back to article Galaxy S III dumps universal search, tries to dodge Apple's sueballs

Samsung has rolled out an Galaxy S III update that disables the universal search function on its handset – a result of the ongoing patent dispute with Apple. The 27MB SGS3 update is said to remove the facility that allows users to search the web as well as the device from a single search bar, Android Central reports. While …

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  1. Marty
    Holmes

    ......and....

    the race is on for the first person to find a patch on the interwebs that will re-enable the universal search,

    not that Samsung will leak anything like that....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A

      A true admission of guilt which should be rewarded for honesty.

    2. chipxtreme
      Thumb Up

      Re: ......and....

      There's already an apk on xda to re-enable universal search. Personally I've never used it on my SGS III, but when the custom rom I run on my phone gets updated to BLG6 I'll install the APK if its not already, simply to put two fingers up at crapple

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prior art?

    I seem to recall a similar feature on the Windows Vista start menu where you could search both files and programs. Does it not seem like a logical step to be able to search phone content and internet content?

    (And I also seem to recall that there was a Google thingie to do something similar, extending it to searching the internet too, but I'm less sure about this)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art?

      Patent filing date: Jan 5, 2000

      Windows Vista release: January 30, 2007

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art?

        lol downvoted for telling the truth. must have hurt.

    2. g e

      Re: Prior art?

      Yeah, 'Federated Search', surely - a bog standard IT technique everywhere.

    3. andreas koch
      Pint

      Re: Prior art?

      >

      Prior art?

      I seem to recall a similar feature on the Windows Vista start menu where you could search both files and programs. Does it not seem like a logical step to be able to search phone content and internet content?

      (And I also seem to recall that there was a Google thingie to do something similar, extending it to searching the internet too, but I'm less sure about this)

      <

      Ban Microsoft and Google?

    4. DeepS
      Thumb Up

      Re: Prior art?

      Google Desktop circa 2004

    5. Neil Hoskins
      Facepalm

      Re: Prior art?

      ... and surely I remember it being on Nokias from around 2006?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art?

      " Does it not seem like a logical step to be able to search phone content and internet content?"

      It is. That's why Apple a jumping all over it, to protect *their* invention! The same invention which has been available on multiple platforms for ages now.

      Typical Apple, they invented the world don't you know.

  3. Oli 1

    Fuck you apple!

    FFS!

    I cannot wait for the day R&D slowly stops thanks to culture of ridiculous patents and licensing

    Surely this is worthy of FRAND licensing?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Fuck you apple!

      No, like most software patents it's not worth the paper it's written on.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck you google!

      This hasn't stopped R&D in the past and it's not going to stop now.

      The reality is that Google started very late in the game and now feel entitled to the industry's best ideas for free or next to nothing. It's nothing new either, they've done it since the very start when they copied Overture's keyword advertising model.

      They paint themselves as the oppressed ones but ask them something about their main product: Search. For example ask them what changes have they made in the latest Search update that they deployed yesterday? You'll get nothing.

      It's a black box and no one can peek inside, all locked away in Google's data centres. Why don't they let the world borrow their search techniques, like they borrow everything else?

      Boo hoo Google, this isn't academia where you "pay" in citations and money drops from the sky, this is industry where development time means money. Universal search? Someone paid to create that.

      1. Shades

        Re: Fuck you google!

        Unless I've missed something, in the post thats been deleted, what exactly has Google got to do with this other than supplying the underlying OS. Is it not Samsung that added the "Universal Search" function? Is Google, and their practices, the subject of an entirely different rant in an entirely different article?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck you google!

          Universal search was a feature from Google, not Samsung.

      2. HMB

        Re: Fuck you google!

        "Universal search? Someone paid to create that."

        Not really. In the programming world picking up a bunch of objects and doing a simultaneous query as opposed to a single query on one object is a trivial less-than-an-hour-to-implement problem. It's such an obvious idea as a step forward that the only thing this patent succeeds in doing is showcasing the skill & knowledge of the Patent Office involved.

        This sort of patent litigation harms us all, Apple, Android users & others. Patents were never supposed to protect the bleeding obvious, they were never supposed to stop competition either. Patents are supposed to be a fair way for individuals and companies to be reasonably rewarded for genuinely new ideas and designs ahead of their time.

        Apple is a patent rapist, but don't blame Apple, blame the patent system.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          genuinely new ideas

          Well if universal search wasn't a genuinely new idea at the time Apple applied for the patent I'm sure it'll be invalidated soon.

          1. g e

            Re: genuinely new ideas

            Federated Search techniques predate Apple itself.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: genuinely new ideas

              > Federated Search techniques predate Apple itself.

              Citation please.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: genuinely new ideas

                'Citation please'.

                Federated search. Worked on an early relational database for IBM research in the mid 70s, based on Ted Codds early work, precursor to sql. Applying searches to multiple databases and aggregating results was done then so the idea goes back at least 37 years. The term federated search was coined more recently but a new name doesn't change anything except perhaps to confuse an inexperienced patent clerk. Nobody dreamed of patenting these matters back then. Research the background yourself if you have nothing better to do, IBM is a good place to start.

            2. Thomas 18
              Thumb Up

              Re: genuinely new ideas

              Global search prior art 600,000 BC

              Looking for things to eat both inside and outside the cave.

        2. HollyHopDrive

          Re: Fuck you google!

          @hmb totally agree.

          A patent should only protect the way of doing something not an end result. For example, holding paper together both the paperclip and the staple achieve the same result using the same material. The method of doing so are totally different but the result the same.

          So in the example above Apple are trying to uphold the rights to holding paper together. And that is what is wrong in this case IMHO.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        When is a patent not a patent

        entitled to the industry's best ideas for free

        News just in: ideas are not patentable. You can only patent a design or a model that may implement the idea but the idea itself is not patentable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When is a patent not a patent

          Thanks for the correction Charlie, that's exactly what I meant.

          1. Craigness

            Re: When is a patent not a patent

            Oracle has had database links since version 6, which was in the 1980s. This allows a query in a single interface to select data from multiple sources. I'm not sure if apple's patent includes having a way for 3rd parties to add modules to the search, but if so then prior art would be harder to find. Google's universal search does do this - an app can present some kind of programmer interface which allows the search box to get results from the IMDB, Notepad, Wikipedia apps etc.

            However, I doubt that many developers would bother to patent something this simple. I certainly wouldn't. Nor would I think of looking in the patent library to see if it was infringing anything (and If I did then I'd assume it would be found invalid on the grounds of obviousness). It would only be when one of the Big Bucks Boys took me to court that I'd find I'm a nasty copycat and not the innovator I believed myself to be :-(

      4. Jeebus

        Re: Fuck you google!

        Didn't Steve Jobs get a massive pass on outright stealing hundreds of ideas because he died of cancer?

      5. Semaj
        Flame

        Re: Fuck you google!

        So by your logic - no company should ever try to enter an established market or if they do they should not use any of the underlying fundamental principals that have been established over the years that the industry has been going.

        Bullshit.

      6. Ian Yates
        Thumb Down

        Re: Fuck you google!

        "Universal search? Someone paid to create that."

        You've missed a massive point here: the patent (like other software patents) doesn't cover /how/ you do universal search just /if/ you do it. Compare this to, for instance, real patents that specifically cover the invention itself and not the purpose of it, allowing others to do their own R&D to come up with alternative approaches.

        One of these promotes innovation, one stifles it.

        In short:

        1. Imagine something useful that could be done with a computer (or event a specific form-factor of a computer);

        2. Patent the idea, nothing more, you don't need to prove it or think about it too much;

        3. Profit when someone actually does it.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck you google!

        "The reality is that Google started very late in the game and now feel entitled to the industry's best ideas for free or next to nothing"

        Have you been living under a rock for the last 6 years?

        "Universal search? Someone paid to create that."

        BOLLOX, end users were wondering why the feature hadn't been available for ages.

        Stop your pathetic attempt at supporting Apple's hypocrisy

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Make love not war

      FRAND? That's for standards essentials patents. Since when is unified search a standard essential for phones?

      Imagine claiming everything your competitor has on their product is a "standard' and boom automatic FRAND claims on their stuff.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      @Oli 1

      Argh, another fool who doesn't understand what FRAND is all about. Only the patent owner can make their patent FRAND, by voluntary submission as part of a standard - it's the price of entry for having your technology become part of the standard. No one can just decide someone else's patent is "worthy of FRAND licensing" and make it so.

      BTW, if you're waiting for the day when R&D slowly stops due to the ridiculous patent stuff, you probably missed it by a couple decades. Companies have to do their R&D defensively, so many won't let their engineers attend conferences where they might be exposed to others' patented ideas, and pretty much 100% of them prohibit their engineers from reading patents. If you violate a patent you had no idea exists, it's just a simple violation. If you violate a patent you were aware of you're subject to triple damages. So this stance makes a lot of sense in the world we currently live in, even though it would tend to slow down technological progress by limiting the spread of ideas.

  4. Shagbag
    WTF?

    Germany = EU ?

    "after winning an EU-wide ban on 7in Galaxy Tabs."

    I'll have to go and look at my atlas again as the last time I looked I could swear that Germany wasn't renamed 'EU'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Germany = EU ?

      Any country can declare that a EU registered design has been infringed, but banning is another matter.

      Just hacks gettings ahead of themselves, frothing in excitement with the possible amount of article hits to come.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Germany = EU ?

      Who do you think is funding Italy Greece and Portgual? Who do you think is propping up the Euro currency?

      Germany = EU

      1. micheal
        Facepalm

        Re: Germany = EU ?

        I think you'll find the UK, France and Germany are almost equally the biggest propers up of the EU, not just the Germans.

        That Germany is the EU was a 1939 idea by the then Chancellor

  5. ratfox Silver badge
    Go

    Universal search is lame anyway

    Seriously. I can't remember ever wanting to search for something without knowing whether I was going to find it on the web or on my cell phone.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Universal search is lame anyway

      This may be the case. However, consider a phone with a dedicated search button (like, I don't know, and Android phone). Which is quicker: Clicking the icon for the particular search you want, which may be hidden in menus/app drawers, may be on a different homescreen etc, or just pressing the search button. A unified search allows you to press the search button, no matter what you are searching for, type a few letters and you probably have the result. It doesn't matter that you already know which DB you want to search, it's quicker* to let the device search everything than to choose what to search youself.

      On the subject of this patent, I have seen (and created) such unified/federated search features many times in the past, well before the iPhone, so I really can't see why the patent should be valid (or even exist in the first place). Even google have probably been doing this on their search engine since before this patent, throwing up image/shopping/discussion results (and ads) based on a single search term. Just because it is now related specifically to a smartphone should not make it valid (IMHO)

      *I will qualify that with "most of the time". Devices are mostly fast enough to that trawling several DBs for info is quicker than the user selecting which DB.

      1. Platelet

        Re: Universal search is lame anyway

        "This may be the case. However, consider a phone with a dedicated search button (like, I don't know, and Android phone)."

        But unlike, I don't know, say the S3?

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Universal search is lame anyway

          "But unlike, I don't know, say the S3?"

          OK, I didn't know that. However my point still stands: it's easier to press one button to search for anything than to have to choose what to press depending on what you are searching for

  6. Jason Hindle

    Great, so now Apple have patented desktop search

    And seem to have lost the ability to distinguish between input method, what has been input and what you do with what has been input (and all three of the above are covered by prior at dating back to the dawn of computer science).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proper way to handle this

    Anybody selling apple gear should be considered part of this criminal cartel, and handled as such.

    1. wowfood

      Re: Proper way to handle this

      Avoid them at all costs, don't even make eye contact and don't report them to the authorities because 9/10 times the authorities are on their payroll?

  8. Dig
    Meh

    prior art possibly.

    the release of google desktop predates the filing by about 2 months. I'm sure that integrated web and local search. Is apple patenting a particular way it is performed or just the act of doing it.

    1. Neil Lewis

      Re: prior art possibly.

      It's probably just the magic words '...on a mobile device...' that convinced the USPTO this was new and innovative.

  9. Tommy Pock

    ...

    Is this the same universal search I use on my Pre? It is NOT a function unique to Apple

  10. Gil Grissum
    Pint

    Isn't that function called "Google Desktop"?

    1. Chet Mannly

      No this was the magical and wondrous universal search made by Apple.

      It is completely different from the universal search released by Google months before Apple filed for the patent.

      </sarc>

      :-)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Apple

    You are single handedly messing things up for everyone...

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Thanks Apple

      2. Profit!

  12. Shoddy Bob
    FAIL

    Palm

    The Palm Pilot had unified search across all apps way back in the early 2000's. I remember writing an app that exposed data through their search API's.

    Also seem to remember that it was mobile, touchscreen and had installable apps - all remarkably similar to Apple's supposed innovation.

    The law is an ass and software patents are a joke.

  13. Aussie Brusader
    Thumb Up

    This needs to continue

    Only when the courts finally get fed up with this shit and hold the patent issuers to account will things change.

    Maybe. I can dream, right?

  14. Jim 59

    Indexes?

    What does Google/Apple do with the local index data ? Does this local machine mean that they have, in effect, read every piece of data on my phone and all communications ?

  15. Nick De Plume
    Facepalm

    Stupidity, revisited

    Almost as stupid as the rounded rectangle thing, but more sinister.

    I had "global search" in all the Palm devices I used. My first one was made in 1996.

    In my opinion Smart Dial (as seen in all Nokia dumbphones and all HTC dialers) and Global Search are the sine qua non of the phones I carry.

    On a side note -if you are using Android- I would suggest the Aurora global search and (if it is a non-HTC phone) one of the numerous smart dialers apps in Google Play.

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