Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:15 UTC, submitted by Torbjorn Vik Lunde
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless One of the major patents being discussed in the Apple vs. Samsung cases all around the world is inertia scrolling. Apple claims to have invented it, but in fact, Sun was working on a PDA in the early '90s called the Star7, which had inertia scrolling. In a demonstration posted to YouTube, you can see this device in action, including the touch screen inertial scrolling. James Gosling (yup, that one), the narrator of the video, even mentions it specifically. This looks like a case of prior art for this patent, and serves to demonstrate that, no, despite all these grandiose claims, Apple did not invent this at all, which further illustrates the complete and utter lunacy of the patent system in the software world. The Star7's interface is reminiscent of Microsoft Bob, and makes me want to forcefully introduce my head to my recently-painted walls. Still, it's an interesting device; 1992 is when the first fully touchscreen PDA was released (the Tandy Zoomer, by what would eventually become Palm), and a year before the Newton arrived on the scene. Luckily for us, the Star7 never made it to market. That interface gives me nightmares...
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v Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:20 UTC
RE: Comment by Nelson
by red_devel on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

Hey, Mr. Snarky, this isn't really that complicated. If a concept a) is pretty obvious to begin with and b)has already been done by others over a decade before, you shouldn't be able to patent said concept and wield it like a weapon to stifle the innovation of competitors.

At best, what you're arguing is that Apple may end up winning by the letter of the law thanks to a bunch of greedy, overpaid lawyer-types. Whoopy do. All that proves is the law is overly complicated, not caught up with the 21st century, and no longer functioning within the spirit of the patent system (which was intended to FOSTER innovation).

To any reasonable-minded person, this video, the LG Prada, and downright common sense tells you that Apple should not be able to patent inertial scrolling.

*Edit: typo

Edited 2012-08-12 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

When you try to use the law (which is exactly what the prior art defense is) it couldn't hurt to understand the complexities in mounting such a defense.

Too many people wildly shout prior art and obviousness without understanding that its often not that simple.

Unfortunately, Samsung must operate and defend itself using the law, and not your subjective moral code. Therefore it is more productive to spend time analyzing defenses they can realistically use.

So snarky? Sure. But it gave this article some much needed realism.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by allanregistos on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10



Unfortunately, Samsung must operate and defend itself using the law, and not your subjective moral code.


So we need to fix(law).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by nej_simon on Mon 13th Aug 2012 08:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Then perhaps you can enlighten us how the law works?

In particular why samsung realistically can't use this example of prior art to invalidate Apple's patent on inertial scrolling.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by allanregistos on Mon 13th Aug 2012 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Then perhaps you can enlighten us how the law works?

Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, so can't comment on your next question. It is a given that the U.S. patent law is broken, that is the point. If it is, then it need to be fixed.

In particular why samsung realistically can't use this example of prior art to invalidate Apple's patent on inertial scrolling.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Morgan on Mon 13th Aug 2012 06:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm genuinely curious: Are you a lawyer? I only ask because you often speak with the bearing of someone who knows the law inside and out. The problem is, your take on law and the practice of it seems to vary greatly with the point you are trying to make in a particular thread.

Reply Score: 5

Can it be used?
by jessesmith on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:27 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

I'm curious, if the Star7 never went to market, can it be used as prior art? I would think someone would have to demonstrate a product already on the market to show prior art in a patent case. Anyone know what the law says about inventions that never reach the public being used as evidence in patent cases?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can it be used?
by Praxis on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:34 UTC in reply to "Can it be used?"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

your product doesn't have to make it to market to claim a patent on it, why would something need to make it to market to be prior art. In some cases even books and movies could be sources of prior art. Its just showing that you were not the first to have the idea.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Can it be used?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:35 UTC in reply to "Can it be used?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It can, at least, be used to argue obviousness. The product not being released to the public does not mean it wasn't known by the public in a legal sense. This is clearly a presentation, so for all we know, the product may have been shown around Silicon Valley or at trade shows.

That's for lawyers to argue.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

That's for lawyers to argue.


If it were relevant. It doesn't appear to be relevant because the video, and the product it showed, does not use the bounce animation to indicate overscroll, and it is the overscroll bounce which is the key feature in Apple's patent and in it's legal actions.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Can it be used?
by tupp on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can it be used?"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Bounce-back existed in non-Apple products before Apple patented this obvious feature: LaunchTile and its email application; Lira Reference.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Bounce-back existed in non-Apple products before Apple patented this obvious feature: LaunchTile and its email application; Lira Reference.


Can you be clearer with your reference please? Maybe include a link.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Can it be used?
by galvanash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Can it be used?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Can you be clearer with your reference please? Maybe include a link.


Ignoring for the moment that I believe all software patents should simply be abolished... What about the following:

Rubberband Scrolling (ala iOS)

Scrolling beyond the edges of the bounding box of the control produces a visual indication by displaying a "canvas" background behind the scrolling item as it pulls away from the edge of the bounding box. When released, the control snaps back to it original position at the edge of the bounding box.

Unsupported Target during Drag & Drop (ala virtually all GUIs for a least 15 years or so)

Dragging outside of a supported target for the drop operation produces a visual indication, usually using a glyph or icon overlay to indicate that a drop in this location is not allowed. When released, the control snaps back to it's original position in the bounding box of the original drag container.

Ok - so these are not identical in function or method, no arguments there. However, they are virtually identical in concept and purpose. The concept being that drag operations are visualized as if the control is a physical object that can be manipulated with the mouse/pointer/finger in a 2d plane, and purpose being to visually convey when a common operation cannot be completed in a manner not unlike one would experience if the object where attached with a "rubber band".

To get to the point, in my opinion, anything implemented in a UI for the purposes of fulfilling the above concept and purpose, regardless of method or function, should be expressly denied patent protection. It is a very old idea - there is nothing at all new here.

This is not an invention, it is simply progressive refinement - there is nothing at all original about it. It does not, imo, pass the non-obvious test required a get a patent.

In patent law, changing the materials or size of something related to a physical invention, while retaining the basic form and function, does not constitute a new invention.

Since software method patents related to GUI processes are inherently virtual, imo this criteria should be reversed in order to recieve a patent. Since it is not physical, the form and function are mere implementation details - the concept and purpose are what makes it "unique". In other words, it is not the method or function that makes a GUI method unique, it is the concept and purpose.

In other words, if we are stuck with software patents, could we at least be intellectually honest about them? If Apple wants to patent GUI concepts they have to come up with something truly unique, not repurpose 15 year old interface paradigms by applying them in slightly new ways.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Tue 14th Aug 2012 00:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
RE[7]: Can it be used?
by galvanash on Tue 14th Aug 2012 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Can it be used?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I think the reference to an entirely different sort of UI behaviour to scrolling list rubber banding isn't really relevant.


What is entirely different about it? In one instance the rubberbanding effect is applied to scrolling, in the other it is applied to dragging. In both cases the behavior is virtually identical. The core concept and purpose are identical.

What is so special about it, when applied to scrolling, that makes it worthy of a government granted monopoly???

If the substance of Apple's claim is something just done in a 'slightly new way' then why not just remove it and replace it with something else done in a 'slightly new way'. The reason that is resisted is because the way Apple invented and patented is by far the best way to do it and removing it degrades user experience. Which is why Apple patented it.


Read what I said again. I did NOT say Apple did anything in a "slightly new way". What I said was they applied an existing concept in a slightly new way. The key word being applied. It was not their idea in the first place, it existed already. They do not deserve a government monopoly on it because it was not their concept - anyone should be able to apply it as they see fit, it exists all over the place in UIs going back years...

Why copy Apple? Why not just innovate.


Its not copying when it is obvious and already prolific. Apple didn't invent rubberbands, nor where they the fist company to implement a rubberbanding effect in software. Just because they used that particular effect in their scrolling system does not give them the right to deny others to do the same...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Can it be used?
by galvanash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Can it be used?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/cand...

http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/mobile/launchtile.mov

As far as I can tell it looks like it implements rubberband scrolling.

Very badly ;)

But regardless, it looks like a good case could be made that this is prior art...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

It could me - it's late here and I am very tired - but I watched that video and could not see a single example of rubber banding. Can you say when in the timeline of the movie you think you can see it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Can it be used?
by darwinOS on Tue 14th Aug 2012 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
darwinOS Member since:
2009-11-02

after watching the video, I'm in doubt about intellect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Can it be used?
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 15th Aug 2012 23:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can it be used?"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"That's for lawyers to argue.


If it were relevant. It doesn't appear to be relevant because the video, and the product it showed, does not use the bounce animation to indicate overscroll, and it is the overscroll bounce which is the key feature in Apple's patent and in it's legal actions.
"

Uh huh, that must be why they sued Palm when webOS implemented the exact same functionality. Oh, what's that you say? They didn't, even after Cook's thinly-veiled threats? Hmm, what's the difference? Palm, a company that was circling the drain already, had little chance of competing against Apple, yet also stood a good chance of wiping the floor with Apple by suing over infringement of their own patent portfolio. Or Samsung, a prosperous & diversified company that poses a serious competitive risk to Apple.

If I'm not being clear enough for you, allow me to spell it out: if you believe that Apple's legal action against Samsung is anything other than a purely-opportunistic, strategic move, then you're deluding yourself.

But hey, you go ahead and keep on repeating the rhetoric that Apple is just doing what they have to fight off the hordes of big mean thieves stealing their precious, original IP. Maybe someone will even believe it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can it be used?
by cjosc99 on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:19 UTC in reply to "Can it be used?"
cjosc99 Member since:
2011-07-13

Very interesting; one does not have to be a lawyer to know that if apple is using a technology that they did not created the patent it simply not theirs unless they paid for it. If a product never reaches the market or if the product gets to the stores is totally irrelevant. Now the question is; does apple have the rights to use the technology? If that is not the case, they may have to pay for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by riha on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Can it be used?"
riha Member since:
2006-01-24

I think that is only the case if it was patented by someone else, if apple have patent, then they owe the patent.

Might be wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Can it be used?
by flypig on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can it be used?"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

I'm no lawyer, and certainly this may differ depending on the country, but certainly in the UK previous disclosure can invalidate a patent, independent of who patented it first.

Basically, if the information is made public before being patented, it can't then be patented by anyone.

This is actually really important, since part of the point of a patent is to act as an incentive to publicly document your invention (for the benefit of society). If an idea is already public, there's no need for the government to provide this incentive.

That's why NDAs are so common: they protect companies against an idea being made public and therefore becoming unpatentable.

I think the law in the US is slightly different in that there's a one-year window after public disclosure within which you're still able to patent something, although the spirit is similar. As I said, I'm not a lawyer though.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by allanregistos on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Can it be used?"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Very interesting; one does not have to be a lawyer to know that if apple is using a technology that they did not created the patent it simply not theirs unless they paid for it. If a product never reaches the market or if the product gets to the stores is totally irrelevant. Now the question is; does apple have the rights to use the technology? If that is not the case, they may have to pay for it.

The real question my friend, if those lawyers are also tech experts? How can they knew a lot about programming practices without years/decades of real-world experience? A software patent is a technology patent where most lawyers will fall short on knowledge about these things. They didn't even know of what OS is. They knew only the apple and the Windows logo and ignored the penguin. And yes, one does not need a lawyer to understand Apple's claims in court I believe as an IT man myself, but you may need a patent lawyer to argue on your part, not an ordinary lawyer.

I think, Apple may have the rights to use a certain the technology in question, especially of those they patented, but they cannot enforce anyone to not use that technology because of a prior art.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Can it be used?
by Johann Chua on Mon 13th Aug 2012 09:54 UTC in reply to "Can it be used?"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

The patent for the water bed was denied/invalidated because Robert A. Heinlein's descriptions of a water bed were considered prior art.

Reply Score: 7

Comment by Fergy
by Fergy on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:12 UTC
Fergy
Member since:
2006-04-10

This article made me wonder:
Should you be punished for suing because of a patent if you could have known it was invalid? If you could have known that a patent has prior art but still sued should you get a fine that is so large that it would no longer be profitable to just sue everybody?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Fergy
by Brendan on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Fergy"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Should you be punished for suing because of a patent if you could have known it was invalid? If you could have known that a patent has prior art but still sued should you get a fine that is so large that it would no longer be profitable to just sue everybody?


In my opinion; the patent office that granted the patent is responsible for checking for prior art, and if prior art is found in a patent infringement case then the patent office should invalidate the patent, should have to pay all court costs for both the patent owner and the defendant, and should have to reimburse both the patent owner and the defendant a fair amount (not a deliberately exaggerated amount) for anything and everything (cost of lawyers, time, effect on reputation, effect on market position, personal stress, whatever).

Then, after that has happened; if the patent office that granted the patent can show that the patent holder knew about the prior art when they applied for the patent (not after); the patent office should be able to sue the patent holder for all of the above costs.

I have no idea what actually does happen though.. ;)

- Brendan

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Fergy
by flypig on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Fergy"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

As I said in a previous comment, I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the patent office doesn't have a responsibility here. The patent office does cursory checks, but having a patent granted isn't intended to imply legitimacy, since this is just too hard to figure out (there's no way the patent office can know the sum total of all things that have been previously invented, since many of them won't have been patented).

That's why these things often go to court, and might also be why so many patents are granted (since the really deep checks don't happen when a patent is granted, but rather when someone challenges it).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Fergy
by bitwelder on Mon 13th Aug 2012 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Fergy"
bitwelder Member since:
2010-04-27

I would do exactly the opposite: the aggressor should be immediately punished/fined (as he's the initiator of the action that troubled the market).
Then, on a separate level, he can try to open a case against the patent office that has not been diligent enough in analyzing the original case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Fergy
by zima on Sat 18th Aug 2012 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Fergy"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Better no such straightforward cases against patent office by those who fill the patents - they can fairly easily conceal foreknowledge, it's more about them than the diligence of underfunded patent offices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Fergy
by Dr.Mabuse on Fri 17th Aug 2012 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Fergy"
Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm not sure why I can't mod you up, but in any case: excellent post.

Regarding the main topic of discussion, I find it highly amusing yet also predictable that the usual suspects are melting-down over the fact that Apple didn't invent this "technology."

(If you can call it that - in reality just a little bit of fun coding for someone a long long time ago. I'm not sure how or why this could be considered something up for patent protection.)

Why not just accept the reality of the situation? Especially when you have a link to YouTube showing the device in action twenty odd years ago?!

I'm not a Psychologist, but I were one, this blatent fanboy-ism would surely make an interesting subject matter to research.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Fergy
by shmerl on Mon 13th Aug 2012 00:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by Fergy"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Should you be punished for suing because of a patent if you could have known it was invalid?


Logic dictates that the aggressor should be punished in such case. This will discourage litigation without proper research of prior art. The punishment should be in invalidating of the patent, and in requirement to cover all the related legal expenses of the other side. This will really make aggressors think many times before using their patents to deter competition.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:44 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Didn't US recently introduce an update to patent law about "first to file" rather than "first to invent"? I really wonder how it'll affect the whole prior art idea.

Edited 2012-08-12 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by shmerl
by pgeorgi on Mon 13th Aug 2012 07:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Didn't US recently introduce an update to patent law about "first to file" rather than "first to invent"? I really wonder how it'll affect the whole prior art idea.

The main impact is that the PTO doesn't have to investigate who did it first if it gets two competing applications at about the same time.
Secondary impact is that there might be money in tracking what others publish and trying to apply for it first - meaning that inventors better _not_ publish their ideas before sending them to the PTO (how's that for "promoting the sciences"?).

Everything else (incl. prior art) still remains. There's typically a limit between first publication and elibility for patents. If Sun published that movie in 1992, and the limit is 1 year, first-to-file still means that you better applied for your patent before 1994, or it's still void under a first-to-file regime (if it's actually prior art).

Reply Score: 2

Cygnus editor
by olafg on Sun 12th Aug 2012 23:53 UTC
olafg
Member since:
2010-05-27

The 1988 Cygnus editor on the Amiga had soft scrolling.

Reply Score: 3

Not just the inertia but also the bounce
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 00:14 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

This is an interesting video, and it's really amazing to see some of the great work that went on in computing, but which never really made it into people's lives.

I'm not convinced this demonstrates prior art on the Apple patent though. As I understand it, the Apple patent wasn't just about inertial scrolling, but also about the 'bounce' part that happens when you reach the end of a list. I didn't see this demonstrated or discussed in the video.

[Edited for typos]

Edited 2012-08-13 00:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 01:27 UTC in reply to "Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Independent of the Apple vs. Samsung case, it seems a bit curious to suggest Samsung haven't invented anything. After all, they apparently spent over $9 billion on R&D last year. I'm not claiming this matches Apple's R&D budget, but it would be a bit surprising if this hadn't generated any new inventions.

A quick search of Samsung and invention threw up quite a number of interesting results. There's just a few below (although I didn't check the validity of any of these articles).

The fact is, large companies like Samsung and Apple are in the lucky position of being rich enough to buy inventions. There are start-ups generating brilliant ideas that are bought by other companies all the time, and I'd be really surprised if Samsung wasn't in the business of doing this too.

Transparent LCD: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/technology/1203/gallery.wild-in...

Graphene-based transistors: http://www.intomobile.com/2012/05/21/samsung-invents-graphene-based...

Super PLS display: http://www.mobilewhack.com/samsung-invents-super-pls-display-for-sm...

Flexible AMOLED display: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/08/08/samsung-galaxy-note-2-rumor...

Edited 2012-08-13 01:30 UTC

Reply Score: 6

v RE[2]: Very interesting
by Windows Sucks on Mon 13th Aug 2012 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Very interesting"
RE[3]: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 01:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

True, but the article you linked claims Samsung needs to "move from replication to innovation. To take their place as not only a market leader but an industry leader. To stop copying the present and claim a role in shaping the future."

The car and the tire are symbiotic inventions. Similarly, the individual inventions that make up a phone are also important. Inventing the processes needed to manufacture graphene-based transistors or flexible displays certainly does have the potential to shape the future, and I'm sure Samsung's previous inventions (or the inventions of the companies they've bought) have done too.

This isn't intended to diminish Apple's inventiveness. There's room in the world for them both to be inventive (just not in the area of phone styling, it would seem!).

Reply Score: 4

v RE[4]: Very interesting
by Windows Sucks on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Very interesting"
RE[5]: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

This seems like a strange distinction to make. Both Apple and Samsung invent parts: for example Apple has patents related to processors. I don't see this as a dilemma.

The original article you linked didn't seem to make this distinction as far as I could tell. Instead, it just ignored all of the interesting technology areas that Samsung have contributed to.

Just to be clear: I'm not defending Samsung in this particular patent case. It's just the article you linked seemed to look just at this case and then extrapolate to everything Samsung does, which didn't seem particularly valid.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[6]: Very interesting
by Windows Sucks on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Very interesting"
RE[7]: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Fair enough. I guess it's just a question of how you read the article, and I'm afraid I got a different impression.

It also looks a bit one-sided given that Apple are good at copying too. I'm guessing the best Apple products are those that copy the good parts from others, and leave out the rubbish. The iPod was a great example of this. This isn't a bad thing; it's a tremendously good thing. It only causes problems if it infringes on patents, copyright or trade-dress.

There are so many great ideas that I wish companies had been better at copying, since they'd make my daily computing experience so much nicer. Unfortunately lots of these innovations are destined to be lost to the mists of time instead.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Very interesting
by JAlexoid on Mon 13th Aug 2012 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very interesting"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A wheel does not make a cart, but no one cares about who made the first cart...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Very interesting
by Soulbender on Mon 13th Aug 2012 10:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Very interesting"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Transparent LCD

Graphene-based transistors

Super PLS display

Flexible AMOLED display


Dude, don't be silly. Everyone knows Apple will invent these some time in the near future.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 10:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Of course!

The sad thing is that both Apple and Samsung need each other. Samsung (along with others) are generating great technology. Apple is popularising it.

But the patent cases are because Apple has been here before. Last time Apple didn't hold the right 'look-and-feel' patents, and when it lost out it blamed this (or so I speculate). This time, it has applied for the right patents and is using them.

The question is whether lack of protection was the real reason it didn't work out for Apple previously.

I'm no computer historian, and I'm sure there are many others that can put me straight on this interpretation if it's wrong. I'd be interested.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Very interesting
by tanzam75 on Mon 13th Aug 2012 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Very interesting"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

Independent of the Apple vs. Samsung case, it seems a bit curious to suggest Samsung haven't invented anything. After all, they apparently spent over $9 billion on R&D last year. I'm not claiming this matches Apple's R&D budget, but it would be a bit surprising if this hadn't generated any new inventions.


Actually, Samsung's R&D budget of $9 billion is much larger than Apple's R&D budget of $3 billion.

Apple is well-known for spending very little on R&D, compared to all of its major competitors. First, they do very little "R" -- it's almost all "D." And even for "D," they've taken large parts of their operating system from the open source community. This gives them what Wall Street refers to as leverage. They can pay for one engineer, and get the work of ten others for free.

In other words, Apple has relentlessly focused on where the money is in the value chain -- and offloaded all the other costs onto others. This is similar to how Apple has browbeat the carriers into paying it a larger subsidy than everyone else. Apple is close to the economist's ideal of the perfect value-maximizing company.

The open question is whether this is sustainable in the long-run. If the carriers all hate you but grudgingly continue to pay the Apple tax, then what happens if one day they desert you? If you rely on the leveraging effect of open-source, then what will happen in this new world of patents-as-warfare?

Make no mistake -- other companies are watching how this shakes out. Business "leaders" like to follow trends, and Apple's success at turning low levels of R&D spending into extreme profits will become a model for the industry to follow. That would be unfortunate, because "wasted" R&D usually is anything but -- it may be wasted for the company that paid for it, but it's good for society in the long-run.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Very interesting
by flypig on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very interesting"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Thanks for clarifying, and also for the detailed explanation about Apple's operating model, which is fascinating.

At the moment it's surprising that this doesn't appear to be harming Apple at all, (and there's nothing wrong with using open source, of course!). It probably helps that Apple - presumably - has a lot of very smart and loyal developers working for them.

However, I totally agree with your conclusion. R&D has much wider benefits than just for the company that makes the investment, and it would be a serious mistake to think there can be any long term benefit to cutting back on research.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Very interesting
by KLU9 on Tue 14th Aug 2012 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very interesting"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

[If the carriers all hate you but grudgingly continue to pay the Apple tax, then what happens if one day they desert you?

Then say hello to Apple Mobile, your new friendly cellular service company!
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(Disclosure: By opening the packaging of your Apple iPhone, you agree to the Apple Mobile terms of service and automatically subscribe to the Apple Mobile Premium service package, charged by direct debit from your bank account. Your subscription does not constitute a purchase of service; Apple Mobile merely licenses you permission to use the Apple Mobile cellular service, when such service is available. Apple Mobile is not liable for calls dropped while holding the phone in the left hand. All calls made from an Apple Mobile caller to a subscriber of a competing cellular carrier, and vice versa, will be routed through Cupertino, CA and be subject to the relevant roaming charges. All income made by Apple Mobile will be routed through Dutch and Irish shell companies, and be subject to the relevant tax shelters & deductions.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Very interesting
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Very interesting"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02



Ah, but those are "merely" technical innovations & therefore meaningless as far as Apple fanboys are concerned. Remember, most iFanboys are artsy-types (or even worse, wannabe artsy-types) who believe that creativity & innovation only exist in the realms of art & visual design.

So, to them, technological advances can never be accepted as innovative because it's "just" engineering. In other words, they lack even the most basic grasp of how technology works (let alone how it advances), so they assume it's all magic with no innovation or creative thought needed.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Very interesting
by Soulbender on Mon 13th Aug 2012 10:01 UTC in reply to "Very interesting"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, it's interesting how much they are clutching at straws.
Seriously, that is even more lame and desperate than Thom's pro-Samsung links. Are the similarities? Sure, but making your product similar to an existing one isn't illegal (something that Apple should be thankful for).

If you come up with a successful design it will be mimicked and even improved by others. Wow, what an earth-shattering revelation. That can't possibly have happened ever before in the history of the world. Next up on news at 11: many products looks kind of the same.

Reply Score: 4

No bounce
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 13:01 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

A key element of the Apple U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 is the bounce to indicate overscroll.

The bounce adds the critical user feedback to show that you have scrolled as far as you can go without coming to an abrupt and confusing halt, having a scrolling operation stop despite continued finger movement is counterintuitive. If scrolling stops though the finger keeps moving, many people intuitively press their finger more firmly onto the screen because it's almost as if the device wasn't reacting.

It's the bounce that forms the heart of Apple's patent. It's the bounce that Apple wants removed from other devices that infringe it's patent.

The linked video does not appear to show any bounce.

Reply Score: 4

RE: No bounce
by shmerl on Mon 13th Aug 2012 14:38 UTC in reply to "No bounce"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I really don't think such kind of ideas should be patentable, especially in the field of interfaces.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: No bounce
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: No bounce"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I really don't think such kind of ideas should be patentable, especially in the field of interfaces.



I disagree. I guess thats why we have formal processes such as laws, courts and legal proceedings to resolve such thing.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: No bounce
by shmerl on Mon 13th Aug 2012 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No bounce"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Formal processes fail when the underlying laws are imperfect. So what I meant above is that the laws need to change, in regards to limiting what can be patentable. Too much broad and obvious ideas are patentable at present. As well as too much junk which is not innovative in any way. This causes a lot of problems in the industry.

Reply Score: 4

RE: No bounce
by JAlexoid on Mon 13th Aug 2012 15:39 UTC in reply to "No bounce"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

In fact, it's the only thing they claim invention to in their patent. The actual inertial scrolling was never claimed to be their invention.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No bounce
by MOS6510 on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:26 UTC in reply to "No bounce"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It barely shows inertial scrolling to be honest. There's nothing natural or fluent to be seen, apart from the huge beard.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No bounce
by zima on Sat 18th Aug 2012 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: No bounce"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There's not a lot of "natural" about inertial scrolling or capacitive touchscreen UIs in general... Come on, a gentlest touch and the whole thing fluently moves without effort and so on - what works that way in the natural world?

Reply Score: 2

Hideous
by Drunkula on Mon 13th Aug 2012 13:12 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Yes that was a horrible interface.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Hideous
by JAlexoid on Mon 13th Aug 2012 15:50 UTC in reply to "Hideous"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Good looks does not an invention make.

Reply Score: 2