Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Mar 2012 19:44 UTC
Legal "Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I've never really cared before now. Because this time, the stakes are high. This time, it's my daughter's voice on the line. Literally." Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.
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What about Koko?
by ericxjo on Mon 26th Mar 2012 01:09 UTC
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What exactly is being patented here? The basic premise, of a screen full of icons which you can touch to say a word in order to help, in this case a gorilla, that is unable to voice words physically for herself has been around far longer than any patent could protect it. From the FAQ of "Koko the Gorilla" who used one of these tools to communicate:

"While at Stanford in the late 1970's, Koko had a computer that would voice a word when she pressed letters on the keyboard, In the 1980's, Apple developed a 70 icon touch screen computer that voiced a word associated with the icon, when Koko pressed the icon."

Nothing patented in the 80's is current now.

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