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Steve Jobs' original iPhone keynote video used to invalidate Apple patent in Germany

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
In an ironic twist to Apple's ongoing worldwide legal battles, a German patent court on Thursday invalidated an Apple property asserted against Google and Samsung because a video of Steve Jobs presenting the feature onstage predates the filing, and is thus considered prior art in the country.

iPhone
Late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs presenting the original iPhone in 2007.


According to court reports from FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the Bundespatentgericht, or Federal Patent Court of Germany, declared Apple's EP2059868 patent for a "Portable electronic device for photo management," covering a specific utilization of Apple's "bounce-back" user interface effect, invalid due to prior art.

That prior art came from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who demonstrated the technology described in the patent during a 2007 keynote where the first generation iPhone was officially unveiled.

At the time of the presentation, U.S. patent law allowed inventors a 12-month grace period in which to file a patent document after coming up with a novel idea. During this time period, nothing publicly shown or published could be considered prior art. This mechanism does not exist in Europe, meaning the January 2007 video is considered a pre-filing disclosure and therefore technically prior art when weighed against Apple's late June patent priority date.

In April, Google's counsel submitted the clip that shows Jobs demonstrating the iPhone's photo management feature. Apple attempted to enter amendments to show the European patent was colorably different from the tech being shown off onstage, but the court rejected the claims. Apple can appeal the decision if it so chooses.

Mueller said that a member of Presiding Judge Vivian Sredl's panel opened Thursday's proceedings by outlining the court's inclination to invalidate the narrowed bounce-back patent based on two cases of prior art. One is a content display property that belongs to AOL/Luigi Lira called "Lira," while the other is a Microsoft-sponsored study called "LaunchTile."

Although Apple's patent was invalidated, the company's counsel successfully argued novelty in light of both "Lira" and "LaunchTile," a win that Mueller said is significant in the grand scheme of the company's worldwide patent row due to an awarded German utility model covering the same photo bounce-back invention. Unlike European patents, German utility models do have a grace period of six months, meaning the Jobs video plays no role in its validity.

This property was also asserted against Samsung in a different case previously stayed by the Mannheim Regional Court. In response to that particular claim, the South Korean company initiated revocation proceedings with the German Patent Office, but the body has yet to rule on the challenge.

Apple could use Thursday's outcome, specifically the finding that "Lira" and "LaunchTile" don't invalidate the European photo bounce-back patent, to its advantage in the utility model proceedings. The company can ultimately request the Mannheim court to restart the claim against Samsung and even possibly use that property against other companies until it expires in 2017.
post #2 of 78

Psychotic nonsense.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #3 of 78
Now that all makes sense doesn't it!

The boss of the company that owns the patent demoing what they say is the same patent invalidates the patent because it shows that someone else had already thought of it???

I must be missing something here...
post #4 of 78
German efficiency at work? Way to destroy the stereotype!
post #5 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by iRon man View Post

Now that all makes sense doesn't it!

The boss of the company that owns the patent demoing what they say is the same patent invalidates the patent because it shows that someone else had already thought of it???

I must be missing something here...

You are. He showed it before the patent was filed.

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post #6 of 78

This is outrageous. Demo your own invention, then patent it and have it invalidated because you demoed it prior to patenting it.

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post #7 of 78

Unbelievable, Steve was Apple' CEO at the time, it was an on an Apple iPhone. How can it be prior art? The iPhone was still being finalised for release, so the video would either be of one of the final prototypes, or 1 of the first off the production line. How can a companies video of a yet to be released product, be prior art against same company for the same product / software?

 

This is as ridiculous as using a dummy film or tv prop, of something that does not exist yet in the style / form factor, as prior art.

post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by iRon man View Post

Now that all makes sense doesn't it!

The boss of the company that owns the patent demoing what they say is the same patent invalidates the patent because it shows that someone else had already thought of it???

I must be missing something here...

 

In Germany you need to patent it before you disclose it to the public.

 

In the US at the time, you had 12 months from public disclosure to apply for the patent. Wait longer than that in the US and you can't patent it.

 

Here's one way to think about it: Does it seem fair for a company to show you some cool ideas and then, retro-actively, go back and tell you that some of them are patented and need to be licensed? I don't think that's very fair.

post #9 of 78
Despicable. The idea that following the rules in the U,S is not good enough for Europe is beyond contemptible.
post #10 of 78
Ouch! I believe that's called a technicality.
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

Attention outraged Apple fans! Your enemy for today is: Germany / The Germans.

...GO!!

 

:no: Every country has stupid laws that should be scrapped as they make no sense. To pick 1 country, or its people, out is wrong. :no: 

 

This is 1 more reason I think IP laws etc should be controlled by 1 court / organisation worldwide, & not by individual countries.

post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopiballava View Post

Here's one way to think about it: Does it seem fair for a company to show you some cool ideas and then, retro-actively, go back and tell you that some of them are patented and need to be licensed? I don't think that's very fair.
What the heck are you on about? Apple followed the rules for patent filing in the U.S. that were in place at the time. If this ruling is allowed to stand, it can be used to invalidate all manner of U.S. patents that followed those rules. Frankly, this is something that the U.S. government needs to get involved over.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopiballava View Post

 

Here's one way to think about it: Does it seem fair for a company to show you some cool ideas and then, retro-actively, go back and tell you that some of them are patented and need to be licensed? I don't think that's very fair.

 

It doesn't matter because first you don't necessarily have to disclose patents when they show it. In no country does somebody go and list off a bunch of patent numbers before demoing a feature. Second, you may not have patented the idea but a third party may have. You still need to conduct a patent search.

post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Despicable. The idea that following the rules in the U,S is not good enough for Europe is beyond contemptible.

 

My dear...

1. Nobody is perfect (or was - and this also includes Steve Jobs).

2. No rule nor law is perfect (ever was - and this also includes american laws).

So, please, don't go thinking that the local values of USA are supposed to be universal. They're not, period.

post #15 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post



What the heck are you on about? Apple followed the rules for patent filing in the U.S. that were in place at the time. If this ruling is allowed to stand, it can be used to invalidate all manner of U.S. patents that followed those rules. Frankly, this is something that the U.S. government needs to get involved over.

 

You didn't read the article, did you? The German court invalidated an EU patent. Apple's US patent is not in trouble here.

post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Wermeille View Post

My dear...
1. Nobody is perfect (or was - and this also includes Steve Jobs).
2. No rule nor law is perfect (ever was - and this also includes american laws).
So, please, don't go thinking that the local values of USA are supposed to be universal. They're not, period.

He was being sarcastic. I hope.
post #17 of 78

Hope so too... But, unfortunately, i met pretty lots of people sure to be "objective" in their believes... 8/

post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

Attention outraged Apple fans! Your enemy for today is: Germany / The Germans.

...GO!!

 

Attention whoring, little Fandroids! Your mission for today is to defend the indefensible and always side against Apple, no matter how wrong the other party is.

 

...GO!!

post #19 of 78
Quite funny when you think about it. End of the day Apples making more money than they know what to do with so it doesn't really affect consumers in any way.

Funny for a tech company to screw up on patent filings though.
post #20 of 78
Hahahaha, I laugh seeing decisions made like these. It's amazing to know that 'common sense' has been replaced by 'technicality', way to go judges!
post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...colorably different...

+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

End of the day Apples making more money than they know what to do with so it doesn't really affect consumers in any way.

-1
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #22 of 78
This is why Tim Cook is doubling down on security.
Google and Samsung won't know what to copy next.

Look at how Samsung is shamelessly trying to copy the iPhone colors.
Apple needs to deal Samsung a blow in the TV market.

Time will tell.
post #23 of 78
Sacto joe, the rest of the world does have its own laws, no matter how bad you'd want to think the US = everything.
post #24 of 78
Unfortunately, the courts have to follow the letter of the law, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in this case. Same thing in every country.
post #25 of 78
This is insanity at the nth degree..... Apple invalidates its own patent by demonstrating it??.?
This is twisted beyond average stupidity.
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post
 

This is outrageous. Demo your own invention, then patent it and have it invalidated because you demoed it prior to patenting it.

 

That is the rule everywhere in the world, except in the USA. The USA use a 1 year grace period and allowed for submarine patents which is nasty because it is used by patent trolls a lot.

 

More, it seems that Apple filed a separate EU patent rather than an extension of the US patent from what I gather. This is why they are in trouble, as filing an extension to the US patent would not have bumped in the early disclosure rule. But the EU patent could have been then invalidated if the USA patent had been.

post #27 of 78

So you can't show your invent before filing patent. Not reasonable in my thought.

post #28 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by reinthal View Post

Ouch! I believe that's called a technicality.

 

Well, while I agree that this is bad luck for Apple, it seems to me like a pretty clear and fundamental principle of German patent law (i.e. apply for patent before public disclosure) ... to dismiss it as a technicality is a bit much (but I know what you meant). It's not clear the court had any other choice in its decision, given that's the law. Apple has been a multinational for years, and should really know the rules of the game outside of the US.

post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSmithSon View Post
 

So you can't show your invent before filing patent. Not reasonable in my thought.

 

Actually you can. eg to investors, and making them sign NDA. What you cannot do is disclosing it in a public event or a publication. the video is both.

post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopiballava View Post

You didn't read the article, did you? The German court invalidated an EU patent. Apple's US patent is not in trouble here.

Even then it is ridiculous that a company's own invention is being invalidated because the founder demo it in advance.

I wonder will his job prospect the same as the British one when he retires or a Swiss account being opened for him.
post #31 of 78

Say what?! But Steve was demonstrating the very feature they were going to patent later ... kind of a recursive thing there.

post #32 of 78
I always thought the "prior art" thing was when the other side could show that someone else showed the same patent/idea prior to being patented.

Re-reading the article above, it does kinda give me the idea we're not getting the full story.

Near the end, it says the patent was invalidated by two other companies prior art.

Is that talking about a different patent or case?

Or has the Steve Jobs video bit been over emphasised?
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

Attention outraged Apple fans! Your enemy for today is: Germany / The Germans.

...GO!!

1biggrin.gif Hilarious! Almost as funny as the story itself.
post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Wermeille View Post
 

 

My dear...

1. Nobody is perfect (or was - and this also includes Steve Jobs).

2. No rule nor law is perfect (ever was - and this also includes american laws).

So, please, don't go thinking that the local values of USA are supposed to be universal. They're not, period.

 

Sarcasm detector: off

post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSmithSon View Post

So you can't show your invent before filing patent. Not reasonable in my thought.
However it does mean you cant lead people into a situation where you've done a public demo, they've checked for any patent applications before copying, they then make there own version only to be subject to a patent at a later date.
post #36 of 78

Lawyers can screw up just about anything.

post #37 of 78
"Here's one way to think about it: Does it seem fair for a company to show you some cool ideas and then, retro-actively, go back and tell you that some of them are patented and need to be licensed? I don't think that's very fair."

Yes, very true, but if you file a patent, attain it, and release a product with said invention before anyone else I think the logic of prior art against yourself should fall away. But your point above is valid. The German system makes more sense.
post #38 of 78

Well at least the law is clear in this case it's not as if someone could file a patent for some vague idea without any details on just how it would be implemented either in silicon, or in code, or in an actual user interface and then sit back for years and wait until someone independently comes up with an actual implementation of an idea that sort of resembles the patent and then sue the maker of an actual thing which is kinda like the general idea you patented, that would never happen. 

 

Why isn't this like copyright law? where publication of the idea or object etc is in and of itself a sort of declaration of ownership of the thing or idea? sure filing a document to provide some details and limitations etc is a all well and good but shouldn't it be assumed that you cannot copy someone else's work regardless of whether or not the original followed some arcane set of rules to ensure that a bureaucrat somewhere had his pockets lined as protection?

post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yours Smugly View Post

Sacto joe, the rest of the world does have its own laws, no matter how bad you'd want to think the US = everything.

You may not like it, but the US is a bit exceptional. In a lot of these areas, a lot of the rest of the world has simply borrowed US legal ideas: Federal Reserve, antitrust, shareholder protection, IP, securities laws, and international trade come to mind.

As we've discovered with the whole NSA spying episode, most of the rest of the world -- Germany foremost -- just bends over if the US really flexes its muscles.
post #40 of 78
'Ironic' is not the right word to describe this twist. It's bizarre. It will affect a lot of EU companies too, so I am guessing it'll be thrown out on appeal to a court at the EU level.
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