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back to article Apple handed victory in Samsung text-selection patent case

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has handed Apple a preliminary victory in one of its many disputes with Samsung, ruling that the Korean electronics giant did, indeed, infringe upon a patent relating to text selection. The patent in question, RE41,922, is entitled "Method and apparatus for providing translucent …

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Bronze badge
Coat

Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

Of course Apple patented layers, I never heard of them until I first used photoshop about 20 years ago. Apple does own Adobe right?

I think it is hilarious that they tried to patent the "detection of a a microphone or other device is plugged into a device's input jack". Recently, it seems that every time Apple wins a patent war, logic looses.

From the news here of late, it seems the lawyer is right about California. It was once a great state for innovation...but now just for imitation. Then again, nothing golden can stay.

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Facepalm

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

"I never heard of them"

Are you seriously being serious?!?

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Headmaster

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

"...logic looses."

I believe that the word that you want is "loses", unless you meant that logic is set free.

"ORIGIN Old English losian ‘perish, destroy’, also ‘become unable to find’, from los ‘loss’.

Usage: The verb lose is sometimes mistakenly written as loose, as in this would cause them to loose 20 to 50 per cent (correct form is … to lose 20 to 50 per cent). There is a word loose, but it is very different—normally an adjective, meaning ‘untethered; not held in place; detached’, as in loose cobbles; the handle was loose ; set loose." (OED).

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Happy

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

For Chirist's sake, I fail at everything :-). No, no man I wasn't being serious. And thanks for the spell check, like I give a dam.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

The difference is you have got so used to having features that other people have copied from Apple or after having them you now consider them obvious that you think it's ok. Before the iPhone the idea and usage of an iPhone was not obvious - yes it's still a phone but was a very big step - but now looking back (and once there are hundreds of similar looking phones) it does not seem such a big deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

It's give a 'damn' not 'dam' unless you really did mean a 'barrier that impounds water' or unless your mistakes were (for some reason best known to yourself) intentional?

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Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

Other than multi-touch, what was significantly new about the iphone? I've had Wnidows phones since 2004, when the iphone came out I looked at it and thought "oh, that's a bit like my phone but it can't do as much as mine"

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g e
Silver badge
Holmes

@AC " features that other people have copied from Apple"

They're all anonymous and cowardly, aren't they, these apologists, maybe AC could become Apologist Coward or Apple Cultist.

Of course when it comes to copying derivative technology, the real non AC fanbois stay pretty quiet these days as it's been done to death and didn't go so well for them in the end when everyone pointed out all other manufacturers had everything first and ithings were (and still are) playing technology catchup.

It's more that Apple greatly enjoy playing the patent game, getting patents on stuff that's obvious or been done for years elsewhere but no-one else thought worth patenting because it _was_ so obvious, and with the USPTO bascially being unfit for purpose it's a game of low-hanging fruit (pun intended) for companies willing to gleefully assert cobblers as a competitive weapon instead of innovation.

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Big Brother

You're selecting text wrong

Now no handheld device prior to 2007 allowed text selection? Or some pointless obvious variation thereof so it gave Apple a foot in the door to then go on and own the whole concept?

Oh, wow...

This again is good news - it just adds more to the torrent of ridicule the whole patent system is being deluged with.

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Silver badge

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

>I think it is hilarious that they tried to patent the "detection of a a microphone or other device is plugged into a device's input jack"

They haven't. They've tried to patent a METHOD of doing so... the merits of which are a different question. You've confused means for end.

Shimano didn't try to patent the idea of putting brakes on a bicycle, but they did patent the idea of using a cam to increase the mechanical advantage throughout the travel of the brake lever so that the brake pads initially move quickly.

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Facepalm

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

And how was Shimano's idea not obvious to a mechanical engineer? It seems on the face of it to fall into the same BS category as Apple's nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC " features that other people have copied from Apple"

@g e - given most AC posts nowadays I'd suggest automatic cunt might be a better fit.

Posted as an AC as I feel like being one tonight.

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Silver badge

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

>They haven't. They've tried to patent a METHOD of doing so... the merits of which are a different question. You've confused means for end.

Which imho is the whole crux of the matter. Short of not allowing software patents at all (the sensible course). You should only be able to patent actual implementations and not general ideas (very debate which is the case here honestly). You can patent your new fangled fancy bridge design but you shouldn't be able to patent the idea of a bridge itself which is what the USTPO seems to grant these days. Their business model is take peoples money, grant the patent and let the lawyers fight it out which is great for one profession at the expense of putting an innovation tax on all others.

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Linux

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

You are sooo right .... but why did it take over 100 years to be thought of?

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Bronze badge

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

previous post was for asdf

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Roo
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Flame

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

"The difference is you have got so used to having features that other people have copied from Apple or after having them you now consider them obvious that you think it's ok"

Personally I've owned phones that detected stuff plugging into jack sockets since 1999. It's not big new or clever, so I wouldn't be using it as an example of defending innovation by Apple unless I wanted to come across as an ignorant history revising pillock who thinks that a brand somehow makes employees of said brand more intelligent and come up with more original ideas.

Get over the badges folks, it's the engineering that counts here in the real world.

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Boffin

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

It appears that certain people have gotten so used to Apples Marketing that you've forgotton a lot of what was on the Iphone was released before. I suggest that you have a look at the later HP IPAQ phones.... (thats a Q at the end not a D, Apple even managed to nearly copy the name..... ).

If you replace everything you said about the iphone with "IPAQ" you would be quite correct... HP sold a smart phone that could do everything the Iphone could do years earlier....(Phone,gps, apps, internet, email, video camera, play movies and music, crap app you needed to use to sync with your pc) If I could be bothered to get mine from the attic to check I think it even could detect if headphones were plugged in or if it needed to use the internal speaker... Oh unlike the Iphone they could also play flash stuff and had a port of firefox (as well as using it as a tv remote) . The app store was a bit rubbish for it though.... oh wait doesnt apple have a app store as well.

Mine even had *wait for it* "rounded corners", which is why I've never understood why Prior art wasnt used when defending against apple, as the Iphone does look an lot like a updated copy of it. (mind you so do most *modern* phones, Android included)

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Trollface

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

Wow MyBackDoor is really trolling the idiots here today! Here's a clue, morons; look up the word "sarcasm" some time.

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Bronze badge

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

Multi touch was not an innovation on the iPhone. I've used devices predating the IPhone that had similar features - they were touch screen devices used for in warehouse automation. As as aside, one particular brand of screen claimed to be able to surive a .22 pistol round fired at it from close range. The sample screen we were given even came with a video on the accompanying CD-ROM that demonstrated the test.

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Stop

Re: Bullet proof, but not B.S. proof.

except for all the palm and windows mobile and nokia smart touchscreen phones that did all the things the iphone "innovated" just several years earlier without the massive amounts of marketing and hype behind it. That is why they are considered obvious, all apple did was make them popular.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Bite me, Apple.

IGNORING the fact that their idiotic "text selection" nonsense is even up for debate...WHY is it the only response to Samsung is BANNING their product? How come they can't just say "hay, you have to change this?"

Oh that's right...it's Apple we're talking about here. They invented everything, including the patent office. Steve Jobs is so genius that even Einstein used to dream about him.

Right.

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WTF?

WTF?

Why isn't every frigg'n software developer that ever produced a "document centric" product being hit with this (i.e. world+dog)? Oooh yeeah, my fault, they probably buried the words "mobile device" somewhere in those 50 pages of shit. FFS this is beyond belief.

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Anonymous Coward

20 year old patent. .

...if you look this is a reissue of a patent from 1993. Wasn't novel then and isnt novel now and adding wanky phrases to it like "mobile device" doesn't make it any morr novel.

Honestly what stupid moron in the patent office signed this off and more importantly what morons in the ITC thought this was valid...apart from the ones who sre taking bungs from Apple ( what other explanation can there be unless you're suggesting the ITC are actually a bunch of half wits)

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I'd not be surprised if Apple has managed to patent even fart w/ overlays.

Back in the days text selection was simple xor but functionally was exactly the same thing. How on earth can anyone hold patent for such a trivial functionality.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly it was so trivial people thought it best to copy rather than do it themselves.

Guess people could look at a Dyson vac or almost anything and say it's trivial - innovate don't just copy Apple.

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?

Cyclonic dust extractors already existed. Dyson might have been the first to shrink them down and market them to the masses but they didn't invent the concept.

Coca-Cola might call themselves the Real Thing but they weren't the inventors of cola beverages.

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@AC 7:54

The trouble with modern users - especially fanbois - is their complete and utter ignorance that leads them to assume that because its on an Ishit they think Apple invented it. They may have patented this crap 20 years ago but I was using basically this technique on a microchip design workstation at least 27 years ago - so long ago I cant even remember the name of the thing.

You may not wish to accept that Apple are stealing other people ideas from the past but note that if they are successful in actions like this it will be you sitting down in 30 years time with your finger up your iRing wondering why the IT world continues to go backwards.

Apple really should change their patenting method so that its just the old ideas but 'for mobile devices for the technically ignorant" which would be a lot nearer the truth.

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Re: @AC 7:54

I agree with you.

The fanbois seem to have forgotten that before the iphone there was Windows Mobile and not just BB and Symbian.

I could do far more on WM than one can on iOS and indeed more than on WP.

Some of those features were removed by MS for fear of upsetting Apple. I can't click on phone numbers in websites anymore, why? I could in 2004 but seemingly Apple decided to patent it and MS and Apple have a "let's be friends" clause.

The sooner Apple piss of back to the wilderness the better.

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Boffin

Re: ?

Coca-Cola might call themselves the Real Thing but they weren't the inventors of cola beverages.

No, indeed, they weren't ... and as the point of the original Coca -Cola was that it also contained coca(ine) as a stimulant the stuff they sell nowadays certainly isn't "The Real Thing" (though that may be just as well).

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah let's it have any patents and all those pharmacy companies who spent hundreds of millions developing drugs will just... Stop. Why innovate when you can copy?

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Anonymous Coward

"Yeah let's it have any patents and all those pharmacy companies who spent hundreds of millions developing drugs will just... Stop."

Drugs companies get legal protection on the actual chemical make-up of drugs, not the "method" for producing them. If Apple were a drugs company they'd probably lodge a patent application for "Method for production of a cure for cancer" and then sue any real drugs company who actually managed to produce one.

Vague, all-encompassing, stupid patents do not protect genuine innovation and hard work, they are being used to stifle competition.

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Bronze badge

Re: @AC 7:54

>before the iphone there was Windows Mobile and not just BB and Symbian.

And before Windows Mobile there was a lot of stuff in the (handheld) market including Windows 3.n....

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Re: @AC 7:54

"Apple really should change their patenting method so that its just the old ideas but 'for mobile devices for the technically ignorant" which would be a lot nearer the truth."

Did you bother to look at the patent? It doesn't take much reading to notice that that is exactly all this particular patent is.

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Ah yes, the old "hundreds of millions on R&D" argument. Even with companies making cheaper copies of their products these big pharma corps still make tens of billions in profit. They get no sympathy from me.

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Au contraire

<quote>Coca-Cola might call themselves the Real Thing but they weren't the inventors of cola beverages</quote>

Well, actuually, apparently they were (or actually the guy who created the original recipe, that was later bought by some folks who created the company, or some such). It's kind of an interesting story. The real recipe is still a 'secret' though there are several pretty good possible candidates for the original recipe. And it still has extract of coca leaf in it. There is a factory near NYC (IIRC) that has the only federal license to process coca leaf, removing the cocaine from it so it can be used in Coca Cola.

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Silver badge

Let us not forget ....

... the humble highlighter marker. Apple just copied that, as everybody did. Motor car designers copied the idea of a wheel at each corner of a cart - etc.

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Anonymous Coward

the obvious

do i read right, this is effectively Apple's patent on highlighting text?

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Re: the obvious

You can patent new combinations of existing things, but that assumes it solves some problem combining the things. For example using a large finger compared to a fine (resistive) stylus on a touch-screen creates problems of the finger obscuring what you are trying to do.

As we know, the smartphone and laptop computer have converged, there are few or no problems implementing desktop/laptop tech on a smartphone.

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WTF?

Obvious, on-original and been done a thousand times before!

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WTF?

Headset detection patent

Is this patent US 7912501 B2 that is the subject of this dispute? If it is, it seems to me a very long winded way of saying that it detected whether the jack is a 3 or 4 pin with appropriate components on the end by by using pull up/down resistors to produce hi/low signals. It then goes on an on and on about various other methods (using FETs no less!!!) but it is all basically doing it the same way........all of which are blindingly obvious to anyone who has designed signal detection circuits.

Of course I could be wrong as I dozed off a couple of times as i read the cut and paste paragraphs over and over again and there may be some non-obvious never invented before secret source, but i didnt find it.

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Bronze badge
Coat

Didn't Apple also invent gravity?

No wait, I was thinking of another apple...

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Facepalm

O M G!!!

US ITC sides with US courts, finding in favour of a US company's US patent application.

Colour me surprised!!!

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Silver badge

Re: O M G!!!

Honestly it probably has more to do with the US company lobbying the government better (ie knows the right people to bribe). If you have spent any time in the US you would realize except for some of our blowhard politicians making noise we are one of the least domestic protective markets in the world. In fact it has gotten us into a real bind now that we allow China to make everything for us.

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Anonymous Coward

(...)

The modern Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

I'm beginning to forget what Apple and Samsung actually do in real life, if anything.

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What's so innovative about alpha-blended menus?

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Boffin

If they can patent that, I can patent this..

I am patenting a method of providing a suitable living environment by trapping a large rock with an iron core in the gravity well of a larger object and using cosmic bombardment of h2o-heavy objects as a delivery system for the necessary building blocks to create said suitable environment.

I believe world+dog owes me money.

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