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Steve Jobs Patent On iPhone Declared Invalid

timothy posted about a year ago | from the too-soon dept.

GUI 247

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's most famous multitouch software patents are increasingly coming under invalidation pressure. First the rubber-banding patent and now a patent that Apple's own lawyers planned to introduce to a Chicago jury as 'the Jobs patent.' U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 covers a method for distinguishing vertical and horizontal gestures from diagonal movements based on an initial angle of movement. For example, everything up to a slant of 27 degrees would be considered vertical or horizontal, and everything else diagonal. The patent office now seems to think that Apple didn't invent the concept of 'heuristics' after all."

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247 comments

What wrong has Steve done to you? (-1, Troll)

TwoOfBob (2790593) | about a year ago | (#42221969)

That you have to go picking at him like this? Really, this is the new classy Slashdot? Picking on Steve Jobs? Really?

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Informative)

Xenx (2211586) | about a year ago | (#42222065)

Err.. Apple wanted to call it the Jobs patent, but were denied. How is it Slashdot's fault for actually referring to it as the Jobs patent?

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (4, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | about a year ago | (#42222487)

They'll just re-apply using a 26.5 degree angle.

arctan(1/2) (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42222599)

I'd bet it's actually an arctan(1/2) angle, which would lead to an efficient implementation: if abs(rise)/abs(run) is within the range [0.5 ... 2.0], it's diagonal.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222119)

He maybe passed on to Nirvana and taken his rightful place next Allah, Buddha and Jesus and he may of done great things while is was a mortal, pre and post resurrection (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1998/11/09/250834/index.htm) and of course we'd all like to this that he was superhuman and invincible.

The truth is he was none of the above and was simply a mortal human being who's also done a lot of fucked up stupid ass things, this is one of them amongst many.

I'd say its better to look at him as a real individual though did great things but also did many wrong things in the process. Otherwise get out the stones and carving rocks and etch out some prophecies to be discovered in a 1000 years by archaeologist's of that time deducing the reign of Steve Jobs on society.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42222227)

IFF there is a god, I am pretty sure he/she/it is against hoarding cash like crazy.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222675)

If there is A god, he's hoarding his universe.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222609)

I can't think of anything great that Jobs did. He didn't invent or build anything, high level direction doesn't count for squat in my book. He was the best marketing droid/pitchman of recent history, but that just a shitty thing to be around for the rest of humanity.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222713)

From wikipeida: Steve Jobs "was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari engineers, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line.[further explanation needed] According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the offered $5,000), and that Wozniak's share was thus $350.[53] Wozniak did not learn about the actual bonus until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and had said he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him."

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (2, Funny)

Hnice (60994) | about a year ago | (#42222143)

Yeah, i bet he's really upset, too.

Oh wait, he's dead, shut up.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42222161)

the last mac I bought was not even a year old when saint jesus jobs deemed my very expensive computer unworthy of OSX... 8 years later someone figured out if you swap two bytes in ram you could run upto os 10.2 on the fucker.

So making a decision to fuck over customers cause he wanted basically the same machine in a dumb shit blue case is just one of a billion reasons that arrogant con-artist deserves a boot up his used car salesman ass, both in life and in death.

Course now that he is dead, he cant dazzle you morons with a new toy

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (4, Funny)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#42222215)

8 years later someone figured out if you swap two bytes in ram you could run upto os 10.2 on the fucker.

That's probably what killed him.

(Too soon?)

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Informative)

Noir Angellus (2740421) | about a year ago | (#42222311)

That's probably what killed him.

(Too soon?)

Not soon enough! Jobs was a class 'A' douche-bag. He openly flaunted patents, stole IP (every "original" design he ever produced or commissioned was a direct copy of an existing item from another company, Baun suffered greatly from this http://www.idigitaltimes.com/data/images/full/2012/09/04/1223-braun-or-apple.jpg [idigitaltimes.com]) and bullied countless REAL innovators out of business. The only "multi-touch" he ever created was what he did to customers' wallets, or it would be if screwing idiots over was anything remotely original. Jobs also abandoned and denied paternity of his first child and summarily ended all philanthropic programs (that's charity if anyone is wondering) sponsored by Apple when he took control. The only thing he ever achieved personally was to make sure anyone wearing a turtle neck (skivvy in local parlance) look like even more of a douche. What did Jobs ever do to us? He screwed us. All of us. Even those who have never and will never buy any iShit suffer because of what he's done to the industry as a whole.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (4, Informative)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42222431)

For a while Steve Jobs made his living peddling "blue boxes" that got free long distance calls by hacking the telco switching equipment. He even stole money from his friend Steve Wozniak. [gawker.com] And made a habit of parking in the handicap space. And smelled bad, which is some kind of crime against those in the immediate vicinity.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1, Informative)

mcguyver (589810) | about a year ago | (#42222515)

Yea, what a douche. Blue boxes were created to explore phone networks. Selling them for the sole purpose of putting money in your own pocket makes you a douche.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (4, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42222587)

Blue boxes were created to explore phone networks.

"Explore" as in getting free long distance phone calls. [wikipedia.org] Say, you would be an Apple employee, wouldn't you? Your attitude matches perfectly.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#42222625)

More like 'Exploit'. The phone systems then used specific tones to control it. Those 'blue boxes' just repeated the tone used to activate an authorization for a no charge long distance call. Those boxes weren't even doing anything new, as the specific tone was well know to the phreak community and hackers in general. One gained the handle of "Captain Crunch" because he found out that the whistles that came in Captain Crunch cereal at that time produced that specific tone and could be used to activate free calls. Steve Jobs merely tread upon a road well worn by those that came before, and he charged as much money as he could to those who weren't in the know.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (2)

Daengbo (523424) | about a year ago | (#42222693)

Steve Jobs merely tread upon a road well worn by those that came before, and he charged as much money as he could to those who weren't in the know.

Wow, that works both specifically and generally. I'm impressed with what you did there.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | about a year ago | (#42222703)

This is my first time posting to Slashdot in a while, I guess, and I just noticed my old sig from 2 1/2 years ago. I guess Google has done a bit of that identity integration with Chrome already. Yay! IT's tied to Google. Boo!

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about a year ago | (#42222697)

And smelled bad, which is some kind of crime against those in the immediate vicinity

Isn't there prior art on the iStink?

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222439)

Hear, hear! Mod parent up as informative or insightful.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42222509)

I've said it before; The man was such a douche-bag that his coffin probably still smell smells springtime-fresh. We're going to be a very long time before the industry recovers from what he started with the latest run at the closed eco-system. Unfortunately, we're still on the downhill slope, as now Microsoft has a closed system for their wonderful new interface as well.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222617)

which is great, as it accelerates MS's disintegration :-)

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222331)

the last mac I bought was not even a year old when saint jesus jobs deemed my very expensive computer unworthy of OSX...

That's a solid length of time to hold a grudge.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

murder_face (2574275) | about a year ago | (#42222469)

I remember the last computer my dad bought before he died was the "sawtooth" g4. I'm pretty sure the disappointment is what killed him.....

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (2)

Internal Modem (1281796) | about a year ago | (#42222409)

I call BS Osgeld. A G4 or G5? I don't believe you bought a Mac and OS X.0 came out less than a year later. What Mac model would that be and when did you buy it?

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222529)

I call BS Osgeld. A G4 or G5? I don't believe you bought a Mac and OS X.0 came out less than a year later. What Mac model would that be and when did you buy it?

CODE BLUE!!!! Google it.....

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42222579)

the last mac I bought was not even a year old when saint jesus jobs deemed my very expensive computer unworthy of OSX... 8 years later someone figured out if you swap two bytes in ram you could run upto os 10.2 on the fucker.

So making a decision to fuck over customers cause he wanted basically the same machine in a dumb shit blue case is just one of a billion reasons that arrogant con-artist deserves a boot up his used car salesman ass, both in life and in death.

Course now that he is dead, he cant dazzle you morons with a new toy

What Mac? Give us the actual product code too.

A year old and unable to run OS X? So it was a PPC G3 or something? No, it must be older, since G3's could run OS X. PPC 603?

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222237)

FTA:

Apple will also be barred from referring to the '949 "touchscreen heuristics" patent as "the Jobs patent". In light of how the '949 patent has been gradually marginalized in this litigation, that's not a huge loss with respect to this particular patent, though Apple might have hoped that references to Steve Jobs in connection with one patent also increase its chances of getting support from some jurors on other patents.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#42222395)

Patents like this are incredibly stupid. It ostensibly doesn't matter who filed them, except that the higher profile the owner is, the more damage it does. The downfall of the patent should be celebrated.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (5, Funny)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42222437)

Apple would have filed a patent on distinguishing right from wrong, except they never got that one to work.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222543)

An "invention" does not need to "work" to be filed.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42222639)

The downfall of this particular patent?

How about they just invalidate about 90% of the patents granted in the past 30 years. And, take ALL of that 90% from the computer technology industry. So much of it is prior art, or obvious based on prior art. So much more is just frivolous nonsense.

Most definitely invalidate all software patents, and methods that depend on software. Patents should only apply to tangible items, everything else is copyrightable, unless specifically excluded from copyright protection.

Re:What wrong has Steve done to you? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | about a year ago | (#42222721)

Well, I'm going to guess that about 40% of the patents filed in the last 30 years have already expired ("been invalidated").

I hear millions of ifans (-1, Troll)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42221985)

Screaming in agony

Going to love to read macdailynews.com take on this

Re:I hear millions of ifans (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222129)

Here's a sample:
_____________
Rubbish. Here’s our own government handing the keys to our future economic prosperity over to Korea wholesale.

The sound of the jobs being flushed down the toilet may be your own.

Jubei
Friday, December 7, 2012 - 5:53 pm Reply
_____________
Agreed. All this hard work from Apple invalidated giving the green light to slavishly copy them. The US is heading down irrelevancy by its own government.

khryshimself

Read more at Link [macdailynews.com]

Re:I hear millions of ifans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222153)

I thought the communism movement was all but gone in the USA.

Re:I hear millions of ifans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222159)

muahaha thanks for the laugh :-)
sorry, no mod points...

My god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222221)

Does he fall down often?

Re:I hear millions of ifans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222239)

They did just find a Unicorn lair.....

"Here’s our own government handing the keys to our future economic prosperity over to Korea wholesale."

Re:I hear millions of ifans (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42222661)

The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. Apple has made most of it's billions by utilizing slave labor in third world countries. Suddenly, they are worried about American jobs? The few jobs they are moving to America are nothing more than a publicity gambit, IMHO.

If I had a few tens of thousands of people employed directly or indirectly, and I decided to move several hundreds of those jobs to the United States, the total impact on anyone's economy would be negligible. And, the cost to me would have little impact. I would still have almost all my work performed by slave labor in third world countries.

Re:I hear millions of ifans (1)

murder_face (2574275) | about a year ago | (#42222755)

Dont forget what it will cost you to buy a "born in the USA" apple product,.....I'm afraid to even search for the markup....

6-months old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222019)

FTA:

    Friday, June 1, 2012

Re:6-months old news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222057)

fuck da police

Re:6-months old news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222131)

FTA: Friday, June 1, 2012

So? In the last article says:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012 U.S. patent office declares 'the Steve Jobs patent' entirely invalid on non-final basis

And in the first one, the linked /. discussion, it reads:

Tuesday October 23

Were you trying to make a point, or you just like to share the article dates?

why was it even granted? (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42222035)

Good riddance to this patent. It's yet another example of how the patent office will let just about anything slip by right now.

If putting ONE widget/idea/whatever on a machine is patentable, then putting multiple "things" on a machine is obvious. "Multitouch" is the same a "touch."

Another one: If putting wifi on a computer is patentable, then putting wifi on any computer-like device (tablets, phones, anything using a processor) is obvious.

The trolls are maybe less than half the problem. Letting these companies patent the kitchen sink just because there is a trivial change is a huge part. And they won't pay of examiners that actually know what they are doing because it means a pointy headed administrator will have to be paid less to do it.

Re:why was it even granted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222241)

Are you saying my iSink patent application might be denied? FUUUCCCCK! First I didn't win Powerball, and now this.

Re:why was it even granted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222335)

Patents aren't for ideas, they're for implementations.

Re:why was it even granted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222479)

Pull the other one. It has a bell attached!

Re:why was it even granted? (3)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42222459)

So, basically, the Patent Office simply "rubber stamps" this kind of thing and says "leave it to the courts"?

I wonder how these "patent examiners" live with their mediocrity? I'm envisioning Amadeus' Salieri...

Re:why was it even granted? (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#42222765)

I wonder how these "patent examiners" live with their mediocrity? I'm envisioning Amadeus' Salieri...

In the past, like many government bodies, the Patent and Trademark Office was underfunded/understaffed.
This meant the Examiners didn't have enough time to do the job expected of them and meet their targets.

When Obama signed the America Invents Act, he changed the USA from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system.
The law also changed how the Patent Office is funded. Previously, Congress got all the patent filing fees, then gave the PTO whatever they felt like.
Now, the PTO sets its own fees and any fees beyond the Congressional allocation are placed into escrow, instead of the general fund.
This means that Congress can no longer siphon off the PTO's fees for other projects and the PO can try to get the funds re-allocated later.

TLDR: The Patent Office was wildly underfunded/understaffed and the situation should improve sooner rather than later.

Angle of spin (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#42222061)

For example, everything up to a slant of 27 degrees would be considered...

Jobs certainly was good at slanting.

Only 'preliminarily' invalid... (3, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42222087)

Why those assholes take years to determine 'full' invalidity is beyond me.

Also, this patent show up Steve Jobs for the sociopath asshole that he was. Patenting a 'complete solution' is okay; patenting a small process or a way of operating a device is a fundamentally flawed approach to granting patents in the first place.

Meanwhile, millions have been lost fighting this useless patent, and HTC were idiots to settle, etc etc

Re:Only 'preliminarily' invalid... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42222303)

Also, the patent office needs to be shut down.

Also, a complete rejection of all claims of a given patent is potentially more devastating than one affecting only some claims.

All of 20 claims mentioned in the patent and issued by the USTPO have been rejected. Does this not prove that the issuing office has no right to exist in the first place? Millions have been lost litigating this absurdity.
-
Apple would lose two iconic patents, but it would still have thousands of other patents, including hundreds of multitouch patents .

More evidence that the patent office should suffer the 'thermonuclear' treatment that Steve Jobs spoke about. The two so called iconic patents have been completely rubbished; but hundreds more yet to come. So this Florian scourge is not just happy that millions have already been sunk to the lawyers and courts with 2 patents; he is sitting smug in his seat dreaming about how hundreds more such patents will keep him and so called 'patent-experts' like him, employed for life.

Re:Only 'preliminarily' invalid... (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42222313)

I have the feeling HTC will fight to get their money back plus damages...

Re:Only 'preliminarily' invalid... (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42222377)

Why those assholes take years to determine 'full' invalidity is beyond me.

Also, this patent show up Steve Jobs for the sociopath asshole that he was. Patenting a 'complete solution' is okay; patenting a small process or a way of operating a device is a fundamentally flawed approach to granting patents in the first place.

Meanwhile, millions have been lost fighting this useless patent, and HTC were idiots to settle, etc etc

Make the holders of invalidated patents pay back their license fees.

Snowy Walrus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222091)

How do I patent shooting a big fat load up some hipsters nose after they smoke my pole because I have the latest iShiny? I call it the "Snowy Walrus"

Re:Snowy Walrus (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222189)

Personally, I think "a sticky Hitler" sounds better, and is much more intrinsically offensive.

A Godwin and a blowjob all in one.

Re:Snowy Walrus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222223)

God(Yeshua?) I wish I had mod points

Captcha=Horrible

Invalid. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222095)

My hair is a bird. Your patent is invalid.

Too Easy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222109)

Re: "...Apple didn't invent the concept of 'heuristics' after all".

Wrong. Apple not only invented heuristics, they also invented the US Patent Office. Then patented them both!

As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (5, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#42222147)

As a (up till now) satisfied owner of Apple products, all I can say is: Good.

Maybe if they lose enough of these stupid patents, they'll start thinking less about suing the world into oblivion and go back to doing what made them the company they are now: Making products that delight their customers.

From recent events, it's clear that Apple forgot that part somewhere along the line.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222199)

I wish more people thought like you.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222261)

back to doing what made them the company they are now:
Fucking over their customers based on the whim of a man child!

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42222445)

back to doing what made them the company they are now: Fucking over their customers based on the whim of a man child!

Some of us actually remember when Apple introduced the Apple II, the Lisa, the (original) Macintosh, iPads and iPhones rather than having to be told of these ancient things by our elders.

Each of those products represented a significant improvement in both quality and capabilities of consumer electronics. However, they didn't break much new ground. Their specialty was always making tech accessible to the mass market.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222283)

I take it you bought an iShiny 5?

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222369)

Continue living your life as a barrel of negativity.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42222299)

Agreed.

I'm no Apple fan at all. But there's no denying that they make/made a kind of irrisistible candy that no one could actually duplicate. It was stupid of them to think anyone else was a threat.

I see lots of things wrong with Apple's products. It's not free enough for me. It's terrific for other people though and that's more than enough to keep them in business though. The problem is they never seem to be satisfied when they have "enough."

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (1, Interesting)

murder_face (2574275) | about a year ago | (#42222367)

The problem is they never seem to be satisfied when they have "enough."

Isn't that capitalism at its finest?

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42222465)

Apple will be in business some time yet, the immediate question, how much time do they have left to bask in the glory of being the world's most valuable company? Down $170 since the introduction of the iPhone 5.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (-1)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42222373)

As a (up till now) satisfied owner of Apple products,

Some people prefer to live in (well furnished) jails and prisons like you; where food is served for free. Fine. But there are thousands of times more people who wish to use low cost, high value, 'open' platforms to do their work. Granting a patent on trivial things and Apple refusing to license such patents to others will only bring untold misery to the entire IT ecosystem.

all I can say is: Good.

Wrong. Bad. Apple was an innovative company when they were not so cash-strapped. Now they have billions in cash, and worse, Steve Jobs personally felt that merely having enormous piles of cash was not sufficient; he wanted to 'destroy' Android as a matter of principle. He was willing to go thermonuclear in his so called agenda. With such an attitude of a sociopath; he was least bothered about the collateral damage a thermonuclear battle would inflict on others, and his own company as well.

With such a narrow-minded jerk armed with piles of money, it maybe Good, for YOU ; but for non-Apple users, who are a much bigger majority, it is very very bad.

Re:As a satisfied owner of Apple products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222537)

As a (up till now) satisfied owner of Apple products, all I can say is: Good.

Maybe if they lose enough of these stupid patents, they'll start thinking less about suing the world into oblivion and go back to doing what made them the company they are now: Making products that delight their customers.

From recent events, it's clear that Apple forgot that part somewhere along the line.

They and everybody else, If you went through the patent portfolios of every major tech firm in the US or that have a presence in the US you will find just as much cruft in their patent portfolio. Apple is only following the same tactic as everybody else. Flood an overworked and understaffed patent office with all manner of crappy patents, thus ensuring that most of them don't get properly assessed. Then slam everybody who threatens your market share with a patent infringement law suit, when they complain that your patent is obvious and invalid all you have to do is smile and tell them to spend millions of dollars and years in court proving it . For some reason Apple and a few others like Microsoft are hated for doing this while others like Google who also engage in patenting everything that moves have almost been elevated into sainthood. One way of solving this would be abolishing the patent system (which we all know is far to radical a proposal to ever happen). Myself I used to favour fixing this by making justice affordable not just for stinking rich people and corporations, thus transforming it from an extortion mechanism into a tool to obtain actual justice, and reforming the patent system. Then I realised that even this much more moderate solution is never going to happen because the people that finance the election campaigns for the apathetic, avaricious and corrupt puppets we elect into office have far too much to loose to abolish these institutions that they have turned into extortion mechanisms because they find them so convenient (I swear that every time I hear some politician claim that common citizens who get trampled by corporations can seek redress in the courts I want to punch the bastard and then kick him when he is down, you have to be rich to take the rich to court ). I'm beginning to think the only real solution to the oligarchification of modern western civilisation is what the French did in 1789, a guillotine in the town square.

As a VERY HAPPY owner of non-Apple products (1)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42222547)

All I can say is: GREAT! Lets have more of this.

A patent grants a monopoly on an invention for about 19 years. Steve Jobs not only stole other people's ideas; he applied for and got patents on some of them. And worse, he was using those patents not just as a defense; he wanted to destroy alternate models of computing.

In the computing world, the WALLED GARDEN, or JAIL approach followed by Apple is a minority. Or atleast it is, in the desktop space. Apple's phenomenal success in the tablet and phone space is admirable, but very BAD for the rest of the ecosystem.

According to the 'expert' referenced, Apple still has thousands of patents in these areas of computing; and the loss of 1 or 2 patents will not make any impact overall. So I hope more of these stupid patents get tossed out, and open computing platforms thrive in all form factors, including mobile and touch devices.

Half Eaten (0)

zenlessyank (748553) | about a year ago | (#42222233)

You wouldn't pick up a real apple off of a picnic table at the park or the tray full at the grocery store if someone had already taken a bite out of it and left it there, so why would you ever buy a 'computer' with a bite taken out of it and physical labeling that advertises that fact accordingly? I will self mod as Troll so as to save macDot, err slashdot, some cpu cycles.

This is the price of going "thermonuclear." (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42222265)

Apparently Steve never learned the actual lesson and message behind the movie "War Games." There are no winners in thermonuclear war. The only way to win is not to play.

I believe Jobs would have halted this as it got more ugly and apparent that Apple would lose. But since he died, there was no halting it and I suspect anyone at Apple who would want to "go against god's... err Jobs's will" would be branded a heretic or a traitor or something like that.

Apple is already losing the war over the touch screen smart phone. They are losing their intellectual property as well. They are causing harm to everyone in the industry and that includes the consumers whether they use Apple or Android or even something else.

The sooner this is concluded the better. Samsung needs a new trial. Apple's IP needs to be resolved as to what is valid and what isn't. It needs to be settled.

Re:This is the price of going "thermonuclear." (-1, Troll)

gig (78408) | about a year ago | (#42222615)

You sound insane.

There is no rational definition under which Apple is losing anything right now. They are winning whether you look at the stock market, overall profitability, consumer loyalty, mindshare, high-end phone sales (iPhone,) high-end and low-end media player sales (iPod,) high-end PC sales (Mac,) and low-end PC sales (iPad,) or court cases.

Samsung is cleaning up in low-end phones just like HP and Dell cleaned up in low-end PC's for many years before the iPad launched. Enjoy it while it lasts, Samsung.

Further, Apple is in the best position to clean up in 4KTV because of iTunes and their integrated hardware/software. They may be the only company that can sell you a large 4K glass that just plugs into AC and that is it. You turn it on and tell it your Wi-Fi password and buy The Dark Knight in 4K.

> [Apple] are causing harm to everyone in the industry

How? By inventing the multitouch phone? By porting the World Wide Web from Intel to ARM and giving the source away to everybody else so that the iPhone browser is also used in Android and Google Chrome? By teaching consumers to PAY FOR SOFTWARE instead of just steal it? By making the very first PC platform that can be used out-of-the-box by the visually impaired? By creating the very first and still the only successful ARM PC platform so that we could get out of the Wintel monopoly? By making tens of billions of dollars for C/C++ coders with App Store? By enabling the 9 out of 10 people who can't use Mac/Windows effectively to do PC class computing with almost no training? By introducing PC class computing to the majority of workers who DON'T HAVE A DESK, dramatically expanding the range and scope of the PC market? By creating opportunities for case and accessory makers to make millions of dollars accessorizing only 1 phone model per year with just-works accessories?

I know it is hard for people brought up in the anti-competitive Wintel PC market to believe this, but computer makers are SUPPOSED TO COMPETE. They are supposed to bring out products that are so good that the entire of HP is suddenly obsolete, overnight. That is what is supposed to happen. That is a healthy market. That is not Apple taking advantage of HP. That is Apple simply COMPETING with HP. HP is supposed to be able to compete back. Samsung is supposed to be able to create their own smartphone line, not simply copy Apple's smartphone line. This is competition.

The Galaxy line of phones was built from stolen Apple iPhone specifications. Galaxy is not an independent product, it is fork of iPhone that Samsung felt they had the right to make because they were Apple's biggest component supplier. That is illegal and immoral. Pretending it is not will only cause you to be mystified as Samsung loses court case after court case.

Honestly, I invite you to rewrite your post and include a URL for every point you make that backs up your assertion with numbers and facts. Because there aren't any numbers of facts that back up your claims. You are like a Fox News viewer asserting that President Obama was born in Kenya. The only people who will agree with you are the people who are also inside your Gizmodo/Slashdot bubble. The Internet is world wide. Your bubble is not and you look like an ass.

Re:This is the price of going "thermonuclear." (4, Informative)

Daengbo (523424) | about a year ago | (#42222777)

There is no rational definition under which Apple is losing anything right now.

Umm, they lost $35B in market cap just a couple of days ago. That's something. Their stock is down about 23% from a couple of moths ago. They're losing something.

Uuuu That Smell! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222291)

Looks like the laws of physics are true.

That gnarled and ugly head of reality is rising within the Cupertino One Fortress.

As the intellectual capital have very short shelf life, the real money in the bank is leaving Pronto and with it Apples future.

The question now: How long to the end?

This is great, but... what about the small guys? (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42222401)

Who dont have the same capitol to fight these insane court cases?

Its great that Samsung and Motorola and others wont have to worry about apple banning them and recalling their products over this, but what about small businesses, if there ever were such a thing in the phone market.

This is wonderful, but I know that if I went into business tommorow there are many markets I could not touch because I don't have billions backing my non-existant and B-team legal department.

Preliminary Invalidation, not end of the road. (5, Interesting)

maelfius (592856) | about a year ago | (#42222461)

This is just a preliminary invalidation, not the end of the road for this patent. Many patents that are in this state survive (partially or wholly). This simply is the start of a process within the USPTO.

(Relevant Post taken from Mac Rumors discussion on this, this is not my post, but relevant for this discussion): http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16445804&postcount=39 [macrumors.com]

Folks -- a preliminary invalidation is a non-event. Every patent you apply for is almost always initially rejected. It is the way the patent examiner pushes the burden back on the inventor. They reject, you appeal, they reject, you appeal, patent issues.

Typically the findings for an initial patent application are really weak and easy to overcome.

The re-examination process is the same way. The patent examiner places himself in the position of the person trying to shoot the patent down. That is because the other party to communicate with is the original inventor and obviously they are going to push for maintaining the application. So in order to do proper due diligence, the examiner needs to find reasons to refute the patent, and then there is an appeal, and then possibly another invalidation, and another appeal and then the patent likely holds in some form.

In short... nothing to see here... move along.

I don't know the actual percentage, but I'd bet 99.9% of all patents for which a reexamination was requested receive a preliminary invalidation. And I don't think the patent office can refuse to do a reexamination on a patent.

Full Discussion here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1503872&page=1 [macrumors.com]

Eventually, iPhone won't have been invented at all (-1, Troll)

gig (78408) | about a year ago | (#42222483)

it will just have sprung into being magically, ready for everyone to copy.

Accountability Anyone? (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year ago | (#42222495)

I would like to see a new law on the books: "wrongfully or negligently issuing a patent", to be used as follows:

In the case where a patent is declared invalid, I would like to see the issuing patent office held responsible for damages done....

And to reimburse the patent applicant for:
1) the fees charged for granting the patent
2) legal fees incurred by the patent holder in attempting to defend the patent before it is struck down

And to reimburse any party who is financially damaged by the patent office having wrongfully issued a patent, such as
3) to any company which licensed the patent: any license fees paid out to use the patent
4) to any company which was sued for infringing on the patent: court costs and damages

Patents are applied for in good faith. If the recipient can be irreparably damaged due to negligence or other actions which wrong the recipient, shouldn't there be legal recourse?

Do you think they might hold "inventiveness" and the "obviousness" tests, and the search for prior art to a higher standard? Do you think they might search and remedy any weaknesses in the system?

Accountability anyone?

Surprisingly Valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222591)

A lot of the patent-wars patents have been truly idiotic, but the complicated heuristics they use to get reasonable expectations from a humans wiggly, haphazard, poorly directioned squiggles is actually pretty important, as based on even the simplest description, it seems like they speed a good deal of time in the lab developing it. Lesser touch-screen devices get confused incredibly easily.

A testament to the power of S. Jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222633)

Even long after death, he can cause quite a stir in the tech community. He's the Michael Jackson of tech industry. Hell, he's the Margaret Thatcher of tech industry! To some hero and saviour, to others a villain and a crook.

Truly a remarkable personality - take it as you will, if you've ever had anything to do with electronic consumer goods, he probably made an impact on your life at some point. There's no denying that.

Back on topic - the USPTO is finally breaking free of the Reality Distortion Field. Suddenly, something obvious doesn't feel revolutionary just because it has Apple logo on it. More 'sensational' rejections of Apple patents are under way I believe. Especially, since Apple's lawyers went haywire after Job's death. They probably think "what would Steve do" and end up doing something similar, only with much less finesse, and it doesn't seem to work just as well. Good thing SJ left Apple with billions of dollars of savings - they'll need those soon enough.

Jobs Legacy being undone :-( (0)

atarimuseum (1388269) | about a year ago | (#42222687)

Wow, I'm really surprised this was lost, there was nothing else like the banding and other highly intuitive GUI features introduced by the iPhone... I just got a new book off of Amazon last week called Atari Inc Business is Fun and it has this whole section called Breakout of Myths and it totally tells the full details of Steve Jobs working at Atari and it even has input from Wozniak on building the Breakout arcade. There was actually far more detail in this book than the Jobs book so I'm glad I picked it up. If Apple's IP and Jobs legacy is dismantled you have to wonder if Apple will continue to keep putting out great product that everyone plays catch-up trying to clone :-(

Damn it. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#42222761)

If this one went through I was going to file the following four patents:

Gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force.

I figured once I got those approved I could sue douche-bag-patent-trolls(TM) for failing to pay me a licensing fee for their existence.

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