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back to article That's a money spinner: iPod wheel patent bout bags bod £2m from Apple

Fruity tech titan Apple (2012 profit: £25bn) has been forced to pay out £2m to a Japanese inventor - after a Tokyo court found its iPod click wheel design infringed his patents. Cupertino’s learned friends have been fighting this legal battle in the Land of the Rising Sun for the past six years. It started when Norihiko Saito …

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Boy was that cheap

If it was Apple (or Samsung etc) taking a major company to court for this they would look for hundreds of millions and not just a couple as it ended up, they would also be appealing this all the way to a billion dollars if possible.

how many fractions of a cent per unit is this reqard I wonder ?

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Re: Boy was that cheap

It is hard to comment without more details about the patent - which appear to be behind a paywall. For all we know, the patent might be relatively minor, and it would have been fairly easy to build a non-moving 'click-wheel' without infringing upon it. There again, it might cover a mechanism that is core to the workings of a click wheel.

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Trollface

So...

... Apple have failed in their attempt to patent the wheel...

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Coat

Re: So...

Wheels don't have corners, rounded or otherwise. Thus they're fair game.

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wheels with corners

Stuart, you’ve underestimated human ingenuity. Interested parties, please contact Mr. Guan for licensing terms.

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Re: wheels with corners

Urgh, that'd bounce all over the place on the roads I travel … and I shudder to think what it'd do when it gets to 60km/hr (my GPS has allegedly clocked me hitting 73.1km/hr).

I'll stick to mine thanks … its weight is enough hard work without swapping the round wheels for oddly-shaped ones.

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Trollface

No doubt...

...the author was asked to "give it his best shot".

This is only one vowel away from "give it his best sh..."

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2M seems a tiny amount

Even $0.01 per device sold would be more, surely

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Mushroom

Wait, I'm confused

Do we like this because we hate Apple, or hate this because we hate patents?

Please El Reg readers, tell me what to think!

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Re: Wait, I'm confused

So there's a patent (-) involved, but it's owned by an individual (+). It's a Japanese patent (~), being enforced against an American company (+). That company is Apple (+) and they lost (+) but the payout isn't enough to bankrupt them (-).

4+, 2-, 1~: by my reckoning, we like this.

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Re: Wait, I'm confused

#Circular Reference Error!

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Shock Horror Wheels existed before Apple invented them

Going on previous reports. I can just imagine St Steve's response to someone else having invented the wheel. As I'm sure some at Apple believe that as the anointed ones they are the only way new ideas and innovations can be communicated to the rest of humanity.; for a not incosiderable fee of course.

I always feel it a shame that all the perfectly good Apple i-nsertproductnamehere, kit. is tainted by the sales and marketing culture of the company behind it.

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surely this guy is due more than 2m? I'd say he's due Crapple's total bottom line for the last decade.

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Maybe

he does deserve more, but we don't have the all the facts. However, the judge saw fit to award a payment of £2m, which is certainly not be sniffed at for an individual, and won't make a dent in Apple's profits. I suspect the 6 years of court costs will have cost them a fair bit more.

It'd be good if this was an end to it now; I'd like to see Apple simply pay up and this guy can enjoy his new found wealth. But this being Apple, I doubt they'll just drop it and won't appeal (unless that's as far as it can go? I don't know much about the Japanese legal system).

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe 2

Perhaps it's only a Japanese patent and not valid anywhere else.

That might explain why the payout was only 2M.

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