Apple receives patent for "genie" dock effect

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple issued patent for interface design effect in Mac OS X.



The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple Computer with a patent for an "ornamental design for a user interface for computer display."



Otherwise known to Mac OS X users as the "genie effect," the feature presents the illusion that application and Finder windows are shrinking into the system dock when minimized by the user.







The document credits the original design to Bas Ording, an interface developer who has endured a lengthy term at Apple working directly under the helm of Steve Jobs.



Apple filed for the patent in February of 2002, two years after the company first introduced Mac OS X and the Mac OS X Dock to the world.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Someone should just patent matrix multiplication and get the whole thing over with.



  • Reply 2 of 34
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    Someone should just patent matrix multiplication and get the whole thing over with.







    This is indeed a ridiculous patent. This is very disappointing coming from Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Don't blame Apple, blame the flawed system.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    If you can copywrite a logo, I think this is perfectly sane. As the patent said, it's ornamental. It's not like patenting the concept of binary.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    This is indeed a ridiculous patent. This is very disappointing coming from Apple.



    I disagree. I think Apple should patent everything they do. I'm tired of Microsoft stealing Apple's inventions. You can bet that if Apple didn't patent this, we'd be seeing Genie effects in Longhorn.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bdkennedy1

    I disagree. I think Apple should patent everything they do. I'm tired of Microsoft stealing Apple's inventions. You can bet that if Apple didn't patent this, we'd be seeing Genie effects in Longhorn.



    Damn right! Now the Longhorn date may be pushed back further now, due to them having to take out the genie effects



    But seriously if you had an idea that makes money, you'd want to hold on to it. Idea = money, stealing the idea is the same as stealing money.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Would the genie effect when opening/closing the the formatting palette in Microsoft Word violate this patent?
  • Reply 8 of 34
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I would type "touche" but getting that accent typed from my windows box is a PITA.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Longhorn Coming in 2006*



    *Or when we take out all the Apple stuff



    LOL



    ?LarryISKewl?
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Feb 2002. So this means if i come up with the device of the milleniium I have to wait 2 years just so i can make sure nobody rips my idea.



    What the hell is wrong with our government you ask?
  • Reply 11 of 34
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    I think anyone who sees this as a ridiculous patent has no appreciation for how expensive Human Computer Interaction work is. And any new development that's the result of an investment should benefit the investor. That's what drives innovation so well in the United States.



    It's likely that many patents go too far, but a novel kind of video effect that conveys important information is valuable, and thus should be patentable in my opinion. I've previously seen effects which shrink and grow windows to iconify they (I remember it in twm Xwindows,) but not one that interpolates both the size and position, to essentially show the user both the new size and location in a gradual way.



    Anyway, I think that while the patent system definitely grants patents that it shouldn't, that this isn't one of them and that I'm glad the US has a system where investment in ideas can pay off.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    There is a special look & feel to using a Mac (and an iPod) and I have no problem with Apple protecting that. It's one of the things that sets Apple apart and is worth protecting. MS is nicking enough of Apple's ideas as it is.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macrules101

    Feb 2002. So this means if i come up with the device of the milleniium I have to wait 2 years just so i can make sure nobody rips my idea.





    Well , after you submit it, you can claim patent pending. Regardless if you have a patent or not, you need gobs of cash if you ever hope to defend it, because if you don't you lose it.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    You guys ought to do a little homework. Two minutes spent at uspto.gov revealed that the patent is a design patent, not a utility patent.



    A design patent is a perfectly legitimate way for Apple to prevent Microsoft or other potential thieves (and once I've named Microsoft, there aren't many others to fear) from stealing the "genie effect." Had Apple filed for a utility patent for this effect, I may concur with those of you who think that the process was a waste.



    While it is dismissed as mere eye candy by the nerd community, the genie effect nicely displays where a minimized item goes, and as such, is a valuable element for the UI. My daughter was amazed when I showed it the her while holding down the Shift key.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally posted by the cool gut

    Quote:

    Originally posted by macrules101

    Feb 2002. So this means if i come up with the device of the milleniium I have to wait 2 years just so i can make sure nobody rips my idea.



    Well , after you submit it, you can claim patent pending. Regardless if you have a patent or not, you need gobs of cash if you ever hope to defend it, because if you don't you lose it.



    And, in some ways "patent pending" is more powerful than an issued patent. With an issued patent, infringers can dissect your claims and try to go around them. They can hire patent attorneys who can tell them whether to go forward, cease production or try to negotiate a deal with the true inventor.



    If you have a pending patent and find someone doing something similar, you can notify them of their "potential" infringement without having to give them the exact claim language (because you don't know what will be allowed or reject and which ones will be accepted upon revision.) The infringer then goes forward at his own peril.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    What else have they patented?



    Expose?
  • Reply 17 of 34
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    I hope Apple is patenting things that matter...like Exposé. And I hope it was done a year or more ago because it won't be granted for at least a year.



    edit: salmonstk, beat me to it.



    edit2: they should also patent the global menubar.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macFanDave

    A design patent is a perfectly legitimate way for Apple to prevent Microsoft or other potential thieves (and once I've named Microsoft, there aren't many others to fear) from stealing the "genie effect."



    Too late: Microsoft already stole it. Remember the little toolbar genie effect in Office X?
  • Reply 19 of 34
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    Too late: Microsoft already stole it. Remember the little toolbar genie effect in Office X?





    I'm praying to all ten of my gods that you're kidding.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo



    I'm praying to all ten of my gods that you're kidding.




    He's not kidding but it is only on the OS X version of Office. Maybe App;e will not mind as long as it is not done on Windows.



    However, all these software patents are just crazy. Somewhere at sometime someone already has developed this. These patents are going to make it impossible to write programs. When will someone patent a= b+c?
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