Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 26th Aug 2012 10:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In light of the jury verdict in Apple vs. Samsung, the one-liners and jokes flew back and forth. One in particular, by Dan Frakes, has been copied and pasted all over the web, and it goes like this: "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious'." This is a very common trend in this entire debate that saddens me to no end: the iPhone is being compared to simple feature phones, while in fact, it should be compared to its true predecessor: the PDA. PDAs have always done with few buttons.
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RE: Problem
by hhas on Mon 27th Aug 2012 22:28 UTC in reply to "Problem"
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Is your entire argument really based on the fact that Thom doesn't own an Apple Newton to put in his photo? Oh wait, the Newton had zero buttons, not one, so I guess it doesn't count either.

Still, gotta imagine the day that some poor Apple engineer was hysterically hunting for the lost stylus to his beloved Newton, right when Steve storms into the room! Quickly, slap a phone card in the side of it as disguise: "This is, uh... my new mobile phone concept (and not the result of my dirty sweet love affair with John Sculley at all)!" Genius!


As for the 'Apple did it first then everyone else rushed similar products to market' argument, that's utterly irrelevant. The question was: 'Was the idea obvious enough not to justify a patent?', not 'Who was going to be first in proving the market was ready for such a product?' Hell, when I was a nipper I used to test uncertain waters by simple expedient of making my younger siblings jump in first; anything that didn't kill them I assumed was safe for me to try as well. Pretty sure I didn't infringe any patents either.

Patents are supposed to protect truly novel ideas, not every modest remix that comes along. (Protecting a specific implementation of an idea is what copyright's for; don't confuse the two.)


Man, now I wish Doug Engelbart had patented the crap out of his original mouse. Imagine Apple legal's face when slammed with a lawsuit for ripping off a genuine inventor's genuinely novel and original idea. Lord knows what Mac users would use as pointers now, straws maybe. /sarc

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