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back to article Apple files patent for 'Waze-plus'

Apple has filed a patent application for something that looks remarkably similar to Google's billion-dollar crowdsourced mapping buy, Waze - which earlier this year was rumoured to be an Apple takeover target. The fourth-of-July filing for “User Specified Route Rating and Alerts”, US application 20130173155, has one of the …

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Mushroom

You've got to be kidding me

"There is a hint of a trivial novelty in the patent: once a user has rated a route, other subscribers could have that rating pushed to them – so if there's an accident blocking a freeway, a user's report would alert other users to find a different route."

This is the novelty? This? This?? <blink>This?</blink>

I need to go lie down…

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Thumb Up

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Thank you, El Reg, for not implementing <blink>.

Whilst I agree with ratfox's sentiment, I will defend to the death the decision to disallow that particular expression of it.

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Devil

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Crowdsourced freeway accident reporting. Wow.

With the amount of cameras everywhere this should at the very least be unnecessary. Most likely it's counterproductive*, as most accidents will be caused by AppleMapAppRaters who just need to quickly

Do While iPhoneusers >=0

(update the map because there's an accident taptaptapta - ohshitohshitohshit - screeeeech - BANG! - ptaptap bleed)

loop

I feel a Darwin Award coming up.

* And dangerous. But as it serves the purpose of taking iPhones off the road, in the end it might be for the greater good and we have to accept some collateral damage.

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Facepalm

Apple - you're mapping it wrong

We've been here before, so why not just leave it to the experts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You've got to be kidding me

You could have a lot of fun messing with this....

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Anonymous Coward

Going on previous experiences

Apple mapping was like a magical mystery tour.....

Do I now want to be reliant on Apple crowd sourcing when on my travels?

There's a good chance it will take me to Glasgow when I want to go to Oxford.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You've got to be kidding me

I imagine terrorists would love to be able to complely gridlock traffic in a city using tons of fake trafric reports and then explode the bomb in the truck in the middle of it all.

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Ru
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WTF?

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Here in the UK we have things called "numbered routes", say "M25". And specific locations upon that route are also identifiable, say "Junction 14". Now, there's this fairly asymmetric and quite old school communcations medium called 'radio', which in combination with another old school communication system called a "phone" enabled people aware of accidents and traffic jams at particular locations to inform the radio station, and anyone listening to that radio got to hear about the problem and plan alternatives.

This system also had the benefit of getting information from slightly more reputable sources, such as the poluce, rather than merely relying on the public to volunteer useful information crowdsourcing it.

So, uh, the inventive step is, uh... help me out here?

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Re: You've got to be kidding me - Ru and traffic reports

the one that lets you know of a tractor running slowly on the road 250 miles away while you sit in the queue caused by the fact most journeys are too short to get this information in time and most radio stations seem to regard it as a tool to steal listeners.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Hardly, Radio and phone are just not effective.

I used to commute through 5 different motorways over 62 miles to work each day and by the time someone has phoned the station and then they've confirmed it, it's been collated and made ready for their next traffic bulletin then you are in the jam.

I once reported an accident that occurred just behind me in the Dartford tunnel. Rang the radio, said there'd been an accident in the right hand tunnel and queues were going to be building up fast. 3/4 hour later it was broadcast along with the fact that there was a 5 mile queue that had built up.

Not only that Radio will only let you hear the big announcements that affect a significant amount of people.

Google maps and Waze both show real-time information based upon actual traffic speed and, with waze, real-time reports of debris, roadworks, car breakdowns, speed traps etc.

Combined with Google Now, it will analyze your calendars and let you know thta you need to leave earlier to make your meeting as the traffic has built up or redirect you on a different route as it will now be quicker to take the B road rather than the Motorway.

And if you think the first concern of the Police is ring the local and National radio stations to tell them about an incident you don't have much understanding of their priorities.

Like it or not, crowdsourced traffic data works and works well, you don't have to use it, listen to the radio if you wish. To try to extol the virtues of being a luddite on a technology site seems a little short-sighted.

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LPF
Happy

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Dude you got in the way of apple bashing! whats wrong with you?? I gave you the upvote :) lol

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Ru
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Paris Hilton

Re: You've got to be kidding me

Like it or not, crowdsourced traffic data works and works well, you don't have to use it, listen to the radio if you wish. To try to extol the virtues of being a luddite on a technology site seems a little short-sighted.

Er, I'm not actually claiming that the new stuff is crap compared to the old stuff, only that it is effectively the same with a shinier wrapper. You presumably didn't notice that I at no point claimed radio was better. Anyway, the clue is in my concluding question, "So, uh, the inventive step is, uh... help me out here?"... turns out this article is about a patent which are (at least theoretically) supposed to be about a means for advancing the state of the art and granting a temporary monopoly over a novel process or an important inventive step over an existing one.

Perhaps you have some ideas as to why this is a valid patent?

Google maps and Waze both show real-time information based upon actual traffic speed and, with waze, real-time reports of debris, roadworks, car breakdowns, speed traps etc.

Ahh, no... you have some examples of more recent prior art. So, uh, thanks for angrily agreeing with me, I guess.

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Anonymous Coward

It probably is novel.

It is no different than round corners.

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Devil

Re: It probably is novel.

But now they are patenting getting others to work for THEM. That's got to be novel.

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Facepalm

Not binary

Slightly pissed ATM, but I can still think if at least 3 rating "dimensions":

a) Fast

b) Pretty

c) a or b, but currently (temporarily) blocked

Which one is important to you at this moment in time?

But more seriously, what's new in this patent "to share and allow for building on this idea"?

icon for the USPTO ->

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Ru
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Trollface

Re: Not binary

Joe Bloggs likes Junction 8 of the M5!

Click here to see other motorways Joe likes, or here to recommend M5J8 to your friends!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not binary

Could be of use to those with an interest in dogging.

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

I poo in different colours...quick...I need to patent that, otherwise Apple will patent it and I won't be able to shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FFS

I think they may still get you on shape - rounded corners.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_stool_scale

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Facepalm

On The Internet

It's this (gossiping about your trips) ON THE INTERNET. Somehow that allows filing for the patent.

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Prior Art Anyone?

Radio stations having been doing this for years, we even have automated systems doing it on our roads.Just where is the novelty?

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LDS
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Re: Prior Art Anyone?

Yes, and what's the difference with, i.e., TomTom Traffic? Apple is trying again to patent warm water.

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Re: Prior Art Anyone?

The difference is that the iPhone users have to be fiddle with the phone to update Apple's crowdsourced information, thereby increasing their chances of having an accident.

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Re: Prior Art Anyone?

"thereby increasing their chances of having an accident"

My immediate thought was "So this is a good thing, then?"

But then I realised they could involve other people in their accidents.

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Google are no better

And why do you all believe that Google bought Waze - It is for exactly the same reason, the Patent portfolio....

I like both Apple and Google products but their strategies are really beginning to piss me off. Between them , they make Microsoft look like a bunch of nice people.....

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Pint

Re: Google are no better

I like both Apple and Google products but their strategies are really beginning to piss me off. Between them , they make Microsoft look like a bunch of nice people.....

True. They made me buy a Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google are no better

"And why do you all believe that Google bought Waze - It is for exactly the same reason, the Patent portfolio...."

They only have two patents;

US Patent 7,936,284. System and method for parking time estimations. Issued May 3, 2011.

US Patent 8,271,057. Condition-based activation, shut-down and management of applications of mobile devices. Issued Sep 18, 2012.

Paying over 1 Billion dollars for those two patents seems a bit steep to me ...

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Re: Google are no better

Existing patents are one thing , future patents and the ability to stop others creating patents is also a very powerfull tool, think prior art.......

Dont forget : Lawyers are like prositutes, they dont really care who or how they fuck people, just as long they get paid. for the job....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google are no better

That's just nonsense. Nobody buys a company for their "future patents". If you don't patent something, you're fucked, anybody else can do it too, if they feel like it. No'one ever ever spent a billion dollars because a company might patent something in the future, maybe. That's just fantasy land.

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Devil

Patent(ly absurd)

Apple are slowly working towards this patent:

"A patent for a non-specific device to perform a range of non-specific applications utilising or not as required a range of non-specific hardware, software and/or protocols, taking input from non-specific sources and output to a variety of non-specific outputs"

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Joke

@ Ace Rimmer - Re: Patent(ly absurd)

To patent the process or method of patenting a process or method of doing so before someone files a patent for a non-specific device to perform a range of non-specific applications utilising or not as required a range of non-specific hardware, software and/or protocols, taking input from non-specific sources and output to a variety of non-specific outputs.

Sorry, I had to get that one in before the weekend. I'm gonna be rich.

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Big Brother

Re: Patent(ly absurd)

And to do if after everyone else has done it, but prettier and more expensively.

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Invention.

Where is it?

Well?

Users can rate things. USPTO would be having some sort of funny joke if they allowed this - even with US patent law such as it is. Whatever they do with the data might be worth a patent but no invention here.

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Trollface

Re: Invention.

Rate things... using a mobile device.

There's the innovation right there.

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Looks like they've found a way to avoid tax on their cash pile!

They're going to keep pissing it away on stupid patents.

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Nice

A way to stop iPhone users driving past my house. Voting for sending them the long way round.

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Bod
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"which if granted"

"which if granted" - of course it will be granted! This is the USPTO.

Patent officer is an idiot... tick

Patent applied for by Apple... tick

Granted.

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