Apple Got a HUGE Patent, Or Did They….


A Toilet That Removes Waste With A Microwave - US Patent 5,276,924.

So did you hear the news? Apple got an incredibly broad patent that will allow them to collect royalties from anyone who makes a touch-screen? I mean… it’s all over the media. It must be true, right?

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No. No, it is not true.

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This week the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple a patent for touch screen functionality. This patent was filed in 2007. I encourage you to take a look at the full patent here. Take note of the Claims section.

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So why am I not all up in a tizzy about this? For one, if it was SO incredibly broad, every manufacturer is going to be crawling up the idiot who granted this patent. The other, it’s not as broad as seemingly every site makes it out to be. You’d know that if you read the Claims though.

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So what does it cover? Well, from my non-law degree Apple-hating self, it reads that the patent covers the recognition of more than one finger used as an input for scrolling around content in its entirety or a portion of a frame. It does NOT cover the interface or multi-touch.

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Summarized: The patent is ONLY about SCROLLING a section WITHIN a page, and using a different number of fingers. Example: a scrollable Google map inside a scrollable webpage. If you allowed where one finger could do both, then you WOULD infringe on this patent.

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Here is an excerpt from PC Mag… remember, don’t freak out. This crap is wrong.

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It gets quite a bit more technical in its full form, but there’s one thing patent experts consulted by PCMag agree on — Apple has been awarded an incredibly broad patent that could prove to be hugely problematic for other makers of capacitive touch-screen smartphones. 

Apple’s patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone, said one source who has been involved in intellectual property litigation on similar matters.

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Now, lets go crazy and assume that all these sites claiming BROAD SCOPE… PAY APPLE OUT OF THE A$$ were right (again, they’re not). All a competitor would have to do is show this technology existed prior to Apple trying to patent them. It was not their intellectual property, cool. Okay.. so did it? How about the 2 minutes it took me to search Youtube and find this amazing video – shot in 1991!!!

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My final thoughts… all of these patent lawsuits are harmful (Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Nokie, everyone has a battle going on now). It is harmful to a consumer, and it is harmful to innovation. Imagine if Apple did have this BROAD SCOPE patent. Do you think companies like Motorola, LG and HTC would want to tango with Apple lawyers or pay huge royalties to Apple? Heck no… Look how far we have come in such a short time-line of Android… I mean, it’s just known that if you buy a phone its going to be outdated in a matter of months by the latest-greatest.

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Don’t you think these patent battles playing out behind closed doors with their settlements and loyalties do more harm than good? I don’t blame the companies… sadly, this is how things are done now. But I do know that it’s wrong and something should be done. What do you think?

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About s15274n

I will do what I can to help support the Android Community!

Posted on June 22, 2011, in Advocate, Apple and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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