Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:40 UTC

From a 2006 (pre-iPhone) Android specification document:

Touchscreens will not be supported: the Product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption.

However, there is nothing fundamental in the Product's architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.

The same document, but a few versions later, from 2007 (post-iPhone):

A touchscreen for finger-based navigation - including multi-touch capabilites - is required.

The impact of the iPhone on Android in two documents. Google knew the iPhone would change the market, while Microsoft, Nokia, and BlackBerry did not. That's why Android is now the most popular smartphone platform, while the mentioned three are essentially irrelevant.

Permalink for comment 587084
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: assumptions
by organgtool on Tue 15th Apr 2014 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: assumptions"
Member since:

This being the case, what exactly can you patent?

As a software developer, I believe that physical inventions should be patentable and abstract things like software should not. As another poster mentioned, the devil is in the details and the details are in the source code. Source code is already covered under copyright law and is protected for at least 120 years. Since software is abstract until the source code has been written, a patent on software is essentially a patent on an idea rather than the implementation of the idea, aka the invention.

If you are the first to invent/produce something, my understanding is that if you don't want every competing company to blatentely copy you then it needs to be patented or copywrited to prove ownership.

Of course companies want to obtain patents to lock out the competition, and that is perfectly acceptable where they have to fight the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology to create physical inventions, but that notion starts to break down for abstract concepts like software. In many respects, software is like art. You probably wouldn't find it acceptable to tell an artist that he is not allowed to paint a landscape for the next 20 years because someone else came up with the idea of painting landscapes, but that's exactly what we do with software patents. I became interested in software engineering over other forms of engineering because software is abstract and is therefore limited only by my imagination and my time. Then software patents started becoming widely thrown around and now every day I watch as the pool of concepts I can develop shrinks because greedy people are taking advantage of a broken system to lock out other developers from implementing abstract concepts.

It's the later companies who take someone elses ideas then try and patent it as their own who should be stopped, taken into a courtyard and shot!

And there you have it - they took an idea, not the invention. If Samsung had illicitly acquired Apple's source code and released it as their own, I would be condemning them with the full force of my anger. Instead, they spent years creating their own implementation of an abstract software feature.

Reply Parent Score: 4