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Apple's New Patent Weapon — Location Services

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the uspto-is-the-best-comedy-club dept.

Patents 323

DaveyJJ writes "Once again, it seems Apple is about to take intellectual property claims to a new level. Apple has been reissued a patent they acquired from Xerox that pretty much wraps up what we know as 'location services' as their own. In the overview, the patent says the system involved will display information specific to the location the device is in. The language used in the patent is broad and powerful. I guess now we wait and see whom Apple will use this against?"

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323 comments

You are here... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084802)

Alas, no longer can roadside maps or sextants be used.

Re:You are here... (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084936)

Avert your eyes from the stars, matey, ye be violatin' Apple's patents!

Re:You are here... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084988)

Thar be triangular trade for niggers over them thar hills.

Re:You are here... (5, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085288)

I am more interested if it broad enough to be shot down as prior art by Loran, Trimble, Magellan, Tom Tom, Navman, Lawrence, Rhino, Onstar, etc. They may have difficulties if the other established navigation players try to invalidate the claim. Apple is facing lots of prior art that existed long before they placed GPS in a phone. Time of arrival location services have preceded Apple cell tower location mapping back to World War One.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_location [wikipedia.org]

Re:You are here... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085362)

yes, but it'll take far longer to invalidate versus how quickly apple will go trying to use the patent monopoly to sue their competitors.

Re:You are here... (5, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085100)

In what way do roadside maps and sextants transmit information to a distributed system in order to retrieve information about the location you've found yourself in?

The only way that any argument that software patents are stifling innovation can ever work is if you don't lie when you make an argument about them.

Re:You are here... (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085158)

Simple, the transmission of distributed information is the distribution of maps and sextants from the publisher/manufacturer, and the info retreival is done on the user's end by looking at the map or through the sextant.

I know, I know, but this is ON A COMPYUTAR!

Re:You are here... (5, Funny)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085238)

Simple, the transmission of distributed information is the distribution of maps and sextants from the publisher/manufacturer, and the info retreival is done on the user's end by looking at the map or through the sextant.

I know, I know, but this is ON A COMPYUTAR!

Not just any compyutar, one with rounded corners.

Re:You are here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085178)

Using light... and then you get out your map and your lonely planet. Your brain does some processing..... Oops, Apple just acquired a patent for how our brains work.

Re:You are here... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085208)

Easy...

They transmit it by reflecting back specific segments of the visual light spectrum.

OMG....your tiny brain thinks in such small dimensions. That you never even contemplated the transmission of light.

***

Yes....this is a stupid comment. But let's be honest. Almost EVERYTHING in IP law today is stupid.

Samsung Tablet banned because it's square, has a flat screen and somewhat resembles Apple's iPad. Which is also square, with a flat screen and oddly enough resembles Star Trek:TNG tablet pad.

Star Trek alone should have been enough to dismiss this case.

Re:You are here... (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085310)

Easy...

They transmit it by reflecting back specific segments of the visual light spectrum.

OMG....your tiny brain thinks in such small dimensions. That you never even contemplated the transmission of light.

***

Yes....this is a stupid comment. But let's be honest. Almost EVERYTHING in IP law today is stupid.

Samsung Tablet banned because it's square, has a flat screen and somewhat resembles Apple's iPad. Which is also square, with a flat screen and oddly enough resembles Star Trek:TNG tablet pad.

Star Trek alone should have been enough to dismiss this case.

Or the 1968 film (2001) that clearly shows a nearly identical device playing video... IP law is currently a mess.

Re:You are here... (1)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085384)

A movie prop is not prophetic enablement.

Re:You are here... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085438)

A movie prop is not prophetic enablement.

How about birds, who have been found to follow magnetic field of the Earth for migration?

Apple has been granted an injunction against all migrating bird species - prepare for Really Angry Birds

Re:You are here... (2)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085400)

And that sir, is nearly an insult to every mess on the planet.

There are better options. But our current system has been bent to cater to mega-corporations. Sadly.

Re:You are here... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085234)

If you put up the sign using a GPS, then what? And please you shouldn't be missing the funny side of his comment. (remember this is /., noone ever reads the source)

Re:You are here... (5, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085418)

How about at the point where you make a ask a bunch of friends and say "hey, it looks like I'm going to ShucksTown EndOfNowhereState; do you know a good place to go and eat there". Even more so when one of your friends says "never been there and never want to go; but I heard Jake went there; why don't you ask him".

Oh sorry; you meant "on a computer".

Having said that, your comment is generally on topic and in place. People, please learn. Most patents are not about doing something. They are (supposed to be) about a way to do something. The fact that someone makes a patent on "moving from A to B" doesn't make it wrong just because you have moved from A to B. If the patent discloses a new system for teleportation then it's very likely a real and useful patent. The fact that you previously drove from A to B doesn't make the patent on teleportation invalid.

Read through the patent till you get to the claims. Generally the first independent claim of a series of dependent claims will be the outrageous one which you can shout about. Note that all the claims in the patent have been approved as individually valid by the patent office, so you can choose whichever one you want to complain about. Complaining about the title, without specifying an actual claim allows patent lawyers to discredit your argument by claiming that you are ignorant.

Fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084810)

First! Wake up ASSHOLES!!!

Re:Fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084930)

you snooze, you lose...

time zone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084814)

Since the displayed time is relative to the time zone, does that mean that the makers of any computerized device with a displayed clock has to license this patent?

Re:time zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084990)

I have a Magellan GPS 2000 http://www.finest1.com/magellan/gps2000.html from 1996 that is computerized and displays a clock http://wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/File:2010061233-84NW04.JPG

Does Magellan have license to this patent from 1996?

Nathan

Re:time zone (3)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085070)

This doesn't cover GPS devices. This cover a device that uses GPS (or other service) location data to retrieve information tied to that location from the Web.

This invention provides a system and method that combines a positioning system, for example, the Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS), with a distributed network, such as the Internet, to provide real-time location specific information. That is, the positioning system provides a signal that is converted into a coordinate entry (e.g., specific latitude and longitude coordinates). The system and method of this invention then references the coordinate entry to a particular "web page" associated with the coordinate entry.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=RE42,927.PN.&OS=PN/RE42,927&RS=PN/RE42,927 [uspto.gov]

Nice Things (4, Funny)

Manfre (631065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084830)

This is why we can't have nice things.

The patent office and laws are at best dysfunctional.

Re:Nice Things (5, Funny)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084982)

This is why we can't have nice things.

You're confused. You can have Apple's nice things. Please report to your nearest iReprogramming Center immediately. The Geniuses there will help you.

Re:Nice Things (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085004)

No

They, like every other part of the government, is simply for sale to the highest bidder.

And when you can buy something that can make other people poor, you can stay on top pretty nicely.

Re:Nice Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085012)

I think you mean, "at worst" they are dysfunctional. There are good sides and bad sides to nearly everything our government does, polarizing the issue doesn't help.

Seems to me like we need people in the patent office who understand the pace of technology a bit better (it's called Moore's law, or information theory), and rather than do a better job of examining the patent application, simply issue it for a shorter time period, which would mitigate patent trolling but not cause an increased burden on the patent office or the courts.

Re:Nice Things (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085126)

Or kill software patents altogether. They fuck everything up.

Re:Nice Things (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085300)

no shit. At some point, if we're not there already, developers are going to have to look at what they 'can't do' when working on something new. And that list keeps getting bigger.

Re:Nice Things (0)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085162)

No, shust no!
The retard that said OK to this should be in a mental institution.
I already had an app out for Android before they filed for this patent and I was LATE TO THE GAME!

Re:Nice Things (5, Funny)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085404)

Your Android phone was made in 1998?! Awesome. Do you have the Mr. Fusion mod for your Delorian or are you still stealing plutonium from the Libyans?

Hand in your eyeballs (5, Funny)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084834)

Hand in your eyeballs - they can be used to acquire information specific to the location the eyeballs are in.

You wouldn't steal a car -- violating someone else's laughable intellectual property is theft!

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (1)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084886)

And really, if using a map for the purpose that was intended isn't a novel invention, I don't know what is!

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085160)

A map doesn't retrieve information from the Internet. Please read the actual patent.

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (1)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085202)

ooooh using the internet...
well that makes it different!
yes i'm sure the idea of using the internet to, ooh, communicate, well, that's pretty novel, too!
wow.
you must work at the patent office.

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085252)

Yeah, and all those books are all the same, they all use the same alphabet!

I don't think this should be patentable because it's mostly an idea instead of an actual implementation, but I'd say that showing local data in real time based on where you are was pretty novel in 1998. It's old news now, of course.

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085074)

I wouldn't steal a car, but I'd download a copy of one in a second!

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (3, Funny)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085084)

Ok, I don't know about all the otehr stuff you wrote but:
Why wouldn't I steal a car?
This kind of prejudging that happens on /. really offends me!

Re:Hand in your eyeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085102)

i wouldn't steal a car, but i would make a replica in my garage if i could

Evidence that patents need a limited time frame (4, Interesting)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084836)

This patent is from 1998. I'm not saying Xerox shouldn't have gotten a patent for this (though it is awfully broad), but that patent should be long dead by now. 13 years is an eternity in the tech world and Apple is going to lord this over Google and everyone else for ... 17 years? Longer?

Re:Evidence that patents need a limited time frame (5, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084996)

US patents filed after 1995 are for a term of 20 years, which was changed from 17 years to align with the WTO. Therefore, Apple can flex that legal muscle (read: screw everyone that doesn't buy an iPhone) until 2018.

Re:Evidence that patents need a limited time frame (1, Interesting)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085060)

If Apple didn't hold this patent someone else would use it against them. I can't really fault a company for defending their right to use some technology. I haven't seen many cases where Apple was the first to enter into litigation.

Re:Evidence that patents need a limited time frame (3, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085350)

> If Apple didn't hold this patent someone else would use it against them.

They might use it to extort money against Apple, but it's still an improvement over Apple's likely behavior (attempting to use it to prevent anybody else from implementing anything that looks remotely similar, period). Part of the reason why the entire mobile industry is rapidly coming to despise Apple is because they're *worse* than the worst patent troll. At least shameless patent trolls can be paid off. Patent trolls just want to steal your money. Apple wants to own your body and soul.

Re:Evidence that patents need a limited time frame (5, Informative)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085036)

20 years from filing - earliest filing - even in a reissue.

Therefore, at most Feb 2018 or about 6 more years.

A reissue filed 10 years after issuance is only able to narrow the scope of patents.

You armchair patent lawyers sure love your hysteria in the morning. Switch to coffee.

Suspens (5, Insightful)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084844)

>> we wait and see whom Apple will use this against?

Not willing to kill the suspens but I think it will be a company whose name starts with the letter G.

Re:Suspens (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085018)

I was thinking more along the lines of "every company that has a name that isn't 5 letters, starts with an 'A', and is named for a seed-bearing fruit that grows on trees, founded in the late 1970s.

Re:Suspens (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085118)

Not willing to kill the suspens but I think it will be a company whose name starts with the letter G.

Actually, I found an interesting column the other day (about the gesture-based lock screen patent) where the author opined that Apple isn't inclined to go directly after Google because Google has too much money/lawyers and any litigation against them would take years and years.

Instead, the author concluded, Apple is going to (and has already started to) go after the handset makers like HTC and Samsung. By making their life miserable for having some Android phones in their product line, Apple hopes to dissuade any other manufacturers from making 'Droid phones because it's just too expensive and/or risky.

Re:Suspens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085334)

Well technically A didnt go after G, they prefer to go after their goons. Going after G directly will probably be the end of any and all Services, including Maps, fuer the iPhone...

stifling innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084846)

I'm really glad I live in Europe where software patents are invalid. The current setup in the US in relation to patents is a total joke. Patents were originally conceived to encourage innovation. In recent years, companies are almost afraid to innovate because some troll or monopoly hungry public company will immediately jump out of the wood work screaming "SORRY, WE OWN THAT IDEA. WE'RE GONNA SUE YOUR A$$"

Re:stifling innovation (3, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085006)

I'm really glad I live in Europe where software patents are invalid. The current setup in the US in relation to patents is a total joke. Patents were originally conceived to encourage innovation. In recent years, companies are almost afraid to innovate because some troll or monopoly hungry public company will immediately jump out of the wood work screaming "SORRY, WE OWN THAT IDEA. WE'RE GONNA SUE YOUR A$$"

The annoyance is that organisations seem to forever bow to the lowest common denominator - if something isn't allowed in the US then Europe tends not to get it either. It would be much nicer if manufacturers produced a version of their devices with lots of functionality for use everywhere except the US, and a "land of the free" version especially crippled for the US market, so the rest of the world doesn't have to deal with the US's crazy laws.

GPS? (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084876)

Wouldn't any GPS fall under this?

Re:GPS? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085090)

No. The invention is a device which uses GPS (or other location system) to retrieve information from a network (like the Web) pertinent to that location.

Re:GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085450)

What about all those GPS' with the traffic information? That all comes from the web and is certainly pertinent to the location.

Re:GPS? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085142)

Oh, I am sure that a patent lawyer will give you at least two dozen reasons why they do and, as we all know, patent lawyers understand everything!

IP-based location services? (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084882)

In what way does this differ from IP-based location services? IOW, would that be prior art? And if not, does that mean that all of the IP-based geolocation now being done, even via a standard PC/browser, e.g. by Google, etc., is subject to this patent?

Re:IP-based location services? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084984)

I think they're claiming that showing information based on a fairly specific location is new - not the locating itself. Of course, all the ad networks going back to the 90's use IP-based geo-location.

How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (3, Insightful)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084892)

How would a GPS not qualify as prior art?

It shows you a map and surrounding area based on where device is, or area entered. One could argue even the very early military models which had Long, Lat and a compass could qualify.

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084954)

If prior art ever meant shit, 99% of these BS software patents wouldn't exist.

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085150)

It is BS, but USPTO prefer not to get involved or contest applications from major corps(they want their fees though) and to let courts handle it.... which is insane since almost noone can(afford) to defend against patentbullying by large corporations or to ask for reexamination.
Innovation is stifled - laywers get rich - i get mad! It will cost the US in the long run...do US policy makers really think that China et al will buy into the patent crap?

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085122)

This patent only applies to "devices" which retrieve information from the Internet/Web/Other network based on your current location, which it can gather from GPS or other system.

It doesn't cover GPS.

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085146)

How would a GPS not qualify as prior art?

It's obvious to me: A GPS only shows you where you are, Apple will show you what you can do based on where you are

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085270)

Really? I was doing that on my Treo 650 with Google Maps before the iPhone came out.

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085296)

A GPS will show you what you can do based on where you are. Turn Left at...! Recalculating! Turn Left a ...! Recalculating! ...

Re:How would a GPS not qualify as prior art? (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085254)

Abstract A location information system uses a positioning system, such as the civilian Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS), in combination with a distributed network. The location information system includes a radio transceiver for communicating to the distributed network and a GPS receiving system. The GPS receiving system receives a signal from the GPS and converts it into a coordinate entry. The coordinate entry is transmitted to the distributed network for retrieval of corresponding location specific information. The location specific information may reside on a web page. The coordinate entry may be incorporated into the web page address that supports the coordinate entry or linked to an existing web page associated with the coordinate entry. The web page and associated information is displayed. Bar code labels, infrared beacons and other labeling systems may also be used in the location information system in place of or in addition to the GPS receiving system to supply location identification information.

Unfortunately, the patent does not cover a self contained system using GPS receiver. This patent is about transmitting the gps coordinates to a network, either in the url itself or using GET or POST methods or by a table of URLs for for the given GPS coordinate.

One small ray of hope is, what it does after posting the URL. It can display a web page. So if you argue that widgets and apps and other things are not really displaying a web page, may be you can escape.

Usual disclaimers. Not a lawyer, does not mean to play one on slashdot.

Great News for Privacy Advocates! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084898)

This is great news! Hopefully Apple will sue Android related companies, making it illegal to provide location services. Then we could use Android without worrying about our carriers, or other service providers logging and tracking our every move. Let Apple have the monopoly on spying on their customers.

So... (1, Interesting)

Chewbacon (797801) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084902)

So Apple is gonna sue all GPS manufacturers? The government? Nice.

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084972)

as an aside: the US gov't is actually immune to patents and copyright

Re:So... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085000)

I would assume if Apple has a case against them, Xerox would have had a case. If Xerox didn't sue in all those years, then Apple might have lost the ability. Also who is to say Xerox didn't license the patent to them.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085064)

Maybe a nice way to shut down the government... not that it's very functional now.

Re:So... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085080)

It doesn't look like many of the GPS makers would be affected, since the patent explicitly says that their method relies on communication with both a GPS network (or some other method of grabbing location data) and a distributed network for providing additional information (i.e. the actual services) to the device. Until recently, most GPS devices worked by keeping a complete copy of the location-specific data stored locally, then seeking out periodic updates, rather than pulling data from a "distributed" network as they needed it. IANAL, but I read that as being sufficient to circumvent the patent entirely for most GPS manufacturers.

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085132)

Apple doesn't have a history of suing all patent violators. Just the ones that want to compete. Suing everyone is too costly. Picking battles and knowing who to pay off is what leads to success.

Location based device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084920)

GPS?

Is it now essentially useless at a fundamental level?

Will GPS based products be able to interpret the received GPS data providing location information without violating the Apple patent?

Re:Location based device (2)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085086)

The GPS is actually clever.
Thinking that it is a novel idea to use a map as, shock horror, a map, is well, typical of the delightful US Patent System.

Once I was working on a protocol stack... We had to not implement part of it because at the time Motorola had a patent on essentially saying "Excuse me, I didn't get that; could you say that again?" Seriously. Who grants this shit? It is clearly ridiculous.

While it remains in the patent office's financial interest to grant fscked up patents, fscked up patents will continue to be granted.

If we all just ignore it it will go away?

When the default question we ask is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084928)

"whom will they attack" instead of "how will they innovate" we know the entire patent system no longer works as it was intended

Where are your employees? Where is your wife? (-1, Offtopic)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084940)

Where are your employees? Companies will love this! So, if you want a company phone, sign here.

Where is your wife? Husbands will love this! Or wives...

This service will be popular... NOT.

Ok, in Syria perhaps. Or any other nation of 'freedom'.

Re:Where are your employees? Where is your wife? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085076)

You do realize that location-based services on smartphones has been WILDLY popular since about 2007?

Steve would have never done that (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084950)

Man, that company has really went downhill.

Re:Steve would have never done that (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085190)

Steve would have never done that.

Beware the power of the turtleneck.

Re:Steve would have never done that (1)

dzerkel (89036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085230)

I call BS.

Like it or not, every company in this market is grabbing every patent it can get. Every CEO MUST do this, or get face the wrath of the board for leaving the company with its pants down. Every board of directors must do this or face the wrath of the share holders. It is not a choice for any company, it is a requirement.

As long as the US laws are written by corporations for corporations, there is no way out of this. A non-corporation must step in an stop it, and the corporations will be grateful. It is a huge waste of money to defend your products from potential patent litigation.

Re:Steve would have never done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085366)

It is not a choice for any company, it is a requirement.

Poor commons. What a tragedy. It was inevitable; I mean, there was just nothing any of us could do about it. Nope, absolutely nothing.

This is great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084998)

It means that all of us non-iphone users won't be tracked & bombarded with location based ads!

It's dark (5, Interesting)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085008)

You are in a maze of twisty little claims, all alike. It's pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a patent or copyright lawyer.

Re:It's dark (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085444)

You are in a maze of twisty little claims, all alike. It's pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a patent or copyright lawyer.

-Light Lantern
you have no lantern
-Burn money.
The money burns giving off a robust light. There is a patent troll here
-Kill patent troll with sword
The patent troll dies

Well it confirms one thing about Apple (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085042)

From TFA:

A location information system that displays location specific information, the location information system, comprising: a receiver that receives location identification information from at least one site specific object identifying a location.Iadd., where the at least one site specific object is a beacon.Iaddend.; and a transceiver that transmits the location identification information to a distributed network and that receives the location specific information about the specified location from the distributed network based on the location identification information, wherein the location specific information provides information corresponding to the location.

Well it confirms one thing about Apple. They're always thinking about lads and their ends.

Re:Well it confirms one thing about Apple (2)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085154)

Those markings are there because the patent is a reissue. Reissued claims include markup to indicate what was changed from the original patent. In this case, the material in between .Iadd. and .Iaddend. was added to the claim, and material in between .[. and .]. was removed.

It looks better in the actual printed patent. The USPTO's website gives you the information but unfortunately doesn't make it pretty.

Patent from when exactly? (3, Interesting)

ndixon (184723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085138)

According to the patent, it's a reissue filed in 2010 of an earlier patent application which was was filed in 1998 and issued in 2000.

Why reissue it? Because it's under new ownership?

The reissued patent cites earlier patents going right up to 2009, and Apple didn't get into location-based services (i.e. iPhone) until 2007, after the LG Prada appeared. Meanwhile this happened [wikipedia.org]:

The first consumer LBS-capable mobile web device was the Palm VII, released in 1999. Two of the in-the-box applications made use of the ZIP code-level positioning information and share the title for first consumer LBS application: the Weather.com app from The Weather Channel, and the TrafficTouch app from Sony-Etak / Metro Traffic.

Since Palm had a LBS product out before the original patent was issued, and Xerox never really turned their patent into a product, how the f**k is this new patent enforceable?

Re:Patent from when exactly? (1)

ndixon (184723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085220)

Okay, maybe the Palm VII didn't use GPS, but:

The first commercial LBS service in Japan was launched by DoCoMo, based on triangulation for pre-GPS handsets in July 2001, and by KDDI for the first mobile phones equipped with GPS in December 2001.

What was Xerox doing in the cellphone market around then? Nix.

...and of course Apple was violating, er, Apple's patent too, before Apple re-issued it.

Patent officers (2)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085204)

I think the patent offices should stop hiring geniuses. They are clearly not up to the task.

Why all the hate for these patents? (2)

grqb (410789) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085236)

After reading multiple posts and comments about Apple's patents, there are a lot of people who feel this is counter productive...I don't know why.

IMHO, the patent system is broken when a company can file a patent without actually having a solid working product first, this sometimes happens. But clearly, in a lot of Apple's patents, such as this one, it isn't the case. If Apple, or another company, invests billions of dollars into R&D to make a product, they should be able to protect it. In fact, it would be counter productive if they couldn't protect it because it would discourage them from investing in R&D and then the nice things wouldn't even be invented in the first place.

Re:Why all the hate for these patents? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085326)

Apple didn't get this patent because they invented something, they bought it from Xerox.

mobile device prior art.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085282)

Telia Friendfinder....introduced as a service to their customer around 1999-2001
Witch indicates that they based their product on something that was developed around same time as Xerox...

It is highly probable that Ericsson is sitting with a bunch of patents / prior arts since they were cooperating with Telia alot during those times.

A patent is not just an offensive weapon (3, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085294)

Too many people are missing the point.

If Apple didn't take out a patent on a concept like this, you can guarantee that some patent troll would, and would sue both Apple and Google, along with everyone else in the marketplace. That's the way the system works nowadays.

Patents aren't just offensive weapons; they're defensive weapons as well. Apple and Google have huge patent portfolios, and both have too much leverage to win any major court battle against the other. At best, it would be mutually assured destruction, and do nothing but enrich a lot of lawyers.

What patents like this actually do is protect Apple (and Google, and everyone else) from the bottom-feeding trolls. You either file these "obvious" patents, or you can bet your bottom dollar some slimeball will instead, and take you to court.

You are not of the body. You will be absorbed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38085408)

Apple will fuck us yet again . .

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