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Apple fails to patent iPod interface - Page 2

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Even now, it's a whole lot less obvious than one-click shopping. While most people still don't really grasp the full meaning of that equation, even if they can quote it, you can bet that plenty of utterly clueless computer newbies imagine one-click shopping before it was even available, simply being afraid that one wrong click would take their money.

Push a button and you've bought something. Yeah, whoduh ever thunk it!

Besises, Einstein didn't try to file a patent on e = mc^2 either.

I used the equation to make a point. It's not obvious to most of the public, but it is now to the average worker in the field, though it wasn't then, which is all that matters.

Besides, I doubt very much if one click shopping was as obvious as you seem to think. If it was, others would have had it first. In addition, even if YOU claim to have had the idea first, it doesn't matter. To understand patents you must understand that ideas can't be patented. So, even if Einstein would have wanted to, he couldn't have patented it.

It's the expression of an idea in the form of a tangible product or process that is patentable. you can't patent an equation. the patent resulted from hundreds of hours of work, experiments and tests. It wasn't a freebie.

I'm not so sure about MS's patent as I haven't followed it so I'm not knowledgeable about what it entails.
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by UnnDunn
The thing is, Apple didn't even make the iPod UI. They bought the technology from a different company (whose name escapes me) and they customized it for the iPod.

It was Pixo, I believe.

GTSC
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
To understand patents you must understand that ideas can't be patented. So, even if Einstein would have wanted to, he couldn't have patented it.

It's the expression of an idea in the form of a tangible product or process that is patentable.

I DO understand that, which is why a lot of what I'm seeing going on with patents is frustrating. A lot of them, like one-click shopping, don't look like much more than mere ideas to me.

As far as I'm concerned, taking an idea and turning into a sentence that starts with "A process to...", and then maybe slapping on a few crude, high-level ball-and-stick diagrams should hardly elevate a simple idea to something patentable, especially when you've never made a working system.

I sort of vaguely recall someone went after Apple for iTunes not too long ago because they had an old patent they'd been granted for THE IDEA *cough!*, I mean, er, the process, of "selling and distributing digital audio content over a computer network", or some such extremely broad phrasing, wanting of much in the way of supporting specifics or ingenuity. I don't know if the system had even been implemented in prototype, it certainly had never been commercialized.
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I DO understand that, which is why a lot of what I'm seeing going on with patents is frustrating. A lot of them, like one-click shopping, don't look like much more than mere ideas to me.

As far as I'm concerned, taking an idea and turning into a sentence that starts with "A process to...", and then maybe slapping on a few crude, high-level ball-and-stick diagrams should hardly elevate a simple idea to something patentable, especially when you've never made a working system.

I sort of vaguely recall someone went after Apple for iTunes not too long ago because they had an old patent they'd been granted for THE IDEA *cough!*, I mean, er, the process, of "selling and distributing digital audio content over a computer network", or some such extremely broad phrasing, wanting of much in the way of supporting specifics or ingenuity. I don't know if the system had even been implemented in prototype, it certainly had never been commercialized.

But you're missing it here. It's not the idea. It was the work that turned the idea into a functioning product. Just because it doesn't look like that to you doesn't mean that it isn't. The Patent Office stopped reguiring a model ages ago because it became too expensive and complex to build one for the purpose of demonstration. If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter and will fall by the wayside, or be challenged. But if it does...

My wife is an attorney for CitiGroup, and is responsible for Copyrights, Trademarks, and patents, among other things. She tells me about their new financial "products" all the time. These are fleshed out ideas that have been made workable through a great deal of sweat. You want to demean them because you are not involved with items like this and so don't understand what goes into making them work. I know that you say you do.

Many of the best patents have been first written on a scrap of paper. That doesn't mean that they are any less valuable.
post #45 of 48
Very interesting twist:

From:
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_st...ntent_id=76264

Posted online: Sunday, August 14, 2005 at 0235 hours IST

In a surprise twist to portable music wars, the US patent office has denied Apples application to patent the iPods method of using hierarchical navigation menus. The basis: A similar method outlined in a Microsoft researchers patent application, filed before Apple sought its own patent.

Im sure theres a certain amount of glee among Microsoft executives, said analyst Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research. Apples Natalie Kerris said in a statement that Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application. Microsoft doesnt intend to try to block Apple from the market, said David Kaefer, business development director for Microsoft.Frankly, were both mutually dependent on the good ideas of another, Kaefer said. NYT
post #46 of 48
I forget the name of the first spreadsheet program, but at that time software patents were basically non-existant. If the man who developed it had patented it, Microsoft Excel would have just come out recently.

Software patents are stupid.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
Here is John Platt's Home Page. . . at Microsoft.com!

Edit:
He originally worked at Synaptics, the manufacturer of Apple's Click Wheel. You have to wonder if he patented the idea from knowledge he gained while at Synaptics, or from a previous co-worker depending when he left Synaptics. Something don't smell right!

Seems fishy to me as well.

Didn't Apple lose the GUI fight to Microsoft in court? Now, they come out with this interface first (which also looks alot like the next type interface posted after your post) and they lose again.

Maybe somebody is exchanging favors with some government officals...

- Mark
post #48 of 48
factoids in determining mootness:

- apple and microsoft cross-license each others patents.
this can be verified by calling apple investor relations,
who will recite material from previous 10Q and 10K reports.

- u.s. is a first-to-invent, rather than first-to-file system,
meaning that in an interference proceeding, the seniority
of invention date trumps filing date. witness the
ibm / unisys LZW claims, whereby ibm was first-to-invent
the "W" modification to the LZ algorithm.
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