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Steve Jobs Video Kills Apple Patent In Germany

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the bit-of-an-oopsie dept.

Patents 100

An anonymous reader writes "Today the Federal Patent Court of Germany shot down an Apple photo gallery bounce-back patent over which Cupertino was/is suing Samsung and Motorola. A panel of five judges found the patent invalid because the relevant patent application was filed only in June 2007 but Steve Jobs already demoed the feature in January 2007 (video). While this wouldn't matter in the U.S., it's a reason for a patent to be invalidated in Europe. For different reasons someone thought the iPhone presentation was a mistake. It now turns out that when Steve Jobs said "Boy have we patented it!" his company forgot that public disclosure, even by an inventor, must not take place before a European patent application is filed. But Apple can still sue companies over the Android photo gallery: in addition to this patent it owns a utility model, a special German intellectual property right that has a shorter term (10 years) and a six-month grace period, which is just enough to make sure that history-making Steve Jobs video won't count as prior art."

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Europe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44962895)

Europe wonders why it has zero innovation and everyone floods to the valley. Enjoy those H1Bs!

Re:Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44962971)

What a factually accurate first post.

Re:Europe (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44962997)

Europe wonders why it has zero innovation and everyone floods to the valley. Enjoy those H1Bs!

the fuck has this to do with anything? it's fucking simple: if you want to patent it don't fucking show it around the town. the american model however is stupid, where you can troll people to using your patent by showing them the invention and then sue them!

Re:Europe (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 7 months ago | (#44963107)

Indeed. In the USA you can hand your stuff to a "standards body", then stab anyone who uses it in the back if your patent gets approved later (see also: Submarine Patents [wikipedia.org] and Rambus's dishonesty a decade ago [kickassgear.com] that drove up DRAM prices for a long while).

People can complain about the European patent system but they do a lot of things better than the USA:
- Stopping submarine patents and patent trolls.
- Actually doing due diligence on first-discovery vs. the nonsensical "first to file"
- Actually doing due diligence to keep the Obvious and Trivial patents out
- Actually doing due diligence to be sure someone isn't trying to patent something already patented

In fact, overall the US patent office doesn't do "due diligence" on almost anything anymore. I can't blame them since they are far underfunded to handle the glut of patent-slamming from major US corporations, but it does kind of make the US patent system a laughingstock elsewhere in the modern world.

Seriously, what sort of incompetence do you have to have on display to have someone actually manage to patent the peanut butter and jelly sandwich [nbcnews.com]?

Re:Europe (5, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 7 months ago | (#44963229)

Seriously, what sort of incompetence do you have to have on display to have someone actually manage to patent the peanut butter and jelly sandwich [nbcnews.com]?

Or the combover hairstyle [google.com]. (Ostensibly to conceal baldness, but it usually just makes it more obvious...)

Or swinging sideways on a swingset [google.com].

There ain't shit that the US Patent Office does that passes any kind of smell test. The word incompetence doesn't begin to describe the situation.

Re:Europe (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44963351)

The word incompetence doesn't begin to describe the situation.

Is it incompetence, or a system which is measured as successful by how many patents it processes and accepts?

I don't get the impression the USPTO has any incentive to do their job thoroughly and competently -- but that this is what they've been told to do by the government.

Just keep cranking out patents and let the courts decide seems to be how they operate.

Re:Europe (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#44963435)

Perhaps it's how the US claims it's still innovating, when the opposite is actually happening because of it.

Re:Europe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968135)

Perhaps it's how the US claims it's still innovating, when the opposite is actually happening because of it.

Metrics, dear. "Innovation" is measured in patents per second and copyright filings per second. The more you have, the more "innovative" you are.

The fact that patents and copyright filings are a by-product of innovation rather than innovation in itself doesn't cross these dipshits minds because you can't easily measure real innovation.

Stupid is as stupid directs.... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 7 months ago | (#44963787)

The word incompetence doesn't begin to describe the situation.

Is it incompetence, or a system which is measured as successful by how many patents it processes and accepts?

I don't get the impression the USPTO has any incentive to do their job thoroughly and competently -- but that this is what they've been told to do by the government.

Just keep cranking out patents and let the courts decide seems to be how they operate.


I agree with you that it would seem to be a logical step for the USPO to take, but it begs the (rhetorical) question : Is the USPO in charge of getting patents filed (basically filling out the forms and stuffing it in a filling cabinet for someone else to seriously evaluate), or are they in charge of vetting patents and acting as authority about what is or isn't actually legally a viable patent?

Clearly, the geek and nerd community feels it is the latter role that they should be full filling, as evinced by the volume of criticism you see on sites like /. If consider the role that they have to fill, I suspect that the USPO would tell you their job is more of the former, since they don't have the time, money or lawyers to do much more than rubber stamp things. Consider that you can file a patent for just about ANYTHING and for only a couple thousand bucks in filling fees, the USPO has to vet it and get it processed in a relatively short period of time. That's a lot of knowledge and expertise working on a very modest budget.

I think that the USPO does very well with the funds that they are allocated and under the directive that they have been given. Unless you are some sort of stellar organization genius that can step up and work miracles, you shouldn't be calling them incompetent, but rather calling their mission directives into question. Do you really think that the guy in the USPO who gave a green light to stuff like 'one click checkout', couldn't see the obvious idiocy to the patent? He/she looks at patents every day, all day. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they can probably spot a dumb patent a mile away, but their organizational directives don't allow them veto power over a patent application, 'because its dumb.', as that would create all sorts of legal issues.

It is easy to stand back an slag a process based on its failures, but its much harder to get in there and actually fix things. If you have better ideas, call your government and tell them.

Re:Stupid is as stupid directs.... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44964067)

I agree with you that it would seem to be a logical step for the USPO to take

Then you miss my point, I'm saying "approve them and let the courts figure it out" is what they do now, not that they should start doing it.

Unless you are some sort of stellar organization genius that can step up and work miracles, you shouldn't be calling them incompetent, but rather calling their mission directives into question.

Oddly enough, you'll note that I did exactly that. It was the post I replied to who said they were incompetent.

If you have better ideas, call your government and tell them.

This may come as a shock to you, but my government and your government are likely two different entities.

If I contact my government about how many stupid patents the US Patent Office approves, I'd get nowhere.

But the existence of a patent for sideways swinging and some of the other stupid things I've seen tell me that either these guys are truly grossly incompetent, or have been told to approve everything to collect the fees.

You don't need to be an American to look at some of the stupid patents which have been granted and wonder what the hell they were thinking.

Re:Stupid is as stupid directs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44966003)

Your Mom

Re:Stupid is as stupid directs.... (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 7 months ago | (#44964215)

Clearly, the geek and nerd community feels it is the latter role that they should be full filling

Clearly, the law as written disallowing obvious patents agrees with us. Legal code: 35 U.S.C. 103 (A)

Re:Europe (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 7 months ago | (#44967039)

I don't get the impression the USPTO has any incentive to do their job thoroughly and competently -- but that this is what they've been told to do by the government.

Just keep cranking out patents and let the courts decide seems to be how they operate.

While that kind of platitude is great for an easy +5 on Slashdot, anybody who actually practices in patents is all too aware that it's not true. In about 99% of patent applications, the examiner's first office action is a rejection. Under Dudas, a Bush appointee (who was not even statutorily qualified to run the patent office), the "Reject, Reject, Reject" culture was so bad that his most onerous round of patent rules spawned litigation that got the rules overturned. Things got a little better under Kappos, but I still see ridiculous rejections.

Basically, patent examiners get credit for a first office action (a rejection), and then get extra credit for disposing of the case on the second action. The easiest way for them to dispose of it is to reject it a second time. (A "final" rejection). After the "final" rejection, the applicant has to pay a fee and file a "Request for Continued Examination," which resets the count for the examiner like it's a new case. So examiners have every reason to reject applications. And I have seen some truly ridiculous rejections. Things like an examiner saying that my claim was anticipated because she found a controller and said it was the same thing as a sensor, or telling me that a single disk was "multi-layer" because it had two sides. Seriously, try applying for a patent sometime and then tell me that the patent office just rubber stamps applications.

Re:Europe (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 7 months ago | (#44967425)

A patent for a variation in image transition, whether image to image, image to end of file, image to new folder, image to different grade of image whether size or quality, image to different category of image etc. is clearly bullshit as the whole idea of image transitions is clearly obvious and has been explored in media to the nth degree over the last century. Any patent office that would approve is clearly corrupt and is only interested in passing as many patents as possible to fill US courts and make jobs for lawyers. So reality and what is actually happening makes you claims look like blatant bullshit. Something like IrfanView http://www.irfanview.com/ [irfanview.com] one of the most popular free image viewers gives a image transition when it comes to the last image, it advises you as such and gives a choice, so that or a bounce or any other affect is clearly not patentable as it is truly old and obvious.

Re:Europe (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 7 months ago | (#44977369)

It's kind of sad how Slashdotters think they're immune to the uninformed groupthink of the masses, and then post tirades like this that prove nothing better than their own ignorance. For future reference, there is a right way and a wrong way to analyze a patent and offer an informed opinion that it should not have been issued in light of prior art. This is the wrong way. I'm also curious which part of my post gave you the mistaken impression I was defending that particular patent in the first place.

Re:Europe (2)

fredrated (639554) | about 7 months ago | (#44963581)

I read the side-to-side swing patent, but that's just a method of swinging. How can you patent that? Can you sue me for how I use a swing? or how I walk, if you patented that?

Re:Europe (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44963607)

Can you sue me for how I use a swing? or how I walk, if you patented that?

If you hold a patent that hasn't been invalidated by a court, then likely yes.

Now, as to how you could possibly patent a comb-over or swinging sideways ... well, that's a fascinating question.

Re:Europe (1)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about 7 months ago | (#44967521)

No. You, as an individual, are free to use a patented idea for your own personal use any way you see fit. However, you're not allowed to sell or distribute to anyone else anything based on that patented concept until the patent expires. On the other hand, if someone were able to copyright the act of swinging sideways you, as an individual, could be enjoined from swinging sideways. That's in the U.S. Don't know about other countries.

Re:Europe (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 7 months ago | (#44965009)

"Too Obfuscatory" (yes, I had to look that form up) should be a reason for rejecting a patent. That way, patent examiners can just take a look at it, and if they cannot figure out what the hell is going on or come up with a clear picture of the patented object in question on first read, they can reject it outright without wasting more time on it.

Re:Europe (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 7 months ago | (#44963651)

In fact, overall the US patent office doesn't do "due diligence" on almost anything anymore.

What do you mean "anymore"? They didn't before either, which is why unscrupulous people like Edison could trawl for European and Russian inventions, and then patent them in the US.
(And then have the public believe these patent trolls were inventors, but that's a different side of the story.)

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963967)

The funny thing is that this would not be an issue had Apple been a German company. If BMW had a feature demonstrated on a car before it was patented, the German court would uphold it. Apple, being a US company (and thus the target of anti-US sentiment) is an easy target.

What we are seeing is just simple political grandstanding by a judge trying to ride the current tides of popular favor for a career boost.

Re:Europe (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 7 months ago | (#44964191)

The funny thing is that this would not be an issue had Apple been a German company. If BMW had a feature demonstrated on a car before it was patented, the German court would uphold it. Apple, being a US company (and thus the target of anti-US sentiment) is an easy target.

Do you have prove for this claim?
Just because in the US you do things this way (Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. HTC) doesn't mean that others do as well.

You should know that we Germans are sticklers for rules.

Oh, and this myth of rampart anti-US sentiments in Germany isn't really true, either.

Re:Europe (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 7 months ago | (#44964225)

Oh, and this myth of rampart anti-US sentiments in Germany isn't really true, either.

Though the US seems to be working very hard to make sure that anti-US sentiment round the globe in general remains high. :(

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44964487)

Of course, Germans are sticklers for rules, when it benefits them. Were Mercedes in the same exact place, perhaps showing off a photo gallery in an upcoming vehicle, the judge would have definitely upheld their patent claim. Especially if the other party were not a EU based firm.

As for the anti-US sentiment, please, go ahead, explain the many, many gasthaus/cafe/pub/restaurant entrance doors all across Germany (not to mention Europe proper) with the "Americans not welcome, go home so you can be monitored by your own country," or some snide crack like that.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965183)

Posting AC. Feel free to moderate to oblivion due to being waay off topic.

As someone who has not been to Europe for a while, is this truly the case (where Americans are despised to the point of being unwelcome at most places of business), or is this just yet another AC troll?

I am planning to see about starting a business with some old college buds relating to crypto in Germany (Frankfurt area), and I keep getting warned that Europe is safe... but not for Americans. To the point of expecting to be attacked/assaulted violently if someone from the US is at an entertainment venue, and the local police will look the other way. If the anti-US sentiment is this great in European countries, then I should rethink visiting until times are calmer.

Re: Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968089)

As long as you are friendly and not a 'i'm an american and we are always right' you should be good....

Re: Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968853)

If you come to Europe and integrate you will be fine.

If you come to Europe and go to your entertainment venue shouting "USA, USA!" you'll probably go home minus your teeth.

To Europeans, a lot of American behaviour is reminiscent of third world social behaviour. No one in Europe took to the streets shouting, cheering, waving flags and chanting like USA, USA when Osama was captured/killed. Likewise with the capture of Boston marathon bomber.

Re: Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968817)

Go to grammar school!

You can't really berate someone with your level of English, even the German has better grammar.

Re: Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44978243)

Scottish guy here. Been all over Europe and yet to see a sign anything like that. Americans aren't as interesting to the rest of the word as you guys think you are.

Re:Europe (2)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 7 months ago | (#44964541)

Oh, and this myth of rampart anti-US sentiments in Germany isn't really true, either.

It is in Berlin. It is more of a resigned complaining about depressing facts than any kind of personal dislike. I think most people would love to see the US overcome its problems and move forward, but they just don't believe it will happen.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44967903)

It is in Berlin. It is more of a resigned complaining about depressing facts than any kind of personal dislike

You mean... exactly like in the US? When Americans complain about their government it's their patriotic duty. When dirty unwashed foreigners do it, it's America-bashing.

Without the US, those filthy germans would be speaking German!

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968141)

Of course not. Moving forward is progress. In the US, they have the exact opposite.

To have progress, you first need to get rid of congress.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965133)

You mean like what happened to Samsung in the US trials?

Re:Europe (1)

DoktorFaust (564453) | about 7 months ago | (#44964643)

People can complain about the European patent system but they do a lot of things better than the USA: - Actually doing due diligence on first-discovery vs. the nonsensical "first to file"

How does that statement make any sense in light of this situation? The court is throwing out the patent because it can be proven that Apple has "first-discovery" before they "filed". In other words, they're fully acknowledging that the invention is novel and Apple is first, but---oops!---they filled out the paperwork in the wrong order. That doesn't sound like a "better" patent system to me, just stereotypical German.

Re:Europe (1)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | about 7 months ago | (#44964817)

Note entirely true. "First (inventor) to file" is the European system, "First to Discover" used to be the American system until they changed in March 2013 to "first to file". You still would need to show that you invented it under "first to file", but the filing date is the tie-breaker if you both can show you invented it. The US allows a year between public disclosure and filing. In Europe, public disclosure voids filing. Those are the rules.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965301)

Smucker's would seem to be believe that their jelly is no better than anyone else's if they need to patent the sandwich style.

Re:Europe (1)

thejuggler (610249) | about 7 months ago | (#44971561)

- Stopping submarine patents and patent trolls.
- Actually doing due diligence on first-discovery vs. the nonsensical "first to file"
- Actually doing due diligence to keep the Obvious and Trivial patents out
- Actually doing due diligence to be sure someone isn't trying to patent something already patented

I would argue that first to file is as important as first to discover. There are scoundrels and then there are SCOUNDRELS that even if they are doing discovery/invention that will falsify data to claim they were "first". The discover/invention process needs to be documented much like scientific method and independently verified.

The EU rule that a patent must be file before announcement is ludacris. Public announcement AND demonstration of a discovery/invention in fact should improve the standing of a patent application if we are really concerned with patent trolls.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963327)

The American patent system is garbage but at least it doesn't force costly patents onto demonstrated ideas. Maybe I need funding traction before I can even afford a patent? Europe would rather a competing European firm hold that patent, even if I demo'd the tech in the US years prior.

Re:Europe (4, Informative)

St.Creed (853824) | about 7 months ago | (#44963613)

The law applies to *public* demonstrations. Not closed demonstrations covered by a solid wall of NDA's. And if you demonstrated it years ago in the US, there's no way a EU firm could hold the patent. You could still file it in the USA if noone did before you, but never in the EU. On the other hand, the guy in the audience that was a bit faster than you? Neither could he.

Don't discount the advantages because you dislike one particular disadvantage.

Re: Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968755)

If you look back at all of the US's supposed innovations, you will find them all the be 'first-filed' patents, not 'first-innovated'.

Just ask Tesla and Graham-Bell.

Patents stiffle innovation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963203)

I've got news for you: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=patents+stiffle+innovation

Except for the pharmaceutical industry perhaps, patents do more harm than good. (oh, lawyers apparently benefit also from patents...)

Re:Patents stiffle innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963587)

Pharma patents are the worst. Only in America can people get away with bleeding people dry to stay alive. --A happy Canadian enjoying generics.

Re:Patents stiffle innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963935)

The problem in the USA with medicines is that right before a patent expires, the pharmaceuticals revoke it, change the recipe a little, and refile it. The way the patent system is meant to work, is that your recipes become public domain after the patent expires.

Re:Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963295)

USA! USA! USA! YEAAAAAAAAH!

In united states, you can show off your inventions before patenting them! WOOHOOO! In your face world!

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44967311)

And with your fucked-up patent system someone else can then promptly file a patent for your invention before you.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44969013)

If you are dumb enough to show of your invention before patenting it, then it's your damn loss. First file for a patent, then you can show of your invention, it is protected from the day you file the patent.

Re:Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963319)

Trivial software functionality is not innovation, you stupid yank. Stop drinking the koolaid.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963493)

Zero innovation. ROFL. Hey wait I bet you think Europe is a country, too.

Re: Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963703)

To be fair, the fucking EU bureaucracy is hard at work at actually and factually making it one country. European states have less and less to decide and are increasingly powerless and must bow to the orders coming from Brussels. Even the constitutions are affected and diminished more and more.

Re: Europe (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 7 months ago | (#44966667)

I am not sure the trend will last for a long time. The EU has no army, that power being kept at member state level. That means that any country that want to say stop to EU rules can do so. And given the mess EU is creating for its member state population, it should come soon, now.

Re:Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44967867)

Zero innovation.

Dude, do you even know how to breathe unaided?

Silly /. editors (1, Funny)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about 7 months ago | (#44963007)

Story title should be:

We don't think that Apple is the most innovative innovater in the innovative history of innovating innovaters (which is in itself an innovation).

and the summary should be:

Boy, have we made sure to make this story fanboy/troll bait!

It's a viral campaign for Apple's new product. (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 7 months ago | (#44963917)

iRony.

They just haven't patented it yet, so they can't use the term as such but they can iMply it.
Which is also a technology that Apple is currently in the process of patenting.

Android Gallery (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#44963039)

But Apple can still sue companies over the Android photo gallery:

Please do! Maybe then, they'll replace the aforementioned crash-and-bug-laden POS with something, I dunno, functional.

Re:Android Gallery (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 7 months ago | (#44963523)

I had basically forgotten about the Android photo gallery. Worthless piece of garbage to the point where I don't even think about it, since I just treat the phone as if it doesn't have one. I installed a comics reader, but no general photo gallery app.

Re:Android Gallery (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 7 months ago | (#44964919)

I just wish viewing photos with stock software on Android wasn't so goddamn limited to the GPU texture size limits on the device. My 7 year old dell PDA can view images in their full quality through creative use of screen space, instead of keeping the whole image loaded in a downsized capacity where zooming in just shows a bunch of muddled pixels stretched across the screen.

Re:Android Gallery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963649)

Never once had a problem. G1, G2 or Galaxy S3.

Re:Android Gallery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44964593)

No problems here. No crashes. No bugs Ive ever noticed. S3.

If you have problems ( and you must have big ones to be assuming that every one else has your problems ), you can always just go to the Play Store and get a better app and use that as your default gallery*

* yes you read that right iOS users, in Android you are actually allowed (Android speak for "you have been given permission by His Holiness") to change what app is the default for just about anything ( yes, even keyboards! )

Re:Android Gallery (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 7 months ago | (#44965391)

No problems here. No crashes. No bugs Ive ever noticed. S3.

The Samsung gallery application isn't the same as the stock Android one. It's a lot faster and more stable. Despite what some people would have you believe, there are actually advantages to using a TouchWiz ROM.

Re:Android Gallery (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 7 months ago | (#44966931)

Even better - he could write his own and install it.

Re:Android Gallery (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#44972181)

Yea, I could (actually I probably couldn't, since I'm not a coder), but why reinvent the wheel? GhostCommander has a fine picture-view built in.

Needs to be reversed (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963093)

public disclosure, even by an inventor, must not take place before a European patent application is filed

This should be reversed: no patent can be granted before the inventor has demonstrated that it really works.

Re:Needs to be reversed (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 7 months ago | (#44964199)

You dont have to demonstrate it works in public, you do it in private to the patent body.

Screwy rule (1, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#44963139)

Not being able to tell people what you have before you tell the government? i guess that is so they can keep the creme of the crop on ideas.

Re:Screwy rule (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963357)

If you want to keep it as some uber-special method that no-one else can use without paying you, that makes sense. If you go around to the world, showing a new technique, then later on say "oh yeah, remember that thing I told you about, if you use it you have to pay me" you get laughed at.

See how that now makes sense when it's phrased properly.

Re:Screwy rule (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#44963561)

Its still you that invented it. I don't see a problem with telling people 'hey, its mine and im first'

If you want to keep it secret you don't even apply for a patent.

Re:Screwy rule (1)

Kumiorava (95318) | about 7 months ago | (#44968421)

Problem is that you can have two persons working on a same thing where one does public presentation and does not want to patent the invention. Second one can then after this fact file patent for the invention and sue the former even if the invention was actually done first by the one who didn't want to file a patent for it. For open source and open ideas it's better to have a system where inventions can be made un-patentable without expensive legal process so I prefer the European system.

Re:Screwy rule (4, Insightful)

Grieviant (1598761) | about 7 months ago | (#44963359)

Yea, but what's more screwy in this case is that the 'bounce back' effect was actually accepted as a valid patent. C'mon, is that what qualifies for innovation worthy of protection nowadays? What a joke.

In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963337)

German apples kill Steve Jobs.

Or something like that.

first TFS linked article goes to fosspatents.com (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44963373)

why link to an admitted shill's website?

Re:first TFS linked article goes to fosspatents.co (2)

Sique (173459) | about 7 months ago | (#44964261)

Because also a shill can be factually correct?

Re:first TFS linked article goes to fosspatents.co (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#44968531)

But probably not, and that's the problem.

Like The Daily Mail, Florian Mueller has so little credibility at this point that it's impossible to trust anything he says with any degree of confidence.

Much better to go elsewhere, to somewhere with a track record of genuinely being able to report factually with some consistency.

Bouncing never should have been patentable (1, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about 7 months ago | (#44963857)

The "bounce" is just the natural step response of an underdamped second order system [umich.edu]. You cannot patent, or at least you should not be able to patent fundamental mathematical principles. The only people who think this is in any way novel or patent-worthy are those who've never taken a higher level math or physics course. But ignorance of the natural laws of math and physics is not an excuse.

Re:Bouncing never should have been patentable (2, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#44964175)

Yeah so all icons and user displays since the dawn of computing are fundamentally underdamped second order systems and bounce has been an inherent property of all those systems... or not.

Guess what: almost everything can be described mathematically to some degree, and, by definition, absolutely everything obeys the laws of physics. That doesn't mean that everything *is* math or *is* the laws of physics though. By your definition, the only things that should receive patents are things that can't exist... (Yes, I am aware that this idea is appealing to some elements of the Slashdot "intelligentsia")

I'm not saying that this bounce patent should have been granted, but not on the rather thin grounds that it happens to include a graphical representation of an action that isn't contradictory to the laws of physics. Instead, it would be based on the fact that other user interfaces in the past also incorporated similar animation and feedback patterns.

Re:Bouncing never should have been patentable (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 7 months ago | (#44964945)

You're missing what I'm saying. The bounce behavior is completely natural, ordinary, obvious, and should not be patentable.

If Apple wants to patent a specific algorithm which generates a bouncing behavior, then they should be able to as long as it's a novel method and nobody's done it that way before. What they should not be able to do is get a patent which prohibits anyone else from implementing any bouncing, which is exactly what's happened. At that point, the fact that this behavior is a natural consequence of some simple mathematical laws and has been known about for centuries becomes prior art.

Re:Bouncing never should have been patentable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44968357)

No, just no.

Noone should be able to patent either
something completely obvious
or
software algorithms

Re:Bouncing never should have been patentable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44966513)

... the fact that other user interfaces in the past also incorporated similar animation and feedback patterns.

Objectively define "similar." You can't and the PTO's attempts at it are laughable nonsense.

You can't even objectively define whether two colors are similar. For some petty PTO bureaucrat to think they can do this for the infinitely dimensioned space of ideas is staggering hubris. It's almost completely arbitrary and fertile ground for scammers and thieves.

Re:Bouncing never should have been patentable (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 7 months ago | (#44964903)

Simulating momentum has been a UI gimmick almost as long as there have been UIs. I remember when it was all the rage for ANSI viewers to do accelerated scrolling. I think some of them even bounced when you got to the top or bottom.

But no, Apple invented everything.

Let me get this straight.... (-1, Flamebait)

nnnnnnn (1611817) | about 7 months ago | (#44963885)

If I come up with an invention, and pay the state money, I can claim ownership of it.

If I come up with an invention, and not pay the state, or (in the EU) not pay the state before I publicize it, the state takes ownership of it (steals it).

Does that make sense to anyone? If so, I sure would like to hear it.

Re:Let me get this straight.... (1)

bytesex (112972) | about 7 months ago | (#44964135)

"If I come up with an invention, and not pay the state, or (in the EU) not pay the state before I publicize it, the state takes ownership of it (steals it)."

No, the public gets it. That is not the same. It was pre-shared, as it were.

Re:Let me get this straight.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44964231)

Sure - you're so smart, you're stupid. Clear.

Re:Let me get this straight.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965643)

In order to to foster innovation society wants inventions to be pubically available so that other can improve upon them and base their inventions on the previous ones (compare "progress"). To make people publish their invention, society grants them a time-limited monopoly on their invention (a patent) in exchange for publishing their invention .

Once you already published it yourself for free, why should you get anything in exchange for publishing it in the form of a patent description anymore?

Re:Let me get this straight.... (1)

nnnnnnn (1611817) | about 7 months ago | (#44966041)

Why would publishing it be automatically considered as an intent to give up your ownership over your intellectual property. And if that is the case, then the same should apply to copyrights. If you don't register with the copyright office your blog post, article, music, source code, graphic design, etc, before making it public, than those would automatically be public domain, where I can take your IP, put my name on it, and sell it for a profit.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-register.html [copyright.gov]

But copyrights are basically free, and apply automatically at the moment they are created by their authors.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/ [copyright.gov]
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf [copyright.gov]

"Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States
(title 17,U.S.Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including
literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This
protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106
of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive
right to do and to authorize others to do the following"

"Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is cre
ated in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship
immediately becomes the property of the author who cre
ated the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights
through the author can rightfully claim copyright"

"Is my copyright good in other countries?"
"The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights."

So if you create a story about a boy wizard who goes to wizarding school, you own that work and you also get to own the imaginary characters that you created, No one can write a story using your specific boy wizard character. All this happens instantaneously, across multiple countries, for free as soon as you write it.

You spend thousands creating a better internal combustion engine, you have to go the patent office (and maybe get a patent lawyer), pay huge sums of money, wait years to hear from the patent office. and after all that you get to claim that you own your own invention. And you have to do this across each country you want to claim that you own your own invention, so that others can't take it, put their name on it, and sell it for a profit and give you nothing.

Boy have we patented it! (1)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#44964303)

Of course, that statement was specifically and uniquely directed at the multi-touch technology and the iphone screen, which has nothing to do with this patent issue. But meh... What would be a good headline without a bit of missinformation.

Gotta hand it to Steve Jobs... (2)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about 7 months ago | (#44964789)

Even from the grave he's his own worst enemy...

Re:Gotta hand it to Steve Jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965287)

Yeah, it's just a matter of time before the literally hundreds of other iPhone-related patents are all found to have been nullified by him.

It would have been invalidated anyway (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 7 months ago | (#44965079)

There was far too much prior art on the concept that had already been disclosed so the patent would not have stood. I believe it isn't even valid in the US any longer.

Re:It would have been invalidated anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44966445)

And what you believe is all that matters.

Change of heart? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44965085)

Are Fandroids having a change of heart about patents, now that one of them isn't quite as widely applicable?

interesting mystery then (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#44965453)

This brings up a VERY interesting question. How does Peter Molyneux patent anything? He makes stuff up on the fly during the live press releases for Fable games then goes back and tells his developers to add it to the game.

Steve Jobs el padre de la tecnologia (1)

OscarHerreraMX (2637173) | about 7 months ago | (#44972787)

Hola que tal, excelente nota mil respetos para Steve Jobs el siempre será el padre de la tecnología http://www.oscarherrera.info/blog/branding-personal-muestras-o-escondes-tu-talento/ [oscarherrera.info]
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