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back to article US Patent Office disputes crucial scroll-and-bounce Apple tech – Samsung demands patent trial halt

Samsung has launched a pair of last-ditch efforts to thwart its ongoing technology patent infringement legal battle with Apple. The South Korean electronics goliath on Wednesday issued a request for a stay of judgment in a damages-deciding trial – after the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) called into question one of Apple …

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"Apple attorney Harold McElhinny made reference to watching an American-made television set as a child, and claimed that many of those vendors were no longer active because they failed to patent their products."

Maybe shipping all manufacturing jobs to China had more to do with it than patents.......

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Headmaster

"Maybe shipping all manufacturing jobs to China had more to do with it than patents"

That or the the fact that they didn't actually "invent" anything in the first place.

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American-made television

We had a Westinghouse... it was crap.

I also seem to remember Sony having lots of Patents for TVs.

- Make crap TVs

- Ship production to Japan

- Sit on hands while Japan decides they don't need a middle man to take all the profit and improves their own brands.

- Act surprised when your sales go down the tube

- Sell brand to Chinese company.

Apple (designed in California ) is about three steps down that path. No one wants a small tablet, or a big phone for example. Sony and Samsung have smart watches (not that they are very useful) Apple has patents (most of them "slide to unlock" quality)..

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At the time...

Labour in Japan was cheap - certainly compared to US and EU. The two keys to manufacture moving to Japan were quality control and investment. Shipping product half way round the world only to find it was broken wasted far more money than shipping it to another state. Also, the cost of repairs would depend on local wages. Japanese companies used investment to start selling at a low price. They used quality circles to feed problems reports back into the manufacturing process so that mistake were not repeated. This let the manufacturer get the cost down below the initial low price. Also, back then, patents were sometimes rejected for being completely obvious.

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Re: At the time...

During the time he was talking about, Japanese products were generally well described by a set of lines from an Al Sherman recording of the time:

"It's a Namichi. It has a thing with an ear plug on one end and a plug on the other that you can't stick anywhere because it's broken."

It was profitable for the Japanese based companies only because the labor costs were so low. Also at the time we did have some of the best quality products available in the world. But our companies were fat and lazy. They rejected Deming and his ideas about process improvement. The Japanese eagerly adopted them. Now like the UK we hardly manufacture anything. Well maybe onerous lawsuits, but I don't see that being a valuable export for the long haul.

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It's a dodgy patent to start with

Slot machine 'reels' have been scrolling and bouncing for years, just because you have it on a little screen with touch capability doesn't change the perception of the display having fake physical inertia.

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Patent nonsense

A company patenting bouncing images an the like is making a joke of the patent system. The patent system is meant to reward innovation to make it worthwhile the effort. Clearly the programming efforts of Apple have been worthwhile and have been rewarded greatly (to the tune of 100 billion $). It's hard to see why such programming work should be rewarded with an extended monopoly.

The patent system should reward investments that cannot be recovered without the protection of the patent law. It should not invite companies to gamble in a high-stakes game of courtroom poker. The patent system in the US should be fixed. But the billion-dollar question is whether the law-making politicians can remain independent arbiters when they rely on financial benefactors to win elections.

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Re: Patent nonsense

Minor nit: it was the politicians who made a joke out of the patent system. The companies are merely good at exploiting it. Yes, I know the companies lobbied/paid/bribed them to do so, but it was still the politicians who made the change.

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Facepalm

"scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

Seriously?

If this is what passes for "invention" these days, no wonder the patent system is a farce.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

... and is part of all that is wrong in the world of technology today.

Really, who gives a monkey's if the page you've scrolled 'bounces' when you reach its limit or not?

Apple, Samsung, (and all the rest of you out there patenting shite, yes, you know who you are) please get the fuck over yourselves.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

As always, there's some fool here who reads the headline description of the patent and says "that can't be patentable"

Patents are always about method. If someone else can figure out another method to do the same thing then they are free and clear. This wasn't about scrolling, but the method that Apple chose to implement the detection of scrolling gestures. Likewise bouncing was about the method that Apple chose to indicate the end of a scrollable document. Google seems to have quite happily worked out how to get around these in Android. Newer Samsung devices also work around them. This trial was always about older devices where Samsung had gone out of their way to copy Apple's methods.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

"According to the filing, the USPTO has asked Apple to clarify a patent, which describes an API to control the scrolling and bouncing of a user-interface object on a touchscreen."

Looks as if the USPTO has finally got around to actually reading the patent...

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

If no one "gives a monkey's", as you suggest, why did Samsung copy it, and why did Nokia (presumably) pay for the privilege of using it?

Serious question.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

> If no one "gives a monkey's", as you suggest, why did Samsung copy it,...

The point is that it is far too trivial to be patentable. Samsung wouldn't have to copy anything at all. It's pretty intuitive.

Just because someone was the first to do something, doesn't necessarily make it patentable. It has to be fairly revolutionary and not an obvious extension to something that already exists. This kind of thing is clearly not in that bracket.

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Headmaster

Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

Also, trivial though it is, it's highly debatable if Apple was in fact the first to discover "scroll-and-bounce". I recall an Amiga program from the 80s called "Diavolo Backup", which had an "About" window that did exactly the same thing, and actually even before that there was the same effect in the "About" window for MUI ("Magic User Interface"). There are probably even earlier examples, certainly far earlier than Apple's 2007 patent.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

"... on a touch screen"

or

" ... on a portable electronic device"

Such is the BS that is patentable.

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Stop

Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

Once again, this isn't about windows bouncing. Android still uses a bounce effect, but one that isn't covered, it's about the type and method of bounce. iOS windows overshoot and then move back to their end position rather like a critically damped shock absorber. That's the type of bounce that is covered.

This isn't a case of just tacking "on a mobile device" on the end of something, Samsung showed desktop based systems in their attempt to prove prior art and I'm pretty sure they would have provided the Amiga examples quoted if they helped their case.

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Re: "scrolling and bouncing" is patentable?

Sadly the following fix is necessary to reflect real world conditions:

Just because someone was the first to do something, doesn't shouldn't necessarily make it patentable.

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The Japanese cornered the TV market long before LG & Samsung came along.

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As far as I understand it, the Japanese (TV) manufacturers steadily out-sourced production of their TV components to cheaper labour markets in order to keep prices down with local (Japanese) labour rates souring. This improved the manufacturing capabilities of the foreign manufacturers as they needed to maintain the quality that the Japanese brands depended on at the time. Steadily more partnerships and cross manufacturing deals were formed and the foreign manufacturers were driven to put research into better manufacturing methods and through this quite rapidly accumulated an important share of the knowledge to the point that they started investing in the next generation technologies directly rather than as "just" a third party manufacturer.

Doesn't take a genius to see what happens next...

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outsourcing

Because the Japanese made the same "racist" assumption the US americans did in outsourcing to Japan: "Those foreign bastards are technologically less developed, so must be stupid, and never able to actually do anything with our precious technology."

"Racist" is not exactly the correct term here. "Colonial mindset" would be more accurate, since the US uses economic colonialism rather than the more physical old-style colonialism of pre-WW II europe. Nevertheless the mistake is the same... The perceived inferiority of the colonies precludes the very realisation that those colonies might actually learn something, adapt it for their own purposes, and gods forbit, bite back.

It's only a matter of time before the asians will start complaining that the africans have nicked their Preciouses, and use them to make things cheaper, infringing on.... If the idorts on the african continent ever stop bashing each others' heads in over trivialities the world in general is going to be in for a rather big surprise..

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Pirate

"Scrolling and Bouncing" ...

no doubt is what is happening in Job's wooden burial box.

All his well laid plans unravelling.

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Joke

1941

Japanese soldier: [trying to squeeze a large radio into the sub] We've got to figure out how to make these things smaller!

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