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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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 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 Parent Score: 7

RE: Can it be used?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 12th Aug 2012 21:35 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 14:22 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Can it be used?
by cjosc99 on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:19 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by riha on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:26 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Can it be used?
by allanregistos on Mon 13th Aug 2012 02:56 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Can it be used?
by Johann Chua on Mon 13th Aug 2012 09:54 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 Parent Score: 7