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Apple US patents system malarky

Andrew Reid

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What are people's thoughts on this? Apple deserve to be rewarded for their innovation, on which they have done a lot more than most.

But patenting basic physics in a user interface, what is that about?

I have a feeling the patents system needs overhauling when it comes to software design.

When you scroll a page on your phone it bounces back when it hits the bottom or the top. Basic physics in user interface design.

Well you won't be seeing that in any cameras any time soon because Apple now OWN basic physics in user interface design.

It is a big joke that they are allowed to patent this stuff and charge license fees for such basic things.

When our camera touch screen UIs glow blue if you hit the bottom of a list, or do something else freaky like a fireworks display or flashing lights - you know who is to blame.

I am no patent expert but I believe you're not allowed to patent universal concepts like physics, mathematics, colours and shapes. It seems the US patents system has forgot that when it comes to the virtual world.

Here's Google's reaction to the Apple vs Samsung battle, and restricting customer access to Android devices http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19389732

I have a hard time believing any of this is good for the user. It limits consumer choice so much.
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I generally think we'd be better off with software patents because I don't feel they're needed in order to provide an incentive to innovate in this domain. That is, I don't think the rationale for why society should grant patents applies in the case of software like it does in the case of, e.g., drugs.

However, given that we're in a world where patents are granted on software, I don't see this particular example as outrageous. First, it's not a patent on basic physics. It's a specific patent on a method for indicating to the user that they've reached the bottom of a page. Second, given the fact that we had many years of various forms of scrollbars and whatnot, none of which indicated reaching the bottom in such a way, then I'd say that it doesn't fail the obviousness test. In general with software patents, I often hear people saying "that's so obvious" when they really mean "that's so simple to implement". They are not the same thing.
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I'm suspicious about whether this is something not only to do with Samsung's presence in the mobile device market but as much to do with its dominant position in the TV market.

I wonder whether this is Apple's way of asserting itself when it moves into the TV market (in an integrated way not with the external Apple TV device) or even giving themselves some leverage for a collaboration with Samsung (as in lets swap that $1bn settlement for commercial services).

Ironic that one of Apple's driving forces was breaking the Microsoft monopoly and in now trying to create one of their own the main beneficiary as an alternative will be Microsoft.
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In an ideal world, patents would have a financial ceiling applied to them.

Once you've made, say, $500m dollars of [b]profit[/b] from it then it would be the decent thing to do to say "OK, I've been sufficiently rewarded for that now"

I can't think of any invention where anyone could have put enough effort in to creating it where $500m profit wouldn't be sufficient reward.

I reckon that after I'd made about $50m from something then I wouldn't really be crying into my beer if someone else took it on ;)
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Patent Litigation takes into consideration how innovative the patented innovation was over the existing technology.

Normally, a reasonable royalty(what two parties would likely settled on for a licensing agreement) is the baseline for patent infringement awards. This makes perfect sense. However, in the Apple-Samsung case, the damages were increased above the reasonable royalty because Samsung was found to have willfully infringed.
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I watched this a while ago, the wonderfully titled

[b] [size=5][background=transparent]Has Apple Really Ever Invented Anything?[/background][/size][/b]

It's very informative!

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