Originally posted by Mr. Dirk
Why wouldn't they be able to patent it? It is a new, unique way to apply technology. That said, if it weren't patentable for some reason, I wonder if Apple will strike up new partnerships with Adidas, et. al. or if this is more or less exclusive to iTunes. (I'm guessing the latter.)
Originally posted by xanthohappy
...what's to stop other shoe manufacturers from putting holes underneath the insole in future shoe models? I'm guessing you can't patent something like that. Nike has a headstart for certain, but do you think they could lose out on their investment in the long run?
They already have. Here is an excerpt from the patent (US Patent Office # 20050048955):
A user of a communication device may initiate a communication, i.e., a telephone call, a text message, a page, an alert and the like, silently, via a macro-manipulation of the communication device and without having to identify a particularly button or sequence of buttons on the communication device. The communication device may include housing into which is disposed a sensor that detects the macro-manipulation of the communication device by the user. An output from the sensor is associated with a particular communication context, e.g., a particularly telephone number to which a call is to be completed, a communication device to which a text message is to be sent and the contents of the text message, an email address to which an email is to be sent, a pager to which either a page number, text or numeric message is to be sent, and the like. Responsive to the output from the sensor, the communication device initiates the communication according to the define context. Thus, a user of the communication device may initiate a communication in total darkness, without removing the communication device from a purse or pocket, and without having to identify a particular key or keys on the communication device.
To avoid the possibility of inadvertently triggering the communication, such as by simply grasping the housing too firmly or by other circumstances that may cause the sensor to provide an output signal to the processor, a protocol for initiating the communication may be implemented. To initiate the communication the user is first required to twice quickly squeeze the housing of the communication unit shown by the pulses. This action, similar to the double click action taken with a mouse input device on a computer, causes the communication unit to provide the response indicated on line, which is to provide a haptic response, such as a vibratory alert. The user, during the period of the haptic response, again squeezes the housing to generate a signal from the sensor. The communication unit responsive to the sensor input ends the haptic alert, and initiates the communication.
As described, a communication unit, such as communication device, provides an ability to silently and covertly initiate a selected communication. A user may initiate a selected communication without having to identify, select or manipulate pushbuttons or other input devices on the communication unit, which are constantly shrinking in size. That is, the user may initiate the communication with a macro-manipulation of the communication device. Additionally, in an emergency situation, the user may summon help without revealing that such a request for help has been initiated, as the microphone of the communication device will be active and capture and transmit all audio activity taking place around the calling party.
The communication need not be a telephone call to a predefined number. The communication may be a text message, a two-way communication alert, an email, a page or other such text, data, recorded message or recorded voice communication.
In the patent there are TIFF files with phone illustrations as applicable. That could be the next device coming from this new partnership.
I suppose it is also worth noting that Apple Computers COO, Timothy Cook, started serving on Nike's board of directors about 6 months ago.