Apple awarded key "multi-touch" patent covering the iPhone

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 94
    cjlcjl Posts: 5member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrparet View Post


    I wonder what Palm's defense would be if Apple were to peruse litigation. Both companies have clearly stated that they will go to great lengths to protect their intellectual property, but Apple seems to have the upper hand here. Not only has Apple (seemingly) patented a variety of the multi-touch gestures found on the Pre, but Apple has also patented the gesture area found on Palm's new product. A part of me believes that the Pre will not ship in its current form. Another part of me, however, believes that Palm is not ignorant enough to produce a product that violates a plethora of patents (or a few very large patents).



    This will certainly provide some litigious excitement after Apple wins the Psystar suit.



    Technically the Palm gesture area is not patented by Apple. Apple's patent clearly stated:

    Quote:

    Apple mentions a touchpad for activating or deactivating functions. The patent describes it as a "touch-sensitive area of the device that, unlike the touch screen, does not display visual output. The touchpad may be a touch-sensitive surface that is separate from the touch screen or an extension of the touch-sensitive surface formed by the touch screen."



    let me repeat the most vital part here: does not display visual output. However...Palm's gesture area - while separated from the screen - does give a visual output: when touched it lights up. Light is a visual output, hence Palm's gesture area does not infrict this patent. Of course Apple will disagree, but as long as Palm can point out a few of their patents that Apple infricts upon with their iPhone and iPod I honestly doubt that Palm is afraid.
  • Reply 42 of 94
    Has anybody noticed the "Optical Sensor" at the top center of the schematics? Could this be an indicator that Apple has plans to add a camera for video chat purposes to the iPhone?



    One can hope!
  • Reply 43 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Actually, you don't.



    People keep making the same mistakes about patents. It's the way something is done that is patentable, not necessarily the thing that is being done.



    A particular gesture, may be around for awhile, but if it hasn't been patented, it can be used as PART of another filing. In addition, the way software and hardware does this "behind the scenes" is what's also patentable.



    Also, the patent process allows one or more patents to be used in another patent by someone else, if the subsequent result is "unique, and couldn't be assumed from any of the older separate patents.



    A patent is not about ideas. No idea is patentable. It's about "process", the way things are done.



    Uh, that's an interesting post, but what's it have to do with my post?



    I understand what a patent is. Do you understand what prior art is?
  • Reply 44 of 94
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Yes, that's what a touch screen does, it detects the user touching the screen. Interpreting those touches is what a you do if you have a touch screen. What else is there?



    The people on this forum (and other places) seem to abandon all notions of critical thinking, or thinking at all, they just lap up anything Apple says. It's incredible really.



    Meanwhile, in the real world, Apple begins to look more like a patent troll, produce a broad (albeit detailed) patent, then sue anyone that tries to complete. Apple has a long and glorious history of doing things well, but having original ideas is not their strong suit. They haven't invented much of anything, I don't think this is any different.



    Who have they sued smart ass..
  • Reply 45 of 94
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post


    Apparently you're new to the patent world.



    No, it's a disgusting practice and Apple should know better than to join in it. But I guess they care more about money than innovation. Apple is slowing turning into a patent troll.
  • Reply 46 of 94
    Sheesh, take a cold shower fanboys. It would be awful if Apple had a monopoly on mt interfaces. Fortunately, I think that the patent will hold a pretty narrow scope, if it stands at all.

    http://nuigroup.com/



    ... I suspect that my mail server will die under an onslaught of misguided hate mail.
  • Reply 47 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Great way to innovate, Apple. Patent the obvious, and sue anyone who tries to improve.



    I think you misunderstand Apple's position in something like this.



    Apple did considerable innovation in this field. ( and the company they bought, especially )



    The problem I think you're dealing with here is that the iPhone and its interface is extremely intuitive. Intuitiveness and obviousness aren't the same thing at all. It might seem obvious to you in a social sense, but you could argue the same thing about most patentable devices. It's always obvious to someone. There's someone working on a fusion reactor right now that was just reviewing the latest crop of fusion related patents and probably said at one point "well, duh. That's obvious".



    The actual implementation is what is being patented here.

    Apple can patent that the touch panels themselves, the interface and methods they use. That doesn't mean someone else can't come up with their own multitouch surface... Microsoft demoed their own based on light detection... a completely different method. You just can't come up with the SAME solution. That's the purpose of the patent.



    You can't patent the simple act of pinching your fingers together, but you *might* ( and probably will be ) be allowed to patent pinching your fingers together on a multitouch surface to mean "zoom out".



    That means that anyone who wants to be able to use that gesture for that purpose will likely have to license it. Xerox won this battle many times over from Microsoft and Apple for the mouse, and with "Grafitti" on the palm/handspring PDAs. Patened gestures is no different.

    Apple bought the company that was the leader in this market, and they were the first to bring a real product to market so they've likely got a slam dunk case.



    This doesn't mean that there won't be more multitouch type devices out there, it just means that other companies will have to develop their own practices, technologies, and methods. As they should.
  • Reply 48 of 94
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pezman View Post


    Sheesh, take a cold shower fanboys. It would be awful if Apple had a monopoly on mt interfaces. Fortunately, I think that the patent will hold a pretty narrow scope, if it stands at all.

    http://nuigroup.com/



    ... I suspect that my mail server will die under an onslaught of misguided hate mail.



    Oh, I'm sure everyone here will rush to make personal contact with the first time poster with nothing to add to the conversation beyond yet another smug little dig at "fan boys."
  • Reply 49 of 94
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rahrens View Post


    Has anybody noticed the "Optical Sensor" at the top center of the schematics? Could this be an indicator that Apple has plans to add a camera for video chat purposes to the iPhone?



    One can hope!



    The optical sensor mentioned is for ambient light sensors. It may also include proximity.l sensors, depending on the implemation, but I doubt it.
  • Reply 50 of 94
    I think we've been seeing a lot more patent filings by Apple the past few years. One would think they got tired of being sued by patent trolls and being ripped off by copy-cats like Microsoft. Having patents like this does give them some leverage.



    It will be interesting to see weather they use that leverage to negotiate directly with competitors, for legal action, or simply to discourage copy-cats from taking the same approach with their designs.



    Most of the posts in this thread talk about the Palm Pre but what about the many other iPhone knock-offs that are entering the market? Especially those from well funded competitors like Nokia and RIM?
  • Reply 51 of 94
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Yes, that's what a touch screen does, it detects the user touching the screen. Interpreting those touches is what a you do if you have a touch screen. What else is there?



    The people on this forum (and other places) seem to abandon all notions of critical thinking, or thinking at all, they just lap up anything Apple says. It's incredible really.



    Meanwhile, in the real world, Apple begins to look more like a patent troll, produce a broad (albeit detailed) patent, then sue anyone that tries to complete. Apple has a long and glorious history of doing things well, but having original ideas is not their strong suit. They haven't invented much of anything, I don't think this is any different.



    I would hesitate to say there is no critical thinking in this forum, or do you mean that to just include those that you don't agree with?



    Considering Apple's ultimate loss (although minor technical win) with M$ over the rip off of the Mac OS in the early 1980's (yes I know all about Xerox yada yada yada) it seems totally understandable to me that Apple go to great lengths to protect their intellectual properties. Given Apple is the R&D department for what sometimes seems like the entire consumer electronics world these days what else can anyone expect? It would be refreshing if a few other companies came out with something ground breaking themselves instead of copying Apple's latest product all the time.
  • Reply 52 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrparet View Post


    I wonder what Palm's defense would be if Apple were to peruse litigation. Both companies have clearly stated that they will go to great lengths to protect their intellectual property, but Apple seems to have the upper hand here. Not only has Apple (seemingly) patented a variety of the multi-touch gestures found on the Pre, but Apple has also patented the gesture area found on Palm's new product. A part of me believes that the Pre will not ship in its current form. Another part of me, however, believes that Palm is not ignorant enough to produce a product that violates a plethora of patents (or a few very large patents).



    This will certainly provide some litigious excitement after Apple wins the Psystar suit.



    Palm is going to get sued and lose hard in my opinion. Did anyone miss the fact that two former Apple employees are currently working for Palm? Apple was stung by Microsoft for the Windows interface that Microsoft stole. My point is Apple is very sensitive to not allow this to occur again, and they appear to be foaming at the mouth (i.e., in rage).



    I can assure you that Apple has to have the industry standard of not disclosing IP while working with another company at least two years from leaving Apple. I believe the iPhone was released in 07. Palm is either going to pay Apple royalty fees or go bankrupt. Palm is not exactly in the position to fight a legal battle with Apple with its current shaky financial position. Apple knows it.



    Palm had the lead in smart phones technology and simply let it evaporate. Palm is STILL offering phones on the prehistoric Garnett OS. Even if the Pre were to be released, rumor is its going to Sprint. Another company in financial trouble and a small cell phone. So again I don't see the business plan.
  • Reply 53 of 94
    IN YOUR FACE PALM!!
  • Reply 54 of 94
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davesmall View Post


    I think we've been seeing a lot more patent filings by Apple the past few years. One would think they got tired of being sued by patent trolls and being ripped off by copy-cats like Microsoft.



    I agree. Most here so far have assumed that Apple will now start to aggressively sue other companies for patent violation, without considering that this may well be primarily a defensive move. By securing patents for virtually everything that is happening on the iPhone it precludes the possibility of anyone else suing Apple over it.
  • Reply 55 of 94
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Uh, that's an interesting post, but what's it have to do with my post?



    I understand what a patent is. Do you understand what prior art is?



    Living up to your handle yet again, eh?



    People keep going on about "prior art" but no-one it seems has looked it up. Prior Art can still be found and it might be, but a large part of the validation process (the one Apple just went through), is intended to search for said prior art.



    Also, this patent is a patent on the iPhone. "Prior art" has to be an example of using something or everything granted in this patent on a device that was in use previous to the iPhone announcement. That leaves out the pre, the Storm etc.



    Since there were no multi-touch devices like the iPhone before the iPhone existed, this will be quite difficult. Jeff Han (and others) used a few of the gestures previous to the iPhone and a company here or a company there will have prior art for some small pieces of this patent probably, but it's really unlikely that anyone has anything that significant.



    Also, this patent extends and builds on many previous patents. Fingerworks was doing gesture based control surfaces as a way of controlling a GUI years and years ago. This patent builds on Fingerworks patents, and from what I've heard mentions them specifically. (haven't read the entire patent obviously). That means a "prior art" of gesture based control of a GUI has to go quite a ways back. Again, not so likely.



    While this is a general patent on the iPhone as a device and would be expected to be granted even if there is some prior art out there somewhere, that's not the same as saying that this prior art will invalidate the patent. You can't just say "prior art!" The whole point of prior art is that you have to come up with specific examples. I'm thinking these examples when found will be very narrow indeed.
  • Reply 56 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Yes, that's what a touch screen does, it detects the user touching the screen. Interpreting those touches is what a you do if you have a touch screen. What else is there?



    The people on this forum (and other places) seem to abandon all notions of critical thinking, or thinking at all, they just lap up anything Apple says. It's incredible really.



    Meanwhile, in the real world, Apple begins to look more like a patent troll, produce a broad (albeit detailed) patent, then sue anyone that tries to complete. Apple has a long and glorious history of doing things well, but having original ideas is not their strong suit. They haven't invented much of anything, I don't think this is any different.



    You obviously don't know what a patent troll is, a patent troll (or more commonly called a patent squatter) is someone who buys patents only to sit on them until they can pounce on someone who actually develops something that is described in that patent. The patent squatter doesn't actually own, develop, or make anything. Heck the patent squatter doesn't even design or make the initial patent usually, they just buy it speculating it may be used one day.



    Apple definitely isn't in this category as they actually design, develop and sell the thing.
  • Reply 57 of 94
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leonard View Post


    You obviously don't know what a patent troll is, a patent troll (or more commonly called a patent squatter) is someone who buys patents only to sit on them until they can pounce on someone who actually develops something that is described in that patent. The patent squatter doesn't actually own, develop, or make anything. Heck the patent squatter doesn't even design or make the initial patent usually, they just buy it speculating it may be used one day.



    Apple definitely isn't in this category as they actually design, develop and sell the thing.



    Many of us answer merdhead'd many outrageous posts, we shouldn't. Why rise to the bait? His screen name says it all
  • Reply 58 of 94
    Memo to Palm Pre...



    Let the games begin!



    Love Apple
  • Reply 59 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CJL View Post


    ... let me repeat the most vital part here: does not display visual output. However...Palm's gesture area - while separated from the screen - does give a visual output: when touched it lights up. Light is a visual output, hence Palm's gesture area does not infrict this patent. ...



    I don't think it's as simple or obvious as you are making out. It's clear from the context of the statement in the patent that they were differentiating the output of the main screen from an area that doesn't have such output. It would certainly be better if they had used the phrase "visual content" instead of "visual output" but it's not totally black and white clear what they meant on the surface of it.
  • Reply 60 of 94
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Your in big trouble Palm......
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