The US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent because prior patents covered the invention. Samsung filed the USPTO's preliminary ruling against Apple in court on Wednesday in the US as part of its attempts to get a new trial, rather than letting Apple's $1bn win stand. The pinch-to-zoom patent is …
Yawn. The USPTO is simply doing its job. That job has been defined by the local politicians as "rubber stamp everything and let the courts decide". Blaming the USPTO lets the politicians off the hook. Please stop it.
Bollocks, Samsung rtipped off the iPhone 4s , which is why the s3 differs so much, they have as much oriniginality as herpes!
You can build all the me too functions you want , but it takes style to make it sell, thats why they are always following apple , never leading !
Patent Lawyers=Very rich
All Lawyers=Very rich
Can we please stop deliberately making it look like patents and trademarks are the same thing? (Looking at the sub-head there.)
You are joking ..... right?
Have you actually used the Note 2?
It is light years ahead of the iphone and has some seriously cool features Apple would have never thought of. iphone and iOS6 is so last century!
"oriniginality as herpes!"
I remember the good old times when the commentariat had advanced spelling skills (more advanced than 10-year olds with ADHD doing left-hand browsing) and trolling was actually good.
"Can we please stop deliberately making it look like patents and trademarks are the same thing? (Looking at the sub-head there.)"
I agree, but technically it's "utility patents" and "design patents" (which IMHO should be renamed "design patterns" or "Industrial design rights").
"I remember the good old times when the commentariat had advanced spelling skills (more advanced than 10-year olds with ADHD doing left-hand browsing) and trolling was actually good."
Speaking of which, no need to drag lefties into it.
"Bollocks, Samsung rtipped off the iPhone 4s , which is why the s3 differs so much"
Which phone did Samsung rip off the 4S with? The Samsung S2 was released 6 months before the 4S! Looks like the "ripped off" came the other way round...
(Unless you're talking about a phone that was neither the S2 nor S3, but I'm not sure which one?)
"but it takes style to make it sell, thats why they are always following apple , never leading !"
Flagship iphone 5 features are 4" screen (Samsung Galaxy S, 2.5 years ago) and maps (with Android for years, presumably since the beginning). Who's following who?
Given their Android phones alone outsell Apple two to one, not to mention all their other phones which make them the world's number one phone manufacturer, I think it's clear they know what makes things sell.
Time for Plan C.
Plan A - Copy, then rest on laurels having fleeced the lower IQ segment of the market
Plan B - Sue anyone who, err, you can pay American courts enough to run with your ludicruous "they copied us" claims (extending Plan A)
Plan C - Genuine innovation
In other words they are toast :-)
"let the courts decide"
Unfortunately, the juries tend to be told that a granted patent must be valid because the USPTO checked it... hmm
"Bollocks, Samsung rtipped off the iPhone 4s"
Nice fking MASSIVE fantasy land you're living in! Where the fairies and pixies designed the iPhone and was kissed by god before fate bring one to you.
Shame iPhone died last decade. Those Apple sleeping pills work really well. Their customer base seems to be in a state of delusion.
"Speaking of which, no need to drag lefties into it."
is "Secondary Hand Browsing" PC enough for ya?
Paris, for whom the term was invented
Much better, thanks.
No, jurors are never told to assume patent validity.
... and my new Audi has 20" rims. So fucking what? I am sure some manufacturer had them before Audi. No one cares.
Changing the size of any single component constitutes nothing other than changing the size. Some punters will prefer "bigger", while some will prefer "smaller". Only rabid fanboys (especially the android mob for whom Android phones' superior screen size seems to be an endlessly recurring meme) think screen size matters and/or that being first with a size bigger than an iPhone 2G is some sort of badge of honour.
FFS, grow up!
"I think it's clear they know what makes things sell."
... that would be price - their volume is in the cheap seats
you mean value for money. gs2 and gs3 are hardly "cheap"
20" rims !!!!!??!!!
You, sir, are a chav.
have a downvote on me - "vae victis"
I should congratulate you on identifying a position near universally unpopular with the readers - but I won't
Any more revealing insights?
Stocking vendors and giving phones away for free is one way of creating market share I guess. Now lets talk about profits.
Except in this particular billion-dollar case, where they were indeed instructed so.
And several other cases with the same jury instructions.
There have been an awful lot of cases where the jury were given the instruction "Assume the patent is valid, this case is not deciding on the validity or otherwise of the patent itself, merely whether or not X infringes upon it."
"Plan C - Genuine innovation. In other words they are toast :-)"
Not really. At this point Android and Samsung are several years ahead of Apple, so there's plenty stuff Apple can copy, call magical and patent as their own ideas.
Although they are starting to suck at copying, too. All the iphone 5 got was the bigger screen from about 3 years ago, the panorama photo from last year and a second microphone for noise cancelling from at least 10 years back.
Have you seen how big a Q7 is?
And yes, it gets used for towing - a lot.
btw. 20" rims are not such a great idea, they came with the wagon, so I downgraded to have more rubber and more comfort for the long road trips.
The point, however, is that (a) bigger is not always better, and (b) bigger does not constitute "new" or "innovative" unless you are a fandroid with a small dick
My Samsung Galaxy Note II is a dramatic advance over anything else out there. It may not be for everyone, but it suits me, and it clearly demonstrates that anyone claiming something as stupid as LPF does (i.e. that Samsung is "never leading") is factually and obviously wrong on their face.
There is no question that any modern cell phone (including Apple's) build on the huge body of work that has gone before, but pretending that Apple *doesn't* copy other products is just myopic.
The only valid question is whether Samsung or Apple or anyone else copy too closely, and the answer has to be based on whether an informed consumer would confuse one for the other. Obviously, in case of any Apple phone or tablet vs any Samsung phone or tablet, the answer is no.
they look nothing alike apart from both are chocolate bar phones (i.e. in the shape of a chocolate bar..
And really the S2 was a better phone than the iPhone 4
Good God, I can't wait for somebody to take a bite out of Apple :/
Everybody knows windows bit off apple.
Apple has been copied in every category they have ever entered. Computers, music players, smartphone and tablets. They may not have invented these categories but they do know how to make a great product. It's in their DNA. The haters have always tried to belittle their effort. When all you do is copy the majority of a product it's easy to come up with some good features to add to it. Why waste time on actual R&D right?
Observer1959... you missed the undeniable fact that Apple has COPIED every category they have ever entered, too.
By the way, check out how little Apple pay for R&D compared to other top flight technology companies. It's shocking.
What you've evidently not grasped is that Apple's skill is not in *technical* innovation, but in *marketing* innovation. They can, and regularly do, sell people on the idea that less is more...
If the technology that Apple have used is covered by other patents already, doesn't that mean Apple have infringed those patents?
It's entirely possible the prior patents have expired.
Only if those have not expired
Prior Art does not equal Previously patented.
It just means it already existed, patented or not... someone else created it before and has made it publicly available/Viewable.
You cannot be granted exclusive rights to something someone else has already done and showed to the public.
That is the basis for Prior Art.
IMO every single computer "design" patent should have been refused, or should be cancelled simply because there are literally hundreds of prior art example from just about every science fiction book or television show since the 50's...
Q: Why are there no banjos in Star Trek?
A: Because Star Trek is set in the future.
Now, before you lose the point, I will explain. Someone having an idea and representing it using a prop made up by the back room boys at Universal does not constitute "prior art". It represents someone's fantasy. It is not patentable.
the groklaw article mentions
U.S. Patent No. 7,724,242 to Hillis et al. (“Hillis”),
International Pub. No. WO 03/081458 to Lira (“Lira”),
U.S. Patent No. 6,757,673 to Makus et al. (“Makus”),
Japanese Pub. No. 2000-163031A to Nomura et al. (English translation) (“Nomura”),
Dean Harris Rubine, “The Automatic Recognition of Gestures,” CMU-CS-91-202, December 1991 (“Rubine”).
One of the two US patents is circa 2005, I havent bothered looking up te others
"Someone having an idea and representing it using a prop made up by the back room boys at Universal does not constitute "prior art". It represents someone's fantasy. It is not patentable."
Actually, not so.
Back in the '50s, NASA applied for a patent on the communications satelite - they were turned down because Arthur C Clarke had written a piece of speculative fiction which described in great detail how commsats would work - while there was a great deal he got wrong (his satellites were manned, and went through vacuum tubes at a prodigious rate), the basic working principles were exactly as he stated.
Itr is also common practice to apply for a patent as soon as the designers finish drawing up schematics, if not before - many products have patents applied for long before they exist in a physical form.
Screen props do not constitute a patentable item. Nor do fairy tales of magic wands. For starters they don't work in any real sense. The Star Trek transporter is not patentable. You need to actually describe how it would be constructed. Someone has patented a time machine IIRC and described in quite scientific detail how it would be constructed. It is "physically impossible" at this point in history to do it though.
A prop is definitely prior art for a design patent - which is what several of the patent battles between apple and ANO have been about.
A prop can be prior art for a utility patent if it is shown to embrace new innovative functionality. So for example the tablets shown in the film 2001 were shown being unlocked by a finger sliding across part of the screen this would be sufficient for this demonstration to be considered prior art with respect to Apple's "slide-to-unlock" patent. Remember the need for an inventor to have a demonstrable prototype at time of filing is long past, there are utility patents (and some have been filed by Apple) that are for idea's that whilst convincing cannot actually be realised with today's technology...
> a prop made up by the back room boys at Universal does not constitute "prior art".
Yes, it does.
Wow, looks like the USPTO has at least one employee who is awake and has some technical background. Einstein, is that you? Well done lad (or lass, as the case may be), whoever you are!
Don't be unfair. Apple surely did a good job presenting their 'invention' in the best possible light and the poor USPTO case officer had to get those 20 applications off the desk before the weekend.
Now Samsung comes with a well-researched brief detailing prior art. Enough reason to review the patent with some extra care. There is nothing extraordinary about this patent being thrown out upon review.
It's not possible to thoroughly review almost 2000 patents every day (go here for the statistics). Especially if most of those claim some innovative software function that may or may not have existed in an obscure media player some 10 years ago.
The system is broken and it's not the fault of the USPTO. It's the law.
While that's true, it's also the case that many of those 2000 a day are trivially obvious to someone "skilled in the art", and even more have prior art that could be found with a single Google search.
That said, there are a lot of extremely disingenuous patent applications that deliberately mislead the casual reader as to the purpose and scope.
Perhaps severe legal consequences are needed to reduce that - including devastatingly punitive damages for patent trolls taking companies to court with invalid patents that should never have been issued. Perhaps as far as "Now hand over everything you own. Yes, that includes the shirt from the CEO's back and the lawyer's internal organs."
Ars Technica is also covering it:
If indeed it is the case that "pinch to zoom", "tap to zoom" are looking dodgy and given that "the patent office ruled in October that the '381 patent ("rubber banding" or "bounce back" feature) should never have issued." then it does look as if Cupertino's attempts to plant "anti-competitor mines" over the whole of the mobile device market is beginning to come apart at the seams. It now looks certain that their attempts to lock Samsung out of the US market are doomed to failure and it is now increasingly likely that their entire approach is, at last, coming under scrutiny by the American authorities. If these key patents are invalidated then Cupertino are going to have to think again. A modest suggestion from yours truly, concentrate on what you have been good at - making kit that your very loyal customers clearly like very much. I personally do not own one single piece of Apple hardware but I doubt that that keeps them awake at nights. However, I know that an awful lot of folks do like what Apple produce - they should concentrate on doing just that.
Anyone told HTC they just paid for crap patents?
It would be such delicious karma if one of those anti-competitor mines were to sink the rotten ship Apple.
I would not shed a tear if Apple went down like the Titanic.
Another company that can join Apple at the bottom of the ocean - Sony.
Send both to the bottom of the Marianas Trench.