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Apple, Starbucks sued over custom music gift cards - Page 2

post #41 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

This is very unlikely to happen as more and more private equity and hedge funds are pouring money into patent trolls. Granted - you may loose few cases. But you just need one big winner and you got your phenomenal ROI

Hedge Funds are bleeding heavily right now. Investing in patent lawsuits is even more risky.
post #42 of 68
Well, they'll soon be able to sue Sony as well...

http://tinyurl.com/3745lj
post #43 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Hedge Funds are bleeding heavily right now. Investing in patent lawsuits is even more risky.

Just imagine investing 10 Mio$ in litigation cost that could potentially net you an out of court settlement of (say) 150$ Mio - by avoiding a treble that amount injunction. Quite a neat ROI dont you think ?
post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruchito View Post

i am not from the US or familiar with your patent laws, but since reading about the lawsuits to apple for the past year, basically, my understanding is that i can file a patent for all my crazy ideas, and just sit on it until someone does it and then sue them?

The path to acquiring a patent is fairly tortuous, and even so, suspect patents are awarded all the time. The US Patents and Trademarks Office has talked about a 'peer review' system for patents, but personally I think that could lead to "insider trading" and bribery of examiners.

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post #45 of 68
That does it. I'm filing a patent for "1"s and "0"s used in a computing environment. Who wants to help? After I buy it, I'll split the State of Hawaii with any patent attorney who helps me file.

Oahu beckons!
post #46 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post

Well, they'll soon be able to sue Sony as well...

http://tinyurl.com/3745lj

Don't both of them also sell cards for online merch?
post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by age234 View Post

Whoever allowed this patent, and ones like it, deserve to be kicked to the curb.

In school I was always taught you couldn't patent ideas or concepts, only specific ways of implementing them. If they had come up with an actual working system and Apple used it, they have a lawsuit. But this is nonsense.

That's absolutely correct. I don't know how the patent system has gotten so out of hand. It's basically a gift card with limited use. The concept of a gift card has been around for years. My aged mother goes to these street front gambling places in West Palm Beach and they cumulate the earnings on gift cards which you're supposed to be able to use anywhere that accepts credit cards, although most retailers don't know how to process them. They're issued by Simon, the mall developer, so they're good at Simon Malls. While you don't use the card online, you can check your balances on the cards online. It's practically the same thing.

But I don't think Amazon should have gotten their patent for one-click shopping either. The concept of storing an address and using it is a basic business practice - it shouldn't be patentable. If they special technology to implement it, they can patent that.

I think Apple got sued by Amazon and wound up having to pay a licensing fee for one-click.
post #48 of 68
They might as well sue microsoft too. You can get microsoft point cards and purchase movies online on your 360, you can also get xbox live cards which gets you xbox live online.
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post #49 of 68
They have Starbucks in Utah?
post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

That's absolutely correct. I don't know how the patent system has gotten so out of hand. It's basically a gift card with limited use. The concept of a gift card has been around for years. My aged mother goes to these street front gambling places in West Palm Beach and they cumulate the earnings on gift cards which you're supposed to be able to use anywhere that accepts credit cards, although most retailers don't know how to process them. They're issued by Simon, the mall developer, so they're good at Simon Malls. While you don't use the card online, you can check your balances on the cards online. It's practically the same thing.

But I don't think Amazon should have gotten their patent for one-click shopping either. The concept of storing an address and using it is a basic business practice - it shouldn't be patentable. If they special technology to implement it, they can patent that.

I think Apple got sued by Amazon and wound up having to pay a licensing fee for one-click.

I think the Patent Office is facing the same problem that is currently facing employers everywhere, from Los Angeles to Shanghai... a severe lack of qualified/talented workers.

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post #51 of 68
It seems like many of the replies in this thread have not even tried to really understand the article or what the patent is really about.

1. They say things like it is too simple and anyone could have invented it ("I invented that while I was drunk and asleep"). You could say that about almost any really great idea or invention. The autombile windshield sunshade for example; should that guy not have gotten a patent because it was too simple. Things are always simple when you already know the answer.
2. They assume the people protecting their patent have done nothing. Wrong. It seems the people with the patent filed in 2000. That means they probably invented it well before then. I found that they have a website at http://www.vibme.com which was started in 2004. On that site they claim to have also had ripsave.com and non-virtual.com before that and those were successful.
3. They assume the invention is just plain gift card. Wrong. The invention is for specific merchandise gift cards. You can't go into wal-mart or toysRus and pick up a gift card for a specific item. You have to get a gift card for a dollar amount and use that towards a general purchase. This really is different.
4. They assume that Apple wasn't first approached and asked to license. The actual court papers which can be downloaded if you belong to a service (I do) say that they contacted people like Apple as early as 2000 and have been ever since. How would you like it if you kept telling someone your idea over and over and they keep telling you it's no good and then they just turn around and just do it making millions of dollars on something they stole from you.
5. They assume the patent office just screwed up. The fact is that Apple and everyone in the download business has patents and they certainly expect you to pay if you are going to use it. Just go to USPTO.gov and look up all the "simple" patents Apple has. The fact is computer implemented business methods patents are a major part of Apple's portfolio. Ever since 2000, art section 705 (computer business methods) require double examination and allow for outside input on whether it can be patented or not. That is making the computer business method patents among the strongest, hardest to get, and hardest to defeat.
6. They assume a patent is easy to get (one says, "I'll patent 1s and 0s used in computing"). No you won't. Most patents cost at least $100K to get now days. I'm sure these people paid through the nose. An invention must be new, useful, and non-obvious. It took the patent office 6 years to go over this one. My hat goes off to them thinking of a much more consumer focused way of doing gift cards. Those stupid money store cards I'm told have up to 60% waste (putting money on the card that never gets used). This new gift card is something great for the user. Let's applaud them for working to bring it to the public. Most of these home based inventors don't want much. Just to be acknowledged and not tossed aside.
post #52 of 68
Or some of us just like to rant because it all seems out of control.

 

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post #53 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

We mentioned that it lacked merit =P

Best,

K

How do you know it is invalid? Have you read the patent and or complaint in question? Or is this just a journalist rendering an opinion?
post #54 of 68
It seems from recent lawyerly first posts that the plaintiff's team has found the site and is trying a little grass roots work.
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post #55 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I think, depending on the details, this one as far more merit that most of the lawsuits we read about here. Still, the idea of gift cards for specific items isn't really new. Sure, most gift cards/certificates are for a certain dollar amount, I've received them for messages and such. So it may depend on whether the "online redemption" is novel enough to warrant a patent, or just the natural combination of gift certificates for specific things and online redemption of cash gift cards.

I would think not; but still, like I said, at least this one shows a small amount of legitimacy to it.


THIS is the point. It's clear that so many of the people leaving comments here 1) know absolutely nothing about patents/patent law 2) haven't read the patent and 3) most certainly are not familiar with the complaint. The fact of the matter is that the concept of a retail (store) point of sale for an internet-based exchange *is* a novel idea. [At least, it was when the patent was submitted.] Were this not the case, a patent would never have been issued. DUH!

Spend less time on blogs and more time in the real world, educating yourselves.
post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

That is splitting hairs IMHO. Back in those days we could have offered just one particular tone - but we offered a choice of ten. I really fail to see how limiting one's choice by sticking just one face on a pre-paid card is worthy a patent. It's a good marketing idea - but a patent that bogs down the rest own mankind for 50 years (or force them to pay licenses).
Can someone tell me on what cloud/island those people at the USPTO live ?


Fortunately, the law isn't based upon your (not so humble) opinion.
post #57 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

...holding my breath... -


AGREED! There should be some law that says you patent it, YOU make something out of it.

This 'having an idea', getting it patented and expecting Royalties from another that takes the chance of utilizing some form of a patented idea and makes a product that becomes hugely successful needs to be rethought.

I'm not against some small form of compensation but if one uses a patented idea in a product they utilize and it becomes a marketing flop and plumetting sales cause the loss of major bucks invested, does that mean the reverse can happen and can Apple legally go after all these smaller patent holders that might have been used in some form and can Apple ask of them for compensation for their loss? I know I am being absurd, but no more than the most recent suits filed against Apple!


Have you read the patent? Have you read the complaint? I doubt it . Do you know anything about intellectual property law? Clearly, you don't. You also seem to want to ignore that fact that this couple pitched their idea to Apple, who said, "No thanks," but then turned around and used their idea to make a profit. That is the very epitome of an infringement.

Apple had every opportunity to avoid this suit. They brought this on themselves. And now they're going to have to pay for it.
post #58 of 68
Can we get plantiff's council's multiple logins handled. An admin really needs to do an ip level check on these post and run members when ALL they are doing is making one sided law school wannabe diatribes. Even necro-ing old threads while they are at it.
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post #59 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

The idiocy of the patent's approval aside, the model depicted does not really depict what Apple is doing. They are both the web content dealer and the retail store. There is no transaction taking place for the access keys before the retail sales.

The Driessens' patent isn't about a gift card for a specific product. I mean, there must be hundreds of examples from before their application in 2000. So the patent is for something else. I guess that would be the model of a retail store making a deal to sell someone else's web content with a gift card. Apple isn't doing that.

I'd guess that this is a direct outcome of the new deals with the movie studios for rentals. Apple wants to sell movie gift cards in the retail Apple Stores -- the card gives you access to the movie rental, with an option to buy. Something like that. The potential for this is much greater for movies than music, IMHO.

The idiocy of the patent's approval aside...

That is your opinion. Clearly, the patent office didn't think that their idea is "idiotic," since they issued the patent. Apple also doesn't seem to think that their idea is "idiotic," since they tried to steal it.


...the model depicted does not really depict what Apple is doing. They are both the web content dealer and the retail store. There is no transaction taking place for the access keys before the retail sales.

What a surprise -- someone ELSE who hasn't read the patent or the complaint...

The model is EXACTLY what Apple is doing. The Driessens' idea is this: person goes to retail store and purchases virtual media (song, album, movie, etc.) then downloads purchased media over the internet to use at his or her leisure. What Apple is doing is selling their media (represented as a card) in a retail to store to people who then go home and use the internet to download said media. It's EXACTLY the same thing, and it's an idea that this couple patented several years ago. This discussion begins and ends there. Period.
post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Or some of us just like to rant because it all seems out of control.

Well, when you "rant," shouldn't you have something pertinent to say? Rants from mis/uninformed people or rants that are based on inaccurate information are both useless and wholly counter-productive.

That whole "think before you speak" thing still applies after elementary school...
post #61 of 68
So sweet.

Guess you're new to the boards... yep, only a few posts (five in a row just to vent on this point). Hang out a while and you'll see how things work around here and maybe you won't get so riled up. You also said yourself that many people didn't seemed to have read the complaint; if so, then they are going to go off base a little. Let them. These boards tend to have people who like Apple, for better or for worse; it is Apple Insider, after all. They also tend not to be lawyers (thank goodness).

And yes, from many people's understandings, the patent process is severely flawed to the point of almost being meaningless. Then we have the legal system that has a particular location that is particularly favorable to patents, more so than other courts. It all seems strange to a lot of people and they like to vocalize it.

There are some ideas that naturally progress based upon the progress of science and capability so what was once a novel idea is now just a rather mundane way of doing things because computers have reached a certain point.

There is also a very valid point in my opinion to requiring a working model in order to obtain a patent. Quite seriously, I have notebook upon notebook of doodles from my high school years that have quite a few interesting ideas in them, as probably do many guys. If we were to write them up and submit them, we could prevent progress from ever being made or just get filthy rich, but we ourselves are incapable of making a marketable product.

The whole point of gift-giving is for the giver to give a particular something to a particular someone. This tradition has been around for many, many years; if you doubt this, just read a few books that were originally published over a hundred years ago (prior art). Apple sells music. A gift card for music, for a particular song... well, now, that is not a stretch of the imagination. Apple also has the technology to actually make it work. Personally, I think "first to market" should have weight.

Then again, I'm not a lawyer and debating this issue doesn't increase or decrease my salary, so I am just dropping my 2 cents and moving along.

 

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post #62 of 68
There are many who think the patent system needs changing.

A few links:

First, a Google search result:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...oblems&spell=1

Some actual sites (you can tell who they are from the addresses):

http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~...t%20reform.pdf

http://www.news.com/Invention-interv...3-5817175.html

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...220_827695.htm

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/4548.html

The system is broken. People here are just asking that it be fixed.

 

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post #63 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

...The system is broken. People here are just asking that it be fixed.


Um...Have you read the posts? They're not merely asking that it [the patent system] be fixed. They've vilified this couple; calling them names, wishing them harm, etc. And for what? Because they had the temerity to call Apple on some pretty shady business practices? Talk about "sweet."

Were it simply a matter of expressing a desire for tort reform, I'd have kept my mouth shut. But that isn't the case at all. Perhaps, as you suggested earlier, this is just "how things work" on this board. If so, that's a shame. As an Apple aficionado myself, I like to think that we are a little more...enlightened than that. Clearly, I am mistaken.

It sure is easy for people to act tough over the internet...
post #64 of 68
Your posts only dealt with legal, patent side of things.


---

All bickering, ranting and arm-chair lawyering aside, I wonder how this case is progressing?

 

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post #65 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bocephus View Post

Um...Have you read the posts? They're not merely asking that it [the patent system] be fixed. They've vilified this couple; calling them names, wishing them harm, etc. And for what? Because they had the temerity to call Apple on some pretty shady business practices? Talk about "sweet."

Were it simply a matter of expressing a desire for tort reform, I'd have kept my mouth shut. But that isn't the case at all. Perhaps, as you suggested earlier, this is just "how things work" on this board. If so, that's a shame. As an Apple aficionado myself, I like to think that we are a little more...enlightened than that. Clearly, I am mistaken.

It sure is easy for people to act tough over the internet...

You are fighting a loosing battle and not really participating in the boards at all. You just seem to be jumping up and down in this one issue in defense of the plaintiffs. Who's playing tough in their anonymity? The irony! The horr-rah!

All six posts in a single thread, rolling in guns-a-blazin, and no mention of being an "Apple person" until you try to use that as a duck and dive defense play. Sorry, you're just acting like a single topic troll playing the faux wounded feelings Bambi card. Until you prove otherwise that's just the label you are stuck with.
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post #66 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

You are fighting a loosing battle and not really participating in the boards at all. You just seem to be jumping up and down in this one issue in defense of the plaintiffs. Who's playing tough in their anonymity? The irony! The horr-rah!

All six posts in a single thread, rolling in guns-a-blazin, and no mention of being an "Apple person" until you try to use that as a duck and dive defense play. Sorry, you're just acting like a single topic troll playing the faux wounded feelings Bambi card. Until you prove otherwise that's just the label you are stuck with.


You prove my points perfectly. Thank you.

I have no need to "duck and cover," and I need no defense. I've made statements of fact. You have no facts to back up your fallacious position, so you resort to the sort of juvenile name-calling you left in your last comment. Typical.
post #67 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bocephus View Post

You prove my points perfectly. Thank you.

I have no need to "duck and cover," and I need no defense. I've made statements of fact. You have no facts to back up your fallacious position, so you resort to the sort of juvenile name-calling you left in your last comment. Typical.

Hardly! Your total lack of initiative to read the whole thread has shown you to not only be incomplete in your own fact gathering, but to be less than prepared in your statements.

If you had even tried, you would have noticed I have not posted once on the merits of this particular patent. But you didn't try and just accused me again of acts which I provably have not committed. Not a single one of your points has been directed at me or my posts, but always at others. So it is quite impossible for me to have a fallacious position compared to yours. Your debate skillz are pathetic, your own posts are testament to that, they provide a quite nice poseurs.

I also am not name calling. I am label providing. The important difference is a label derives from independently verifiable information and that the label adheres to a common societal standard. As long as the label is not connected to a readily identifiable personal physical attribute it does not fit the sub-type of stereotype, so don't bother going there. The societal standard of "troll" and your previously displayed 6 posts style mesh wonderfully. Labels serve to identify and allow easier filtering of incoming information. Name-calling on the other hand is simply made up derogatory fluff with no greater purpose than to disparage.

Labeling you a troll explicitly serves the purpose of letting others know you aren't making the faintest attempt to be part of the community and have simply wandered in to stir things up. Thus they can more easily filter your posts.

It should be quite obvious that in this public forum, you have already lost the opportunity to acquire whatever credibility you hoped to gain. And without credibility nobody gives a rats ass about your message. In fact all you can do now is hurt the overall cause of those you purport to support. It should be quite obvious the plaintiffs had very little sympathy here, whether justified in legal basis or not. And since this is a public forum it does not have to be justified at all. The other posters can say whatever their feelings are about the patent system and dubious new art and perceived patent squatters. You just have to accept it since this isn't a court of law, it is in the jurisdiction of the court of public opinion and even after you tried it, you have not made your case.
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post #68 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlaw27 View Post

It seems like many of the replies in this thread have not even tried to really understand the article or what the patent is really about.

1. They say things like it is too simple and anyone could have invented it ("I invented that while I was drunk and asleep"). You could say that about almost any really great idea or invention. The autombile windshield sunshade for example; should that guy not have gotten a patent because it was too simple. Things are always simple when you already know the answer.
2. They assume the people protecting their patent have done nothing. Wrong. It seems the people with the patent filed in 2000. That means they probably invented it well before then. I found that they have a website at http://www.vibme.com which was started in 2004. On that site they claim to have also had ripsave.com and non-virtual.com before that and those were successful.
3. They assume the invention is just plain gift card. Wrong. The invention is for specific merchandise gift cards. You can't go into wal-mart or toysRus and pick up a gift card for a specific item. You have to get a gift card for a dollar amount and use that towards a general purchase. This really is different.
4. They assume that Apple wasn't first approached and asked to license. The actual court papers which can be downloaded if you belong to a service (I do) say that they contacted people like Apple as early as 2000 and have been ever since. How would you like it if you kept telling someone your idea over and over and they keep telling you it's no good and then they just turn around and just do it making millions of dollars on something they stole from you.
5. They assume the patent office just screwed up. The fact is that Apple and everyone in the download business has patents and they certainly expect you to pay if you are going to use it. Just go to USPTO.gov and look up all the "simple" patents Apple has. The fact is computer implemented business methods patents are a major part of Apple's portfolio. Ever since 2000, art section 705 (computer business methods) require double examination and allow for outside input on whether it can be patented or not. That is making the computer business method patents among the strongest, hardest to get, and hardest to defeat.
6. They assume a patent is easy to get (one says, "I'll patent 1s and 0s used in computing"). No you won't. Most patents cost at least $100K to get now days. I'm sure these people paid through the nose. An invention must be new, useful, and non-obvious. It took the patent office 6 years to go over this one. My hat goes off to them thinking of a much more consumer focused way of doing gift cards. Those stupid money store cards I'm told have up to 60% waste (putting money on the card that never gets used). This new gift card is something great for the user. Let's applaud them for working to bring it to the public. Most of these home based inventors don't want much. Just to be acknowledged and not tossed aside.

Well, let's just say I know this guy working in the PTO ...

1. Innovation = Patent. But innovation does not require one to be smart. That is why the average Joe can also get a patent if invention is new. Works to your advantage! Merely setting the bar higher will hurt the common folks and benefit corporations.

2. Patent Office is not a legal body, it does not process litigation or police the world. Sometimes I feel it is the legal system and business practice that needs to be reformed.

3. Only the US allows "Business Methods" patents. Most of these appear abstract and conceptual, but can actually be reduced to practiced and repeated consistently, if you read the entire patent.

4. Many of you are using hindsight. It's like "Where Is Waldo?" gets easier the 2nd time because you know where to look. What is obvious today, was not 6-8 yrs ago.

5. Patent laws are vague like "non-obvious" or "novelty". That actually gives more power to the Office to reject applications, and prevents bad patents from getting out. Asking to specify the law is going the wrong way. Think about it for sec.

6. The examiners do a decent job. The pilot project of peer review from the industry was not well received. Rarely did the industry provide adequate references for the Office to use at all.


Finally, I think we are beginning to see a change in IP rights. The common people are getting more familiar with what IP is and how to use it. Keep in mind, those cases you hear about suing millions of dollars is like drop of water in the ocean compared to the number patents currently out there, like the lottery chances of winning; so for VCs, IP is a very bad indicator for investment purposes. But the idea and use IP will continue to grow there is no doubt about it. Let see if you hop on the train in time.
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