Did Apple just patent the greenhouse?
Apple has been granted a patent for the cylindrical entryway into its flagship retail store in the Lujiazui district of Shanghai's Pudong sector. Apple's retail store in the Lujiazui district of Shanghai's Pudong sector Shanghai's cylindrical variant of New York City's Apple store glass entrance cube The US Patent and …
>" since the USPTO feels that Apple is entitled to a patent on the techniques used to fabricate it."
For crying out loud. Look: it's not a difficult concept. You can not patent the cardboard box, but should you develop a new way of manufacturing a cardboard box then it is fair that you are able to patent the process.
I'm not sure why the above commentards think they are experts on architectural construction techniques all of a sudden.
"For crying out loud. Look: it's not a difficult concept. You can not patent the cardboard box, but should you develop a new way of manufacturing a cardboard box then it is fair that you are able to patent the process."
While I agree with you in principle unfortunately, although there are claims which make some specific sizing and construction points, the base claim is (as usual with patents) ridiculously broad - and should not have been granted IMO (even in the absence of prior art, which is unlikely, obviousness should have applied). Certain highly specific claims may have more chance, but i'm part way through reading it and so far there is nothing described that i've not seen, not heard / had previously discussed or not obvious (e.g. glass support beams, cylinder or fins) based on even my limited experience of actual buildings, construction / engineering / architectural (which I have an interest in) techniques and materials. Here is the first claim on which things are based.
"1. A glass building, comprising: a plurality of curved glass panels disposed adjacent to each other to form a cylinder, a cylindrical support disposed about a central longitudinal axis of the building; a plurality of first glass beams, each extending from the panels to the cylindrical support; and a plurality of second glass beams, each extending from the panels to the central longitudinal axis of the building, wherein each panel comprises a monolithic glass piece, wherein each glass piece is substantially rectangular and comprises two opposing long sides extending in a height direction and two opposing short sides extending substantially in a width direction, wherein each glass piece forms an identical circular arc when viewed from either of the two opposing short sides, and wherein at least one glass piece extends from a base of the building exterior to above at least a portion of a roof beam supporting a roof of the building. "
From an initial look at the rest of the claims, most of them i've seen so far are just bollocks frankly.
I glanced at an (incomplete) list. US PTO had the longest reserve. Second place had 14 days. Perhaps diverting R&D budgets to lawyers is critical to the funding of congress critters.
The bit that got me was the quoted paragraph. If a feature may be part of an invention, then a product that lacks the feature is still covered by the patent. Try that paragraph again without the optional features:
The invention relates ... to a building made using building panels.
That is all that is left. According to this one paragraph, glass, layers, curves, fins, beams, fittings and a roof are not required to infringe this patent. Apple have patented the garden fence - among other things. With work like this, why does the PTO get any funding at all? If lawyers want a patent system, they should fund the PTO themselves. While we are at it, deny them access to the courts. They can publish free abstracts of what a patent achieves, and charge people who want to read about how it is done.
One of the more public entrances, and definitely not the quickest, to the Louvre in Paris, has an iconic glass entrance - I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid.
Has Apple run out of creativity, that is, non-lawyer creativity?
P.S. The Carousel du Louvre (99 Rue de Rivoli) is an underground shopping mall in Paris and has an entrance to the Louvre. It has automatic ticket machines. Another entrance is the Porte des Lions, but I digress.
Already submitting my patent "A process whereby one ca enter and exis ta room via an absence of material in the external structure leading to the interior. This abscence of material may be replaced with a wooden, metal, plastic, glass or any other solid object, shaped to fill the gap and attached to one side of said absence of material via a set of hinges. Other methods for filling the abscene may include two sets of solid objects which may slide on runners in order to open up a percentage of the width of the material absence, or a rotary device which allows people entry by spinning on a central axis.
El Reg journalists have on numerous occasions published articles giving the impression that large companies (with Apple as the most obvious example) try to patent old things. Said journalists do so by quoting any part of the patent text they find amusing.
What they don't do is quote the appropriate parts of the patent text.
As I have written earlier about this article; the quote in the article is from the summary, not the claims.
The word "may" in the claims would never survive a legal test and Apple´s patent lawyers know this (unless it is much more carefully used).
Having said that, I don't agree with Big Business policies of patenting anything that can make them money, but please comment on the right issues (such as the good and bad sides of patents), not an illusion of evil companies created by taking quotes out of context.
So do you, or do you not, approve of the patenting of a building? Because to me, and pretty much any right-thinking person (including most commenters here) it seems ludicrous.
Patent a method of joining glass panels, fine. Patent a method of manufacture of curved glass panels, fine. Patent a method of erecting the panels on site, fine.
Copyright the overall look of the building, fine.
You can't copyright a widget, and you shouldn't be able to patent an architectural design or work of art. But clearly someone has made a judgement call that patents are more valuable than copyright, and they're firing off every single thing they've done to see what sticks.
I personally do not approve of patenting of a building, nor do I agree with US PTO on what constitutes an inventive step or for that matter their definition of "obvious to a person skilled in the art".
However, saying that Apple has tried to patent a garden fence based on the summary of this patent is to me going a bit too far.
For more informed consumers
They understand these are synonymous for the brand
All I see is another slow trudging decline to the small end of town for Apple.
They have managed to do it with every other product they have had and I don't see
As usual Apple have no grey area in their assumed brilliance..
Its about time the word 'plurality', when used in a patent claim, were established as a sufficient and automatic reason to invalidate the claim. Along with the rest of the tedious language and writing conventions that usually combine to make content and meaning unintelligible to almost everyone 'skilled in the art' of the field to which the patent purports to apply.
I've applied for a patent for "as system by which a sovereign state may grant a set of exclusive rights to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention."
I've patented the patent.
So, if Apple or its lawyers reign in the dodgy, loose claim that it need not be made of glass, then what of grain elevators? Feed silos? There is not technical reason these could not be made of glass if food safety and regional storms are not an issue.
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