Apple faces new suit over iPhone's touch-screen keyboard



  • Reply 21 of 33
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Originally Posted by mgkwho View Post

    Correction: Steve Jobs said "...and boy, is it patented" or something very similar. He never said that the whole interface was patented. Surely 200 patents would lead you to believe "nearly every aspect" is safe (including parts of the iPhone that are not the interface. But Jobs never claimed to have patented nearly the whole interface.

    Sorry to be nit-picky, but there is a difference.


    "And boy, have we patented it,"
  • Reply 22 of 33
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    I've filed a patent for...

    "a mechanism for performing molecular/atomic level disassembly and reassembly of matter as a means of instant transportation."

    May take a while for my lawsuit to come up, but boy will my great grandchildren be rich!!
  • Reply 23 of 33
    this reminds me of the tigerdirect law suit. remember this one?

    if apple did violate their patent then pay up, but i don't see anything in the described patent that's so unique. it's a feature that's been invented long before they claim they've invented it. for example, newton and palm.
  • Reply 24 of 33
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,985member
    Originally Posted by Squirrel_Monkey View Post

    Even if my recollection is close to accurate, this won't stop such a company from filing the suit, especially in districts where judges are more friendly to hearing these shell companies out. Apparently, Tyler, Texas, whose other claim to fame is an Anheiser Busch plant, is such a friendly environment.

    It appears from the article, that Apple has to sell the device in that district for them to be able to bring the suit up there. Since Tyler, TX is becoming famous for being an easy place to bring up suits that may have little merit, wouldn't it be cute if Apple simply refused to sell anything there. Who, knows, if all the big companies that are always getting sued stopped selling there wares there (including Anheiser Busch!) I imagine things would change...

    PS Beleaguered Beleaguered Beleaguered. Sorry, it is still hard to call Apple a "big company." That other "B" adjective is so underused these days...
  • Reply 25 of 33
    lantznlantzn Posts: 240member
    Originally Posted by pinolo View Post

    Patenting is not a way to make money in itself, it is just a way to protect one's research and development. But far too many "fishers" depend on these nets to get their paycheck (including lawyers)...

    Exactly, it's almost like when the internet was new and a smart 16 year old decided to register as many URLs of popular companies so when they decided to build their websites they had to pay him big bucks to have their name back. After enough screaming by the big companies the legal system put a stop to it.

    It's time for them to do the same with patents. If a person does not generate something that uses the patent then they should have it revoked.
  • Reply 26 of 33
    lantznlantzn Posts: 240member
    Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

    It's always seemed strange to me that a case can be taken to a court in a completely unrelated state. I would have thought it would make sense for a Florida based company to have to file the suit in Florida. But then again, I have absolutely no knowledge of American or patent law.

    I work for the legal system. It's common to apply for a suit in a court system that favors your needs. It usually has to do with the Judge and his leanings. You'll also see this done in divorce cases where a father wants custody and the attorney will file in a system where fathers can be favored by a judge. The human element is a big part of it.
  • Reply 27 of 33
    lantznlantzn Posts: 240member
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

    I've filed a patent for...

    "a mechanism for performing molecular/atomic level disassembly and reassembly of matter as a means of instant transportation."

    May take a while for my lawsuit to come up, but boy will my great grandchildren be rich!!

    I think Fischer-Price just released one of those.
  • Reply 28 of 33
    Originally Posted by Idle View Post

    Okay, so in checking out the patent, it seems like the big idea for their technology is having an on-screen keyboard that can't be changed in any way. The iPhone keyboard is static when activated, but the buttons change when you tap on the shift key or the "123" key. It also disappears when you move to a function that does not require text input. It hides, shows, and adjusts itself depending on what you're doing. This is exactly what this silly company's patent is purporting to avoid!

    It almost seems like they didn't even bother reading their own stuff.

    let us focus on the "can't be changed" part.

    we like the keyboard in safari right, and not so much in notes? because in safari, we can ... change the size of the keyboard through user maniuplation of the phone ...

    weee. this lawsuit could be good for us!
  • Reply 29 of 33
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 452member
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

    Apple can more than afford to be sued.

    You gotta be sh---ing me. I doesn't matter who the heck you are, that is a screwed up comment. Maybe that is the same attitude the jury should take when you are the defendant.

    What the hell is this world coming to.

    On second thought you sound like the good doctor himself.
  • Reply 30 of 33
    plusplus Posts: 54member
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

    PS Beleaguered Beleaguered Beleaguered. Sorry, it is still hard to call Apple a "big company." That other "B" adjective is so underused these days...

    Hey! We here in the beleaguered telecommunications industry, working for companies such as the "beleaguered telecommunications giant" formerly known as Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent, oui, oui!) still hear that other "B" adjective more than often enough, thank you very much!

    And to think ... even *after* the merger, ALU still has less than 1/4th the market cap of AAPL. Oh, the humanity ...
  • Reply 31 of 33

    i think the "novelty" of their patent is that you are not able to switch off

    the keyboard. the picture you've posted could allow to switch off the keyboard.

    pretty much like the windows mobile keyboards.

    Originally Posted by mgabrys View Post


    I guess Apple could counter-sue the patent based on this if it's worth the time.

  • Reply 32 of 33
    genesisgenesis Posts: 1member
    Perhaps a little background would shed some light on this and other patents granted to software developers.

    The keyboard application was developed in the mid-to-late nineties to support a medical software application that was being developed at the time. The platform was windows 95 on a Fujitsu tablet style PC.

    At that time, the only way data could be entered was to drop the tablet into a docking station and use a physical keyboard. It would be very beneficial if a virtual keyboard could be developed as a stand-alone application that could assume a modal placement on the screen and support the full functionality of a standard keyboard. Such an application could extend beyond the current scope of the development target and actually be used by any software application for input. A reuseable object oriented solution would be the best and at the same time more difficult to develop.


    The biggest hurdle in developing this application centered around ?application focus?. When data entry is desired to update a text box, the instant the virtual keyboard key is pressed, the text box will loose focus. The solution is to determine what object had focus previously, reset the focus back to that object and then execute the sendkeys event. This was accomplished by interrogating messages to find the needed object handle.


    Because of the scope in which such an application could be used and the fact that such a tool had not existed previously, a patent was applied for and issued. The responsibility of ensuring that such an application warrants a patent is the sole responsibility of the USPTO. The process takes years.


    Once a patent is applied for and the patent application is published, all of the technical aspects of the software are published (on the web.) In effect, any software developer can access the code that was developed in an R & D environment. As such, an invention can be stolen right out from under you if such protection does not exist.


    The character of the holder of the patent rights has been a big issue in the way some have looked at this case. Apple has definitely going to try to get some traction with that.

    The bottom line is that they are focusing on one individual in this case (and not necessarily the person writing the software.)

    Isn?t it every software developer?s dream to get a chance to hit a home run based on their intelligence and creativity?


    That?s a good question. I would have to believe that is something Apple would support?????.especially since they were granted a patent on their new iPhone virtual keyboard on 4/24/2008.

  • Reply 33 of 33
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    As the years tick by and I witness ever more absurd patent litigation, my tolerance of asinine behavior has shrank.

    The people running SP Technologies should be ashamed of themselves. It simply isn't moral to do what they're doing. Touch screen keyboards are plainly obvious and everyone knows it. In my mind, they're trying to steal from others while getting the government hold the gun. While what they're doing is legally permissible, it is morally reprehensible.
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