thank you. You've just described the problem with the patent system. If you create a patent for the sole purpose of suing other people instead of making the product yourself, then you deserve to have your patent revoked. Period. End of discussion.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

 

 

As jragosta noted, this patent was part of a real product created by Borlands, not some idea never implemented.  I do hate that these companies exist just to litigate a profit, but on the flip side if I'm an inventor with a great idea but no capital or backing to actually create a product, and one of these IP holding companies offered me substantial cash, I'd most likely take it.  Just because I think they're entitled to it doesn't mean I don't think they're pricks.  I also think the patent process is broken with some of the things they come out with as patentable. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sip View Post

Most definitely a troll...... I think these guys got their companies mixed-up: that drawing looks more like the original Excel than Numbers. In fact, the only similarity with any Apple product is that it looks more Mac OS 6-ish than it does Windows. Apple should sue this company for copying Apple's IP.

 

Do we know for a fact Microsoft doesn't pay some royalties to use this patent?  I don't know that they do, but I don't think it would be far fetched to say that they pay for some obscure IP.

post #36 of 75
I just want to know, did Borland make that old Apple II Plus game Loadrunner?

If so could they bring it to iOS? I'd pay for it.
post #37 of 75

One of my favorite parts of the NeXT Legacy:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quattro_Pro

 

Quote:

Both the QPW and Paradox for Windows (another Borland database application) codebases were based on Borland's internal pilot project with object oriented UI code for Windows. This project ran simultaneously with the Borland language group investigating the desirability of a C++ compiler, and the company decided to make a bet on C++. However, the C++ compiler was not ready at first, and OO code for both projects was started in C with OO emulation through macros. As the Borland Turbo C++ compiler became available internally the projects converted to using C++.

Charlie Anderson was put in charge of the project and he soon had Istvan Cseri, Weikuo Liaw, Murray Low, Steven Boye, Barry Spencer, Dave Orton, Bernie Vachon, Anson Lee, Tod Landis and Chuck Batterman working on the project. Other engineers joined later. Eventually the team numbered nearly 20. The object model was inspired by the NeXT object model, modified by Mr. Cseri. Mr. Liaw and Mr. Spencer were in charge of the spreadsheet engine (written in assembly language) while Mr. Low wrote a large chunk of the UI.

 

Borland visited NeXT and was privy to early versions of Lotus Improv on NeXTStep which of course they lavishly copied and Lotus sued the crap out of them. Lotus was able to make Improv only on NeXTStep because of the NeXT Object Model that resides in OS X. Both Lotus and Borland designed their paradigms around already patented IP.

 

This one will be fun to watch for legacy buffs.

post #38 of 75

Excellent posts by jragosta. [and some others, in the time it took me to write this.]

 

This "patent troll" meme is tiresome. Patents only work if they provide reliable protection for innovations and inventions. And if they lend protection, they only have real value if they are transferable and liquid (how else could an inventor get paid for his work?) If there is a problem with "the patent system," it is not that people can own patents without using them, or that they can sue to protect them. It's that truly trivial patent challenges and truly egregious patent violations are not sufficiently punished to keep them to a minimum.

 

Like so many things, the definition of "patent troll" is a matter of viewpoint. Generally though, when someone owns a valuable patent, they are called "patent trolls" by the people who wish they owned the patent, but are unwilling or unable to pay to use it. And of course, the opposite party sees a patent violator trying to steal their IP.


Edited by DESuserIGN - 9/29/12 at 12:55am
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin and gets a patent. He doesn't have the brain power to actually create the product, yet, he has the right to sue someone who spends the hours developing and investing in the idea. Time to put an end to the free ride of all the PATENT TROLLS!!


So if some idiot scribbles an idea on a napkin like this:

 

 

You say they shouldn't be granted a patent?

 

I agree. {snigger}

 

You know that old saying - live by the sword, die by the sword.  The trouble with iFans is that they seem to think the entire patent system should operate only for the benefit of Apple and no one else.

post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by sambira View Post

This looks like Excel. So, how was this patent ever granted?

Seriously, when does Office hit the iPad? Who uses Numbers?
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