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  1.    #1  
    maybe start a patent war.

    I don't know if they CAN, but I think they SHOULD try

    1. flipping app out of window to close it

    2. gesture area below display

    3. live card system
  2. #2  
    Ever since the news about Apple flexing their muscles about patents, i've been curious to see what actual patents might be in question here. So I've scoured the net looking for some info on the patents they filed concerning the Iphone. Much to my surprise I discovered that Apple filed a 370 page patent application for pretty much every conceivable feature an Iphone "may" have.

    If I understand the patent process properly. A patent must be specific. It must not be an obvious progression for instance I create a 8x11 inch piece of paper, somebody makes one slightly larger or smaller. There must not be prior art.

    Some of the patents in question are:
    Multitouch Touchscreen. Yes that's right they have filed a patent on what appears to be a Multitouch. and a particular method of detecting it and creating the actual screen. This was filed back in 2004. Unfortuantely for apple the ability for a touchscreen to detect multiple points of contact tactually dates back to 1984. In 1991 there was also a paper published by Pierre Wellner that described Multitouch (though he didn't actually make a device). This patent still hasn''t been granted and my guess is that even if it is it won't hold up due to prior art issues.

    We all know they are trying to get a 13 different patents on gestures This actually involves the possible algoriithms to detect certain gestures. This should fail on the fact that it is obvious. The entire point of a multitouch screen is so you can detect different touches and tract their movements sending this information to the device so it can determine what to do. And let's not forget the paper published above which covered pinching.

    Here's one of my favorites part of a 286 page filing of patents: Multifunction Handheld Device .
    Disclosed herein is a multi-functional hand-held device capable of configuring user inputs based on how the device is to be used. Preferably, the multi-functional hand-held device has at most only a few physical buttons, keys, or switches so that its display size can be substantially increased. The multi-functional hand-held device also incorporates a variety of input mechanisms, including touch sensitive screens, touch sensitive housings, display actuators, audio input, etc. The device also incorporates a user-configurable GUI for each of the multiple functions of the devices.
    If I recall correctly this desribes most of Palms Products. This section seems to try and patent any device that can do every conceivable combination of functions even those not even invented yet. If this isn't too vague I don't know what is. The are basically saying if you combine any amount of functions in a device with a touch screen with a few buttons (hmm how many is a few 3, 10, 30 who knows) it falls under their patent. I think Palm has them beat here on the prior art.


    There's even a 3 page filing on using a poximity sensor in combination with a touch screen Though I think this just covers the use of a the proximity sensor as a "touchless" sensor to detect hovering. I don't know if there is any prior art here. Of course how else would you detect hovering without using some sort of proximity detector, so it might be obvious It doesn't describe a new method of proximity detection.

    The next page next page in this filing Proximity detecter in an electronic device. Now this one probalby wouldn't hold since it uses a proximity detector for what a proximity detector is supposed to do. Detect the nearness of something and tell a system so it can do something about it. It's too obvious of a use.

    As you see all of these patents could be applied against the Pre and some against the Treo (tap gesture and multifunction handheld device). Most of which are either obvious or there's prior art.
    --Nextel Blackberry 7520 -> Sprint Treo 700p -> Sprint Treo 755p -> Sprint Pre
  3. #3  
    Nice investigative work! Maybe Apple filed all these patents knowing some wouldn't fly just so they could bog down a competitor in legal tangles.
  4. #4  
    Fascinating.

    Let's hope that both Apple and Palm quickly realize how murky the water here, and that the only ones who could possibly benefit at this point are the teams of patent lawyers.
  5. #5  
    Whatever the case that Apple might have against the Pre they have to remember one thing. Palm now has some things that's coming out with the Pre and webOS that Apple would love to have on their next iPhone. So, it would only benefit Apple to co-opperate with Palm and stop talking about lawsuit.
  6. #6  
    PALM has a patent for tethering:
    SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR USING A WIRELESS ENABLED PORTABLE COMPUTER SYSTEM AS A WIRELESS MODEM

    Here's another interesting one, unfortunately they were too specific with it.
    Method and apparatus for multiple simultaneously active data entry mechanisms on a computer system

    It's specific for the use of the ability to use a virtual keyboard and a handwriting recognition at the same time. they mention a physical keyboard and say that it's just not practical...funny how the times changed
    --Nextel Blackberry 7520 -> Sprint Treo 700p -> Sprint Treo 755p -> Sprint Pre
  7. jgreg's Avatar
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    #7  
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  9. #9  
    I'm thinking Apple is just being a sore loser.
  10. #10  
    Politics is mostly about money, which Apple has a lot of and that's probably how they got the patents for the iPhone to go through. However, one thing that outranks money in politics is image. Even though, Apple has a great image, they, too, have bad ones. One being they take ideas that are not theirs and make it their own. Some have speculated, if Apple didn't invent them why haven't anyone else put it in their products. Well, idea and technology doesn't exactly go hand and hand. It was just recently technology has caught up where Apple, in this case, was able to incooperated into their products. If Apple takes this multi-touch to court against Palm they will lose. That technology has been around for many years prior to Apple introducing it. Plus, many companies have been using it prior and after the iPhone came out. I'm not a lawyer, but I do know with some certainty if a company/person allows a behavior or, in this case, technology without confronting them it will be allowed and any and all lawsuits will follow the same suit. Another bad image of Apple is to use monopoly tactics they use against their comptitors. This kind of tactics has been outlawed here in the US. Overall, these two points I just mentioned will not bore well with the public and once the courts sees that they will go with Palm (no matter how much money Apple has).
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by epz3 View Post
    I'm thinking Apple is just being a sore loser.
    iPhone sales to date: 22+ Million
    Pre sales to date: 0

    iPhone worldwide smartphone market share: 32%
    Pre worldwide market share: 0%

    I can see your point.

    What Apple is really being is what they've always been when Jobs was at the helm: An aggressive, competitive tech manufacture that now has the means to delay (if not altogether halt) Palm's Pre release.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    iPhone sales to date: 22+ Million
    Pre sales to date: 0

    iPhone worldwide smartphone market share: 32%
    Pre worldwide market share: 0%

    I can see your point.
    The Pre isn't even released, so those statistics are moot.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    iPhone sales to date: 22+ Million
    Pre sales to date: 0

    iPhone worldwide smartphone market share: 32%
    Pre worldwide market share: 0%

    I can see your point.

    What Apple is really being is what they've always been when Jobs was at the helm: An aggressive, competitive tech manufacture that now has the means to delay (if not altogether halt) Palm's Pre release.
    Maybe. It would appear Palm has enough patents in it's arsenal to fire back at Apple for violations of those. If that's the case, the final outcome will probably be a cross-licensing agreement.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  14. #14  
    Apple has demonstrated a single-mindedness when it comes to defending it's patents. Like a rabid pitbull on crack, the Apple legal team is a terrifying thing. Some years back a guy posted some leaked specs for product updates that were to be announced at an upcoming MacWorld. This is the now infamous "Worker Bee" case. Apple spent million$ going after this guy. They sued the forum on which he posted, then the cable company that provided his account, all to find his identity. They got it and then sued him. Turns out he violated a NDA he had signed, so his name is mud in the industry and he'll never get a job in computers. They went after him like Terry Benedict went after George Clooney in Ocean's 12.

    It would behoove Palm to work out some kind of deal with Apple before the ugliness starts. Lawyers are like nukes: everybody has them, but once somebody uses them the situation gets all !@#$@# up.
  15. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #15  
    If patents must be defended, and Palm hasn't defended their's in two years, does it still apply? What's the statute of limitations on this?
  16. #16  
    Apple just got the patent this week, and they last 20 years. What Palm has or has not done with their own patents is irrelevant. Apple will go after them and put them out of business if possible. That would be the best possible outcome for Apple. Palm has traditionally had great Mac support, and now that the iPhone is Cupertino's big cash crop, I doubt they want to see Palm rise from it's ashes and pick up where they left off years ago, syncing cleanly and siphoning off potential iPhone customers.

    With Palm's current financial state, a lengthy lawsuit could finish them off, especially if they have little or no chance at an eventual victory.
  17. #17  
    All palm has to do is fire back at apple with their own patents. It's all silliness on apple's part..
  18. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #18  
    Which is why my question isn't irrelevant. People are always talking about patents must be defended, and are also saying Palm has patents to fight with, but they haven't fought with them for the two years the iphone's been out.

    Although I'm sure Palm knew this was a likely possibility and had a plan in place before CES.
    Vx --> M515 --> T|T3 --> T|T5
    --> Treo 650 --> Centro --> Dinc

    Smart Jones - a smartphone webcomic
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by epz3 View Post
    I'm thinking Apple is just being a sore loser.
    ? loser of what?
  20. gbp
    gbp is offline
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    #20  
    I never get this , why on earth APPLE started this patent thing ?

    Root cause of the problem is PALM Pre.

    No phone in the last two years was able to match iPhone is design, software and features. APPLE must be chuckling when the HTC's , Googles , RIMs and Nokia's of the world trying to come up with a respectable product.
    They never thought that of a near bankrupt PALM could come out swinging at them. On top of it ,it was their own John Rubinstein who led PALM.

    Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison (ORACLE CEO) have one thing in common , they just don't like betrayel from their past employees.

    Instead of figuring out a way to come up with a multi tasking operating system APPLE chooses to fight PALM. They do have right , but its a negative tactic. They might loose the case too.
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