7 posts • joined Thursday 10th May 2007 08:03 GMT
Re: Familiar 'gestures'...
Not sure about a Palm 1000 Graffiti cheat card, but from a quick google, that looks like a specific way of writing characters. Claim one of the Apple Patent (copied below) basically says a touch screen device which recognises the difference between a horizontal scroll, a screen translation, and a next gesture.
Infringement is easy (ok well not easy but not that hard), does whatever the potentially infringing thing is have all the features of the claim.
Validity is the reverse (almost), does the previous thing have all the features of the claim and if it doesn't are the thing that are not there obvious.
So, is this claim going to stand up? Don't have a clue but I'm not sure it is as flimsy as suggested.
1. A computing device, comprising: a touch screen display; one or more processors; memory; and one or more programs, wherein the one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors, the one or more programs including: instructions for detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display; instructions for applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device; and instructions for processing the command; wherein the one or more heuristics comprise: a vertical screen scrolling heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command rather than a two-dimensional screen translation command based on an angle of initial movement of a finger contact with respect to the touch screen display; a two-dimensional screen translation heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to the two-dimensional screen translation command rather than the one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command based on the angle of initial movement of the finger contact with respect to the touch screen display; and a next item heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.
Re: Dates seem confused
The iPhone itself is not, or at least unlikely to be, "prior art" assuming that the preceding applications, upon which this granted Patent is based, filed on 6 Sep 2006, 7 Jan 2007, 8 Jan 2007. Interesting that there where three other preceding applications filed on 29 Jun 2007 (x2) and 5 Sep 2007. The 29 Jun 2007 ones are probably pretty important as what day was the iPhone launched it the US? Yep, 29 Jun 2007.
So, the iPhone is prior art for any subject matter introduced by the application filed on 5 Sep 2007 only - you can have a look at the USPTO website's online file inspection if you can be bothered to find out what that application contained - http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair
I do seriously doubt whether Steve Jobs contributed enough to be an inventor though. If he's not, that's pretty serious in the US, as only inventors have the right to apply for a Patent application (something to do with the American constitution I think).
Re: UK sidesteps most of these problems
Lets not get ahead of ourselves here. You do not have to implement an "idea" in the UK to get a Patent. As an example, I would like to introduce you to Arthur Paul Pedrick: http://www.patent.freeserve.co.uk/pedrick.html . He never let practicalities get in the way of a good idea! Piping snow and ice balls from Antarctica to irrigate the Australian desert is my favourite.
That said I do think we have a more "sensible" [read practical] system than the US.
Saying that, a variant of Amazon's one click patent is in force in the UK. See http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=EP0927945 and check it here: http://www.patent.gov.uk/patent/p-find/p-find-number.htm
Re: Won't this make things worse?
Slight misunderstanding of "first to file" there, the invention still has the basic requirement of being new and inventive (not an obvious modification). The US currently have "first to invent" and that means you can have a new and inventive idea which is usurped by somebody who can prove that they invented the idea earlier but did not make it public.
This is possibly a moot point given that I have read that the "first to invent" has a commencement date 90 days after the President reports to Congress that the Europeans have implemented a one year grace period. (See: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2007/09/us-patent-reform-act-passed.html )
So probably not going to happen in near future.
The law in the UK is that an exclusive licensee has the right to sue as if he was the patent holder, a non-exclusive licensee can't. I'd assume the US has similar provisions.
Personally, I doubt this will go anywhere. They're just trying to get Sony to pay them off.
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