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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RE[4]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Bounce-back existed in non-Apple products before Apple patented this obvious feature: LaunchTile and its email application; Lira Reference.


Can you be clearer with your reference please? Maybe include a link.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Can it be used?
by galvanash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 22:44 in reply to "RE[4]: Can it be used?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Can you be clearer with your reference please? Maybe include a link.


Ignoring for the moment that I believe all software patents should simply be abolished... What about the following:

Rubberband Scrolling (ala iOS)

Scrolling beyond the edges of the bounding box of the control produces a visual indication by displaying a "canvas" background behind the scrolling item as it pulls away from the edge of the bounding box. When released, the control snaps back to it original position at the edge of the bounding box.

Unsupported Target during Drag & Drop (ala virtually all GUIs for a least 15 years or so)

Dragging outside of a supported target for the drop operation produces a visual indication, usually using a glyph or icon overlay to indicate that a drop in this location is not allowed. When released, the control snaps back to it's original position in the bounding box of the original drag container.

Ok - so these are not identical in function or method, no arguments there. However, they are virtually identical in concept and purpose. The concept being that drag operations are visualized as if the control is a physical object that can be manipulated with the mouse/pointer/finger in a 2d plane, and purpose being to visually convey when a common operation cannot be completed in a manner not unlike one would experience if the object where attached with a "rubber band".

To get to the point, in my opinion, anything implemented in a UI for the purposes of fulfilling the above concept and purpose, regardless of method or function, should be expressly denied patent protection. It is a very old idea - there is nothing at all new here.

This is not an invention, it is simply progressive refinement - there is nothing at all original about it. It does not, imo, pass the non-obvious test required a get a patent.

In patent law, changing the materials or size of something related to a physical invention, while retaining the basic form and function, does not constitute a new invention.

Since software method patents related to GUI processes are inherently virtual, imo this criteria should be reversed in order to recieve a patent. Since it is not physical, the form and function are mere implementation details - the concept and purpose are what makes it "unique". In other words, it is not the method or function that makes a GUI method unique, it is the concept and purpose.

In other words, if we are stuck with software patents, could we at least be intellectually honest about them? If Apple wants to patent GUI concepts they have to come up with something truly unique, not repurpose 15 year old interface paradigms by applying them in slightly new ways.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Tue 14th Aug 2012 00:07 in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Can you be clearer with your reference please? Maybe include a link.


Ignoring for the moment that I believe all software patents should simply be abolished... What about the following:

Rubberband Scrolling (ala iOS)

Scrolling beyond the edges of the bounding box of the control produces a visual indication by displaying a "canvas" background behind the scrolling item as it pulls away from the edge of the bounding box. When released, the control snaps back to it original position at the edge of the bounding box.

Unsupported Target during Drag & Drop (ala virtually all GUIs for a least 15 years or so)

Dragging outside of a supported target for the drop operation produces a visual indication, usually using a glyph or icon overlay to indicate that a drop in this location is not allowed. When released, the control snaps back to it's original position in the bounding box of the original drag container.

Ok - so these are not identical in function or method, no arguments there. However, they are virtually identical in concept and purpose. The concept being that drag operations are visualized as if the control is a physical object that can be manipulated with the mouse/pointer/finger in a 2d plane, and purpose being to visually convey when a common operation cannot be completed in a manner not unlike one would experience if the object where attached with a "rubber band".

To get to the point, in my opinion, anything implemented in a UI for the purposes of fulfilling the above concept and purpose, regardless of method or function, should be expressly denied patent protection. It is a very old idea - there is nothing at all new here.

This is not an invention, it is simply progressive refinement - there is nothing at all original about it. It does not, imo, pass the non-obvious test required a get a patent.

In patent law, changing the materials or size of something related to a physical invention, while retaining the basic form and function, does not constitute a new invention.

Since software method patents related to GUI processes are inherently virtual, imo this criteria should be reversed in order to recieve a patent. Since it is not physical, the form and function are mere implementation details - the concept and purpose are what makes it "unique". In other words, it is not the method or function that makes a GUI method unique, it is the concept and purpose.

In other words, if we are stuck with software patents, could we at least be intellectually honest about them? If Apple wants to patent GUI concepts they have to come up with something truly unique, not repurpose 15 year old interface paradigms by applying them in slightly new ways.
"

I think the reference to an entirely different sort of UI behaviour to scrolling list rubber banding isn't really relevant.

The fact of the matter is that everything that has taken forward and revolutionised computer UI always seems obvious after it is done for the first time.

If the substance of Apple's claim is something just done in a 'slightly new way' then why not just remove it and replace it with something else done in a 'slightly new way'. The reason that is resisted is because the way Apple invented and patented is by far the best way to do it and removing it degrades user experience. Which is why Apple patented it.

The bottom line on all this is that of course Samsung (and others) set out to copy good ideas from Apple's work on iOS and some companies have gone further and actually tried to clone Apple's products. Why defend such action? In the trial is was revealed that the core Apple design team consisted of 15 people sitting around a table while Samsung had a 1000 in their design department. Why copy Apple? Why not just innovate.

I return to the main topic of the article and restate that nothing I have seen so far shows me that Apple's bounce patent is invalid. They invented it, they patented it and they want to stop others from using it. That's their right and good luck to them.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[5]: Can it be used?
by galvanash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 23:16 in reply to "RE[4]: Can it be used?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/cand...

http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/mobile/launchtile.mov

As far as I can tell it looks like it implements rubberband scrolling.

Very badly ;)

But regardless, it looks like a good case could be made that this is prior art...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Can it be used?
by Tony Swash on Mon 13th Aug 2012 23:52 in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

It could me - it's late here and I am very tired - but I watched that video and could not see a single example of rubber banding. Can you say when in the timeline of the movie you think you can see it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Can it be used?
by darwinOS on Tue 14th Aug 2012 07:13 in reply to "RE[5]: Can it be used?"
darwinOS Member since:
2009-11-02

after watching the video, I'm in doubt about intellect.

Reply Parent Score: 2