Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jan 2009 12:04 UTC
Legal Remember when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, and held it up in the air, proudly proclaiming "Boy, have we patented it", followed by a massive applause of the adoring audience? It may seem like this wasn't just an empty claim, either. During the earnings conference call yesterday, the company hinted at possible legal action against Palm were the Pre to infringe on iPhone patents.
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RE[8]: This just goes to show
by Bounty on Thu 22nd Jan 2009 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: This just goes to show"
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

"I could patent the idea to use this eye tracker as a pointing device
No you couldn't. Ideas are not patentable, implementations are. "

Not really, I think all you need is a drawing. It may actually be impossible to make though. You can show a picture or drawing of some ultrathin (hair width) fishing pole so that fish can't see you trying to cast, but it may not actually be feasable to make. Something that only exists on paper is an idea in my opinion.

"eye tracker as pointing device" isn't the idea, I think he is just sumarizing... The idea is more like (and I know his idea cuz it's obvious)

Take a picture of face/eyes while staring at dot in center. Take a picture of face/eyes staring at dot in upper left. Compare pictures, calibrate. From now on when picture looks like second picture move arrow to upper left. blah blah blah I can pretend this is a working implementation, but the reality is that it's harder to actually make work in real life. For real life you don't have enough resolution to do regular computer work, you would need a special menu or smart cursor that jumped to hotspots like clickable buttons, pre-specified icons etc.

At least now that I've said it in public any eye tracking software based on taking pictures of your face isn't patentable right.... well no, cuz the patent office dude will not be trawling OSNEWS for prior art. From the looks of what I've seen, they don't search for anything, just stamp OK and let the courts and defendants do the work.

http://www.google.com/patents?id=cn85AAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoo...

man, that's a spooky place to trawl google.com/patents

(p.s. I believe the degree of obviousness reguarding patents is not necessarily v.s. the general public, but to another professional in a similar field.)

-Bounty (as always IANAL)

Reply Parent Score: 1