Chances are you’ve used something developed by Dutchman Bas Ording. Ording is responsible for the OS X dock (in fact, Steve Jobs hired him on the spot because Ording showed him dock magnification in 1998), the little pinheads for text selection and magnification in iOS, iOS’ kinetic and bouncy scrolling, the pre-iOS 7 keyboard, and probably more. He’s listed on a long list of Apple patents, including those Apple is asserting against its competitors.
After about 15 years at the company as User Interface Designer, he left about a year ago for unknown reasons – until now. Speaking at a conference here in The Netherlands, and noted by Emerce (via Tweakers), Ording explains that he decided to leave Apple because he was fed up with having to appear in court.
“Because my name is listed on patents, I increasingly had to appear in court cases versus HTC and Samsung,” he said, “That started to annoy me. I spent more time in court than designing. Aside from that, I missed the interaction with Steve Jobs. We discussed matters every fourteen days.”
It’s easy to forget – and I’m certainly guilty of that – that companies like Apple, in the end, consist of people like you and me, who dislike all this patent crap just as much as we do. Developers and designers working at Apple are not magically different from everyone else, and since developers almost unanimously dislike software patents, so do Apple’s developers.
It does make you wonder – how many more talented people have left companies like Apple and Microsoft for their patent aggression?