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Iphone Patents Games Apple

David/Goliath Story Brewing Between Apple and iControlPad Makers 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the iprior-iart dept.
relliker writes "Apple has just patented a design for an iPhone gaming add-on after admitting that the iPhone is somewhat hard to use as a games machine. The catch is that the design is not theirs. It was designed by a team of gaming aficionados, one member of which, Craig 'craigix' Rothwell of OpenPandora fame, is already twittering like mad about the shot just fired by Apple in their direction. The iControlPad team are in contact with their IP lawyer, since their design is already in production. Will Apple still try to steamroll right through them?"
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David/Goliath Story Brewing Between Apple and iControlPad Makers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They'll steamroll right over them, and no lawyer will be able to help the poor devs. Like the KGB fellows used to say, "for every man, for every deed, there is a paragraph. And if there is none, then a new one shall be written".
    Hooray for big corporations.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There is another, perhaps ultimately more dangerous, angle.

      Apple doesn't need a patent here. They hold the keys to the device. Unless they feel like blessing your hardware or software, your market is limited to jailbroken devices only(and the 100 or whatever individually authorized test devices, for what good it will do you).

      That is the real danger of going up against Apple. They control the sole distribution channel, as well as developing the APIs for the device, and can authorize and deauthorize at
  • Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:49PM (#31710272)

    This is typical Apple behavior.
    And they'll get away with it.
    They always get away with it.

    • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vintermann (400722) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:13PM (#31710490) Homepage

      and people who should know better will still jump on every new release because everyone else does.

    • Re:Apple (Score:5, Informative)

      by Prophet of Nixon (842081) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:14PM (#31710500)
      They used to pull this shit back in the 90s when I used them too. Back when System 7 was out, there were tons of freely available system extensions and control panels on the web, and small applications that added desktop gadgets and whatnot. Well, both System 7.5 and System 8 were nothing but Apple ripoffs of extensions and control panels stolen from the community and packaged into overpriced OS upgrades. Systems 7 and 7.5 even had compatible Finders (shells), there was practically nothing different about the OSs aside from the stolen extensions. I put up with that behavior then since at the time Apple was years ahead of the rest of the personal computer market, but I jumped ship as soon as I could get a good alternative.
      • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Myopic (18616) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:24PM (#31711098)

        Yeah I remember that. Apple was definitely borrowing some ideas. Some ideas, also, it purchased -- such as WindowShade, which was a third-party Control Panel which Apple straight-up bought and dropped wholesale into the OS.

        However, when any OS, any piece of software, gets upgraded, the upgrades typically address the weakest parts. That means there is a natural overlap with the third-party add-ons, which also naturally address the weakest parts. Some of the implementations of these fixes are straightforward and obvious.

        For example, consider AdBlock Plus. If Firefox were to implement a built-in content filter, the result might resemble AdBlock (or it might not). Would that mean Firefox ripped off AdBlock? Yeah, maybe, nor maybe not so much.

        Really, it depends.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mattack2 (1165421)

        Well, both System 7.5 and System 8 were nothing but Apple ripoffs of extensions and control panels stolen from the community and packaged into overpriced OS upgrades

        [citation needed]

        (Was 7.5 a paid update? I honestly don't remember.)

        See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_8#Mac_OS_8.0 [wikipedia.org]

        That certainly seems like a lot more than "Apple ripoffs of extensions and control panels stolen from the community".

        You're definitely insulting those of us who worked on it.

        • Re:Apple (Score:4, Informative)

          by mccalli (323026) on Friday April 02, 2010 @09:31PM (#31711976) Homepage
          You're definitely insulting those of us who worked on it.

          Can't speak for MacOS 8 as I left the Mac at 7.5.3, to return with a 12" Powerbook when OS X 10.2 Jaguar came out. Even at the time though, a few of us in the mixed Mac/PC shop I worked at called System 7.5 'the shareware edition', because it really did just seem like what we'd already sorted our System 7 installs to be. Wikipedia seems to confirm this too: look at the System 7.5 section here [wikipedia.org] (search on 'Capone') and see the number of features which originated in shareware. 7.5 was a paid upgrade.

          Can't speak for 8 and 9, but 7.5 was definitely shareware...err...'inspired'.

          Cheers,
          Ian
      • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ensignyu (417022) on Friday April 02, 2010 @09:27PM (#31711958)

        There's really nothing wrong with copying ideas, and furthermore ideas can't be copyrighted. (And don't tell me that you're in favor of patenting this kind of stuff.) Otherwise, we wouldn't have the computer industry or really any other industry.

        I do think credit should be given where credit is due, though.

        Great: We know you love Product X so much, so we hired the developer / bought the company and we're including it in our OS.

        • Good: We saw this awesome feature by Developer X, and now we're incorporating into our OS.
        • OK: We're introducing this great feature as a core feature of our OS.
        • Bad: We just invented this totally radical new feature. See what happens when innovative minds get to innovating new innovations.
        • Worst: ... and boy, have we patented it.
    • Re:Apple (Score:4, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:36PM (#31711214)

      This is typical Apple behavior.

      No murders took place.

    • by keeboo (724305)
      You're being fatalist... How can you be so sure?
  • Short answer: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:49PM (#31710278) Journal

    Will Apple still try to steamroll right through them?

    Probably. And they will fail.

    How on earth does a company like Apple seem to think they can steal someone’s idea and get away with it? If this isn’t just an oops of epic proportions, the arrogance it indicates is simply shocking. I predict that they won’t back down until they are forced to and when it is much, much too late for them to avoid losing face.

    • Re:Short answer: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:52PM (#31710318) Journal

      In hindsight, that sounds really pollyanna-ish. I can only hope the system works, but in all honesty it’s broken almost beyond hope of repair...

    • Re:Short answer: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nadaka (224565) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:56PM (#31710356)

      They probably think they can get away with it because they have gotten away with it multiple times before.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      Simple, if the other person who had the idea doesn't have a patent then someone else will patent it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        That’s perfectly true, but if you’re already in production it’s pretty easy to show you had prior art...

      • Re:Short answer: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 02, 2010 @08:15PM (#31711462) Journal

        After reading all TFAs, I found the relevant detail: According to the iControlPad guys, their idea predated the filing date on the patent (which was late 2008) by 6 months.

        If this is well documented, it should be an open-and-shut case. Apple’s patent is invalid due to prior art. Since apparently iControlPad’s makers didn’t already patent it, Apple would be free to make a competing product, but they can’t patent it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      How on earth does a company like Apple seem to think they can steal someone's idea and get away with it?

      How do you know they stole the idea? Independent invention is possible. If the iControlPad creators had filed for a U.S. patent, there is a good chance that they would be engaged in interference proceedings [wikipedia.org] to determine who has the right to the patent.

      In the United States, an inventor has twelve months after an invention becomes known to file for a patent. The fact that Apple filed for the patent after

      • Re:Short answer: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:17PM (#31710530) Journal

        Independent invention is possible.

        True enough... but it also throws the non-obviousness of the patent into question. If multiple people came up with the idea simultaneously it might have been obvious, and if so it shouldn’t be a patentable idea.

        • by Myopic (18616)

          That might or might not be a reasonable standard by which the law could judge obviousness, but -- lest anybody be confused -- it definitely is not the standard used.

    • by westlake (615356) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:12PM (#31710476)

      How on earth does a company like Apple seem to think they can steal someone's idea and get away with it?

      You can't patent an idea, you can only patent an implementation of an idea.

      If Apple's controlller is significantly different - Apple wins because users rarely look beyond Apple and the Apple app store - and developers will follow their lead.

      If the controllers are too much alike, Apple wins on the patent.

      If Apple loses on the patent, it wins on mass production, shelf space, visibility, marketing - and price, if it chooses.

      • Yeah, that’s accurate. It would, though, at least prevent Apple from suing these guys for infringing the patent (well, it should). Apple would still probably drown them with its huge name recognition...

      • by butlerm (3112) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:10PM (#31710996)

        You can't patent an idea, you can only patent an implementation of an idea.

        That is the rhetoric, but in actual practice the raison d'etre of patent attorneys is to make the patents they write so broad that they encompass entire classifications of inventions. A land grab, more or less.

        If an "implementation" were all that was at issue, in the field of software copyright would be more than adequate. Instead we get patents granted for the entire field of social networking implemented using the industry standard technology that has been around for decades. Or purchasing things on a web browser with one click. Or any conceivable copy on write filesystem, etc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by samkass (174571)

          If an "implementation" were all that was at issue, in the field of software copyright would be more than adequate.

          No, copyright covers an instance of an implementation of an idea. Patents can cover a virtual mechanism regardless of exact syntax and choice of object breakdown. And in this day and age it's pretty obvious to me that if you allow patents for any physical invention it would be silly not to also offer patents on virtual inventions.

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        you have rocks in your head if you develope anything on the iphone platform for this very reason. fuck em i say.
  • by Draek (916851) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:50PM (#31710286)

    "He who has the gold makes the rules". So yeah, Apple will try, and Apple will succeed in steamrolling through them.

    Sucks to be you, iControlPad guys. Here's hoping you at least don't get sued for patent infringement on top of this.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Unless you're delusional thats the way the world has always worked and always will.

    • The US' legal system follows the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

      Exactly; like Bernard Madoff. Oh wait... If he made the rules, he probably would have exempted himself from a life sentence.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        Exactly; like Bernard Madoff. Oh wait... If he made the rules, he probably would have exempted himself from a life sentence.

        What actually happened was that when he turned himself into the police he thought then he would be the police and he could drop the charges. But obviously he misunderstood the meaning of the phrase.

    • by Major Blud (789630) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:10PM (#31710462) Homepage

      "He who has the gold makes the rules.
      So yeah, Apple will try, and Apple will succeed in steamrolling through them."

      Not necessarily. See BlackBerry vs. NTP.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry [wikipedia.org]

    • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:13PM (#31710492)
      It is precisely this attitude that allows injustice to prevail in the world. Congratulations, you've just enabled evil.
      • by geoskd (321194)

        It is precisely this attitude that allows injustice to prevail in the world. Congratulations, you've just enabled evil.

        No, its the people who, ignorantly, believe that democracy will fix this problem due to some "will of the people", that are enabling evil. Capitalism and democracy created this problem and enable the behavior. Just like all other forms of government, the problem is that government does a poor job of controlling and channeling greed into productive ends.

    • Is it apple's fault the iCP team didn't file a patent for their device?

      • You shouldn't **have** to file for a patent just to make something. Patents are only for keeping other people from making something. If 20 companies want to make versions of the iControlPad that's fine, but apparently Apple feels the need to keep anyone but themselves from making a device like that (including the original inventor). Hope you enjoy your over-priced proprietary version (with trendy styling) of a product that could have cost a frack of a lot less if anyone but Apple were making it.

        Even if the patent is invalidated the iControlPad guys are out in the cold, because Apple will drown them under a flood of lawyers.
        • First off, have you seen the bevy of things Apple's patented but never produced?

          Second off, if you intend to claim that your device is unique and other people will make money off of what possibly could be your invention, isn't that why we have a patent process to begin with?

          Third off, looking at the latest proto they have up, I'm not sure I'd want to use something that blocky and useless. Give me something usable please.

  • Mind you, I am under no illusions that any judge will respect that if so, deep pockets always win. But I am nearly certain this is exactly what prior art means. Maybe not, I'm not an expert.
    • by presidenteloco (659168) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:57PM (#31710368)

      If you file at USPTO in September 2008, you get
      priority over inventions revealed by others as early
      as October 2007.

      Wacko system. Yes. But that's the way the US patent law
      works. It basically means, file your patent as soon as designed, before you reveal your invention.

      I'm not supporting this system. Just saying how it is currently
      defined.

      • by david_thornley (598059) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:05PM (#31710424)

        Also, the summary mentions that the controller is in production. Was the design released with the controller? The patent doesn't go to the first person to think of something, or even make and sell it; it goes to the first person who is willing to tell the world about it in a patent application.

      • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dachannien (617929) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:32PM (#31710652)

        The US is the only country in the world that has a first-to-invent system. Resolution of this (when two applicants each believe they separately invented the same invention) is called an "interference" between the two conflicting parties, in which each inventor attempts to prove that they were the true first inventor of the claimed invention.

        For publications, the one year "grace period" is only guaranteed for one's own publications of an invention. If you publish an invention on 1 September 2007, you have one year, until the first business day on or after 1 September 2008, to file your application for that invention. But if the prior art is a publication authored by someone else, the grace period does not apply unless you can prove either (a) reduction to practice of the invention before the prior art date, or (b) complete conception of the invention before the prior art date coupled with due diligence until reduction to practice or the filing date.

        Any publication more than one year before the filing date always counts as prior art, even if you can prove you had reduced your invention to practice before that publication - and even if the publication was your own work. Public use or sale in the US more than a year before the filing date also counts for this.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:54PM (#31710334)

    See figure 5 [patentlyapple.com] of the patent application. Not sure what this means for the whole thing. Did someone at Apple just throw together a few ideas, and patent them all? The language and the "art" seems vague enough for it. Unfortunately, I'm not a lawyer, so I have no clue whether something like this means that the entire patent application can be tossed out, or whether vague language means it can't be enforced.

    Either which way, this is about as lame as patent applications come. It really sounds like someone looked around at existing platforms and said "let's patent them all."

    • by AresTheImpaler (570208) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:06PM (#31710428)

      The figure you linked is of a hardware device (ipod touch/iphone) inside a dock that has an auxiliary screen. The nintendo DS is a single device with 2 screens. They are very different. Tho, the figure does look like a nintendo DS a lot.

      What I find interesting is what one of the websites linked by the twitter account said about filing date:
      "The Apple patent was originally filed in Q3 2008, while the iControlPad first got covered by Pocket Gamer in May 2008."

      It would be interesting to know if apple has anything that would demonstrate they had been working on this patent before may 2008, or even before the icontrolpad group thought about it. Wouldn't that demonstrate prior art?

      • by tsm_sf (545316)
        The figure you linked is of a hardware device (ipod touch/iphone) inside a dock that has an auxiliary screen. The nintendo DS is a single device with 2 screens. They are very different.

        They're both agglomerations of older tech, surrounded in plastic, with identical functionality. One of them is very different because it comes in two parts?
        • They're both agglomerations of older tech, surrounded in plastic, with identical functionality. One of them is very different because it comes in two parts?

          Well, I wasn't passing judgement on the patent or the patent system. But now that you ask for my input; I think that the whole patent system including hardware (which we are talking about right now) is in pretty bad shape. Said that, as it stands, it's very possible they are different because the apple patent will be about an accessory to a system with

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:54PM (#31710340) Homepage

    Things like the Beatles owning the rights to the "Apple" brand and allowing them to use it so long as they stay out of the music business, and then doing the iTunes music store was bad enough... then challenging Apple Records over their name which predate's Apple Computer's? Putting a rightful competitor (Franklin) out of business when they improved on the Apple 2 computer they were allowed to create. There's probably a lot worse things that just aren't coming to mind at the moment and these multi-touch patent holders who were somehow unsuccessful in stopping Apple from selling their multi-touch devices and especially unsuccessful at preventing Apple from bringing new infringing devices to market.

    Apple is a pretty evil company. I know... -1 troll, but new like this is bringing Apple closer to the level of Sony in my mind.

    • by bill_kress (99356)

      Kinda the opposite of Sony though, don't you think?

      I mean if you assume IP is good, then Sony is great and Apple is evil...

      But if you don't like IP? Apple is robin hood standing against the IP hoarders of the country.

      At least that's what this sounds like. I'm sure on other fronts Apple is using their IP to put other poor slobs out of business, so this isn't any sweeping generality, just a comment on the previous post.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617)

        No. They have the same amount of respect for their customers. To be clear, they have less than no respect for their customers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jc42 (318812)

      [News] like this is bringing Apple closer to the level of Sony in my mind.

      It's nothing very new. For another story similar to the Apple Records story, ask google about Mark Newton and his newton.com domain, and what Apple did to him to get control of his domain name. (This can be easily tested with your browser; just type "newton.com" into the address bar, hit Return, and see where it takes you.) Apple was already using newton.apple.com, which you'd think would have been the reasonable domain name for on

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by erroneus (253617)

        That's not surprising. A former employer registered "next.com" named after his business. Apple stepped in and got it without a fight.

        What I find suprprising (in a way) is that Apple fans can turn a blind eye to this type of behavior while worshipping everything Apple does. Interestingly enough, Apple users tend to think of themselves as good people... even "green" people quite often. Meanwhile, Apple's bullying and other horrible behaviors remain excluded from their "character."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:55PM (#31710344)

    This is why people should think twice about making things for apple products. It is like operating in China, you can make a lot of money, but the big brother can pull the plug and smash you at any moment.

    • by copponex (13876) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:03PM (#31710408) Homepage

      you can make a lot of money, but

      See your preposition there? That's all anyone ever thinks about.

      The world makes more sense now, doesn't it?

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Microsoft is the same way. That really does put you in a bad position if you want to make money doing 3rd party support for any payware OS.

      Sadly enough, Apple is no Knight in Shining armor. Steve Jobs is just as bad as Bill Gates, he just has a little more style.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cusco (717999)
        Not really. Jobs is a hoarder, sucking up every penny he can and not giving anything back. Not only did Gates create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but after he dies his own kids are going to end up with only a "small" trust fund and the rest of their fortune is going towards stamping out disease and illiteracy and bringing down birth rates.

        And don't even get me started on Larry Ellison . . .
  • I'm guessing Apple's lawyers have already done discovery on this when they applied for the patent, and have a strategy to retain it in the event of legal action.

    In other words: "They have a fight, triangle wins." Beware, oh particle man!

    --
    Toro

  • It seems like Apple's patent lawyers are actively looking out for technology that has been invented/developed but hasn't been patented yet (and is at least somewhat related to their products); and filing patent applications for them. See "multi-touch."

    The purpose is dual:

    1. Prevent others from patenting the same thing;
    2. Use the patents to defend or preemptively attack competitors (see Nokia and HTC respectively).

    This makes sense within the current patent system because if they don't do it, someone else mig

  • Apple hasn't received a patent on this yet. TFA refers to U.S. Patent Application Publication 2010/0081505, which was published Thursday and isn't a patent. It's just an application for a patent. In fact, the application hasn't been examined yet, as viewable in Public PAIR [uspto.gov].

  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:15PM (#31710512) Homepage

    Why is anyone patenting the idea of docking some controls to an iphone?

    seriously - how is this non-obvious.

    let's have some prior art

    1) keyboards (yup, they connect to most things)
    2) any number of gaming controls for phones

    blah blah blah

    go make one, sell it, I wish you luck.

    keep the patent lawyers out of the game.

    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:34PM (#31711188)

      I think Apple just wants to prevent iControlPad or some other company patenting the idea first, as it would leave Apple with a bag of hurt if they wanted to create their own device later. If there is to be a controller accessory for the iPhone/iPod, it should be (from a pragmatic point of view) developed in-house and standardized, as you don't want every game to require a different accessory or have to support a dozen controller profiles.

      IMO, it would be bad for everyone if the iControlPad did catch on, as it's simply a poor controller: The "new design" more than doubles the width of the iPhone/iPod, you have to reposition your hands to touch the screen, and it doesn't seem to give your other eight fingers anything to do. Considering the problems they mentioned getting it to work with various versions of the iPhone and iPod, I'm also not convinced it will work with the next OS or hardware version. It's nice to see an attempt, especially from hobbyists, but I wouldn't want it to become the standard game controller for Apple handhelds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cbreak (1575875)
      Have you even read the patent? No way keyboards or gaming controls for phones are a prior art.

      1. A hand-held game accessory to physically receive a portable electronic device to enhance the playing of games, the game accessory comprising:a recess to physically receive at least a substantial portion of the portable electronic device;a plurality of input controls that may be actuated by a user while playing a game;first circuitry to communicate with the portable electronic device, the communication relating to the actuation of a plurality of input controls; andsecond circuitry to retain information about a game after the portable electronic device is removed.

      The thing retains information about the game, like a memory card or something.

      4. The game accessory of claim 1 further comprising a connector insert for mating with a connector receptacle located on the portable media player to form a path for the communication, wherein the connector insert rotates to allow the game accessory to physically receive the portable electronic device.

      So the connector has to rotate. So to find a prior art, you have to find a controler with a rotating connector that has embedded memory to store score. Here's the link to the patent [uspto.gov] if you care

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by unix1 (1667411)

        I read that part about the "second circuitry to retain information about a game" too. I was wondering if that was thrown in there in order to make it sound like something non-obvious; but also still be able to go after "violators" even if they don't store the scores or player profile information because they would otherwise significantly infringe.

        Besides, the examples they describe to support this "second circuitry" idea are pretty lame anyway. They say you could plug in your gaming shell to the portable sy

    • by westlake (615356)

      Why is anyone patenting the idea of docking some controls to an iphone?
      seriously - how is this non-obvious.

      That is the wrong question to ask.

      The right question to ask is whether your peripherial device stands a chance of success in the iPhone market.

      Think product. Not patent.

      Style, comfort, materials and workmanship? Elusive. Expensive. Eve vs Wall-E.

      Shelf space in the Galleria Mall?

      Hardware and software compatibility? That will survive the next firmware upgrade - and the one after that?

  • If someone said it on Twitter, it must be true.

  • I guess this answers the question of if ThinkGeek would consider trying to make the iCade accessory real.
  • iControlPad didn't patent their device, they don't even have a device on the market, and they've been working on it for nearly 2 years now. They had a 6 month head start on Apple announcing *anything* and they didn't bother talking to an IP lawyer about filing a patent first? You've got to be kidding me.

    I hope the iCP team learns something from this.

    • by taustin (171655)

      I hope the iCP team learns something from this.

      Given that applying for a patent on something that you know someone else invented it blatant abuse of the patent system, I hope a lot of people learn something from this. Though I suspect not the same thing you're thinking of.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:58PM (#31710866)

    Apple is not a friend of FOSS, at best they are one step down from MS. Given the opportunity or threat they will sue Linux companies without hesitation. Their suit against HTC was a direct shot at Android and is a dozen of bogus software patents on stuff they didn't invent. People, please stop supporting Apple with your purchases if you value FOSS, you only justify their suits and threats.

  • by BillX (307153) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:04PM (#31710934) Homepage

    that the product is not the only piece of IP being steamrollered? As late as Nov. 09, posts on http://icontrolpad.com/ [icontrolpad.com] have referred to the product under the shortened name 'iPad' (or Ipad, or ipad). Apple's iPad announcement probably put a formal stop to that (Jan 2010?)

    • by Kitkoan (1719118)

      that the product is not the only piece of IP being steamrollered? As late as Nov. 09, posts on http://icontrolpad.com/ [icontrolpad.com] have referred to the product under the shortened name 'iPad' (or Ipad, or ipad). Apple's iPad announcement probably put a formal stop to that (Jan 2010?)

      MadTV also announced an iPad [youtube.com] back in 2007 as well.

  • Dilemma (Score:2, Funny)

    by M4DP4RROT (1377075)
    It's the anti-Apple Slashdotters VS the anti-Patent Slashdotters! Round 1... FIGHT!
  • what else is new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pydev (1683904) on Friday April 02, 2010 @09:58PM (#31712156)

    I looked through Apple's patents that they are asserting against Nokia and have been following Apple patents in general.

    My observation has been that many of Apple's patents are write-ups of well-known techniques or even small variations on other people's existing products. This is the way Apple operates.

    I'm glad this patent illustrates that a bit more clearly than others, but it's basically standard operating procedure for Apple.

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