Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Jul 2011 22:47 UTC, submitted by Jennimc
Legal If you can't compete, litigate. Not entirely unsurprisingly, the US ITC has sided with a US company against a Taiwanese competitor - the US International Trade Commission judge has ruled that out of ten patents Apple brought into its suit against HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone pioneer is infringing upon two. The ruling has to be reviewed by a panel of six, but if they agree, then some HTC devices may be banned from the US market - unless HTC and Apple can come to a settlement. We also know which two patents - and yes, they're software patents, of course.
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v Comment by Jennimc
by Jennimc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:05 UTC
RE: Comment by Jennimc
by Gusar on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

"Steal their products" ?? Really?? You can't tell be you really believe the stuff you're writing. Not with a straight face you can't.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc
by Jennimc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Jennimc"
RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc
by Gusar on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

I was just commenting on your post. I didn't say anything, in either direction, about what Thom wrote. Nice diversion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc
by Laurence on Sat 16th Jul 2011 10:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Seriously? You're going to take issue with that word and nothing that Thom wrote???

I'm not going to take issue with what Thom wrote simply because this whole situation is retarded.

Ignoring the "American court sticking up for an American company" conspiracy theory for a moment, Thom is absolutely right that Apple blocking HTC sales in the US is 100% uncompetitive.

I'm open minded to other view points, but I cannot understand how any sane person would see Apples actions here as fair or competitive. It's little more than a kid throwing his toys of the pram because he was told he had to share.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Jennimc
by mrstep on Mon 18th Jul 2011 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Sure the system is screwed up, but seemingly Apple is determined to have that system on THEIR side this time around, unlike when they let Microsoft see their inner workings and then turn around and back-stab them.

There are huge issues with the current patents in terms of discoverability, them being granted without being vetted wrt. prior art, the costs favoring large companies, and the idea of granting software patents for more than something like 3-5 years.

But given that Apple, like all of these other (big) companies, happens to be part of this system, and that part of business is protecting actual innovations (in addition to a lot of self-evident crap)... I guess I'm not shocked at this point. It won't change until it implodes on itself.

That said, the detection of content by format/pattern and offering actions on that is pretty slick. I wouldn't have any problem with them being able to say 'we invented this' and being able to prevent competitors from stealing it for, say, 5 years, which in this business is a friggin' eternity. 17-20 years, OTOH, is just nuts.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Jennimc
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jul 2011 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Jennimc"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Sure the system is screwed up, but seemingly Apple is determined to have that system on THEIR side this time around, unlike when they let Microsoft see their inner workings and then turn around and back-stab them.

There are huge issues with the current patents in terms of discoverability, them being granted without being vetted wrt. prior art, the costs favoring large companies, and the idea of granting software patents for more than something like 3-5 years.

But given that Apple, like all of these other (big) companies, happens to be part of this system, and that part of business is protecting actual innovations (in addition to a lot of self-evident crap)... I guess I'm not shocked at this point. It won't change until it implodes on itself.

None of that makes it right though.
I know laws don't always match up with what is widely perceived to be the ethically right thing, however things rarely change while the big players keep abusing the system until something massively blows up - which is usually too late.

That said, the detection of content by format/pattern and offering actions on that is pretty slick. I wouldn't have any problem with them being able to say 'we invented this' and being able to prevent competitors from stealing it for, say, 5 years, which in this business is a friggin' eternity. 17-20 years, OTOH, is just nuts.

Linux has been doing this long before the iPhone was even a prototype and further more i'd argue that such an invention is purely evolutionary

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Jennimc
by kpugovkin on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
kpugovkin Member since:
2011-07-05

[q]If that were the case, CERTAINLY HTC's lawyers would have brought this up in their case. Don't you think?

If I understood you right, what we have now is mostly a lawyer competition.
I bet Apple will win, because (a) Apple is US company and judges are paid from US budget; (b) sure Apple pays more to its lawyers and they should work harder.

For IT folks it’s probably time to move to some other country, where technical competition still exists.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Jennimc
by smashIt on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

""Not entirely unsurprisingly, the US ITC has sided with a US company against a Taiwanese competitor

If a Judge doesn't hand the verdict you want... the only conclusion is that they must be biased? Seriously?
"

the problem is that thom is right
if you want another example where the us of a worked against a foreign competitor just take a look at the last shootout between boing and airbus

take a guess who won the deal despite having the inferior offer ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Jennimc
by WereCatf on Sat 16th Jul 2011 07:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"Even if you dive into these software patent filings, it still looks like incredibly generic crap we've been doing for ages, with tons and tons of prior art.

If that were the case, CERTAINLY HTC's lawyers would have brought this up in their case. Don't you think?
"

Who says they didn't?

Actually, what we should HOPE for is for HTC to create new technology that doesn't infringe.


Have a look at the actual patents: they're very generic and there's lots and lots of prior art available. As such these patents shouldn't have even been granted in the first place.

Secondly, it's IMPOSSIBLE to create something anymore without infringing on anything. It's incredibly ignorant to just tell them that they should somehow magically invent stuff that doesn't infringe on anything when there's billions of software patents that are way too broad and way too generic.

Wouldn't their goal be to block companies who steal their products? It's presumptuous to suggest otherwise in my opinion.


It's presumptuous to suggest that HTC is stealing anything from Apple.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc
by danger_nakamura on Mon 18th Jul 2011 05:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Jennimc"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

I regret to inform you that you have violated my patent (US 666834565, "A Method of Replying to Internet Trolls Using Logical Arguments"). Fortunately I offer licencing options for the use of this technique under RAND terms. A representative will be contacting you shortly to help bring you into compliance. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and for helping to foster innovation by providing me with plenty of money.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Jennimc
by somebody on Sat 16th Jul 2011 17:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

this is request for OSNews, not answer.

can we get "-1 OMFG, what stupidity" tagging of some comments? there is simply no way to tag OP comment and compliment it with full glory of its nonsense

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc
by _txf_ on Sat 16th Jul 2011 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Jennimc"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

can we get "-1 OMFG, what stupidity" tagging of some comments? there is simply no way to tag OP comment and compliment it with full glory of its nonsense


It would appear that you just did.

However that sets a really bad precedent. As stupid as that comment might be lets err on the side of restrain shall we...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc
by somebody on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

"can we get "-1 OMFG, what stupidity" tagging of some comments? there is simply no way to tag OP comment and compliment it with full glory of its nonsense


It would appear that you just did.

However that sets a really bad precedent. As stupid as that comment might be lets err on the side of restrain shall we...
"

lol, agree and i'm somehow sorry, but i simply couldn't resist.

if you read that same user on every patent topic, it only shows the need that keyboard, internet and free thinking should be explicitly forbidden for some people like OP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Jennimc
by molnarcs on Sun 17th Jul 2011 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10


if you read that same user on every patent topic, it only shows the need that keyboard, internet and free thinking should be explicitly forbidden for some people like OP.


You know, the irony is, that they are actually fighting for that. Free thinking depends on free sharing of ideas and using those ideas to come up with new ideas and implementations. Software/ideas patents work against this. So do people spending time on osnews defending software patents. As mental as it sounds, they want companies have government granted monopolies on ideas and the power to prevent everybody else to use those ideas. They don't seem to have problem with that as long as long as their relig.... I mean favourite companies hold those monopolies.

Reply Score: 3

Cross licensing deal?
by robojerk on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:24 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

Apple also infringes on patents HTC owns
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-01/apple-gets-mixed-ruling-in...

HTC just acquired S3 patents
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/06/htc-acquires-s3-graphics-for-pat...

Unless of course Apple would rather fight or pay HTC licensing fees to block them all together.

It's a crappy broken system, that's not likely to be fixed anytime soon.
Google is just as at fault here IMO. They should do a full court press and buy some patents, then indemnify the handset makers similar to what Microsoft does.

In the US it's the only game in town, and you have to pay to play.

Edited 2011-07-15 23:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cross licensing deal?
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "Cross licensing deal?"
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple also infringes on patents HTC owns
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-01/apple-gets-mixed-ruling-in...

HTC just acquired S3 patents
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/06/htc-acquires-s3-graphics-for-pat...

Unless of course Apple would rather fight or pay HTC licensing fees to block them all together.


It's a little more complicated than that. Not every win with a patent is as important as every other win. Both HTC and Apple need to evaluate how critical the patents are for the products. If, for example, the S3 patents are critical for Apple but the Apple patents can be easily worked around by HTC then HTC has a much stronger position even though they both "won." If that were the case then HTC can pay the penalty for infringing, remove the patented material and move with life, but Apple would need a license to continue selling anything.

Additionally, this is a preliminary ruling, it now moves on the next stage of the ITC process.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Cross licensing deal?
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Cross licensing deal?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Frankly, you wouldn't want any device that does not infringe on
5,946,647 - 'system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data'

That patent covers the following: http://www.osnews.com/
Yes, the making that URL text into a link you can click is infringing on '647.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Sat 16th Jul 2011 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

That patent covers the following: http://www.osnews.com/
Yes, the making that URL text into a link you can click is infringing on '647.


Ok. I'm going to address this in two parts. First I'm going to compare this patent to what you are describing and show why your assertion is wrong. To be clear though, I'm not doing this to point out your wrong - this is simply a really good example of a typical software patent and how the language is usually structured. Secondly, it is also a good example of why software patents are so dangerous...

Patents have very specific language and you have to look at ALL the claims to determine infringement, especially the independent claims (claims which have no reference to other claims). Comparing this to the common practice of auto-linking urls (or to generalized semantically transforming text into html) is very constructive because on the surface it would appear to be infringing, but it probably isn't. The independent claims immediately make the common server-side method of url auto-linking non-infringing because of the listed components. Here is claim 1 from the patent (the parts in bold do not apply to auto-linking when performed server-side)

1. A computer-based system for detecting structures in data and performing actions on detected structures, comprising:

an input device for receiving data;

an output device for presenting the data;

a memory storing information including program routines including

an analyzer server for detecting structures in the data, and for linking actions to the detected structures;

a user interface enabling the selection of a detected structure and a linked action; and

an action processor for performing the selected action linked to the selected structure; and

a processing unit coupled to the input device, the output device, and the memory for controlling the execution of the program routines.


Even if you looked at the combination of the osnews.com server, the internet, your computer, and your browser as a single "system" (which is isn't technically), there are not coupled to the same processing unit. It is therefore non-infringing. You would have to look at them as such to show infringement because the action and linking parts of this patent only get exercised by the browser - the server side component is simply performing markup.

The input and output device is completely decoupled from the "analyzing server" and therefore there is no issue. This is a good example of how a patent can be worked around in fact - the simple act of decoupling something that is specified as coupled by the language of the patent will effectively dodge the patent. If you instead did the auto-linking using javascript (I don't know which method osnews uses, just assuming it is server side) you then have a coupled system, and a much harder job to show non-infringement.

Which brings me to why software patents are so damn dangerous and stupid. If you look at this patent (from 1996 no less - it isn't even that old), virtually everything about it screams done to death before with lots of prior art - really the one and only thing in the whole patent that allowed it to get rubber-stamped was this:

a user interface enabling the selection of a detected structure and a linked action


everything else independently almost certainly has lots of prior art - this one item acts as the special sauce, the "glue" that allowed it to get approved. The mere fact that you can take obvious things and tie them together like this to create such a dangerous patent is ironic in the extreme to me. This patent is pure bullshit - it should not exist. There is no logical rationale that one can use to call this an "invention", it is simply taking stuff everybody was doing already doing and slapping a UI onto it and calling it "new".

Everyone concentrates on the wrong problems with the patent system. The problem isn't with the PTO approving stupid or obvious things - the problem is the rules themselves - it is way to easy to create this kind of patent... Just take a bunch of stuff with prior art and slap a single "new" element to it and you get to claim the whole ball of wax as your own. If you are really clever and can make the "new" element something that ends up being really, really necessary (like a GUI element) bingo! jackpot! Its all just mental masturbation - how can anyone call these kinds of things "inventions"?

If this is the kind of patent that ends up taking down Android I don't know what other proof could possibly be needed to make people realize how absolutely f*cked up the patent system is...

Reply Score: 11

RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?
by Laurence on Sat 16th Jul 2011 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cross licensing deal?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

That was one of the best comments I've read on here in a long time.

It's just a pity I've already commented and thus cannot +1 any more.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?
by robojerk on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

It's just a pity I've already commented and thus cannot +1 any more.

I never liked that policy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 13:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cross licensing deal?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A) Damn fine comment. Cheers to more comments like that.
B) I wasn't really showing the fact that OSNews.com actually violates it, but rather how this looks to the user. MS Word, OpenOffice/LibreOffice and most chat clients infringe on it 100% though.
C) In my experience, the word system never refers only to one single physical entity. The "system" may even not be geographically in a single place.
D) Same goes for the term server. Our strict definition today has not been set in stone in 1996.

And in a case on the side of the patent holder, I would define a system as many components working together. Not some single physical entity, like a laptop or the box. And a server is a separate software component that communicates with a program using OS communications methods(IPC, procedure-calls and similar)

The irony of the whole thing, is that if you use strictly technical definitions of the terms, this patent would be incredibly narrow. But since you can bend the terms almost indefinitely, it becomes really wide ranging. That is what you get, when non-experts pass judgements on the issues.

I bet evolution would be deemed implausible, if non-experts were the reviewers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

A) Damn fine comment. Cheers to more comments like that.


Thank you.

C) In my experience, the word system never refers only to one single physical entity. The "system" may even not be geographically in a single place.


This is absolutely true, but that is concentrating on the language issue in and of itself (i.e. the meaning of the word). That was not what I was arguing against. Think about it like this: osnews does not participate in the process of determining the action to take based on the semantics of the text - it is simply performing the process of semantic markup. A seperate system (which predates the patent by a large margin an enjoys extensive patent protection itself, i.e. html) does that part. A lawyer defending osnews would likely just point out the fact that it is nonsense to treat them both as one system - osnews does not even know what the users browser is going to do with the resulting markup - or even that a browser is being used at all. On top of that, the browser is not performing semantic identification of the links any longer - it is using a markup system to identify them and as such also does not infringe anyway. Simply inserting the step of converting to markup to trigger the actions (as opposed to collecting them in memory and acting upon them through an API) may be enough to dodge this patent (although that may or may not fly).

D) Same goes for the term server. Our strict definition today has not been set in stone in 1996.

...snip...

The irony of the whole thing, is that if you use strictly technical definitions of the terms, this patent would be incredibly narrow. But since you can bend the terms almost indefinitely, it becomes really wide ranging. That is what you get, when non-experts pass judgements on the issues.


But you can't actually bend the terms indefinitely. It is admittedly a bit "loose", but you are still required to use the commonly accepted meaning of words at the time of writing. If you diverge significantly from that, you are required to define the meaning of the terms, as you use them, in the patent itself. In other words you can rarely effectively argue something like "this is what we meant when we wrote that" - it is inadmissible. The court does not care what you meant - a patent is interpreted solely on what you wrote - you can't even argue about what you "meant". Unless you defined the meaning in the patent itself the court will use its own interpretation of the words as it sees fit.

There is a "law of equivalency" that can be applied, but that is usually used to determine whether two claims (as a whole) that are worded differently are essentially the same thing. It doesn't really apply to the meaning of words - that is simply up to legal interpretation.

Just to be clear though - I am not a patent laywer and don't claim to be one. I could easily be completely wrong. I have done extensive research into how to interpret software patents - but frankly it takes years of legal training to do it with any confidence, and absolutely do not have that. My opinions are just that, opinions. I don't even like patents and actively advocate against them - but I figured I needed to understand my enemy ;)

I do know one thing though - generally speaking it is actually very hard to prove infringement. Patents are interpreted in very specific detail.

Most people read one and one's brain naturally goes through the act of pattern recognition... "It says it does this, this other software does roughly the same thing. Oh look, it does this too. And this! I don't even need to read the rest, its obviously infringing".

That "gut" reaction is almost always wrong. If something doesn't infringe on the entire patent, it doesn't infringe at all. For example, you may well be right about it applying to Word and lots of other software, but I would personally be surprised if it did. I suspect Android (if it ends up being proven to be infringing) will likely be doing pretty much exactly what this patent describes.

Edited 2011-07-16 21:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?
by Alfman on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

galvanash,

"A lawyer defending osnews would likely just point out the fact that it is nonsense to treat them both as one system - osnews does not even know what the users browser is going to do with the resulting markup - or even that a browser is being used at all."


This is a huge logical stretch, IMHO. By far and large, osnews.com web devs DO know what the browser is doing, in fact the devs have worked hard to make it do whatever it does.

I think a better legal argument would be to say that osnews.com isn't violating the patent itself. Rather, any infringement is by the end user on their own machines (much the way google defers liability over android). But I'm not sure what the courts have said with regards to this defense.


"I have done extensive research into how to interpret software patents - but frankly it takes years of legal training to do it with any confidence"

You may be correct about this, but that is a huge problem, not just with patents but law in general. If laymen can't know what the law is, then we are destined to become victims of it. In the meantime those with the best lawyers can always retort "This is how it should be. Trust us, we have years of legal training."

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

This is a huge logical stretch, IMHO. By far and large, osnews.com web devs DO know what the browser is doing, in fact the devs have worked hard to make it do whatever it does.


But they do not define the action taken - it is defined by a separate system based on markup (html) and is determined by the browser. They also do not execute the action - again that is done by a separate system. They may know what it is going to do, but they certainly didn't specify it, and they also don't execute it - the html specification does. The patent specifically applies to a system that includes a component that DOES execute the action (it is spelled out specifically in the first independent claim). Again, just my opinion.

I think a better legal argument would be to say that osnews.com isn't violating the patent itself. Rather, any infringement is by the end user on their own machines (much the way google defers liability over android). But I'm not sure what the courts have said with regards to this defense.


Oh definitely - I didn't mean to imply I would use that as the preferred defense, just that it might be a possible one. There are a multitude of other angles. I won't venture to say what the best legal defense would be - there are likely lots a approaches you could take and the one you would choose would depend quite a lot of what kind of risks you were willing to take.

You may be correct about this, but that is a huge problem, not just with patents but law in general. If laymen can't know what the law is, then we are destined to become victims of it. In the meantime those with the best lawyers can always retort "This is how it should be. Trust us, we have years of legal training."


Agree totally. I certainly don't like the fact that patents are difficult to interpret - but they are. There is considerable effort spent on making the wording of the patent apply as broadly as possible while still being narrowly defined enough to get approved. Its like the words are all playing tug of war with the sentences they are used in... What you end up with is the silly legalize that no one can read. Sucks but its true.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?
by JAlexoid on Sun 17th Jul 2011 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Unfortunately some things can infringe on some of the claims. Though there are parts of patents that are there for descriptive purposes, so they end up invalidated "almost by default". However essential claims can be applied separately.

The same logic applies when invalidating a patent - each separate claim needs to be invalidated separately.

The way that I described like I would have defended the validity of the claims and their applicability are the exact same as the actual Apple patent attorney did. (I probably should stop reading legal text as it's not beneficial to my profession...)

PS: Word and Pidgin most definitely infringe. At least as Apple has presented their arguments. (See Florian's write-up)

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Sun 17th Jul 2011 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Unfortunately some things can infringe on some of the claims. Though there are parts of patents that are there for descriptive purposes, so they end up invalidated "almost by default". However essential claims can be applied separately.

The same logic applies when invalidating a patent - each separate claim needs to be invalidated separately.


If you are trying to invalidate or show prior art on a patent, then yes, every claim must be delt with independently - you cannot just deal with "some" of the claims - you have to address all of them. Essentially in an invalidation or prior art defense, the burden of proof is on the defendant - the defendant has to prove the patent is invalid or that it has prior art.

If you are just trying to show non-infringement, however, you do not have to do that. The burden is on the patent holder, not you. You only have to defend against the claims you are being accused of violating, the rest of the patent claims are more or less immaterial.

That is why I still say that it is not so cut and dry that Word and the like are infringing - you really need to know exactly what those programs are doing internally and how they are doing it.

Edited 2011-07-17 20:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?
by dahauns on Tue 19th Jul 2011 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cross licensing deal?"
dahauns Member since:
2011-07-19


an input device for receiving data;

an output device for presenting the data;

a memory storing information including program routines including

an analyzer server for detecting structures in the data, and for linking actions to the detected structures;

a user interface enabling the selection of a detected structure and a linked action; and

an action processor for performing the selected action linked to the selected structure; and

a processing unit coupled to the input device, the output device, and the memory for controlling the execution of the program routines.



Even if you looked at the combination of the osnews.com server, the internet, your computer, and your browser as a single "system" (which is isn't technically), there are not coupled to the same processing unit. It is therefore non-infringing. You would have to look at them as such to show infringement because the action and linking parts of this patent only get exercised by the browser - the server side component is simply performing markup.


The server side component (the osnews.com server in your example) isn't necessarily performing anything - after all, it could be a simple static html page being served.

If I'm not completely mistaken, just the browser and the computer it's running on fulfill every claim of the patent, especially also the "analyzer server" and the "action processor" part:

It detects structures in html documents (in the link example a <a href> tag), has grammars and a string library/fast string search algorithms (the html parser), links actions to the structures and presents them via the ui (underlined) and specifically, a popup menu (the context menu).

And so on. Heck, the only claims that i'm not sure about are claim 11 and 23 (sound activated actions) - I'm not up to date about speech control in browsers...:)

Edited 2011-07-19 23:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Wed 20th Jul 2011 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

User makes a forum post containing a URL (no markup, just the URL). The server then converts that to a link (i.e an anchor tag with an href attribute set to the URL).

That happens on the server, not the client. No actions occur, no user interface elements are presented, no API between the "analysis server" and the application exists. The patent abstract applies to semantically identifying data... Once the data is marked up using HTML, you are no longer performing semantic identification... There is a difference.

Now the counter argument you might make is "yeah, but the claims don't specify that distinction, it is only in the abstract". True, but if the patent holder claims that the distinction does NOT exist then the defense lawyer would need only pull out a copy of Mosaic from 1992 and show prior art. My point is the patent is groundless WITHOUT a special distinction being made for "semantic identification on unstructured data" in combination with the rest - it is senseless without it. It is not valid when applied less narrowly (i.e. you can find prior art).

While independent claims are generally treated in isolation, there can be some dependence on the rest of the patent in determining applicability. Remember, this is read as language that should be interpreted from the point of view of someone with subject area expertise. There is definitely a distinction between parsing unstructure data for sematic elements, and parsing structure data (markup). This patent has nothing to do with markup, and a method using markup to do the same thing already has established prior art. So....

Edited 2011-07-20 08:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?
by dahauns on Wed 20th Jul 2011 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Cross licensing deal?"
dahauns Member since:
2011-07-19

User makes a forum post containing a URL (no markup, just the URL). The server then converts that to a link (i.e an anchor tag with an href attribute set to the URL).

That happens on the server, not the client. No actions occur, no user interface elements are presented, no API between the "analysis server" and the application exists. The patent abstract applies to semantically identifying data... Once the data is marked up using HTML, you are no longer performing semantic identification... There is a difference.

Now the counter argument you might make is "yeah, but the claims don't specify that distinction, it is only in the abstract". True, but if the patent holder claims that the distinction does NOT exist then the defense lawyer would need only pull out a copy of Mosaic from 1992 and show prior art. My point is the patent is groundless WITHOUT a special distinction being made for "semantic identification on unstructured data" in combination with the rest - it is senseless without it. It is not valid when applied less narrowly (i.e. you can find prior art).


Interesting point about the distinction about semantic identification, I hadn't thought of this angle before. After giving it some thought and re-reading the patent, I think I know why. I won't make the counterargument that this distinction is only made in the abstract and not the claims. I rather think that - if I'm not completely mistaken (and if I am, don't hesitate to correct me ;) ) - this distinction isn't made in the patent at all.

While the talk about unstructured data might insinuate some kind of semantic identification, it smells like a red herring to me.
The whole patent (abstract, background, summary, claims etc.) only talks about finding structures by using regexp matching or parsing by some (unspecified) grammar (oh, and simple string matching for simple cases). All by definition instruments of syntactic analysis.
At no point in the patent is described how it would identify information by its (semantic) content, its meaning. (If it were, that would be no mean feat!)
Again, all there is is talk about finding structures by syntactical identification.

In a way, this is still no different than the html parser example. You can feed the browser any file. If it happens to contain structures that are detected by the parser according to the specified grammar (in this case html tags), it will identify it and perform the actions according to the patent.


I agree with you that the patent is (more or less) groundless without the "semantic distinction" - but for me that means: as I see it now, it IS indeed groundless.

(Maybe there is a - legal - case that html isn't considered human-readable in contrast to information like phone numbers, but a) IANAL ;) and b) it seems that you open a huge linguistic can of worms with that kind of argumentation (after all, is an url or e-mail address considered human-readable? What is the definition of "human-readable" even in this context?))

Edited 2011-07-20 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Cross licensing deal?
by galvanash on Thu 21st Jul 2011 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Cross licensing deal?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Apologies, the wording I refered to is in the description, not the abstract (section 2):

Much data that appears in a computer user's day-to-day activities contains recognizable structures that have semantic significance such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, post-office addresses, zip codes and dates.


And you are right, my use of terms is confusing. It is not semantic analysis, but rather syntactic identification of structures that have semantic meaning (I.e. 123-456-7890 is a match for a grammar that is semantically treated as a phone number) - the semantics drive the linking of actions to structures. Regardless, I don't think this patent could be reasonably expected to apply to markup - in markup the meaning of a structure is not determined by it's syntactical makeup, it is generally explicitly defined.

Then again, I could just be wrong... It just my opinion like I said and I am certainly not confident enough to be definitive about it.

Reply Score: 2

v If you can't compete, litigate.
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:28 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Hey Thom, if Apple filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola for the Xoom or RIM for the PlayBook tomorrow, would claim Apple can't compete with them?


The fact that they haven't actually proves my point.

Reply Score: 2

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

You didn't answer the question. If Apple filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola for the Xoom or RIM for the PlayBook tomorrow, would claim Apple can't compete with them?

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You didn't answer the question. If Apple filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola for the Xoom or RIM for the PlayBook tomorrow, would claim Apple can't compete with them?


Of course I wouldn't. Those products sell like ass. If Apple were to sue over those, then with regards to those products, it wouldn't be about litigation over competition.

Why would you think I'd state otherwise?

Reply Score: 1

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

"You didn't answer the question. If Apple filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola for the Xoom or RIM for the PlayBook tomorrow, would claim Apple can't compete with them?


Of course I wouldn't. Those products sell like ass. If Apple were to sue over those, then with regards to those products, it wouldn't be about litigation over competition.

Why would you think I'd state otherwise?
"

I had no idea what you'd state which is why I'd ask. You have an incredibly odd definition of "compete."

Reply Score: 2

snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Personally, I think that Apple will only file a patent lawsuit against Motorola for the Xoom or RIM for the PlayBook, when they see it as a threat. You go check all the recent patent lawsuits in the mobile phone world. It's *always* when a company feels the heat from another company in its market segment. That's not only Apple btw. Also Microsoft works like that. Microsoft can't expand it's Windows Phone market share, so they attack Android.

Also, if you go check the patents that are used in those lawsuits, almost all of them are so obvious or so broad that almost every cell phone or smart phone is gonna violate those patents one way or another.

Reply Score: 5

"Merit"
by jack_perry on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:30 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple is quite clearly unable to compete against Android on merit.


Could you explain what you mean by this? Last I heard, Apple couldn't make iProducts fast enough to meet demand.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/18/ipad-supply-catching-up-to-d...

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Merit"
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:32 UTC in reply to ""Merit""
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Could you explain what you mean by this? Last I heard, Apple couldn't make iProducts fast enough to meet demand.


In growth, Android > iOS. Don't look at today, look at tomorrow.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "Merit"
by Jennimc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE: "Merit""
Jennimc Member since:
2011-06-22

In growth, Android > iOS. Don't look at today, look at tomorrow.


Before you were talking about Android phones vs iPhones.... not Android vs. iOS. I'm looking for the statistics but can't find them at the moment... but iOS is of greater number than Android.

You're right that Android Phones beat iPhones in sold units however thats only true if you include Ophone and Tapas OS which are included in Android's overall numbers yet are not really android phones.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/01/google_android_counts...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: "Merit"
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Merit""
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Yeah, Canalys has counted OMS and Tapas as part of Android. Probably because they can run most Android apps.

However Google can't count anything other than Android devices with GMail and Market on them.

In fact, Android phones outsell all iOS devices. When Android hit 400'000 activations per day(actual devices in the hands of actual users) Apple had about 370'000 p/d(they count sales, I believe).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: "Merit"
by molnarcs on Sat 16th Jul 2011 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Merit""
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10



Yeah, AppleInsider is such an authoritative source for Android news ;) It's not like so many other sites not nurtured under the RDS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "Merit"
by kristoph on Sat 16th Jul 2011 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE: "Merit""
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

In growth, Android > iOS. Don't look at today, look at tomorrow.


If that's the case Thom your statement should say that. Otherwise your just being the troll (and a hypocritical one at that, given that you keep buying iOS products).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: "Merit"
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Merit""
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

In growth, Android > iOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: "Merit"
by jack_perry on Sat 16th Jul 2011 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: "Merit""
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

In growth, Android > iOS. Don't look at today, look at tomorrow.


Thom, that's not a measure of merit; that's a measure of manufacturing capacity (and quite possibly a deliberate cap imposed by Apple, at that).

Look at it this way: your argument is equivalent to saying that for years BMW couldn't compete with Volkswagen "on merit" simply because in growth, Volkswagens > BMW.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: "Merit"
by molnarcs on Sat 16th Jul 2011 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Merit""
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

"In growth, Android > iOS. Don't look at today, look at tomorrow.


Thom, that's not a measure of merit; that's a measure of manufacturing capacity (and quite possibly a deliberate cap imposed by Apple, at that).

Look at it this way: your argument is equivalent to saying that for years BMW couldn't compete with Volkswagen "on merit" simply because in growth, Volkswagens > BMW.
"

No, Thom is right. Your analogy (like most analogies) is misleading. The best selling Android devices are BMWs in their own right. What analysts predicted, that Android will flood the market with cheap sub $200 handsets from Chinese mom & pop shops, did not happen. The best-selling devices come from Samsung, HTC and Motorola. They are in the same price range as iPhones, in some cases more expensive. Market conditions also changed - now more and more people think of smartphones as computers and more: they can do email, facebook, even decent photos and videos - fun stuff for everyday people.

10 years ago, the only somewhat successful "smartphone" manufacturer was NOKIA. Oh, the irony! But they were no "fun" devices. They were useful for a very limited audience, the general public mainly ignored the $500+ smartphones. I'm talking about the Nokia 9000 Communicator and the likes here. Can do "spreadsheets and has an awesome calendar" is far less appealing than facebook, photos, videos, youtube, mp3, etc. So you have a fairly large market that is willing to pay $500+ for smartphones, because they are fun now for everyday people. Your BMW analogy failes right there - iPhones are not today's BMWs. It's not "exclusive" to own an iPhone. Just look at their market share. Ultimately, you are comparing Volkswagens (or maybe Opels) to Volkswagens.

You make no sense.

Edited 2011-07-16 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: "Merit"
by jack_perry on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Merit""
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

"Look at it this way: your argument is equivalent to saying that for years BMW couldn't compete with Volkswagen "on merit" simply because in growth, Volkswagens > BMW.


No, Thom is right. Your analogy (like most analogies) is misleading. The best selling Android devices are BMWs in their own right.
"

You are attacking a straw man. I am not an Apple fanboy; quite the contrary. See here, for example:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?479480

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?479478

I don't doubt that Apple is worried about Android, and is using its patent portfolio in an anti-competitive way. I just don't think they're doing it because they think Android will beat them on the "merits"; I think they're doing it because of what I said originally: manufacturing capacity. Apple wants to control completely the devices that use iOS; that means they are the only manufacturer of iOS devices, whereas Google doesn't want to manufacture hardware; they're happy to license them, take the money, and run. Like the PC clones, many, many more Androids can be made than iOS devices.

So the intent of the analogy was not to slur Android, but purely in the means I used it: Thom's use of market growth as a measure of merit is not at all convincing. It's like arguing that "Market growth of Coke > Virgil's Microbrewed Root Beer, so Coke must be better" (or any other drink you wish to insert there).

I hope that helps. The rest of your post is likewise beating that strawman, so I won't reply.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: "Merit"
by molnarcs on Sat 16th Jul 2011 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: "Merit""
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I didn't think you were an Apple fanboy, and you make some good points there. I do think, however, that Apple finds it harder and harder to differentiate itself against Android. Since the Froyo update, Android has become a viable platform for the masses (not just early adopters). In a sense, it has become more difficult to compete on merit, although I wouldn't go as far as to say that they can't do it. Still, I'd rather they spend that 50 billion they are sitting on to develop amazing new technologies instead of pushing out competition through phony software patents. There are lots of areas to improve - my personal pet peeve is battery life.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: "Merit"
by rhavyn on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:34 UTC in reply to ""Merit""
v Comment by Jennimc
by Jennimc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:33 UTC
RE: Comment by Jennimc
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jennimc"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think Thom is under the impression that Androids numbers aren't artificially inflated:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/01/google_android_counts...


Uhm, the numbers EXCLUDE the Chinese Android rivals. Don't quote stuff from half a year ago, especially not by Danial Eril Dubdibud.

http://gigaom.com/mobile/andy-rubin-android-activating-500000-devic...

"I reached out to Google and a representative said that it does not include upgrades and only includes devices that run Google services. So forks of Android built by some Asian manufacturers who don’t license Google services would presumably not be counted."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc
by Jennimc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Jennimc"
Jennimc Member since:
2011-06-22

People don't quote Google for numbers.... they quote IDC and Gartner who DO include OMS and Ophone in Android's overall numbers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Ok.... To make that statement factually incorrect here's my quote:
"Fresh off the Google Q2 2011 Earnings Call, Larry Page has just disclosed that Android is now seeing 550,000 activations per day." Techcrunch

See? People do quote Google.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc
by kristoph on Sat 16th Jul 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Jennimc"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics ...

I'll see your Andy Rubin and I'll raise you a Flurry (which is, you know, probably less biased)...

http://venturebeat.com/2011/07/14/in-q2-developers-favored-apples-i...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Jennimc
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 02:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Jennimc"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

What does a single company's data have to do with overall sales or developer interest? Read what Flurry does.

Last time I checked, Google Analytics for Mobile was the preferred choice for Android app developers, not Flurry.
In short, they may be less biased, yet their data set is under question here.

Reply Score: 2

this isnt all bad for HTC
by TechGeek on Sat 16th Jul 2011 00:28 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

This isn't necessarily a bad thing for HTC. Out of 10 patents, 8 were thrown out. That just leaves two. And from the description, I wouldn't be surprised if they could be eliminated by prior art. They sound like CS algorithms that are probably taught in most universities. Then again, they could always be sidestepped as mentioned above.

As for the whole stealing from Apple sentiment, lets be honest. Everyone is doing it. Did Apple not just copy Androids notification method and split keyboards and put it into iOS5? Apple is far from the pure celestial virgin rheir supporters make them out to be.

Also, why do we even allow this type of lawsuit? Doesn't every car and every plane pretty much look the same? Some standardization and adoption of best practices should be encouraged, not used as cannon fodder.

Reply Score: 8

RE: this isnt all bad for HTC
by Jennimc on Sat 16th Jul 2011 00:52 UTC in reply to "this isnt all bad for HTC"
Jennimc Member since:
2011-06-22

Did Apple not just copy Androids notification method

Apple will soon be offering a service that does the same thing as Google's service however that does not mean that they are using anything of Google's. Why would you even think as much?



Apple is far from the pure celestial virgin rheir supporters make them out to be.

Agreed yet if this is the rational that allows Apple's detractors to single the company out for being no different than the competition or (if you read this site you might think even worse) then you're sorely mistaken.



Also, why do we even allow this type of lawsuit? Doesn't every car and every plane pretty much look the same?

We allow it because these are patented products. That you think such lawsuits as they relate to a cars looks and wonder why they aren't litigating over each other's relatively similar appearance shows that you're just as confused about patent litigation over cars as you are over notification services. Just because two companies offer services that do the same thing does not necessarily mean that they infringe any laws.

Edited 2011-07-16 00:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by Gusar on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE: this isnt all bad for HTC"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

Apple will soon be offering a service that does the same thing as Google's service however that does not mean that they are using anything of Google's.

There's nothing of Apple's in Android, except maybe "services that do the same thing as Apple's service". But apparently going one way is ok, while going the other is not.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by _txf_ on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

"Apple will soon be offering a service that does the same thing as Google's service however that does not mean that they are using anything of Google's.

There's nothing of Apple's in Android, except maybe "services that do the same thing as Apple's service". But apparently going one way is ok, while going the other is not.
"

Frankly it is a good thing that apple is copying the google notification system. It is a clever and sane way to deal with messaging. It also establishes a common pattern between devices.

Good Ideas should be shared as this benefits everybody. Here is a great quote:

Steve Jobs: 'We've Always Been Shameless About Stealing Great Ideas'

Unfortunately apple does not like to share, not RAND licensing, not at all. This is why people get pissed at apple.

It is amusing that apple gets to copy the notification system almost verbatim, yet android with a wildly differing implementation to ios (I assume that is where the software implementation would exist if at all) gets the "f**ck you copycat" branding ...

Edited 2011-07-16 01:25 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by _txf_ on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE: this isnt all bad for HTC"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

We allow it because these are patented products.


NOPE.

These are software patents. They are method patents. Not patents on a physical product, or even a software implementation (ironic that they call these things software patents).
Even if someone wanted to do something similar but not the same then they still would be liable.

I can tell you that the first infringing patent is utter BS. My first symbian nokia phone did something very similar (albeit simpler). Yet, because apple was granted a patent then they're in the right? Patents are extremely hard to get annulled...

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by JAlexoid on Sat 16th Jul 2011 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

To be fair, the first patent is from 1996. But I'm sure that they are not the inventors of common data structure matching in the text.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by TechGeek on Sat 16th Jul 2011 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: this isnt all bad for HTC"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

We allow it because these are patented products. That you think such lawsuits as they relate to a cars looks and wonder why they aren't litigating over each other's relatively similar appearance shows that you're just as confused about patent litigation over cars as you are over notification services. Just because two companies offer services that do the same thing does not necessarily mean that they infringe any laws.



I am not confused. Apple is suing over the functionality of devices claiming in essence that no one can create a tablet that looks anything like theirs. Unfortunately Apple didn't create the technology they are selling. They think they can just take whatever they want, but sue anyone else who does the same. How long did they go without a license deal with Nokia? Years. No one stopped them from selling products like Apple is asking the ITC to do to HTC. People are pissed that Apple gets to play by different rules due to their money and a few back room agreements. Software patents are yet again being used to stifle creation, not protect it.

Edited 2011-07-16 01:58 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Jul 2011 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE: this isnt all bad for HTC"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Just because two companies offer services that do the same thing does not necessarily mean that they infringe any laws.


With all the frivolous litigation in the IT industry you'd think that was exactly the case.

Reply Score: 3

danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Just because two companies offer services that do the same thing does not necessarily mean that they infringe any laws.


I think that in this statement we find a hint as to the reason these threads seem to run at cross-purposes. Jenniemc - you cannot possibly be and you do not appear to be so dense as to miss the fact that the other posters are using the notifications example as an illustration of moral equivalence. They are concerned with more than who would win in court - the discussion that you seem to want to have. It is a conversation that is doomed to failure.

I believe that act that is technically legal can have the same moral equivalence as an act that is technically illegal. Even if you don't agree to the specifics in this case, can you at least agree to that principle? If so, it would be a start.

In this particular case, the posters are suggesting that, regardless of patent/IP status, Apple engages in the same type of copying that they are trying to prevent other companies from engaging in. The attitude itself is actually quite removed from the concept of patent - the patent is only a lever to enforce the attitude. Apple, in essence, is violating the Golden Rule. Yes... what people are on about is really at its core that simple, in my estimation.

More generally speaking, many of us don't see ideas as being all that special as to warrant a "cut" from everyone else that ever uses that idea. Even if they arrived at it in a demonstrably independent fashion. When I see comments like "Without patents no one will innovate"* I can't help of think of all of the schmucks that I've met over the years that thought "Without me this business can't run."

Yes, it can. It nearly always does. In fact, I have yet to encounter someone with this attitude that was not replaceable. It is the same with ideas... with progress. Progress, innovation, the sharing and building of new ideas - all of this would continue without patents. And some of us happen to hold the horribly monstrous and inhuman belief that progress might actually move at a greater rate and in a more productive fashion. And to the benefit of society and most individuals born into it - to the detriment only of a few that stand to gain under the current system.

Does any of this make sense to you at all? Can you at least understand where some of these people are coming from? That we are not all simply freeloaders and villains trying to destroy the system so that we can ensure that everyone that ever has a good idea is impoverished for their troubles?


* note - I am not attributing this comment to Jenniemc, it is an example that I remember from other posts that I've read

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by molnarcs on Tue 19th Jul 2011 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

You make too much sense ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: this isnt all bad for HTC
by vitae on Sat 16th Jul 2011 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE: this isnt all bad for HTC"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

(if you read this site you might think even worse)




See, that's what so many here seem to think. This company or that company, this OS or that, takes an unnecessary beating here. We just beat up Microsoft in a earlier thread for suing Samsung. We also beat up Google for not that taking the hit on that lawsuit as well. Point is everybody and everything takes a beating here depending on which day it is. You sound like you're taking it personal, and yet you keep coming back, despite the fact that you think this site is unfair to Apple, even though there's a whole lot of Mac lover forums out there where, no doubt, only good things are said about the Jobs machine.

Reply Score: 1

Patent 2
by transputer_guy on Sat 16th Jul 2011 06:43 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

I have done chip design, software and DSP long enough to have covered the period of time long before and long after the 94-02 time period. I do have one soft/hard patent and I hate working on those. I read most of the lawyer gibberish and the more normal EE description although I haven't viewed the schematics and I guess that what they are saying is something like this. If anyone has a better idea feel free to say so.

The patent allows for a "Real time ....." system to be build out of multiple components some of which can be swapped out in different product versions. In some products the DSP engine might be built from a simple fixed function Datapump, or use a more general purpose DSP chip from say ATT or might instead use the host processor capability to run DSP codes as firmware.

Further the system software will configure the selected components to perform the tasks at hand without the upper levels of the software needing to know how this is done so the overall device looks the same to the system no matter how it is constructed, either as a hardwired modem, a DSP modem or a soft modem.

Further the system also treats the wire to which it is connected as a channel implemented either by regular phone wire, ISDN or other type of wire (maybe wireless perhaps) without the top level software caring what the nature of the wire is so that services usually delivered on one type of wire can also be sent on another example POTS faxes over ISDN.

If I understood right, this strikes me as a pretty smart and common sense thing to do, generalize the blocks and configure at bootup. Something like an DSP kind of FPGA that contains mostly the same stuff but can be firmwared to make it do the same or another thing depending on what hardware is available to do the job but look the same to the upper software.

If this approach didn't exist before, then there are a lot of really bad engineers out there. Seems like a lot of overstepping common sense. It is past 2am and lawyer speak just rots my brain. I just wish the US would hire more EEs and way less lawyers though as I certainly wouldn't encourage any kids to follow my path.

I have no stake in this, Apple vs Google/HTC, don't own a smart phone, likely never will. Anyways the lawyers already won, just look at the Dems+Obama vs Reps+Bonehead gaffe over the debt limit and that is probably way more important to worry about.

Reply Score: 2

Lets get real here
by Tony Swash on Sat 16th Jul 2011 10:23 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Lets get real here and lets face a few simple home truths that may be very uncomfortable for you Apple phobes and Android fans to face but which nevertheless are true.

a) Google play fast and easy with other people's ideas, IP and business models. They were extremely lax about the way they walked away from negotiations with Sun/Oracle over the Java code used in Android and simple decided to use the code anyway. If you follow all the articles about the Oracle-Google case over at FOSS Patents you will see that seemingly Oracle has a very strong case. Google's arrogance over other people's IP may well come back to bite them hard, and bite those OEMs that use Android OS in their devices.

See here

http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-07-2011/110712-judge-possible...

b) Not only have Google taken big IP risks in the way it developed Android but it has systematically refused to indemnify any end user of Android (end user here meaning the various Android device makers). Google essentially tossed the device makers an OS bone for free when the device makers were confronted by the terrifying prospect of iOS to which they had no answer in the full knowledge that this bone might contain toxic IP. Google doesn't care.

c) While the iPhone was being developed, throughout it's entire development process, Eric Schmidt sat on the Apple board taking notes. There is no record that at any point prior to the launch of the iPhone did he ever mention or note Google's intention to create an iOS type clone. Does anybody here actually think that Eric Schmidt behaved in an ethical fashion?

d) Google were working, and known to be working on a phone OS before the iPhone was announced. But that OS, as revealed in all public announcements and leaks prior to the iPhone launch, was planned to be a clone of RIMs Blackberry OS.

This is what Android looked like in 2007.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/12/a-visual-tour-of-androids-ui/

It didn’t look anything like an iPhone, nor like anything Apple would ever be interested in making. It looked like a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone — hardware keyboards and non-touch screens.

Now compare a 2010 Android design to the then current iPhone.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/19/droid-incredible-review/

Clearly after the launch of iPhone Google completely reset the Android design to produce a clone of iOS

Apple watched it's previous OS get cloned and back then it did a piss poor job of protecting its IP. But Apple and Steve jobs learnt that bitter lesson and with iOS they have done a much better job of protecting their IP. Go to iTunes and download the Macworld keynote video of the launch of the first iPhone. Scroll to 1.30.26 near the end of Steve Jobs presentation. He says 'we filed for over 200 patents for all the inventions in iPhone and we intend to protect them'

So be prepared for Apple's protection of it's IP to escalate. Be prepared for Apple to win and win again. The days when entire industries could use Apple as it's off-shore unpaid R&D are over.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lets get real here
by Neolander on Sat 16th Jul 2011 11:53 UTC in reply to "Lets get real here"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

As if Apple didn't do the same all the time... Should I mention the names of Xerox and PalmOS, or invoke Android notifications ?

Innovation is an intrinsically collaborative process. You take inspiration from other's idea and bring your own to the mix, assembling the pieces in a creative way to generate a new product which you think is better. Isolating individual actors in the grand scheme of R&D is a purely artificial process - the only thing which matters in the end is which solutions proved to be better to solve an individual process. Who knows or care about whoever came up first with a working implementation of the wheel ?

Until patents enter the game and are used to unfairly eliminate competitors, that is.

Edited 2011-07-16 11:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 16th Jul 2011 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't waste your breath. He's a die-hard Apple fanatic - the kind of person who believes Apple has invented everything in computing, and that Apple is allowed to copy and steal whatever they want. A certain sense of entitlement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by Neolander on Sat 16th Jul 2011 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I know, I just couldn't resist...

To think that I gave the same advice to someone about ourcomputerbloke/mrhasbean recently. I'm really bad at following my own wise suggestions ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by brichpmr on Sat 16th Jul 2011 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

Don't waste your breath. He's a die-hard Apple fanatic - the kind of person who believes Apple has invented everything in computing, and that Apple is allowed to copy and steal whatever they want. A certain sense of entitlement.


As long as Apple is kicking Android arse in terms of smartphone profitability, this entire screed about who is stealing from whom is fairly irrelevant. Neither side are playing softball with their IP.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lets get real here
by Neolander on Sat 16th Jul 2011 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Lets get real here"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Err... Individual process ? What ? I think two versions of the comment got mixed there... One should read "given problem", of course.

I've been mixing words in my everyday life during the last few days. Wonder if missing sleep can have this effect...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lets get real here
by Tony Swash on Sun 17th Jul 2011 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Lets get real here"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

As if Apple didn't do the same all the time... Should I mention the names of Xerox and PalmOS, or invoke Android notifications ?

Innovation is an intrinsically collaborative process. You take inspiration from other's idea and bring your own to the mix, assembling the pieces in a creative way to generate a new product which you think is better. Isolating individual actors in the grand scheme of R&D is a purely artificial process - the only thing which matters in the end is which solutions proved to be better to solve an individual process. Who knows or care about whoever came up first with a working implementation of the wheel ?

Until patents enter the game and are used to unfairly eliminate competitors, that is.


That old chestnut. That's the thing about old myths that are comforting but untrue - they just won't die.

OK lets pick this one apart.

First Apple did not rip off Xerox PARC, it did what Google should done, it licensed the material from PARC. Apple didn't walk away from the negotiations and then use PARC's material anyway, which is what Google did with Java, it did the legally and ethically right thing, it negotiated a deal and signed a contract.

How should this whole business be settled? Genuine question.

Should we let anybody copy anything from anyone? Is that good for innovation? I can't see how.

Should we let people protect their innovations and IP through legally enforced court decisions after due process and legal examination? That seems reasonable to me.

Should we let patent trolls (i.e. companies who develop nothing, innovate nothing, sell nothing, whose sole business is IP litigation) deliberately threaten small companies with legal attack in the full knowledge that the costs of legal defence are so prohibitive that the recourse to patent litigation is nothing more than an attempt to extort money? That seems unreasonable to me. But it's hard to stop such parasites from exploiting the reasonable protection of IP laws. I think the big players (Apple, Google) with big coffers and big lawyers should step in to protect the small players in their respective ecosystems. It seems as if Apple has done that a bit but it could do a lot more. It seems that Google has declined to do that - shame on them.

As for the big players who can afford the big lawyers and big court cases - let them fight it out. I am confident, because I believe in the rule of law, that broadly the legal process will be objective, fact based and that mostly it will get it right.

I probably won't like all the decisions the courts make but what's the alternative?


Second the Mac GUI was not a clone of the PARC system.

It took four years from the Apple teams visit to PARC to get to the birth of the Macintosh. What were they doing at Apple for those four years? We know it wasn't all hardware work and that the MacOS was being feverishly worked on right up to its launch. What were they doing at Apple if they were just copying?

You are probably looking at this web site in a window on a desktop or laptop, if you are then you are also probably pretty used to just reaching via the cursor controlled by your mouse and grabbing hold of part of that window to move or resize it.

Apple invented that.

When Apple saw the early Xerox GUI at Palo Alto in November 1979 they realised that the GUI was the future but the GUI they saw was hardly anything like the GUI that you and I use all the time. In the Xerox version if you wanted to move or resize a window, in fact if you wanted to pretty much do anything on the screen using the cursor you had to click and invoke a menu and then select the action you wanted to perform. This didn't just apply to window resizing, it applied to moving files (from one folder to another for example), opening a file etc. Everything was done by a menu invoked by a mouse click, nothing was done by using the cursor to directly manipulate objects on the screen.

Apple took the work at Xerox and transformed it into the fundamentals of the GUI grammar that we all use so much we hardly think about it anymore. Imagine if Apple had patented resizable GUI windows which it invented.

The Xerox's Smalltalk GUI has no Finder, and no need for one, really. Drag-and- drop file manipulation came from the Mac group, along with many other unique concepts: resources and dual-fork files for storing layout and international information apart from code; definition procedures; drag-and-drop system extension and configuration; types and creators for files; direct manipulation editing of document, disk, and application names; redundant typed data for the clipboard; multiple views of the file system; desk accessories; and control panels, among others. The Lisa group invented some fundamental concepts as well: pull down menus, the imaging and windowing models based on QuickDraw, the clipboard, and cleanly internationalizable software.

Xerox's Smalltalk GUI didn't even have self-repairing windows - you had to click in them to get them to repaint, and programs couldn't draw into partially obscured windows. Bill Atkinson did not know this, so he invented regions as the basis of QuickDraw and the Window Manager so that he could quickly draw in covered windows and repaint portions of windows brought to the front.

The point of this history lesson and it's relevance to the issue at point is this: Apple added plenty of fundamental and utterly original stuff to the GUI, stuff that is still used in Windows today, but it never protected it's IP (that bozo Sculley handed the IP crown jewels to Microsoft). Apple learnt from that experience and it is not making the same mistake again.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You are probably looking at this web site in a window on a desktop or laptop, if you are then you are also probably pretty used to just reaching via the cursor controlled by your mouse and grabbing hold of part of that window to move or resize it.

Apple invented that.


Let's dissect this.

Web site: not invented by Apple.
Window: invented by Douglas Engelbart (I would argue it was invented by Sutherland, but alas).
Desktop (software): invented by Xerox
Desktop (hardware): not invented by Apple.
Laptop: not invented by Apple.
Cursor: invented by Engelbart.
Mouse: invented by Engelbart.
Window resizing: the Star already had multiple windows of different sizes on the same screen, and both NLS and Sketchpad supported multiple windows.

Apple invented only a few tidbits here and there when it comes to the graphical user interface. All the heavy lifting was done by Engelbart's NLS, Sutherland's Sketchpad, and Xerox - and a whole load of other people before Apple even existed, and in some cases, even before Jobs was born (Memex).

I am so fcuking sick and tired of trolls like you rewriting the history of the graphical user interface to make it seem like Apple invented it. It is such a major kick in the balls of the TRULY great visionaries of the past, such a total lack of respect. It is sickening.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Lets get real here
by MOS6510 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 09:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Lets get real here"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Why are you unable to discuss anything in a mature way? If anyone holds an opinion that differs from yours you start insulting them.

Why not join Google+, create a circle of your zombie followers and post your stuff there. If someone develops his own ideas you can remove them from that circle. That's less confusing than banning them on this site so they sign up wih a different name.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Why are you unable to discuss anything in a mature way? If anyone holds an opinion that differs from yours you start insulting them.


We're not talking opinions here. We're talking facts. Apple fanatics continuously and consistently ignore the fact that Apple did not invent the GUI - heck, not even Xerox did. Sutherland and Engelbart did. They invented it. They did all the heavy lifting. Apple has not invented a single thing in its entire existence. What the company does - and does so very well, I might add - is improve and popularise existing concepts and inventions. That's a great skill, and they ought to be commended for it - but they're not visionaries or inventors.

Memex > Sketchpad > NLS > Star. Everybody else - including Mac OS, Amiga, and GEM - built on top of that. Bush, Sutherland, Engelbart and Xerox invented the graphical user interface. Apple, Commodore, and Digital Research took their ideas, and turned it into marketable products (Lisa/Mac, Amiga, GEM).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Lets get real here
by MOS6510 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 10:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Lets get real here"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

What are you on about? We all know Xerox inspired Apple. Simple consumers don't know, nor do they claim Apple invented the GUI nor do they care.

The people you keep insulting just claim Apple took an idea, that was not their own, and improved it. They did this with the GUI, the media player, the tablet computer.

What other companies do is notice Apple being on to something and copying that. Samsung even copied more than most. But you seem to defend those companies based on the fact that Apple went to Xerox for inspiration.

Software patents are a different story, they are beyond the point of insane silliness. I don't think you should be able to patent those. Nor should there be companies that do nothing but keep patents in a safe and sue other companies or even individual people.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by vitae on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

He's simply tired of listening to preaching by Apple fanatics, much as most of us in here are. Again, there are plenty of Mac forums where you all can blow sunshine up Steve Jobs' ...and attribute all kinds of legendary deeds to him, but this ain't one of them.

But if you happen to go back to the Mac forums and tell them all that OSnews hates Apple, be sure to mention that everybody and everything gets bashed in here at one point or another.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What other companies do is notice Apple being on to something and copying that. Samsung even copied more than most. But you seem to defend those companies based on the fact that Apple went to Xerox for inspiration.


No, I defend those companies because Apple has not had an original, new idea in its entire existence. Apple is very good at taking existing work, and making that better and marketable. So, Android took a few cues from iOS - nobody is denying that - but the fact of the matter is that Apple, itself, just builds upon everything else. It is the natural order of things, the way we progress, as a species. What Apple and Microsoft are currently trying to do is make sure newcomers do not get to steal and copy ideas in the same way Apple and MS did back in the '80s. This is unfair.

The notion that Apple invented the GUI - or most of it, anyway, as Tony Swash is claiming - is such an utterly idiotic notion that I'm surprised it's propagated. Nothing about the original Macintosh' UI - save for the trash can and the iconic Mac menu bar atop the screen - was new. Everything else existed before it, mostly in NLS and Star, although the Smalltalk window system and Tajo (both projects within PARC from the '70s) introduced many concepts as well.

We can all agree on the fact that the Macintosh was the first marketable graphical user environment, and that it had a great impact on the marketplace. However, its development took place in conjunction with the first Amiga and GEM, which were released only a few months after. This means that at least THREE different companies were working on marketable GUIs - which all three became successful, I might add - independently, at the same time. Two of them did not even have access to Xerox - so they had a whole lot less to work with than Apple did.

This puts the original Macintosh in a whole different, more humble light. The Amiga alone was MILES AND MILES ahead of the original Mac, and developed in the same time frame. Just like Apple, Digital Research and Commodore were improving on the research work done by Engelbart and Xerox, and in the case of Commodore, produced a machine far more advanced and sophisticated than Apple could.

Unlike some others here, I have no undying allegiance to any one company (except Be), and thus, it riles me up greatly when people talk about the original Mac as it if was the first GUI, as if it introduced boatloads of new concepts - which dismisses the fact that nearly everything in the original Mac was taken from somewhere else, and the fact that several others were coming up with similar machines in the exact same time frame.

The Mac was revolutionary not in and of itself - but because of what it did to the market. The same goes for the iPhone.

Edited 2011-07-17 11:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Lets get real here
by molnarcs on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Lets get real here"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Why not put a "Yes, we hate software patents" slogan up near the OSnews logo? It's a perfectly reasonable position, in fact, it's the only reasonable position given all the facts, that we keep reiterating to trolls who in turn, keep ignoring them just to spew their nonsense again and again and again, clogging up discussions. Make each word a hyperlink to sites where the points we keep repeating are already presented.

As I said elsewhere, this issue has been closed years ago - all pro software patent arguments are bleeding from multiple wounds. None of them stand up to closer scrutiny. Corporate entities owning a large patent portfolio naturally support software patents. Then we have their shills astroturfing tech sites, and then the last group: the fanboys. I do believe that this new group of mrshavebeen clones belong to the latter, after all, software patents get their most vehement defence when Apple or Google is involved.

This group would be hilarious - such sheer irrationality! - but it's tiresome after a while. If they had their ways, and Apple (and their partners at Redmond) won every single patent lawsuit they are engaged in, suddenly consumers would find themselves without choice - no more HTC, no more Samsung, no more Motorola handsets. No more competition. Why would anyone want that? That's the ultimate question people should ask themselves when deciding to support software/ideas patents or oppose it. Choosing the former just proves what I have read some weeks ago - that brand loyalist exhibit similar thinking patterns to religious fanatics. They would dictate other people's choices, options, etc... Disgusting.

To sum up - all that can be said against software patents has been said already. All we see here now is a continuous rehash of old pro patents arguments that have been proven false thousands of times. The real question is this: what kind of future do we want for ourselves. Do we want a future with limited choice, no competition, and hence, no incentive for innovation? Again, pro software patent folks most definitely support this idea - it's precisely the kind of world we would find ourselves if their dream came true (ie Apple & buddies won all their lawsuits). Obviously, this is mental!

I for one, and most geeks I know - most sane people I know actually - prefer a different future, with plenty of choice, with plenty of competition. In a fast moving industry like software/mobile being "first to market" always proves to be a huge advantage, thus an incentive to innovate. And innovation, as so many of us pointed out, happens when ideas are shared freely, when we can use each others ideas and built something new upon them. What kind of twisted mind would take up a position against this? Well, except the twisted minds of fanatics of course...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Lets get real here
by Gusar on Sun 17th Jul 2011 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Lets get real here"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

create a circle of your zombie followers

This is something I really love. When it is the Apple fans calling others "zombies" or "cultists" or similar. And then you mention the RDS and they go all up in arms and start talking of defamation (yes, I've really had that recently).
How it all began? The person started with "let's state some simple truths" (seems to be a common phrase among Apple fans) and then... attributed the creation of the smartphone to Apple. Yeah...

Edited 2011-07-17 11:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Lets get real here
by Tony Swash on Sun 17th Jul 2011 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Lets get real here"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"You are probably looking at this web site in a window on a desktop or laptop, if you are then you are also probably pretty used to just reaching via the cursor controlled by your mouse and grabbing hold of part of that window to move or resize it.

Apple invented that.


Let's dissect this.

Web site: not invented by Apple.
Window: invented by Douglas Engelbart (I would argue it was invented by Sutherland, but alas).
Desktop (software): invented by Xerox
Desktop (hardware): not invented by Apple.
Laptop: not invented by Apple.
Cursor: invented by Engelbart.
Mouse: invented by Engelbart.
Window resizing: the Star already had multiple windows of different sizes on the same screen, and both NLS and Sketchpad supported multiple windows.

Apple invented only a few tidbits here and there when it comes to the graphical user interface. All the heavy lifting was done by Engelbart's NLS, Sutherland's Sketchpad, and Xerox - and a whole load of other people before Apple even existed, and in some cases, even before Jobs was born (Memex).

I am so fcuking sick and tired of trolls like you rewriting the history of the graphical user interface to make it seem like Apple invented it. It is such a major kick in the balls of the TRULY great visionaries of the past, such a total lack of respect. It is sickening.
"


I pose the simple question. Can anyone supply information about any product that launched before the Macintosh in 1984 that had resizable windows in a GUI? Having multiple windows with different sizes is not the same and what's worse is you know it.

Although the PARC GUI had some of the primitive elements of the sort of GUI we are all familiar with it lacked many critical parts that we absolutely rely on and which were invented by Apple and the Mac development team.

A fundamental addition by the Mac team was make the elements of the GUI behave like objects, that could be dragged around, resized, renamed in situ, dragged and drooped. This is what makes the modern computer desktop function as it does, imagine a system without those basic Apple innovations - inconceivable.

Thom every day you use stuff invented by Apple and not just tidbits. It's you who show disrespect by not acknowledging that the development and launch of the Macintosh in 1984 was one of the great inflection points in the history of personal computing, and one that still shapes the IT and OS world we all inhabit today.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You're argument is akin to saying: BMW invented the car because they invented the door handle*.

It's so completely idiotic I don't even know how to respond.

* they probably didn't, just making a point here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

A fundamental addition by the Mac team was make the elements of the GUI behave like objects, that could be dragged around, resized, renamed in situ, dragged and drooped. This is what makes the modern computer desktop function as it does, imagine a system without those basic Apple innovations - inconceivable.


Except... The Star already had drag and drop. You could drag files from one drawer to another. In fact, you could drag a file icon to a printer icon, and it would print. You could drag and drop text. Heck, you could drag and drop files between networked computers. You could drag and drop a file from machine A to machine B while sitting behind machine C. The whole she-bang.

You clearly don't know your history, but that's okay - you're an Apple fanatic, and Apple invented everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Lets get real here
by Tony Swash on Sun 17th Jul 2011 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Lets get real here"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

You clearly don't know your history, but that's okay - you're an Apple fanatic, and Apple invented everything.


I never said Apple invented everything. I am saying Apple invented something. It's people such as yourselves who are gripped by ridiculous Apple phobia who want to write Apple out of history.

This whole sad thread started because someone rolled out the the same old tired shit - Apple never invented anything, the Mac OS, iOS, the iPhone, the iPad - all just copies of what came before.

Of course Douglas Engelbart and Xerox made magnificent contributions to the world of technology we live in today, as did many others since the arrival of the Mac OS. But so did Apple and the Mac OS was a key milestone in the development of the modern OS.

I am old enough to remember the world of computing before the Mac, I cut my teeth on CM/P. I remember seeing the Mac for the first time in a shop window in the centre of London, it's white screen and icons standing out from all the other computers. I got my first Mac to do DTP in my design and printing business (which I administered using a CM/P machine) in 1987 and it came with a simply gigantic 8megs of RAM ;)

I remember what a revolution the Mac was. I remember how immediately obvious it was that one day all computers would look and work like this. I never envisaged that it would take so long or be delivered by a company other than Apple.

All revolutions, in hindsight, are built on what came before. But all revolutions are just that a moment when things change forever. Drop the insipid and demeaning Apple-phobia and just embrace the celebrate the history we all share and benefit from.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by Alfman on Sun 17th Jul 2011 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

It is incredibly individualistic to pretend that the patent holder is actually the first to think of an idea.

Many people have good ideas every day. Some people, such as Jules Verne, write their ideas down well in advance of the existence of the inventions they describe. Did Verne "invent" the submarine, airplane, moon rocket, etc? No, but he certainly wrote about them in detail.

For every Jules Verne, there are millions of others who don't publish their own ideas because they don't have the connections, resources, or desire to bring them to market, but if they're like me they still have ideas.

I used to design all kinds of robots when I was younger, I never had the resources to build them of course (oh how I would have loved to). It really sucks that my own ideas today would be found to infringe someone else's patents.

I can factually say (without proof) that the following patent infringes my idea.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7881497.html

I'd probably infringe many such patents. Of course you may say it's my fault for not having written my ideas down and saved any evidence (I was in grade school for crying out loud), but why do we have such a stupid patent system which doesn't recognize the fact that nobody invents in a vacuum?

Apple copied lots of ideas, so did MS, as has Google, just like every single patent holder who ever existed. A good idea is a good idea regardless of who came up with it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by _txf_ on Sun 17th Jul 2011 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

This whole sad thread started because someone rolled out the the same old tired shit - Apple never invented anything, the Mac OS, iOS, the iPhone, the iPad - all just copies of what came before.


Nobody is saying that. Iphone etc. are evolutions on what came before, and as a result are dependent on ideas for an assortment of places. At the same time they add their own take of previous ideas.

What rankles is that the people defending apple on this stance are the same people condemning android for doing the same. You yourself imply that android is a copy of ios. It clearly isn't. It takes similar cues, but then again what doesn't.

These patents are extremely hard to avoid if you want to bring similar functionality to the table. I seriously doubt that android's implementation of these patents was informed from ios but more from what came before.

What happens to be the case is that given a system with similar functionality and similar constraints will limit the possible solutions to the problem.

Note that in one of your comments you say that they "should have licensed patents from apple". How? Apple does not like to license (except when forced to). How does one company hoarding ideas benefit anybody? It isn't like google can force apple as they don't have a culture of patenting every single thing. This article explains clearly how this situation can come about.

http://blogs.forbes.com/timothylee/2011/07/07/microsofts-android-sh...


All revolutions, in hindsight, are built on what came before. But all revolutions are just that a moment when things change forever. Drop the insipid and demeaning Apple-phobia and just embrace the celebrate the history we all share and benefit from.


You expose your tunnel vision here by assuming that the criticisms here only apply to Apple and those being critical of Apple will only be critical of Apple. The same commenters here have applied these same criticisms to everybody. It does however make sense to talk about apple in a story about apple...

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by danger_nakamura on Sun 17th Jul 2011 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

I never said Apple invented everything. I am saying Apple invented something.


You're right... they did:

Patent No. 324898904353432 "A method of using money and influence to push your way to the front of the organ transplant line."

A warning to others - don't try this or you'll be sued!!

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Lets get real here
by vitae on Tue 19th Jul 2011 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Lets get real here"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Sources, Tony. If you want to convince anybody that Apple made these advances in GUI development and didn't just basically take what was already in Star, then you need to be linking to some kind of actual documentation, not just expecting people to take your word for it.

And yes, back in the day, we got taken on a tour of an Apple plant, and at that time, working on Apple IIes, we were amazed by the Lisa.

Edited 2011-07-19 06:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lets get real here
by TechGeek on Sat 16th Jul 2011 16:23 UTC in reply to "Lets get real here"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

a) None of us are privy to all the details of the case, but from what I have read, Google started with the OSS version of Java and wrote their own implementation of the stuff that Oracle wanted to license to them. Google is NOT calling their code Java so I don't see where Oracle has any case, except maybe software patents. PLEASE don't use FOSS patents as a source, Mueller is a suspected paid advocate (he won't publically deny it) railing against Google, Android, and open source in general.

b) While we all wish Google was involved in the cases, they have not been sued and may not be legally allowed to enter the other suits as a third party. You are not allowed by law to have a third party sue for you. See recent Righthaven articles for this fact. Also, unless you are on Google's board of directors, you don't really know what Google thinks about all this.

c) Why would you criticise Google for Eric sitting on Apple's board. Apple INVITED him to that position. Did they really not think he would still do what was best for his own company? You also don't know if Eric had any real power or if he was just an observer. This is kind of like Apple being invited to Xerox. Steve didn't complain when he was the inside man. Kind of hypocritical don't you think?

d) I looked at those videos. And I can certainly see your argument. However, the actual OS doesn't actually look all that different. It has been changed to fit into a tablet like interface. So was Google suppose to NEVER target the tablet/cell phone market because Apple was going to do it? Lets be honest. No one ever mistakes an Android device for an Apple device. Saying that Google copied Apple is a bit of an exaggeration considering all of other touch screen devices that existed before Apple entered the arena. What about all of the features that Apple copied from previous device makers?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Lets get real here
by MOS6510 on Sat 16th Jul 2011 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Lets get real here"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

No one ever mistakes an Android device for an Apple device.


Well... used Android tablets are sold as "iPads" over here and I've heard several Android owners say they would have preferred the real iPhone instead of the imitation they have now. One even thought she had an iPhone(!).

I'm pretty sure less informed customers have bought Android powered gear thinking it was Apple stuff.

Certainly screenshots of Android phones often look a lot like the iPhone's, the Samsung Galaxy's does for sure. No doubt my wife's parents would't be able to tell them apart.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Lets get real here
by molnarcs on Sat 16th Jul 2011 19:02 UTC in reply to "Lets get real here"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Well, nice links. I still don't see your point. You seem like an Apple apologist who would do anything to distort the truth: Apple is copying from others, others are copying from Apple. Now what happens is that Apple and their buddies in Redmond are pissed at people who do exactly the same like they do and they are suing them. Those are the facts.

Your history lesson and your "oh, but look who was first" argument falls flat in its face, because it's immaterial to this discussion. Both Android and iOS had it's FIRSTs. Android: Multitasking, widgets (still first there) and notifications (copied almost verbatim by Apple). That's how innovation happens. Using and building on each others ideas. As St. Jobs put it himself “We've Always Been Shameless About Stealing Great Ideas" - then they sue everyone who does it. WTF? Now I'm not really surprised (just somewhat disappointed) by the duplicity of a profit oriented corporations. But I'm always somewhat amused by people jumping up to defend their actions. Yeah, I'm looking at mrshavebeen, the new pro-patent folks (only in Apple news, of course) who spew out their nonsense lately ;)

Edited 2011-07-16 19:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Lets get real here
by MOS6510 on Sat 16th Jul 2011 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Lets get real here"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

There is a difference between stealing/borrowing ideas and simply copying them.

The Mac OS GUI didn't look at all like the Parc Xerox thing, while the Samsung Galaxy S looks a lot like an iPhone copy.

The iPod wasn't an original idea, but Apple did it their way. When this proved a winner a number of media players appeared that looked a lot like iPods.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by _txf_ on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

The Mac OS GUI didn't look at all like the Parc Xerox thing, while the Samsung Galaxy S looks a lot like an iPhone copy.

The iPod wasn't an original idea, but Apple did it their way. When this proved a winner a number of media players appeared that looked a lot like iPods.


Yet can you identify in what way the implementations in Android of these patents are a direct "Copy"?

Had Parc Xerox used software patents on their inventions then Mac OS would never have gotten of the ground (nor any other os) because one does not need to copy to fall under a patent trap, one only needs to vaguely do similar things (even if it is a wildly different implementation)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Lets get real here
by MOS6510 on Sun 17th Jul 2011 06:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Lets get real here"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

http://www.gomonews.com/smartphones-may-look-alike-but-samsung-is-r...

I'm against software patents, but they have nothing to do with my statement regarding the difference between doing your own thing with someone else's idea or just simply copying it.

In case of Samsung they even went so far as copying the packaging.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 16th Jul 2011 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The Mac OS GUI didn't look at all like the Parc Xerox thing,


Shoo. Just - shoo.

Every element in the original Mac's UI - save for the trash can and drop-down menus - was taken from the Alto. ALL OF THEM.

With the note that the Alto was far more capable and sophisticated. Also, a lot more expensive, of course.

Edited 2011-07-16 21:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lets get real here
by molnarcs on Sat 16th Jul 2011 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lets get real here"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

There is a difference between stealing/borrowing ideas and simply copying them.

The Mac OS GUI didn't look at all like the Parc Xerox thing, while the Samsung Galaxy S looks a lot like an iPhone copy.

The iPod wasn't an original idea, but Apple did it their way. When this proved a winner a number of media players appeared that looked a lot like iPods.


Yes, exactly as expected. Apple copying is errrmm.. different. Of course.

Reply Score: 3

...What patents Apple Violates?
by martini on Sat 16th Jul 2011 13:47 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

Please guys, remember the fanboi profile every time something negative about Apple get posted on any page.

If a court rule against Apple for a software patent that the iPhone or any of this products violates, are the Apple fanbois going to be relaxed and quiet and acept it?....NOOO !!!! They are still going to think that Apple invented and will invent everything in the world !! Even if Apple is 100% guilty they are going to say that Apple is the only innovative company in the world that used that patent in a productive way, and that the other company does not deserve to have filed that patent in the first place.

It was funny when I asked an Apple fanboi on the 90's why Apple computers do not have a right mouse button, he replied to me confident (like a prepared PR answer). "There is not need for the button, the Mac design focus on simplicity, so why add a second button to the mouse?). And today Mac has a right mouse button function.

Fanbois will accept any Apple crime does in the name of the "User Experience". Apple iOS blocks software install that is not being done with the iTunes Store. That is like returning to a worst era than the old mainframe where everything was controlled by IBM. But today Apple fainbois said it is good to have all the applications controlled by Apple because the user is dumb and can install anything harmful on their machines (without mention that Apple can/has filter competing products from the store).

Even if you think that Apple products are good, but you disagreed with Apple in any legal, marketing, corporate behavior, leadeship, etc... you will be challenge for any critic.

So, an Apple fanboi will never acknowledge anything that is negative for Apple. They will never recognize any Apple mistake. They will never tolerate a negative personal opinion about any Apple issue. It is not useful to reply to this guys.

THOM!!!! Just keep bitch slapping Apple Fanbois !!!

Reply Score: 1

N/T
by kefkathecruel on Mon 18th Jul 2011 00:46 UTC
kefkathecruel
Member since:
2006-01-17

This one will make the Android fanbois squirm. Judging by the comments, it has already started.

Reply Score: 1

Can it get any more blatant
by Tony Swash on Mon 18th Jul 2011 22:42 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22
RE: Can it get any more blatant
by _txf_ on Mon 18th Jul 2011 22:54 UTC in reply to "Can it get any more blatant"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

No wonder Apple is getting pissed off


Thats pretty funny considering copied the cover from somewhere else too...

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/03/apple-ipad-2-smart-cover-vs-inca...

Reply Score: 2