German court rules against Apple 'swipe-to-unlock' patent protection

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 68
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cropr View Post

     

     

    I'll rephrase your question:  How can million of users be so stupid to pay a premium....? Well, because Apple has a great marketing department that convinces the users to pay that premium.

     

    But a judge in a patent can only take the points into account which are described in the law.  And apparently the judge has decided that the swipe to unlock is too trivial.  And personally I think the judge is correct.  All technology companies file too many trivial inventions for patent approval.




    The German judges don't know computer.  A computer is a very complicated logical device.  It can do many many things.  Each thing may not be so important.  Together they make a person's life easier.  If anything does not work, the user's life becomes miserable.  For the iPhone, the swipe to unlock may not be essential to meet high standards.  There may be alternatives like the Androids phones are using.  But remember from the high standard of making a user's life easier, the swipe to unlock does meet the standard.  This is the high standard Jobs have followed all his life.  The cheap Windows PC users and manufacturers never understand it.  

  • Reply 42 of 68
    croprcropr Posts: 1,113member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

     



    The German judges don't know computer.  A computer is a very complicated logical device.  It can do many many things.  Each thing may not be so important.  Together they make a person's life easier.  If anything does not work, the user's life becomes miserable.  For the iPhone, the swipe to unlock may not be essential to meet high standards.  There may be alternatives like the Androids phones are using.  But remember from the high standard of making a user's life easier, the swipe to unlock does meet the standard.  This is the high standard Jobs have followed all his life.  The cheap Windows PC users and manufacturers never understand it.  


     

    Swiping to unlock may meet a high standard and a computer may be a very complicated device, but both points are irrelevant in a patent discussion.  The judge only have to verify if the item presented in the patent is a non trivial invention.  

    And by examining the evidence presented by the involved parties, the prior art and the current state of technology, he was convinced that the invention was trivial.   Or put in other words, Apple failed to provide convincing evidence that the swipe to unlock was not a normal evolution of existing products.  

    Don't blame the so-called incompetence of the German judge.  It is not because you don't like the outcome of this single case, that one can decide that German judges are computer illiterate.

  • Reply 43 of 68
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Apple licenses 1-Click purchase patent from Amazon. Amazon has had no luck getting patent protection for it in Europe. It doesn't surprise me that Apple is losing this in Germany. Or as the trolls say, "loosing." image



    I always thought it was completely ridiculous that Amazon won that patent for one-click.   If anything should be obvious, it's storing a customer's shipping and billing address and then making use of the fact that you already know it.    Ideas are not supposed to be patentable - only the specific implementation and unique design characteristics of those ideas.   I'm not a patent attorney, but I fail to see how one-click would ever qualify.   It's just a link to perform an automated action - something developed long before Amazon even existed.    I would love to see some judge throw out that patent although there's probably less than 10 years left on it. 

     

    It's a good thing the idiots in the patent office don't grant copyrights - if they did, you'd have to get a license to make a film or write a book of a specific genre.   They would have granted a copyright to "science fiction" or "romance" or "westerns", etc. 

  • Reply 44 of 68
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     

    Says someone likely to have never had an original idea in his life. It takes a lot of work and to make something innovative, it takes 5 minutes to copy it. Without protection, you forfeit progression.


     

    I've been a programmer for 30 years, Mr angry, and never seen any software that deserved a patent.

  • Reply 45 of 68
    > Courts don't play favorites, and we wouldn't want them to.

    That is a mature viewpoint. Judging from the comments here, it seems that a lot of people DO want the courts to play favorites.
  • Reply 46 of 68
    > Actually they didn't it, Neonode invented and even released a phone with slide to unlock, 3 years before the iPhone. Though Apple's implementation was more elegant. This patent should have never been granted in the first place as the only thing separating the two was a slide bar graphic.

    Of course, you are 100% correct. It says something about our culture, that so many want to reject this basic truth.
  • Reply 47 of 68
    (duplicate)
  • Reply 48 of 68

    Do you understand that his point was that Apple can not simultaneously be for software patents as they sue companies for "stealing" their look and feel, and against software patents when those lawsuits do not go their way?

     

    Regardless, your point about this being only in Germany is not as irrelevant as you think.  Since Apple doesn't have patent protection on swipe to lock in Germany, other phones may use that technology without reproach there.  This matters because it sets precedent for companies to use swipe to unlock in other countries.  It also sets precedent that other UI elements may not be protected by patents either.

     

    However, you make a good point about the fingerprint scanner.  I almost never use swipe to unlock since I got my 6 Plus with it.

  • Reply 49 of 68
    e1618978 wrote: »
    I've been a programmer for 30 years, Mr angry, and never seen any software that deserved a patent.

    And how many non-software patents do you own?
  • Reply 50 of 68
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    And how many non-software patents do you own?

     

    Zero, how is that relevant?   I support non-software patents, like drugs or better mousetraps.

  • Reply 51 of 68
    e1618978 wrote: »
    Zero, how is that relevant?   I support non-software patents, like drugs or better mousetraps.

    Then why single out software patents to not receive the same protections?

    Software also requires thought and effort and is a form of property (in the same way a book is the property of an author, plus a book is a collection of text, not just a physical thing that has been printed), but software has a functional aspect that text in a book does not. Software provides the ability to perform work. A book imparts information to a person and that person does the work.
  • Reply 52 of 68
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Then why single out software patents to not receive the same protections?

     

    In order to justify a patent, the public interest has to be served.   The reason that we have patents in the first place is that the guaranteed monopoly on inventions (and the possibility of profit) is an incentive to invent.  That incentive causes more innovation, and that innovation is good for the public.



    Software patents are bad for the public interest - they are almost always obvious and trivial, they stifle innovation, they are used by large companies to bully smaller ones (and the larger ones usually win regardless of case merit), they clog up the court system, and they clog up the patent system that could be used for more useful inventions.

  • Reply 53 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    Then why single out software patents to not receive the same protections?
    This article is a simple plain English argument against software patents.
    http://cplus.about.com/od/thebusinessofsoftware/a/patents.htm

    ...and a bit more detailed argument against them:
    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/hearings/software/sanjose/sj_stallman.html
  • Reply 54 of 68
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    e1618978 wrote: »
    I hope it destroys the patent system - get rid of all software patents, they are stupid.

    That pathetic "I'm not creative enough to invent ideas durrrr" talk.
  • Reply 55 of 68
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    This article is a simple plain English argument against software patents.

    http://cplus.about.com/od/thebusinessofsoftware/a/patents.htm



    ...and a bit more detailed argument against them:

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/hearings/software/sanjose/sj_stallman.html



    I'm aware of the public arguments against software patents. The way I see the issue, software is no different from other inventions. They aren't simply a collection of words, which may be protected by copyright laws (like plays, books or screenplays), they are inventions that actually do some kind of work. They are instructions which are carried out in digital form by a computer, therefore they are inventions which patent laws must cover.

     

    Plus, a flaw in Stallman's logic is that with the invention of new software languages, such as Swift, the "machinery" of the software invention changes and more work must be performed to keep the machine working. Languages will keep changing and computer functions will keep evolving and new things will be invented.

     

    Finally, US patent laws protect US inventions. Much of the rest of the world has no protections for intellectual property and in the largest countries (China and India) there is essentially no regard whatsoever for US copyright or intellectual property protections. US citizens have become very wealthy and markets have rewarded inventors and IP holders in ways not possible in other countries. These protections and respect for property ownership in general are some of the things that still make America better in the big picture.

  • Reply 56 of 68
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by McDave View Post





    Where's the part where the finger has to track a specifically defined path with graphical feedback and deviation from which causes the action to fail?

     

    Prior art exists for this from another source. From 1990/1991, see 1991 video of the HCIL touchscreen toggle switches (University of Maryland), High-Precision Touchscreens 1988-1991 HCIL Research, and Touchscreen Toggle Switches: Push or Slide? Design issues and usability study. The researcher, Catherine Plaisant, was with the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the time (and still is). With regards to path tracking, graphical feedback, and action fail, the 1990 article describes the toggle slider:

     

    "Slider toggle: In this toggle a sliding/dragging movement is required to change the position of the yellow pointer from one side of the toggle to the other. A simple three step animation shows the movement of the pointer along the slide. If the device is ON the pointer is on the ON side. Users can then grab the pointer and slide it to the other side. If the finger is released before reaching the other side the pointer springs back to its previous position. A click is heard when the state changes (high pitch for ON, low pitch for OFF)".

     

    In the comments section of the HCIL YouTube video, Catherine Plaisant states Apple's involvement with the lab and its access to research:

     

    "In fact the HCIL lab was also sponsored by Apple at that time (to work on a different project, but our sponsors would see all our demos when they came to visit)".

     

  • Reply 57 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member

    I'm aware of the public arguments against software patents. The way I see the issue, software is no different from other inventions. They aren't simply a collection of words, which may be protected by copyright laws (like plays, books or screenplays), they are inventions that actually do some kind of work. They are instructions which are carried out in digital form by a computer, therefore they are inventions which patent laws must cover.

    Plus, a flaw in Stallman's logic is that with the invention of new software languages, such as Swift, the "machinery" of the software invention changes and more work must be performed to keep the machine working. Languages will keep changing and computer functions will keep evolving and new things will be invented.

    Finally, US patent laws protect US inventions. Much of the rest of the world has no protections for intellectual property and in the largest countries (China and India) there is essentially no regard whatsoever for US copyright or intellectual property protections. US citizens have become very wealthy and markets have rewarded inventors and IP holders in ways not possible in other countries. These protections and respect for property ownership in general are some of the things that still make America better in the big picture.
    Are algorithms real property like a computer chip or knife or wheel? No sir they aren't. There's your difference and the primary reason software wasn't even deemed patentable until the mid to late '60's. Here's a very good background history and discussion about it.
    http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/history.html

    "on a computer" is not a good reason to offer patent protection for mathematical solutions IMHO, an opinion increasingly shared by the judiciary.
  • Reply 58 of 68
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Are algorithms real property like a computer chip or knife or wheel? No sir they aren't. There's your difference and the primary reason software wasn't even deemed patentable until the mid to late '60's. Here's a very good background history and discussion about it.

    http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/history.html



    "on a computer" is not a good reason to offer patent protection for mathematical solutions IMHO, an opinion increasingly shared by the judiciary.



    Funny you should mention "mathematical solutions". Mathematical formulae are not patentable. A program is a description of work for a computer to execute. There's an order of magnitude difference due to the use of programing languages.

     

    From the USPTO:

    Determining whether the claim falls within one of the four enumerated categories of patentable subject matter recited in 35 U.S.C. 101 (i.e., process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter) does not end the analysis because claims directed to nothing more than abstract ideas (such as mathematical algorithms), natural phenomena, and laws of nature are not eligible for patent protection.


     

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2106.html

     

    Also, the opinion you hold is not "increasingly shared". This was a German court. When someone starts gutting US copyright and patent protections... be worried. It will mean the decline is here.

  • Reply 59 of 68
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cali View Post



    That pathetic "I'm not creative enough to invent ideas durrrr" talk.



    Software patents aren't "people inventing ideas", they are "people pretending to be the first to invent ideas, or inventing obvious and trivial ideas, and then using that BS as a weapon to halt innovation in weaker, smaller companies".

  • Reply 60 of 68
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

     



    Software patents aren't "people inventing ideas", they are "people pretending to be the first to invent ideas, or inventing obvious and trivial ideas, and then using that BS as a weapon to halt innovation in weaker, smaller companies".




    You're both uninformed. Patents protect implementations/expressions of ideas. Patents are never issued to protect "ideas".

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