Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:05 UTC
Legal So, Apple has to pay boatloads of money to some patent troll over cover flow and Time Machine-related patents.
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Out of curiosity
by philipsw on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:12 UTC
philipsw
Member since:
2009-07-27

Where's the righteous indignation in the reporting in this story which is generally reserved for patent trolls?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Out of curiosity
by tuzor on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:48 UTC in reply to "Out of curiosity"
tuzor Member since:
2007-08-07

Where's the righteous indignation in the reporting in this story which is generally reserved for patent trolls?

Doesn't apply to apple.
There's a party at Thom's house tonight.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Out of curiosity
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Out of curiosity"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Sure, ridiculing the patents in question as directly as I do in this item is anti-Apple. Makes total sense. It's never okay with you guys, is it?

Also, I'm out of Martini, so how ON EARTH am I supposed to throw a party? You've never been to a party, have you?

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Out of curiosity
by philipsw on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Out of curiosity"
philipsw Member since:
2009-07-27

I think you wanted to reply to me on this. I'm really the one questioning the journalistic integrity here. It seems, to me at least, that most of the patent lawsuit reporting on this site and, in particular, your editorials focus on large corporations bringing suits against smaller corporations/individuals. Most of these articles vilify the bringer of the suit and ultimately result in the question being posed "Why is the US justice system so backwards?" So my, admittedly cynical, question should have been "Why no editorial about how harmful US IP laws are in this case?" Obviously it's not that repeating the point is pointless, since it's been argued in editorial postings here countless times. Understand, I'm not suggesting that US patent laws are perfect, I'm just curious about the inconsistency. Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Out of curiosity
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Out of curiosity"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What inconsistency?

I'm against software patents, whether wielded by large or by small companies.

You're not paying attention, I've reported on both variants in the way you described. Use the search field (I'm on a mobile phone atm.).

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Out of curiosity
by TechGeek on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Out of curiosity"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Maybe its because Apple likes wielding its software patents like a hammer against competition. You reap what you sow and that sort of thing. I don't like software patents in general, but its humorous that the companies using them against open source get taken down by patent trolls doing the same thing.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Out of curiosity
by WereCatf on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Out of curiosity"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't like software patents in general, but its humorous that the companies using them against open source get taken down by patent trolls doing the same thing.

Ufortunately this doesn't hurt Apple in the least, they'll just squeeze the money right back from their customers.

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: Out of curiosity
by mrhasbean on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Out of curiosity"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Maybe its because Apple likes wielding its software patents like a hammer against competition. You reap what you sow and that sort of thing. I don't like software patents in general, but its humorous that the companies using them against open source get taken down by patent trolls doing the same thing.


Can you at least see though WHY they patent as much stuff as they do? If they'd patented these concepts right back in the Hypercard days those who cry foul whenever they patent something to the wahzoo would still have cried foul, but it wouldn't now be costing them $200 mil...

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by brewmastre on Tue 5th Oct 2010 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

Or if the world had never allowed software patents in the first place, they wouldn't being paying out right now and the court systems time would not be continuously wasted like it is. Having an idea and creating something amazing from it is great but to thing that you're the only one who should be able to reap the benefits of that idea is arrogant and selfish. I'm sorry, but I have to side with Thom on this guys.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by viton on Tue 5th Oct 2010 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Can you at least see though WHY they patent as much stuff as they do?

How much? For example IBM issued 4914 patents in 2009
while Apple did only 400.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Out of curiosity
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 05:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Out of curiosity"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Maybe its because Apple likes wielding its software patents like a hammer against competition.

A hammer? More like an axe, sword or mace/flail.

It's not very often you see someone in a battle using a hammer... and if they did, I would hope they didn't intend for it to offer them very good protection.

On the other hand, Hammer Smashed Face is a good song though... [by death metal band Cannibal Corpse]

Sorry, I just had to throw that out there. ;)

Edited 2010-10-05 05:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by Neolander on Tue 5th Oct 2010 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, what's the problem ? A hammer is just like a software patent : not something to defend yourself, but rather something to smash innocent opponents by attacking first ;)

About fighting with a hammer, I watched Conan the Barbarian yesterday... Yeah, it can work, as long as it's sufficiently big =p

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by dnebdal on Tue 5th Oct 2010 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

Nothing wrong with battle hammers. When striking hard plate armor, edged weapons often glance off, while hammers can get most of the force of the blow onto the target.

Consider http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_hammer ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Out of curiosity
by WereCatf on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Out of curiosity"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm just curious about the inconsistency.

I don't understand what inconsistency you see. Thom Holwerda has been against software patents for god knows how long, it doesn't matter who the parties in question are.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Out of curiosity
by philipsw on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Out of curiosity"
philipsw Member since:
2009-07-27

Okay, I'll concede that point. However, I was commenting more on the reporting of the news. I've become a bit more accustomed to write-ups in these types of articles generally being a bit snarky toward the bringer of the suit. I was merely curious about the lack of said snarky-ness in this case.

Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Out of curiosity
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Out of curiosity"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd say this photo is about as snarky as it can get...

The photo illustrates the utter stupidity of the patents in question.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by Moredhas on Tue 5th Oct 2010 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

To apply my amazing literary critique skills to this, I think the artist tried to convey a "business as usual" air, and a level of boredom with the brevity of his poem.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Out of curiosity
by earksiinni on Tue 5th Oct 2010 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Out of curiosity"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Wow. I don't think Thom could've possibly been any snarkier. l2mockery.

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Out of curiosity
by acobar on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:20 UTC in reply to "Out of curiosity"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I am. I have to say that Apple produces fine hardware+software usually and that, overall, I like its products, even though the last time I bought something from them was long ago. It is just that they become too control freak for my taste and that I find myself to prefer other hardware producers.

I am also of the opinion that patents are not the best fit for software, at least on its current form. That companies are able to use them for trivial ideas are, indeed, awkward.

Anyway, I suspect that big companies still prefer it, even if they may have to pay some trolls from time to time. And so be it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Out of curiosity
by Laurence on Tue 5th Oct 2010 09:25 UTC in reply to "Out of curiosity"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Where's the righteous indignation in the reporting in this story which is generally reserved for patent trolls?


They say a picture speaks a thousand words and I thought this picture spoke Thom's stance just as eloquently as his traditional rants.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Out of curiosity
by vivainio on Wed 6th Oct 2010 05:01 UTC in reply to "Out of curiosity"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Where's the righteous indignation in the reporting in this story which is generally reserved for patent trolls?


Uh, isn't this exactly the kind of patent Apple is using to attack other phone manufacturers as we speak?

Reply Score: 2

Obvious patent
by NxStY on Mon 4th Oct 2010 22:47 UTC
NxStY
Member since:
2005-11-12

"The document streams outlined in the patents would contain many different types of documents with a similar theme, and would be organized in chronological order and displayed in a pile."

Is this really an invention?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Obvious patent
by No it isnt on Mon 4th Oct 2010 23:00 UTC in reply to "Obvious patent"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Looks like I might be infringing on that one.

Inadvertently, of course.

Edited 2010-10-04 23:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Obvious patent
by Morgan on Tue 5th Oct 2010 00:05 UTC in reply to "Obvious patent"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Apparently so. Due to the stack of unpaid bills on one end of my desk and the pile of paid bills on the other end, and the stream of money flowing from my bank account to my creditors, I must be in violation of these patents as well. Looks like I owe the trolls some money!

Wait, I already spent it on the aforementioned bills. Oh well.

Edited 2010-10-05 00:06 UTC

Reply Score: 7

JPowers27
Member since:
2008-07-30

The patent is on an In-Box (like you have on your desk) where all new documents are placed on the bottom of the stack and you can see top document and part of several documents under it.

Please note that the documents are always sorted by time...

iTunes sorts by: Album Title, Artist, Song Title (never by added date).

Time Machine: sorts directory snap-shots by time. It doesn't present documents in a stack.

Isn't this patent a algorithm and describes an abstract process? If it is, then it shouldn't be patentable.

Reply Score: 1

tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

The patent is on an In-Box (like you have on your desk) where all new documents are placed on the bottom of the stack and you can see top document and part of several documents under it.

Please note that the documents are always sorted by time...

iTunes sorts by: Album Title, Artist, Song Title (never by added date).

Time Machine: sorts directory snap-shots by time. It doesn't present documents in a stack.

Isn't this patent a algorithm and describes an abstract process? If it is, then it shouldn't be patentable.



Hence, Apple is appealing the ruling on all 3 counts.

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


iTunes sorts by: Album Title, Artist, Song Title (never by added date).


Actually iTunes can do that and I use it all the time such as when I import a bunch of mp3 files and want to enter corrected metadata, so if the artist or album name is screwed up I just sort to show by date imported where I can see the files at the top that need the editing.

Reply Score: 2

Photo + headline == +1 Funny
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 5th Oct 2010 01:59 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

You almost owed me a new keyboard, Thom - from now on, I'll have to remember to swallow my coffee/beer before clicking "Read More".

Reply Score: 5

208.5 million? Not 210 million?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 5th Oct 2010 02:31 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Where do they come up with settlement amounts? A lotto ball machine?

There should be a cap unless you can show that the product's sales depended on your patent.

I have seen some good examples of software patents that deserve protection like compression schemes and molecular analysis algorithms that take years to develop....but an album organizer?

Of course the settlement wouldn't have been over a million if Apple didn't have gobs of cash in the bank. This is like a lot of liability suits against large corps where a high amount is chosen simply because the corp can easily afford it. That doesn't make the judgement right however. It has been stated elsewhere that companies will patent troll in this part of Texas since it is an easy area to play on corporate resentment.

Edited 2010-10-05 02:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

I don't like Apple but
by metalf8801 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 02:35 UTC
metalf8801
Member since:
2010-03-22

I don't like Apple but I dislike Paten trolls even more. So I think this defiantly a bad thing even throw it happened to Apple. However, maybe now the powers that be over at Apple (aka Steve) will have more of an anti patent attitude.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't like Apple but
by nt_jerkface on Tue 5th Oct 2010 02:43 UTC in reply to "I don't like Apple but "
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

If anything Apple will push to make it harder for smaller companies and individuals to file patents and win awards.

They view themselves as highly innovative even if their top selling products are based on existing tech. Just look at the HTC suit, they clearly support the worst aspects of the system. Jobs just doesn't want the worst of the system directed at them.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I don't like Apple but
by leech on Tue 5th Oct 2010 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't like Apple but "
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Exactly. Apple does deserve this. Apple is like the jerk at the party who walks around and slaps everyone upside the head, but when someone finally slaps back, they cry like a little girl.

It's kind of like when playing Dungeons and Dragons, and the awesome fighter is just chopping through orc after orc and then a troll smacks him around and then eats his flesh. The fighter is going to start whining that it wasn't fair that he got his butt kicked so hard.

Ah, geekness! Was thinking Patent Troll... figured it fit ;)

Reply Score: 4

Honest IP lawyer
by bnolsen on Tue 5th Oct 2010 03:56 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I had a discussion with our company legal counsel at work today about the software patents. Interstingly enough he's pretty much all for getting rid of patents in general.

Part of that discussion was about Edison, the light bulb and electric generation/transmission where the patent system was also pretty heavily abused (not to mention edison was a jerk).

Reply Score: 2

Not only Apple
by Soulbender on Tue 5th Oct 2010 08:46 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

When a patent troll wins everyone loses.

Reply Score: 4

ahahah
by lost on Tue 5th Oct 2010 09:16 UTC
lost
Member since:
2006-03-17

Software patent : Software = Church : Science

Reply Score: 2

RE: ahahah
by earksiinni on Tue 5th Oct 2010 14:58 UTC in reply to "ahahah"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Holy Roman Empire : Zollverein :: George Foreman : Manny Pacquiao

Reply Score: 1

Apple gets to taste its own medicine
by OSGuy on Tue 5th Oct 2010 09:37 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Let this be a lesson for Apple (as if it changes things). Apple gets to taste its own medicine. I am not sure if I should be happy about this or sad. How do you choose between two evils? You can't....

Patents are designed to prevent competition and innovation. Patents are all about making money and stopping other people competing with you. Apple/HTC, Nokia/Apple, Oracle/Google, Microsoft/Motorola are prime examples of this. As far as I know, many of the patents are just ideas. I don't understand how can you copyright an idea. Ideas cannot be copyrighted and that's what patents are, ideas, methods....(many but not all, for example, Oracle/Google/Java is not just an idea, Microsoft ActiveSync is not just an idea). Common sense and logic should not be patentable.

Edited 2010-10-05 09:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Common sense and logic should not be patentable.

I'll go against this and quote a previous poster who said he understood compression schemes being patented:

I have seen some good examples of software patents that deserve protection like compression schemes and molecular analysis algorithms that take years to develop

OK, but how do we determine what "deserves protection" and hence, is entitled to a patent? The distinction is sometimes easy and sometimes, it's not that obvious.

The run-length encoding is so easy to understand that a 4-year old can grab it. The Huffman algorithm is based on distributing storage space units based on frequencies so as to minimize the total space. The dictionary in LZW is less easy to understand but it isn't that exceptional once you get the gist of it. All of these are just that, "logic". But someone came up with each of these first. What's the "reward" for that? Their name in the book of prime ideas?

All of three algorithms I mentioned are aiming at reducing the space needed to store some information. Now is LZW an idea or a method? I don't know. But if it's not "patent-able", what do we consider an addition considerable enough to make it worth a patent?

Anyway, I'm against getting rid of patents altogether, whether software-related or not. Has anyone published an article dealing with the hypothetical consequences of getting rid of patents? That would be a nice read.

Reply Score: 2

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

As far as I can tell, the Oracle/Google battle isn't about patents or even copyright, it's about splitting up Java.

I know Google is everyone's hero for Android, but I'd actually agree with Oracle on this one, they took Java and made it proprietary to Android. Big no-no for something that is supposed to be able to be ran on anything with a jvm.

Then again, Sun shouldn't have done that with J2ME, but then I guess since they were the makers of it... But you'd think Android would then have to be compatible with J2ME stuff.

Sorry for the bit off topic post.

Reply Score: 2

"Apple Loses Patent Troll Lawsuit"
by Daemon_ZOGG on Tue 5th Oct 2010 10:44 UTC
Daemon_ZOGG
Member since:
2009-08-26

One patent troll beating up another patent troll. Hate to be down-wind of that one. I wouldn't want to be overcome by the stench of arrogance and greed. ;p

Reply Score: 5

Use it or lose it law
by fran on Tue 5th Oct 2010 13:08 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

This patents, in two worlds about it. If I had some money turning patents I would sue if they're infringed upon. But patent trolling thats another thing. Maybe the governments should make an use it or lose it law or at least reduce the patent period significantly.

Also what makes me mad is when Universities make's breakthrough (most indirectly funded by taxpayers) and then gets owned by companies. I think some of these patents should be open. But then again maybe its a important part of an Universities funding model also.

Reply Score: 2

SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

do what Microshaft used to do during its climb to the top of the crime tables... Just buy the company in question when it comes forward there is a theft of IP or code base. Apple is the next Micro$haft, the current Sony of electronic garbage and there is not a thing lawsuits like this or you and I will do which will change this future for Apple. Fanboys should get over losing the luster of a once underdog company. The choices are less now than ever, if you want individualism simply stop buying Apple overpriced marginalized hardware and get 1/3 priced generic and install customized LINUX distros for your needs. Good luck, is your time worth any money?

Reply Score: 0

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Microshaft
Micro$haft

Oh damn, you forgot to also use "Crapple..."

Reply Score: 2

OSnews = Odorous Shit News ?
by lucifer on Fri 8th Oct 2010 00:25 UTC
lucifer
Member since:
2006-08-20

word of advice : get you fact right before jumping with your balls dangling freely and unprotected to any conclusion. do some background research before labeling any company a patent troll.

its no wonder these days i take news article in osnews with a big scoop of salt. it really is that bad.

Reply Score: 1