What is going on here? Apple’s latest awesome display of ineptitude comes with their attempts to get an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy Nexus (Gnex) in the US. They’re not claiming hardware patent infringements, but rather software ones. This goes beyond the scope of the Gnex and includes Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) as a whole.
According to The Verge, the patents in question are:
-US Patent No. 5,946,647 – this patent was filed in 1996 (issued 1999) and covers detecting data, such as a phone number, in an email or web page, creating a link to that data, and initiating an action like calling the phone number when the user selects the link. The data could also include addresses, dates, etc.
-US Patent No. 8,086,604 – this patent claims priority back to 2000 (issued Dec. 2011) and covers searching multiple sources of information (on device and elsewhere) through a single search interface, such as Siri. Apple specifically touts Siri in its injunction request, but also argues that a unified text search is covered by the patent as well.
-US Patent No. 8,046,721 – this patent claims priority back to 2005 (issued Oct. 2011) and covers Apple’s signature slide-to-unlock feature. While Apple already has patent coverage on an image unlock feature, this newest patent is obviously intended to be a bit broader — likely addressing potential workarounds implemented by Google and OEMs over the last couple of years.
-US Patent No. 8,074,172 – this patent was filed in 2007 (issued Dec. 2011) and covers providing word suggestions while the user types on a touchscreen keyboard, where the suggestions can be accepted or rejected by the user.
Each and every one of these ideas or concepts were around before Apple showed up in the mobile world, it’s ludicrous that they were given “patents” in the first place. I think I’m going to start filing some patents with the US Patent Office. Considering that vagueness and pre-existence haven’t stopped issuance in the past, some of these may fly.
-Device in a box – regarding anything that’s shipped in a box made out of cardboard, styrofoam, plastic, or metal. iPhones would have to be shipped without boxes or any protections at all.
-Device with a shiny glass face – regarding any device that uses glass with a shiny finish. iPhones would have to be glass free or have glass that isn’t shiny.
-Device with a matte glass face – regarding any device that uses glass with a matte finish. Just in case they wise-up and start making matte glass devices.
-Device with buttons – regarding any device that contains any buttons that can be pushed to perform a function. You won’t be able to get to an iPhone’s homescreen.
-Touchscreen audible button – regarding any touchscreen button that makes a sound and performs a function at the same time. You won’t be able to answer that incoming call on your iPhone with this one.
The US Patent Office should have no problem accepting my patent “ideas”, afterall I’m following their broad-scoping rules.
If I were judge, my ruling would be very simple, it would look something like the following:
HONORABLE ZACH COMA, Judge
For reasons that hold no merit, the Plaintiff’s motion for an injunction regarding the sale of the “Galaxy Nexus” are denied. In addition, all litigation and injunction motions regarding these matters shall not be applied to any devices using the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
The Plaintiff’s further pursuit of “litigation instead of innovation” shall be held liable and fined as well as pay for any court costs associated with filing claims with similar frivolity. The Plaintiff shall “shut up” and quit wasting everyone’s time.
February 12, 2012
Do you have any vague pre-existing items that could pass the “patent standard”? Do you think these lawsuits are as frivolous as I do? Why does stupid have so much merit?
I’m not looking forward to a continued back and forth, but just remember who started all of this. In Steve Jobs’ biography he stated that he wanted to destroy Android because he claims it was a “stolen idea”. Boo-hoo, it’s called competition. Can you name any industry where there is a sole manufacturer or brand? Anyway, Apple wants Android dead, plain and simple; they’ll do anything to crush them, regardless of the merits. Apple had better watch out though, if you keep poking a dog, it’ll bite back; just wait until Google opens up their Motorola patent war chest.
There’s legitimate and necessary reasons for patents and legally protecting them; so far none of these cases have been an example of such. There are s a few things that need to take place. 1.) We need to stop the money making that occurs from patent litigation. 2.) We need to tighten the standards for patent issuance. 3.) We need to set a higher precedence in our courts to stop ridiculous patent trolls. Until all of these happen, no one is going to be hurt more than the consumer.
ACS Writer: zAcHcOmA
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